The Hawbridge School: FAQ

The most commonly asked questions from our Virtual Open Houses. For more admissions information, and to apply, please visit TheHawbridgeSchool.org/Admissions

For more information on our expansion from a 4-12 to a k-12 school, visit TheHawbridgeSchool.org/Expansion

Lower School

What are the class sizes?

The K-3 class size is limited to 17 students.  Grade 4 and Grade 5 classes are capped at approximately 20 students.  The Grade 6 and Grade 7 class size is not expected to exceed 22 students.

How much technology is used in classrooms? 

Technology use at our school is limited.  Our teachers use technology to supplement instruction and Chromebooks are available for students to use during the instructional day.

How much homework? 

Teachers assign homework when students demonstrate a skill deficiency or when extra practice on a concept is needed.  A flexible time in the daily schedule provides students an opportunity to complete homework assignments.

How much time outside?

The daily K-5 schedule provides 30 minutes for outdoor recess.  All K-5 students will have a 50 minute Outdoors Special every week.  All Grade 6 and Grade 7 students will be enrolled in an Outdoors course as well.  Our students love to eat lunch outdoors!  Teachers regularly take their classes outside for purposeful instruction.

What are the Lower School specials?

The K-5 weekly rotations include Outdoors, Art, Music, Guidance, and Life Skills.  The Grade 6 and Grade 7 students will enroll in two daily non-core courses and will also take an Art and Outdoors course.

What are the lunch options?

We do not have a cafeteria. However, we do have refrigerators and microwaves for students to store and cook food brought from home. Students may also order food from the Saxapahaw General store that will be delivered during lunchtime. They may order off the general menu or choose to participate in the General Store’s “lunch program.”

Are there any sports available?

Students in Grade 6 and Grade 7 are eligible to participate in athletics.  In past years, students have participated in the following sports: cross country, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and ultimate frisbee.  Most of the sports are co-ed.

How is the day structured? What does a typical day look like?

The K-5 schedule includes 90-minute reading and math blocks that feature whole group and small group instruction.  Writing, science, and social studies are also daily components.  All K-5 classes will attend a daily special, lunch, and recess.  A flexible period will allow teachers to revisit topics and allow students to complete homework, participate in enrichment (e.g. clubs), and receive remediation as needed.

Upper School

What are the class sizes?

We rarely have a class that is more than 22 students. Some classes are in the single digits. As students choose classes to personalize their high school experience and meet their post-graduation goals, most students’ schedules are slightly different from each other.

What are the lunch options?

We do not have a cafeteria. However, we do have refrigerators and microwaves for students to store and cook food brought from home. Students may also order food from the Saxapahaw General store that will be delivered during lunchtime. They may order off the general menu or choose to participate in the General Store’s “lunch program.”

Upper School Curriculum

Please refer to our High School Planning Guide for an overview of our past offerings and approach. 

What foreign languages are offered?

At present, we offer up to five levels of Spanish with the fifth level being AP Spanish Language and Culture. We also offer up to two levels of Mandarin Chinese. In the past, some students have chosen to continue their Chinese language study through online courses.

Please tell me about your…

Arts program

The arts program is extremely popular at The Hawbridge School! We offer introductory, intermediate, and advanced visual arts. The advanced classes focus on the interests of the student and developing a portfolio. Many of our students have been accepted to art schools after graduation.

For performing arts, we offer music and theater classes. Additionally, there are theater productions whose auditions are open to all students regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in a theater class.

Honors program

While there is not an official “honors program” that students enter at The Hawbridge School, we offer Honors, Advanced Placement, and/or acceleration in each of our disciplines. Please refer to our High School Planning Guide for an explanation of how to qualify for, and participate in, Honors classes. 

Outdoor Education

In addition to PE classes that feature frequent canoeing – among numerous other outdoor activities that go beyond the usual offerings–we offer classes in Outdoor Leadership, Haw River Ecology, Environmental Science, and Saxapahaw Studies, all of which concentrate on and engage students in our local environment. Our teachers are encouraged to use the outdoors as classroom space, and every year we participate in the international Outdoor Classroom Day. An emphasis on place-based education also gives teachers added opportunity to bring the outdoors into their classes, and their classes into the outdoors.

Sports program

In past years, students have participated in the following sports: cross country, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and ultimate frisbee.  Most of the sports are co-ed.

Transportation and After-school

Is there any available organized transportation?

We will send out a carpool survey over the summer which organizes families by zip code.  Families receive the contact info of the folks interested in carpooling in their area and then will be able to set something up with them.  We can’t organize it for you but can get you in touch with the right people.

What are the after school options?

In past years, we’ve worked with Sprout and Camp Chestnut Ridge to provide after-school care. Both groups picked students up from school at the end of the day. We hope to continue this partnership next year and may have a specific announcement about afterschool options by the end of February. 

Standardized Testing

What is The Hawbridge School policy towards testing?

Since its founding in 1998, The Hawbridge School has had a policy of not emphasizing standardized testing. We administer the standardized tests that are required by the state of North Carolina but do not administer any of the optional assessments (eg, check-ins). Our class sizes are small, and teachers can assess students’ knowledge of the curriculum without focusing on testing.

Accommodations

Do you offer services for students with disabilities and/or learning differences?

Yes.  If your student enrolls in Hawbridge with an existing 504 or IEP we will abide by the accommodations and/or modifications in that document.  These are subject to change as your student transitions into our environment and we get to know what works best for them at Hawbridge.  If your student comes from a non-traditional school that does not offer these formal services, we will work together to determine how best to serve your student.

How is your EC Department structured?

We will be expanding our EC Department as a result of the school’s increase in size. Next year, the EC Department will include an EC Director and EC teachers at both the upper and lower schools.  Most of our services are push-in, allowing students to stay in their classes.  The flex period at each school also allows for built-in time for students with IEPs to receive their services without being removed from their elective courses.

What speech therapy do you provide?

We offer speech and occupational therapy as related services.

What services do you offer for students with 504s?

There will be a 504 team at each school which will include the student, their parent(s)/guardian(s), the student’s teachers, and the school counselor.  The team will determine the best accommodations for the student according to the impact of the disability or ailment on the student.  

Counseling

What is done to help students who may be new to the school and entering at an age where friend groups have already been established?

We are fortunate that Hawbridge is an incredibly welcoming environment.  Like any school transition, students might feel awkward at first.  However, our Hawbridge Ambassadors club (led by the School Counselor) will be working hard to incorporate new students into the fold.  Additionally, our school counselor is often visible during transitional times (lunch, Bridge, class changes, etc) to ensure students are appropriately social and finding their niche.

How do you address the social-emotional needs of students?

Our School Counselors utilize a variety of methods:

  • Individual short-term counseling to address academic concerns, as well as concerns related to mental health.  School counselors are not therapists.  Community-based counseling resources are provided to families upon request. 
  • Group counseling is primarily used to address conflict among peer groups.  Small groups may be formed as the counselor sees common issues arise among same-aged peers.
  • Classroom guidance is used to build community, share mental health resources (ie. mindfulness, managing stress, time management, etc) as needed, and is most often used in high school to prepare students for life after Hawbridge.

In addition to these methods, our school counselors may use surveys and their own observations to address the needs of students as they arise.