The Hartsbrook School

The Hartsbrook School Handbook

Hartsbrook Master Plan

A master plan is a living document reflecting a myriad of factors involved in planning a campus and serves as a guide for future physical development of the campus.

The Hartsbrook School Master Plan was developed by Charles Rose Architects in 2001, replacing an earlier Master Plan adopted in 1988 when the 193 Bay Road site was purchased. This plan was updated in the fall of 2008.

Our Master Plan reflects the reality of a fully built out school on our physical site at 193 Bay Road in Hadley. Future buildings are shown only as footprints occupying an estimated amount of square footage in a suggested location. Future developments in the school’s enrollment, programs, resources, property and changes in land use thinking or the regulatory environment will dictate changes in the plan.

Topographical Map of Hartsbrook Campus

An Introduction to Waldorf Education

Excerpts from “Waldorf Education…An Introduction,” by Henry Barnes

When children relate what they learn to their own experience, they are interested and alive, and what they learn becomes their own. Waldorf Schools are designed to foster this kind of learning.

Waldorf Education has its roots in the spiritual-scientific research of Austrian scientist and thinker Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). According to Steiner’s philosophy, the human being is a threefold being of spirit, soul, and body whose capacities unfold in three developmental stages on the path to adulthood: early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.

Born in 1861, Rudolf Steiner studied science in Vienna and edited Goethe’s scientific writings before earning a doctorate in philosophy. His first major work, A Philosophy of Freedom, appeared in 1894.

In the early 20th century, Rudolf Steiner became increasingly well known as an author and lecturer. He wrote more than 50 books and gave over 6,000 lectures, which have been published in approximately 300 volumes, on philosophy, science, religion, agriculture, medicine, art, and education. Rudolf Steiner’s work in these fields has resulted in a new form of organic agriculture known as biodynamic farming, new approaches and techniques in therapeutic education, new approaches to the arts, and a new form of education: Waldorf Education.

In April of 1919, Rudolf Steiner visited the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. The German nation, defeated in war, was teetering on the brink of economic, social, and political chaos. Steiner spoke to the workers about the need for social renewal, through a new way of organizing society and its political and cultural life.

Emil Molt, the owner of the factory, asked Rudolf Steiner if he would undertake to establish and lead a school for the children of the employees of the company. Steiner agreed but set four conditions, each of which went against common practice of the day: 1) that the school be open to all children; 2) that it be co-educational; 3) that it be a unified twelve-year school; 4) that the teachers, those individuals actually in contact with the children, have primary control of the school, with a minimum of interference from the state or from economic sources. Steiner trained the teachers, developed the curriculum, and worked closely with faculty. On September 7, 1919, the independent Waldorf School (Die Freie Waldorfschule) opened its doors.

Because of its philosophy and innovative methods, the original Waldorf School gained international recognition and inspired new Waldorf schools throughout the world.

The Waldorf Curriculum

The core of the Waldorf approach is an integrated curriculum designed to develop and harmonize the capacities of heart, hand, and mind. The breadth and depth of the curriculum is a unique aspect of Waldorf Education. The entire 12 years of school are considered a unity, and all students take almost all subjects. Subjects that the class teacher introduces in first grade become increasingly complex when reintroduced in subsequent years. For example, nature studies and animal stories in the lower grades prepare the children for botany and comparative anatomy in the upper grades and high school. Storytelling in the early childhood programs builds a foundation for language arts; house building lays the ground work for physics; geography in the middle grades leads to a fuller understanding of history in the high school. Consequently, the student achieves a thorough knowledge and understanding of the world.

The curriculum is designed with the growing child in mind. Grade by grade, following the developmental stages of childhood, the curriculum mirrors the inner development of the child thereby making the educational experience both relevant and satisfying. The child is endowed with a lifelong love of learning and reverence for the world. Waldorf Education acknowledges and respects the natural gifts of each person, encouraging and challenging students to achieve their fullest human potential.

“Anthroposophy and Religion in the Waldorf School,” by Roberto Trostli (former Hartsbrook teacher)

Parents new to a Waldorf school quickly sense that there is something that underlies their child’s education, the teacher’s work, and the school’s operation. This “something” is anthroposophy, the world-view developed by Rudolf Steiner.

Anthroposophy is difficult to define, for it encompasses a vast body of research and teaching. Rudolf Steiner characterized it as “a path of knowledge to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe.” Anthroposophy is both a world-view and a path of inner development. It is not a religion, but it recognizes the importance of what Rudolf Steiner termed “the Christ Impulse.” According to Rudolf Steiner, the Christ Impulse has played an important role in the evolution of the world and of humanity and has therefore had an impact on all people, irrespective of their culture or religious background.

