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    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 our students.
    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.