Time, Insights & Intensives

WHY TIME MATTERS

Did you know that most schools’ schedules in the 21st century closely mirror those from schools in the early 19th century? In spite of the significant changes in the world and the vast amount of research conducted on educational best practices in the last 200 years, modern schools still rely on an outdated and, in many cases, ineffective schedule model to educate our students.
 
That’s why at Hawken, we have designed age-appropriate, innovative schedules for each division. This intentional approach ensures that both student development and the precious commodity of time are optimized.








“We must use time as a tool,
not a crutch.”

-John F. Kennedy



Early Childhood

Early Childhood (Preschool and Prekindergarten)
The preschool day includes time for practicing early literacy skills and mathematical concepts within a structure that includes teacher-directed activities as well as independent student choice. Each morning begins with a period of exploration, when children are introduced to their day by engaging in an activity of their choice. Morning Meeting, an integral part of every school day, follows, inviting students to gain a sense of belonging through a myriad of activities that promote risk-taking in a safe environment.
 
Each day also features “Investigations”; a time for children to actively dive into an individual or group project.  During this time, students are invited to ask questions, solve problems, and work together to explore new topics of interest. Areas of the classroom are carefully designed to promote creativity and originality of thought and include art, building and construction, cooking, science inquiry, math manipulatives, language arts, and dramatic play. Snack time, clean-up, and Closing Meeting are also important elements of each day to promote as sense of personal responsibility and community building. Additional time is allotted in the preschooler’s schedule for special area classes including literacy, music, library, physical education and, starting in prekindergarten, world languages and science. 

Lower School

Preschool–Grade 5
In the Lower School, the school day is built around an intentionally designed schedule to meet student learning needs, providing both routine for comfort and change for stimulations as well as opportunities to engage in active inquiry and quiet reflection. Designated blocks of time are set aside for focus on foundational skills, while special enrichment time provides exposure to other academic areas. In addition, problem-based learning time is set aside for application and deeper reinforcement of skills learned.
 
Also built into the Lower School schedule is time for meaningful, real-world engagement. Morning assemblies are elevated beyond the ordinary as students engage in public speaking and performance opportunities that build both leadership skills and confidence. Time is also set aside for travel to destinations throughout Cleveland, including the Sally and Bob Gries Center for Experiential and Service Learning, Hawken’s urban extension campus in University Circle, to engage in hands-on learning. These introductions to the local community support the deepening relationships students will develop with Cleveland’s community and cultural organizations in future years.

Middle School

Grades 6–8
The Middle School schedule is designed to address the whole child and thus includes time for delving into social as well as academic curricula.
 
Your child will become a member of a small student group that will be paired with a faculty advisor who provides academic, extracurricular and personal support to each student. Each advisor adheres to a social/emotional growth curriculum that is developmentally scaffolded for grades 6,7, and 8. The curriculum focuses on important skills relating to personal identity, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving and decision making. Your child will also participate in Service Learning as part of the advisory curriculum.
 
Also built into the Middle School schedule is time for assemblies, which in this division are entirely student-led. As a seventh grader, your child will have an opportunity to open the meeting; as a sixth grader, he or she may share something that happened on this day in history; and as an eighth grader your child may formally introduce the Chapel Talk speaker or call on those who have news or information to share with the community.
 
Time for clubs is also embedded into the school day. Each Hawken Middle School student is required to join a club; examples include Lego Robotics, Jazz Band, Chess, and more. These opportunities enable your child to identify and explore interests and passions outside of the academic curriculum alongside students form other grades who have similar interests.

Upper School

Grades 9–12
Hawken Upper School’s unique rotating block schedule allows students to make the most of their time and caters to every learning style. Our 80-minute blocks help students become truly immersed in a certain subject and gives them ample opportunities to ask questions and clarify confusions. Teachers also use the time in creative ways, incorporating student-led presentations, hands-on activities, and group projects.
 
Because classes are on a rotating schedule, students attend classes in a varying order each day, thus allowing students to experience classes at different times of the day and providing time in-between classes to complete homework and meet with teachers. Free blocks are given to students to relax, work in collaborative environments with other students and seek help from teachers or student interns.
 