Waldorf teachers are students of anthroposophy, and they are striving to bring this philosophy to fruition through their life and work. Anthroposophy aids teachers in their preparation and in their work with the students; it also illuminates and gives meaning to the subjects of the curriculum. Waldorf teachers, however, do not teach anthroposophy.

Waldorf education seeks to bring renewed meaning and purpose to all areas of human endeavor and to redevelop the connections among science, art, and religion. It is an education that is deeply religious in the literal sense of the word, for in Latin the word religion means “to link again.” In everything we teachers do, we strive to help our students forge or strengthen their links to the world of spirit, to the world of humanity, and to the world of nature. Through every subject in our curriculum—through painting or poetry, science or sports, mathematics or foreign languages—we hope to stimulate in our students a deep sense of self, to awaken compassion and understanding for others, and to instill a feeling of responsibility for the earth.

Although religion is not taught in our school, aspects and themes of the great world religions are considered in the study of literature, history, and geography. In the first grade students hear fairy tales; in the second grade, legends of holy women and men, and in the third, stories from the Old Testament. Fourth graders study the Norse myths, fifth graders the myths from India, Persia, Chaldea, Egypt, and Greece. In the history and geography lessons in the upper grades, students learn about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and the religions of various other cultures. The images and ideas in these myths and religions are nourishing to children’s souls. They help our students to appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the different peoples of the world. The images and ideas of the world’s great myths and religions also build a foundation for a student’s sense of identity and meaning in life, and, in adulthood, establish the basis for a free relationship to religious or spiritual striving. We see questions of religious education, per se, as the province of the family.

Religious rituals are not practiced in our school, but throughout the grades, children sing songs and recite verses that have a reverential character, and they celebrate various religious and cultural festivals. Such celebrations are not intended to promulgate any particular denomination or belief; rather, they fulfill pedagogical and social aims and thus may vary from class to class. Celebrating festivals that mark the cycle of the year deepens our students’ connection to the natural world; celebrating festivals from many faiths enhances our students’ appreciation for other people, and the act of celebration fosters a sense of community within the class and within the school as a whole.

Rudolf Steiner articulated the goal of Waldorf education as follows: “Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings, who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.” In this endeavor, the greatest respect is accorded to the individuality, the heritage, and the spiritual freedom of all children and their families.

Parents who have questions or concerns about any aspect of the curriculum, the festivals or celebrations in our school are urged to speak to their children’s teachers or to any member of the Faculty Conference. We are eager to listen and to discuss these matters so that together we can help our students develop their full humanity.



A description of the school’s system of governance can be found on the Governance page of our website.

For a listing of the faculty, staff, Board members, and Committee members, please refer to the Appendix.

Where to Go with Questions or Concerns

  1. Contact your child’s class teacher, class advisor, subject teacher or school nurse.
    • Parents are urged to speak directly with their child’s teachers in all matters concerning curriculum, schoolwork, homework, discipline, reports, standards, etc. Direct communication with the school nurse is encouraged for issues relating to acute or chronic health conditions, absences, behavior and general medical information.
  2. Check with the Main Office
    • The Office Manager and High School Administrative Assistant can help direct other questions to the appropriate faculty or staff member (see also the information below).
  3. Contact the Administrative Chair or Pedagogical Chair
    • If you have a question or concern about your child’s experience at Hartsbrook which cannot be met through discussion with your child’s teachers, please contact the Pedagogical Chair, Virginia McWilliam, at 586-1908, ext. 112 or  You can also contact the Administrative Chair, Frances Cameron, at 586-1908, ext. 102 or

The Pedagogical Chair and/or Administrative Chair will address your question or concern or refer you to the appropriate faculty or staff person. The information below may also be helpful in finding the answer to your question or addressing your concern:

For issues regarding Children, Families, Teachers, Classes

  • For Early Childhood and Grades 1-8: Child’s Teacher
  • For High School: Child’s Advisor or Class Advisor
  • Teacher’s Mentor
  • Early Childhood Chair: Magdalena Toran
  • Elementary School Chair: Heather Damon
  • Pedagogical Chair and High School Faculty Chair: Virginia McWilliam
  • Administrative Chair: Frances Cameron
  • School Nurse: Laurie Zacek for health and medical issues

For issues regarding Faculty, Program, Policies, School Community

  • For Early Childhood and Grades 1-8: Child’s Teacher
  • For Grades 1-8:  Louise Spear, Elementary Administrative Coordinator
  • For High School: Child’s Advisor or Class Advisor
  • Pedagogical Chair: Virginia McWilliam
  • Administrative Chair: Frances Cameron

For issues regarding Business/Finances, Admissions, Facilities

  • Administrative Chair: Frances Cameron
  • Facilities Manager: Ed Mann
  • Development Director: Pilar Schmidt
  • Business Manager: Diane LaBarge
  • Enrollment Director: Leslie Evans

School Committees

For a list of members of these committees, please see the Appendix.

