Classes at Hayground are small, with an excellent student-to-teacher ratio. At Hayground, children are exposed to teachers who are as knowledgeable and passionate about subjects as they are about the  craft of teaching. These dedicated teachers come from a range of scholarly backgrounds, from Bank Street College of Education and Amherst College, to the Academia dei Belli Arte in Rome.

The Narrative:

Since we believe that standardized tests are an inadequate method of measuring student progress, narratives are used as a form of communication between teachers and parents about student progress.

Every winter parents receive narrative reports for their child’s performance at Hayground.  The reports are intended to capture how children are doing at school.  We use narratives instead of report cards because we do not rank children in an hierarchical structure such as a grading system.

Teachers use narratives as a venue for communicating when change needs to occur for students who may not be doing well in a particular  area. Our narratives are vehicles for communications and at times interventions.

Instruction and Individualization:

Overall, individualized instruction does not only function as a way to meet the daily learning goals for each student but serves to nurture the passions and personal identity of each child.
Teachers can often be seen walking around the room during independent reading and writing time conferencing with individual students.
If you could pull up a chair and eavesdrop on one of these conferences you may hear a teacher and student discussing a piece of writing; about craft, specific to that child’s writing style, strengths and challenges.  If the conference is with a brand new writer, you may hear a student and teacher “sounding out” words together.

Respect and Trust:

There are many strategies we employ but the key is having a deep knowledge of who our children are.  We spend a great deal of time of and energy at staff meetings each week discussing individual students and discussing their academic and social abilities from a variety of perspectives. To relate well to all one’s students a teacher needs a great deal of empathy—that comes through knowing another person, how they learn, their weaknesses and strengths, interests and special abilities. Consequently children at Hayground feel confident about expressing themselves and participating, even though they maybe feeling vulnerable.

Children who have been at Hayground long enough to absorb this partnership become the most active ingredient in our culture of mutual trust. They internalize a set of values imbued with basic respect for others, the ability to share ideas and listen to others, and above all, recognition of the necessity for tolerance and kindness in one’s actions toward fellow school mates and teachers.

2015-2016 Faculty and Staff:

Arjun Achuthan
Culinary Arts 
Since 1996

Liz Bertsch
Middle Group
Since 1996

Cheryl Buck
Office Manager
Since 1996

Julie Fanelli
Middle Group
Since 1999

Kevin Foran
Early Childhood Group
Since 2015

Charles Freij
Apprenticeship Group
Since 2015

Mbachi Kumwenda
Middle Group
Since 2006

Marcelle Langendal
Early Childhood Group
Faculty Chair
Since 1996

James Lawless
Plant Manager
Since 2008

Erin O'Connor
Middle Group
Since 2008

Marybeth Pacilio
Middle Group
Since 2004

Jonathan Snow
Director of Admissions
& Community Affairs
Art Studio/Gardening 
Since 1996

Wunetu Tarrant
Art Studio/Gardening 
Since 2011