HAMDEN HALL COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
Founded in 1912, Hamden Hall Country Day School is one of the pioneer schools of the country day school movement, being the fourth oldest in the United States. The school caters to pupils from the age of 3 in their pre-school through to age 18 in the college-preparatory high school division. Hamden Hall is one of the highest-rated schools in Connecticut with a reputation for academic excellence and successful athletics and performing arts programmes. It has been one of the premier choice schools for Connecticut’s discerning denizens and established society families seeking an alternative to the traditional boarding schools popular in the New England region.
Hamden Hall is a private, all-through, co-educational school. The school takes great pride in creating a nurturing and inclusive learning environment with a keen focus on community and citizenship whilst also empowering individual growth and development. The school has achieved national renown as an excellent school with complementing academic and athletic programmes offering a broad variety of pursuits for its student body. From the outset, the school subscribed to the idea that moral and intellectual rigor was only achievable when undertaken alongside vigorous exercise. It has an excellent track record for college placements with many alumni at the nation’s top colleges and universities.
Hamden Hall Country Day School began life as an elementary and middle school preparing children for entry into the top-tier preparatory schools in New England and further afield. It was founded by Dr. John P. Cushing, a scion of the Brahmin Cushing family whose wealth descended from the great American Taipan, John Perkins Cushing – also known as “Ku-Shing” and who was at the helm of one of the great “Hongs” of Hong Kong. As founder and first headmaster, Cushing was a seminal figure in the early Country Day School movement and sought to institute a progressive agenda within a traditional school environment. Thus in 1912, Hamden Hall Country Day School was opened welcoming 17 boys.
The school became heavily subscribed in its first decade of operations with enrollment more than doubling. In 1922, Cushing acquired Pinehurst Mansion, the estate that had thus far been leased to house the school.
The school initially educated boys only but became co-educational in 1927 upon Cushing’s retirement. In 1934 the school expanded to include its own college-preparatory high school programme to grade 12. The high school celebrated its first graduating class in 1937. The school proved to be a popular choice for many of New England’s most renowned established families including the Binghams and the Cushings.
When the school celebrated its centenary year it had its largest ever graduating class of 82 pupils.
Hamden Hall’s mission is to “prepare students for college and beyond by providing a rigorous academic program, a diverse and inclusive community, and a commitment to lifelong learning.” Hamden Hall offers a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities, including athletics, arts, clubs, and service learning. The school’s faculty are highly qualified and experienced, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1.
In typical country day school style, Hamden Hall occupies a sprawling 42-acre campus in the Whitneyville area of Hamden a suburb of New Haven in Connecticut. The school is located close to the campus of Ivy League Yale University where many of its graduates aspire to attend. The campus and its’ athletics center satellite include a library, a science center, a performing arts center, a gym, and a number of athletic fields.
Alongside this, the school has a number of signature and flagship programmes that augment learning and give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world, project-based problem-solving scenarios. These include a range of initiatives that focus on marine stewardship and engineering; science and innovation. Hamden Hall also offers budding artists unrivaled opportunities through their signature visual and performing arts programmes with some of the best facilities in the region.
Pupils at Hamden Hall are also able to participate in a number of clubs, societies, and co-curricular activities including: robotics club; Model United Nations; student newspaper; student yearbook; a capella clubs; poetry clubs; various academic clubs; chess; choir; debate; music; and drama. In addition, there are a number of societies and clubs representing minority interests in order to ensure that the school remains a safe and welcoming space for all.
Hamden Hall Country Day School also offers a number of excellent athletics programmes with varsity sports including: Association Football (Soccer); Athletics (Track & Field); Baseball; Basketball; Cross Country; Equestrian; Football (Flag); Football (Gridiron); Golf; Hockey (Field); Hockey (Ice); Lacrosse; Tennis; Sailing; Softball; Squash; Swimming and Diving; Volleyball; Water Polo; and Wrestling. All students are required to participate in sports during their time at the school. Many of the varsity teams compete in the Fairchester Athletic Association (under the auspices of NEPSAC) and/or the Connecticut Independent Schools Athletic Conference (CISAC). Its main athletic rival is the nearby Hopkins School which also competes in the Fairchester Athletic Association. Many of the school’s alumni have gone on to achieve greatness at college and professional levels.
Life under the pines (a phrase used to connote Hamden Hall’s setting amongst the pine trees along the shores of Lake Whitney), is rich with traditions and ceremony. The school prides itself on preserving its ways and keeping tradition alive with some annual celebrations having continued for more than half a century, particularly the Valentine Bake Sale and associated Lifers’ Shirting Ceremony (where a Valentine Bake T-shirt is offered to upper school students who have been with the school since the start of their academic career). Other traditions of note include: the May Pole Assembly and MayFest; Stuff A Bus (filling the bus with donations for those in need in the run-up to Thanksgiving); and Prize Day.