Community Participation on Board Committees

The Hartsbrook School Board of Directors has identified the following committees of the Board as those which would appreciate and welcome community participation in vital aspects of the life and well-being of our school. We look forward to expanded collaboration within our community in order to continue to nourish and sustain Hartsbrook and Waldorf Education on behalf of our current and future students.

The Board committees listed below have established mandates, goals and criteria for membership. Those interested in serving on a committee can receive this information by contacting the Committee chair (listed in the Appendix). The mandates, goals and criteria for membership are also available in the Main Office. The Committee chair will follow up with you once you have had a chance to review the Committee materials to see if you are willing to match your skills with one of these vital aspects of school life.

Building and Grounds Committee

The Buildings and Grounds Committee is charged with overseeing the maintenance and protection of the physical plant of the School—classroom buildings, outbuildings, furnishings and physical features such as the grounds, walkways and road-ways—that allow the mission of the school to be carried out. Day-to-day responsibility lies with the Operations Manager.

Enrollment Committee

The Enrollment Committee is mandated to support and guide the Enrollment Department with its efforts to increase enrollment and retention.

Long-Range Planning Committee

The Long-Range Planning Committee reviews and tracks strategic objectives of the school, coordinates and recommends further efforts toward achieving those objectives, helps to establish priorities among them, and works with various constituencies to project the long-term needs of the school.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee sets the school budget and supports the Business Office in forecasting future revenues and expenses, and in monitoring the school’s performance against its budget. The Committee recommends tuition levels each year. It supports the Board of Directors by gathering financial data and providing analysis to help the Board evaluate various policies and projects.

Development Committee

The Development Committee works with the Faculty Chair and the Director of Development to create a philanthropic environment that provides the financial foundation for the school to flourish. The Committee provides strategic direction and guidance to the Faculty Chair and the Director as needed and helps assure the thoughtful coordination and implementation of all fundraising and communication initiatives. The Committee’s focus is to increase annual, unrestricted income and to raise funds for capital projects through identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors within and beyond the immediate school community.

Faculty Conference Committees

Educational Support Group

The Educational Support Group (ESG) is a committee of faculty members, including a trained Therapeutic Educator (Remedial teacher) who is the Educational Support Coordinator. The ESG is mandated by the Faculty Conference to coordinate activities concerning the academic and social needs of our students. To that end, ESG provides classroom observation, Child Study, Support Circles, and faculty professional development opportunities, as well as coordinating developmental and academic assessments, providing some therapeutic and academic support, and overseeing this support within the school. The ESG makes recommendations regarding individual student program modifications to the Executive Circle.

Festivals and Assemblies Committee

It is the task of the Festivals and Assemblies Committee to develop the festival and assembly life of the school in light of the spiritual realities of the seasons. Through study, the group seeks to deepen the festival life of the school. Each existing festival and assembly will be looked at individually, as well as part of the continuum of the cycle of the year. The roles of the different departments of the school, including the parent body, will be addressed. The group will make recommendations to the faculty and staff and report to the Faculty Conference. – Ratified 6/13/2013.

Land Stewardship Committee

The Land Stewardship Committee reports to the Faculty Conference and is charged with the responsibility of developing and administering the agricultural and practical arts program as outlined in The Hartsbrook School Agricultural and Practical Arts Full Program document (Dec. 2007) and for the implementation of the Agricultural Management and Use Plan for the APR land (March 2013). The latter is performed in collaboration with the Building and Grounds Committee and Operations Manager. The LSC is comprised of the Land Stewardship Program Director, at least two members of the Faculty Conference, representatives from among the faculty, staff, parents and wider community, as well as individuals interested in participating in special projects. The committee has a minimum of four members who serve for a minimum of one year, renewed each spring. Vacant seats are advertised to the community and requests to join are directed to the Land Stewardship Program Director.

Teacher Development Committee

Oversight of the professional development program for faculty has been mandated to the TDC by the Faculty Conference. This mandate is widely defined to include mentoring, in-house professional development and study, reviews, and allocating funding for attendance at professional development opportunities sponsored by other organizations.

Parent Participation 

Parent involvement has been key to the success of the Hartsbrook School since its founding. The school welcomes and encourages parents to take part in the life of the school. Parents may participate formally as members of committees or working groups (see information at the end of Section II—Administrative Organization and also the list of school committees in the Appendix), through the Family Association or as Class Parents. Meeting schedules for committees will be announced in the school Bulletin.

Parents also participate on a less formal basis by preparing for fairs, festivals or class plays, and assisting teachers with class activities and trips. Parents interested in leadership roles in community building and fundraising events should contact the Director of Development. Every family is expected to participate in school events including the Holiday Fair and to take on supporting roles in other events each year.

Family Association

Family Association meetings are open to all and will be announced in the weekly Bulletin. There are also one or two formal class representatives.

The mission statement is:

To build a vibrant community among parents/guardians and between parents/guardians and the faculty, staff, and board;

To strengthen communications within the school and with the broader community; and

To foster parent engagement, connection, and involvement in the life of the school.

Holiday Fair and May Celebration

These events are chaired and coordinated by parents with the assistance of the Enrollment Director and faculty. The Holiday Fair takes place in November, while the May Celebration takes place in May. These events rely on parent volunteerism.


The Scrip Committee develops and maintains a fundraising program in which cards or certificates are purchased at a discount from various retailers, and are then sold at face value, thereby earning the school income. Scrip also includes a grocery program through Atkins Farms and offers escrip through More detailed information is available in the Main Office and is announced in the Bulletin.

Class Parents

Each class has at least one Class Parent who acts as a liaison between the parents and the teacher in the affairs of that class for the year. Class Parents help the teacher keep parents informed about class activities and events. The Class Parent may also help the teacher organize activities, social events, outings, and meetings. Class Parents may act as the class archivists, making sure pictures and other remembrances are collected and maintained.

School Communications

Parent-Teacher Conferences and Reports

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled in late October and early November. During a conference, parents and teachers review the student’s progress and discuss any questions that the parents may have. Additional conferences may be arranged with the teacher by request.

Narrative reports, rather than grades, are written by the elementary teachers at mid-year, and by Nursery through Grade 8 teachers at the end of the school year (please see Section VII for High School reporting practices). Through these reports, the teachers strive to give an in-depth, multi-faceted, and qualitative view of the students’ academic, artistic and social development.

Visiting Classes

Parents of students in the school are welcome to visit any class. Parents who wish to visit need to make an appointment with the teacher. Some teachers have a regular visiting schedule; others arrange visits as they are requested. Current parents are also invited to attend Visiting Day in November or one of the Open Class Days scheduled throughout the year.

Parent Evenings

Throughout the year, parents in each class gather with the teacher to discuss practical details and questions, as well as pedagogical issues concerning school and home life. Parent Evenings provide parents with an opportunity to sample some class activities such as eurythmy, painting, form drawing, games or singing.  Brief talks on aspects of Waldorf education by faculty or visiting Waldorf teachers may also be provided. These evenings are a window into school life and are a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to build and strengthen their partnership. Particular questions or concerns that parents wish to address at such evenings should be suggested to the teacher or class parent in advance so they might be incorporated thoughtfully into the evening.

Parent Evenings are held at least four times a year. These dates and times are listed on the school events calendar.  Your child’s teacher will inform you of any additional Parent Evenings. It is expected that each family will be represented by at least one parent or guardian at each Parent Evening. The teacher needs to be informed if you are unable to attend.

School Publications


The Bulletin is our weekly e-newsletter distributed to our school community. Anyone is welcome to post an announcement, but the topic must pertain to school activities. Submissions must be made by noon on the Tuesday before distribution and e-mailed to All articles will be proofread and may be edited for length. We also accept advertisements from our school community for the Community Bulletin Board section of the Bulletin – please inquire about advertising rates.

The Annual Report

The Annual Report is published once a year. It contains expanded articles pertaining to school life, the curriculum, special programs, our students, faculty and alumni.


The school yearbook is produced annually.  Yearbook orders are collected in the spring and delivered at the end of the school year.

Bulletin Board

The display board at Hartsbrook Hall is for school news only. It is maintained by the Main Office.

E-Mail Communications

The School uses e-mail for communicating information such as that found in the Bulletin. Classes also do their routine announcements via e-mail.

We feel that communication in person or via phone is better suited for more complex communication, so we do not use e-mail for conversations or discussions. We also do not transmit sensitive, confidential or personal information that should remain private via e-mail.

General Note About Communications

All communications sent out to the school community need to go through a process of approval, editing, and proofing before being sent. Please contact Faculty Chair Louise Spear if you have a question about school communications. The contact information listed in the School Directory is privileged and is only for school use. It is not to be used for solicitation.

Admissions, Enrollment and Development

Admissions and Enrollment

Early Childhood, Grades and High School Open Houses

Prospective parents/guardians and their children are encouraged to attend one of our Open Houses held in the fall, winter and spring. Early Childhood Open Houses include creative playtime, circle, and snack—activities typically done in the Early Childhood programs. Early childhood teachers lead the activities and are available to talk to parents/guardians. The Grades and High School Open Houses provide an opportunity to meet with class and special subject teachers, to view student work and take part in a Question and Answer session.

