Nurturing the girl. Empowering the emerging woman.
Equally important to the academics at Hanger Hall is a focus on personal growth and wellness. Developmentally, children this age are differentiating themselves from their parents and peers. They are beginning to discover themselves as unique individuals. Hanger Hall offers programs and practices which enable each student to develop a strong self-concept and awareness of personal strength. Our founder, Howard Hanger, wrote a book on this very topic called A Precious Window of Time: A Manual for Teaching & Nurturing Middle School Girls (Lobster-Books, 2008).
Our social/emotional curriculum and whole child approach are integrated into everything we do. We focus on creating empathy and connection through mindful breaks during the week and emotional check-ins with our advisory groups. We offer student mentorship relationships called “sister groups,” which pair an 8th grade student with an incoming 6th grader. Students form close relationships with teachers in our small learning environment, and teachers are constantly communicating with one another about what is going on with students both academically and emotionally. Our small size enables us to intentionally serve, support and nurture our students.
What it Means to be a Woman in the 21st Century
One of the ongoing programs at Hanger Hall is the “What It Means To Be a Woman” series. During this developmental age, girls look to the community of women who surround them to find role models to help navigate their own life. With this process in mind, we invite women in the community from many walks and styles of life, to talk to the girls and explain in their own words and through their own experiences what it means to be a woman. The girls get to ask questions and share their feelings about this important topic. In past years, Hanger Hall has hosted attorneys, artists, politicians, business owners, bankers, doctors, ministers and students. We have hosted single moms, married women, grandmothers, single older women, wealthy women, and financially-struggling women. In each case, the focus is to allow the girls to see what a broad range of possibilities there are for women today. The girls are encouraged to ponder and explore what it means for them to be women today, all in a safe, respectful, all-girls school environment.