The changes in the schedule are based on extensive research and consultation with Independent School Management, a nationally renowned organization known for its expertise in schedule research and design, Hawken’s innovative schedule ensures that each student meets every class during his or her "peak" time of day at some point during the rotation; it also features a revised school calendar that includes two three-week "Intensives" for in-depth study of a single subject. The unique Intensive construct enables students to choose one course that meets each day for three weeks, allowing for engagement in in-depth, hands-on learning. Students and teachers enjoy uninterrupted time to fully immerse themselves in a single subject for weeks on end and have opportunities to travel outside the classroom to interact with experts and professionals.

TIME FOR INSIGHTS

Another unique aspect of the Middle School schedule is the annual “Insights Week.” Insights Week is a unique opportunity for our middle school students to explore a niche area and study it in depth. Taking place right after winter holidays, Insights is a five-day interdisciplinary course that uses experiential learning and takes a team teaching approach to expose students to real-world situations. Students are given the opportunity to choose their own adventure.
 
The purpose of Insights is to build community and skills as it is a mixed-grade opportunity where students are exposed to peers both above and below their age, sharing experiences across grades. Their academic and critical thinking skills are meshed with their character skills through service to the community around them, and they develop problem solving skills.

UPPER SCHOOL INTENSIVES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Why?
Immersive experiences that support meaningful, authentic learning opportunities are not possible during the traditional 45-minute period that characterizes most school schedules. Focusing on a single topic for five days a week, seven hours a day enables students to develop the much-needed skills of knowledge creation, collaboration, and problem-solving. At the same time, they strengthen character traits of empathy, resilience, and confidence that are so necessary to thriving in today’s world.

When?

Intensive classes are held during the final three weeks of each semester: the weeks between Thanksgiving and winter break and the final three weeks of the school year. This gives teachers and students three weeks of uninterrupted time to delve into their subject matter without the distractions and interruptions that occur in a typical school schedule.

Where?
The Intensive format allows in-depth, immersive learning to take place in a variety of locations: from Hawken’s main campus to locations throughout the city of Cleveland to places around the globe

Who?
All students in grades 9 through 12 enroll in an Intensive at the end of every semester. By the time they graduate, each student will have had eight Intensive experiences.

How?
In the ninth grade, Intensives are part of the core curriculum. As students progress through Upper School, they have a greater degree of choice with regard to their Intensive, ranking them in order of preference. Some intensive classes are required, some are restricted to certain grades, and some involve a special application and selection process. 


FALL INTENSIVES

  • Humanities 9: Radiolab: Hawken
  • Humanities 9: From Cleveland to Krypton: Curating the Superman Story
  • Humanities 9: We, the People…
  • Humanities 10: Whose Island Is It?  Irish Immigration
  • Humanities 10: Whose Island is It?  Latino Immigration in the United States
  • Physics
  • Chemistry  
  • Spanish 4 Honors: Conversation and Composition
  • The Identity Project: Diversity in the 21st Century
  • Homelessness
  • Shakespeare Creativity Lab
  • AP Biology   


  • Marine Science 
  • In Pursuit of Justice
  • U.S. History II 
  • Before the Selfie, There Was Paint!
  • Regal, Emotional, and Digital Cool.  Cultivating the Public Self in the Crosscurrents of History 
  • Introduction to Filmmaking
  • The Creative Process: Unleashing Your Hidden Genius
  • Curves, Surfaces, and Space: An Introduction to Topology
  • Introduction to Robotics
  • Mind Games: Experimental Psychology and Statistics
  • Music Playlist: The Americas
  • French Immersion
SPRING INTENSIVES

  • Humanities 9: Bioethics: Moral Challenges of the 21st Century
  • Humanities 9: Many Stories: Race, Gender, and Class in America
  • Humanities 9: Spiritual Journeys
  • Humanities 10: Whose Island Is It?  Irish Immigration
  • Humanities 10: Trump Tower or Rust Belt Blues: How the Economy Shapes the Modern World
  • In Service: Cleveland Mosaic Project
  • Cameras, Computers and Cleveland: An experiment in Digital Documentation
  • Comedy and Social Satire
  • Music Theory
  • Chicago: The History and Culture of the Second City
  • “Whodunit?: Following the Forensic Story”
  • Reading Outside: Literature and Field Biology
  • The Future: What to Think about Machines that Think?
  • Professional Writing

Hawken School | Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106
440.423.4446