Open Class Day in the Grades and High School

Prospective parents/guardians are also invited to our Open Class Days held monthly throughout the school year. During an Open Class Day, prospective and current parents/guardians, as well as other visitors, observe classrooms in the grades and High School and participate in a discussion period with the Enrollment Director and teachers.

Admissions Procedure for Early Childhood through Grade 8

If a prospective parent/guardian cannot attend an Open House or an Open Class Day, school visit can be arranged by calling the Enrollment Office. This visit includes a tour of the school, short observations of classrooms, and an opportunity to discuss Waldorf education informally. After the school visit, the admissions process proceeds as follows:

  1. Parents/guardians submit an application for admission, including an application fee. Application forms, transcripts and any evaluation documentation must be received by the Enrollment Office prior to Step 2.
  2. An interview with a teacher is arranged for the parents/guardians. This can happen before and/or after the child has visited the classroom.
    • For Early Childhood programs, teachers will meet prospective students either individually or in small groups.
    • In grades 2 – 8, prospective students are asked to spend three consecutive days in the classroom. Exceptions may be made for summer applicants.
  3. Applications for the grades are reviewed by the faculty on a rolling basis. The first round of Early Childhood acceptances is made in mid-March, after which applications are considered on a rolling basis or as spaces become available.

Admissions Procedure for High School

  1. Request information and application packet by phone, e-mail, or in person.
  2. Phone the school to arrange a tour or to attend an open class day or open house.
  3. Parents/guardians submit Application for Admission and Parent’s Comments with application fee.
  4. Student visits for one day to get a sense of the High School.
  5. Student submits Applicant’s Questionnaire.
  6. Parents/guardians request transcripts and recommendations from current school to be sent to admissions office.
  7. Student visits for two consecutive days in current grade level. Student attends an interview with high school faculty members during visit.
  8. When the school has received all the materials and student visits are completed, parent(s) meet with High School faculty.
  9. When all the above steps are completed the admissions decision will be made.

Special and Remedial Education

During the admission process, the teacher will attempt to identify possible learning differences and build as complete a picture of the child’s learning style as possible. In addition to the assessment during the interview with the child and discussions with parents/guardians, we will look at past school records and prior evaluations, and we may request additional evaluations. For a fuller discussion of special and remedial education and the work of the Educational Support Group, please refer to section VIII in this Handbook.


In February, parents/guardians are required to indicate their intention to re-enroll for the following school year. A tuition deposit and signed re-enrollment contract by April 5th is required to hold a place for a child for the following year.

First Grade Readiness

The kindergarten teachers, in conjunction with the Educational Support Group, will determine readiness for first grade based on their observations and consultations with the parents. Each child will have an individual assessment. The assessment is presented to each child in  a story format with opportunities for different kinds of movement, identifying shapes, memory exercises, and drawing. Teachers observe each child and note eye-hand coordination, dominance, and spatial organization, among other indicators of first grade readiness.


Tuition Payments

Tuition payments for the upcoming school year can be made in one of three ways. Full payments may be made directly to the Business Office and are due by May 5th. For families unable to pay the full tuition by the May 5th deadline, Hartsbrook offers two payment plan options: the 10-Payment Plan or the 2-Payment Plan. Families choosing a payment plan must enroll with the FACTS Management Services (FACTS). See below for enrollment instructions.

Once enrolled with FACTS, tuition payments will be automatically deducted from the parent’s, guardians, or other responsible person’s bank account. The account will be accessible to the responsible party online 24 hours/day. The responsible party is required to follow through with the financial commitment outlined within the signed Enrollment Contract and FACTS agreement. Those responsible for tuition payments should contact the Business Manager as soon as possible if circumstances make it difficult for them to fulfill their financial commitment. Students whose current year’s tuition falls more than two months in arrears will not be allowed to continue, and those whose previous year’s tuition has not been paid in full will not be accepted for re-enrollment in the school.

In short, to secure a position at the Hartsbrook School, families must do the following:

  • Pay all tuition arrears.
  • Complete, sign, and submit an Enrollment Contract to the Business Office along with a non-refundable deposit equal to 10% of the total annual tuition by April 5th ( if applying for Sliding Scale Placement, 5% is required).
  • Enroll with FACTS (or pay the full tuition balance by May 5th)
  • In order to start school, payments must be current by the first day of school

Failure to perform any one of the above actions may result in the loss of a student’s position. Students are not permitted to start school unless the above actions have been completed.

To Enroll with FACTS:

  1. Visit, go to the Admissions section and click on the FACTS Tuition Payment Plan (FACTS Online System) link.
  2. Pick a payment plan and an available method of payment.
  3. Make sure to have the following information ready:
  4. The name, address, and e-mail of the person responsible for making the payments.
  5. To protect your privacy, you will need to create your own unique FACTS Access Code. Please be sure it is something you can easily remember.
  6. If utilizing automatic payment deductions from a checking or savings account: the bank name, telephone number, account number, and the bank routing number.

Other Fees

Parents can expect to pay the following minor fees as part of their child’s experience at Hartsbrook.

  • Field Trips: Field trips in grades 6–12 become more elaborate. A Field Trip Fee is billed with tuition in these grades.
  • Sports Fees: Students in grades 6 and up who participate in the Hartsbrook sports program will be charged a Sports Fee. Fees vary with the sport.
  • Music Lessons: Students in grades 4–8 are expected to take private lessons as needed to support their participation in the school orchestra program. Fees for private lessons are paid directly to private instructors; arrangements must be made by parents.

Pro-Rating Policy

  • Late Enrollment: If a student is initially enrolled into any of our programs after the program start date, tuition for that program will be pro-rated on a per-month basis regardless of what day in the month the student begins.
  • Placement: If the faculty determines within 30 days of a program start date that a student is not appropriately placed in a program, tuition for that program will be pro-rated on a per-month basis regardless of what day in the month the student is withdrawn, and a credit or refund will be issued accordingly.
  • Partial Day Enrollment: The school does not pro-rate tuition for partial day enrollment for full-time matriculating students. Tuition for non-matriculating students is determined by the number of classes the student is attending and pro-rated accordingly.
  • Leave of Absence: A Leave of Absence is granted only when there is sufficient space in the class to hold a place without turning away other students. Full tuition will still need to be paid. See brochure for our Tuition Insurance Program.
  • International Student Exchange Program: The Hartsbrook High School has a vibrant international student program that allows our sophomores, juniors, and seniors to spend 2–12 weeks abroad. Each year about six to eight students go to France, Germany, Switzerland, or Spain, and about the same number of students from various countries come visit on exchange. Because all Waldorf schools share the same curriculum, students who study abroad can still fulfill our graduation requirements.
  • Students who leave during the school year to participate in the International Student Exchange Program are expected to pay a full-year’s tuition. Spaces for students going abroad will be guaranteed only if a tuition deposit has been made and all financial obligations to the school are up to date.

Sliding Scale Placement

The Hartsbrook School seeks to make its educational program as accessible as possible. Sliding Scale Tuition is available to students in the high school, elementary, and early childhood programs attending at least 3 full days.

The sliding scale program has the following goals:

  • To demonstrate the school’s commitment to students whose parents have made a commitment to the school, and have financial need.
  • To make it possible for larger families to send their children here.
  • To ensure that sliding scale placement is fairly distributed and provides a consistent level of tuition to families who are maximizing their own financial resources to remain in the school.
  • To allow the school to remain financially sound.

The sliding scale program determines a family’s relative need for placement on the scale by evaluating a family’s available resources. To receive consideration for placement families must apply by submitting information about their income, assets and liabilities. This information is used to rank applicants on the basis of need.

Families are expected to increase their contribution to tuition to keep up with tuition increases and as the student progresses through the school. Any parent may apply for sliding scale placement.

The Hartsbrook School uses FACTS for its sliding scale placement processing. Families applying for placement will need to complete an online application and submit the necessary supporting documentation to FACTS Grant & Aid Assessment by February 15th. All paperwork must be submitted directly to FACTS; no paperwork or tax forms should be sent to the School. Families may apply online at any time by going to the link on our website mentioned above. The following information is required for FACTS to process your application:

  1. A completed online application
  2. Payment of the application fee
  3. Copies of most recent tax forms including all supporting tax schedules
  4. Copies of W-2 forms for both parents
  5. Copies of supporting documentation for Social Security Income, Welfare, Child Support, Food Stamps, Workers’ Compensation and TANF

For parents who are separated or divorced, forms are required from the custodial and non-custodial parent and their spouse(s)/partner(s). Applications for placement will be processed only after receiving completed forms from both parents. Returning families that apply on time are more likely to be placed on the sliding scale; aid after the deadline has passed is not guaranteed.

Multi-Child Discount Policy

In order to make a Hartsbrook education more affordable for large families, the school offers an optional discount to families with three of more children concurrently enrolled at Hartsbrook.

  • Families Who Do Not Qualify for Sliding Scale Placement – Optional 10% discount for the third and subsequent children with the lowest tuition rates.
  • Families Who Qualify for Sliding Scale Placement – Optional 50% discount for the third and subsequent children with the lowest tuition rates after a placement has been made. The discount will be applied regardless of the placement level qualified for.