THE UNIQUE SLANG, JARGON, AND TERMINOLOGY OF HAMDEN HALL COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
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Campus and Facilities
Hamden Hall is spread across two sites with the primary campus on the banks of Lake Whitney in the northern suburbs of New Haven. It is a 12-acre site that accommodates the primary educational buildings and facilities. Approximately 1.5 miles north of this site in the neighbourhood of Hamden are the school’s athletic facilities and sports grounds. This campus features a range of sports fields, all-weather tennis courts, and a state-of-the-art indoor athletic center.
New Haven is well served by public buses and New Haven Union Station can be reached in about half an hour. The station has rail links across the East Coast. The closest airport to the campus is Tweed New Haven (HVN)which services a number of local shuttle flights. The nearest major airports are Bradley International Airport (BDL) some 50 miles away in Hartford (one hour’s drive from Hamden Hall) or the airports of New York City, approximately 80 miles away.
The school is considered to be academically rigorous and, as a consequence, operates a highly-selective admissions policy with an acceptance rate of approximately 20% of applicants. Candidates for entry to the upper school are expected to successfully undertake the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) with a high score achieved. All applicants to the school may be expected to furnish academic transcripts and attend an assessment or interview. STEM subjects and modern languages are critical components of the school’s curriculum and students are exposed to both from a young age. Indeed, Mandarin classes commence at the pre-school level with Spanish and Latin beginning in elementary school. The school has a strong classics department and, in addition to Latin, students also study classics and classic literature in Middle School. High School students are able to undertake Advanced Placement and college-level courses to prepare them for life at University. Some three-quarters of the school’s faculty hold advanced-level degrees. The school is a constituent member of the Global Online Academy.
The school’s alumni association is very active and regularly hosts events offering opportunities for alumni to reminisce and catch up with one another. Many of the reunion events are managed in conjunction with the school in order to keep the connection and sense of community alive. Indeed, alumni still assist with Hamden Hall’s homecoming celebrations. Lifers’ are recognised especially for their time at the school.
HAMDEN HALL ALUMNI
Old Hornets are very much an active part of the wider Hamden Hall community and are invited to join the alumni association upon graduation. The school’s alumni association regularly hosts events offering opportunities for alumni to reminisce and catch up with one another. Many of the reunion events are managed in conjunction with the school in order to keep the connection and sense of community alive. Indeed, alumni still assist with Hamden Hall’s homecoming celebrations.
Accreditations and Affiliations
Hamden Hall School is an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). It is a member, also of the A Better Chance (ABC) network, promoting diversity in admissions; the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS); the Enrollment Management Association (EMA); the Gateway to Prep consortium; the Global Online Academy (GOA); and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
HAMDEN HALL COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
HAMDEN HALL / HH / HHCDS / HORNETS
PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
3 – 18
PK – 12
HIGHLY SELECTIVE SUBJECT TO ASSESSMENT. CANDIDATES MUST SATISFACTORILY PASS THE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL ENTRANCE EXAM (ISEE) OR SECONDARY SCHOOL ADMISSIONS TEST (SSAT). CANDIDATES WILL ALSO BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS AND ATTEND AN INTERVIEW
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
IN LINE WITH STATE AND NATIONAL STANDARDS
AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA WITH HONORS
NEW ENGLAND ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION
FAITH / ETHOS
PEDAGOGY / PHILOSOPHY
COUNTRY DAY MOVEMENT
LAKESIDE / SUBURBAN / RURAL
MODEL UNITED NATIONS
MYSTIC SEAPORT PARTNERSHIP
VARIOUS ACADEMIC SOCIETIES AND SOCIAL CLUBS
ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL (SOCCER)
ATHLETICS (TRACK & FIELD)
SWIMMING AND DIVING
PATRON / VISITOR
MR. ANDREW ACQUARLO, JR.
HEAD OF SCHOOL
BOB IZZO (HEAD OF SCHOOL)
AVERAGE CLASS SIZE
USD $20,100 – $46,825 PER ANNUM. ADDISTIONAL FEES AND CHARGES MAY APPLY
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES & FINANCIAL AID
FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE ON MEANS-TESTED BASIS (APPROXIMATELY 30% OF STUDENT BODY IN RECEIPT OF FINANCIAL AID)
A NUMBER OF LEADERSHIP AND SPORTING SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE INCLUDING THE WEBER SCHOLARSHIP AND THE JAMES R. MAGGART SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR YOUNG WOMEN
BOAT CLUB COLOURS
ACCREDITATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
ATHLETIC CONFERENCES & SPORTS LEAGUES
SISTER SCHOOLS & PARTNER SCHOOLS
ERNIE THE HORNET
CELEBRATED ALUMNI & FACULTY
HIRAM BINGHAM IV; JONATHON BREWSTER BINGHAM; DR JOHN P CUSHING; ROSS DOUTHAT; MITCH FEIERSTEIN
1108 WHITNEY AVENUE
HAMDEN HALL / HH / HHCDS
1108 WHITNEY AVENUE, HAMDEN, CONNECTICUT 06517, UNITED STATES
PRE-SCHOOL, ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL
COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL