Frequently Asked Questions on Nathan Hale High School Tours
What will new students encounter when they come to Hale?
Hale has a reputation among students as a school where cliques are not the norm and social groups are fluid and welcoming. Students often describe Hale as a place where they can be themselves.
Why does Hale work for students?
We are a smaller school. Our enrollment of 1100 allows for more
students to be in a variety of leadership positions. Students are known
well by staff and see familiar faces throughout their day. The
close-knit community feeling at Hale is a direct result of our
commitment to our core values of decency and trust.
How do students make connections at Hale?
Hale is “freshman friendly” – We designed our ninth grade
academies to create community for incoming students as they transition
to high school. Ninth graders spend the first half of their day with
their academy teachers (health/science one quarter and language
arts/social studies one quarter of each semester) and their cohort of
academy students. In these three academies of 90 students, we are able
to provide orientation to life at Hale and to the increased demands and
responsibilities of high school.
How do you reach each student in your classes?
Through collaboration and personalization. Collaboration by
staff is essential for the sharing of best instructional practices,
development of highly honed, relevant and differentiated curriculum and
personalization of education. Offering consistent, rigorous curriculum
to all of our students opens the door for higher achievement for each of
What do you attribute Hale’s success in raising HSPE scores and increasing student engagement to?
Staff is strong, visionary and committed to the Coalition of
Essential Schools principles. For the past ten years, hiring at Hale has
been intentionally focused on building a highly skilled and reform
minded staff. Peer review of our professional work in monthly Critical
Friends Groups results in
assignments that are rigorous, relevant and authentic.
What are classroom sizes?
Currently, ninth grade language arts, social studies, health and science classes are approximately 24-25 students.
Will my student be challenged at Hale?
In 1998, we redesigned the high school experience for students
at Hale because we firmly believed that there had to be more for
students than what they were getting in our traditional model.
We increased our expectations of our students, increased our
graduation requirements and created a school environment where
developing our students’ critical thinking skills became an essential
part of our common vision. Teaching students to use their minds well is
another of our core CES principles.
Is there yellow bus transportation to Hale?
No. Students who live beyond the “2.5 mile walk zone” receive an Orca bus pass.
What time does school start?
We begin school at 8:30 am and end at 3:00 pm. This is part of our effort to make school more humane for students.