The above discount applies to tuition and the activity fee for Grades 6 – 12 and do not apply to any other fees or programs such as Extended Day.

Since this is an optional discount, families may choose to waive the sibling discount in support of the school.

Family Requested Leave of Absence

A leave of absence allows a student to leave a class for a limited time and to return to that class under certain conditions established between the class teacher and the parents. The request for the leave of absence should be made in writing to the Faculty Chair, who will respond in writing, stating the conditions of the leave. For a description of how this affects tuition obligations, see above.

Educational Support Leave

In certain cases, the school’s educational support team (comprised of class teacher or advisor, educational support coordinator, and school counselor as needed) may recommend that a student to take a temporary leave of absence to obtain an educational evaluation and/or to receive therapeutic services with the intent of facilitating the student’s return to school within the same school year. When a temporary leave is recommended for a student, a representative of the educational support team and the Faculty Chair will notify the family verbally and in writing. The student’s re-admittance to school will be contingent upon the team’s review and assessment of all pertinent information, such as the student’s evaluation(s), and therapeutic support plans, progress reports and consultation with outside therapists, and/or other professionals as available. Tuition payments must continue to be paid in full while the student is on leave. Upon re-enrollment, tuition will be refunded for the period during which the student is on leave in order to assist the family with costs incurred for outside therapeutic services.

Withdrawal/Tuition Payment

The admission of a student is considered to be for a full school year. Extenuating circumstances may, however, make it necessary for a student to be withdrawn by the parents or at the request of the school. When parents decide to withdraw a child during the school year, the following steps need to be taken:

  1. The decision should be discussed with the student’s teacher.
  2. A letter addressed to the Faculty Chair should be sent to the school outlining the reason for withdrawal and establishing the official date the child is to be withdrawn.
  3. A copy of the withdrawal letter should be sent to the Business Office. Any payments due the school should be satisfactorily settled with the Business Manager.
  4. Parents of children who are being withdrawn are requested to complete an exit form, or schedule an exit interview with the Enrollment Director and a member of the faculty, staff and/or Board. This interview is a chance for parents to discuss openly and freely their child’s experience and their reasons for leaving the school.
  5. If, at any time after signing a Tuition Contract, a student is withdrawn from the school, the family is under the following financial obligations:
    • Prior to June 30th, 10% of the tuition bill (the enrollment deposit)
    • After June 30th but prior to September 1st, 20% of the tuition bill
    • After September 1st, 100% of the tuition and activity fees as scheduled for the entire year

Families who withdraw after submitting a deposit and prior to the first day of school for two years consecutively will be required to pay 50% of the tuition in order to hold a place for their child should they decide to re-enroll the following year.

Compulsory Withdrawal

The Faculty Conference may require parents to withdraw a student if the school determines that it is unable to meet the student’s academic/emotional/social needs, or if there are differences between the school and the family that cannot be resolved to the Faculty Conference’s satisfaction.

When a family is required to withdraw a student, a representative of the Faculty Conference will notify the family verbally and in writing. In cases of compulsory withdrawal, the family will be reimbursed for the remaining tuition.

A family may also be required to withdraw a student if it has not fulfilled its financial obligations to the school. In these cases, the family continues to be responsible for all of its financial obligations to the school.

Suspension, Probation and Expulsion

The Hartsbrook School will make every attempt to resolve difficulties that arise, but occasionally severe measures are necessary. The following sections state our policies and describe the processes followed under these circumstances.


Whenever possible, the teacher proposing a suspension will consult with a member of the Faculty Conference before suspending a student. The parents will be notified by phone, and they may be required to pick up their child before the end of the school day. It will be necessary for the student to have a meeting with the teacher, a representative of the Faculty Conference, and his/her parent(s) before the student may be readmitted.


Whenever possible, the Faculty Conference will inform the family in advance that this measure is being considered. The terms of probation will be formulated by the Faculty Conference. The class teacher and a representative of the Faculty Conference will meet with the parent(s) and student to review the terms of probation, and confirmation of the terms will be put in writing.


The Faculty Conference may expel a student if:

  • a student or the family does not support or follow the school’s policies or procedures
  • a student deliberately harms another student or teacher
  • a student damages or destroys school property
  • a student is suspended repeatedly
  • a suspension cannot be resolved to the school’s satisfaction
  • a student does not meet the terms of probation
  • the student smokes, drinks alcohol, takes drugs, or engages in destructive or dangerous behavior

If a student is to be expelled from the Hartsbrook School, a representative of the Faculty Conference will notify the parents verbally and in writing. When a student is expelled, the family will remain liable for the remaining semester’s tuition.

Development Program

Because the Hartsbrook School cannot rely solely on the revenue from tuition to meet its operating expenses, it is necessary to have a robust development program to help support the needs of our school. Our development program provides a variety of opportunities for fundraising including the Scrip program and special events such as the Holiday Fair. These activities are vehicles not only for raising the funds necessary to meet the needs of a growing organization, but for having fun while strengthening community ties along the way.

Annual Fund

Annual giving is the foundation of our development program. Through the generous support of parents, faculty, alumni families, grandparents, and friends we are able to generate a substantial amount of revenue for the annual operating budget, allowing us to offer the unique educational experience and community life experienced here at Hartsbrook. During our Annual Fund drive, parents are especially generous with their financial resources. Many parents serve as volunteers working on the campaign and are helpful in encouraging other parents to give to the best of their ability. We strive for 100% participation from our Board of Trustees, parents, faculty and staff in achieving our annual goal.

Gifts to Teachers and Staff

The Faculty and Staff gratefully acknowledge the many parents who wish to show their generosity to the school and its personnel. This policy is aimed at providing guidelines for those wishing to give gifts to teachers and staff, and to avoid the perceived or real conflict of interest that such gifts can engender.

  • Gestures of thanks which are personal and not of monetary value are always welcome. Examples might include personal letters from parents or students, homemade art or food items, or plants or flowers for classrooms.
  • Any other gifts should be modest in nature, with a value not to exceed $50 per year per family. Gifts of cash are not appropriate. Families should never be solicited or pressured to give gifts of value.
  • Parents wishing to express gratitude through gifts exceeding the $50 family limit are encouraged to contribute to the Hartsbrook School Annual Fund, which directly benefits school personnel by funding classroom supplies and teacher education, among other things. Remember that such gifts are tax deductible and are crucial to continuing our work at Hartsbrook. Please consider making your gift in honor of a specific teacher or staff member if you wish to show gratitude to an individual.

Early Childhood Programs

Cricket on the Hearth

Cricket on the Hearth is a parent-child program for children from six weeks through 4 years of age. There is also a parent-infant program for children from 6 weeks through 18 months. Parents and their children meet for the Cricket on the Hearth program one morning a week, with each session running from 11 to 18 weeks. All sessions are interwoven with play and age-appropriate activities including snack (prepared and shared together), stories, songs, verses, puppet shows handwork projects in an environment that fosters support and inspiration for parents. The parent-infant program meets for one and a half hours, once a week, with a focus on healthy movement development, observation and shared conversation.


The Meadowlark, Song Sparrow, Goldfinch and Forest Kindergartens have indoor classrooms. The Forest Kindergarten also has a classroom on the school’s APR land.

In all of our Early Childhood programs, we provide rich exposure to language and culture through stories, songs and verses. The children are given opportunities to work on social interactions through imaginative play and practical activity. There is rhythm and balance in daily and weekly plans, with a healthy alternation between active pursuits such as circle games and outdoor play, indoor and outdoor work and more receptive, quiet activities such as coloring, painting and listening to stories.

Extended Day Program

The Extended Day Program provides care and activities for children in the Early Childhood programs through the grade school. Care is provided from the end of the school day through 5:30 p.m. To enroll in the program please contact the Business Office.

Early Childhood Tenets

Creative Free Play

One of the premises of a Waldorf preschool is that play is the one of the most important part of a child’s life. It is the ’work’ of the child. It is the way the child learns about, integrates and digests life and its struggles. In many ways it would be easier to have activities planned for every moment of the Early Childhood morning so that the children would always be occupied with a teacher-directed activity and many more artistic creations would come home. We do not feel, however, that this would be in the children’s best interest. Children need to be left free to play in order to learn about sharing, taking risks, role modeling for each other, and resolving conflict. These lessons are all worked out and explored during free play. It is our role as teachers to help facilitate the children’s play and to provide them with imaginative pictures. We want to encourage in them, and in their relations with each other, the development of a truly imaginative faculty. As they grow older, this evolves into the capacity to think creatively.


The Early Childhood morning has rhythms all its own. There are daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms.  Following a rhythmical schedule helps the child know what to expect during the school day. For example, the child know the days of the week, not by name, but by activity and snack. Monday might be thought of as “Walk day,” for example, with a long morning walk into the fields and forests of our beautiful campus.

In our Early Childhood programs, we consciously strive to create rhythmical activities that are comforting and instructive for young children.

Practical Matters

Arrival and Dismissal

The door opens at 8:15 a.m., and all children should be with their class by 8:30 a.m. Parents needing to drop their child off early can drop him or her off in the elementary school lobby. Punctuality is important, both for the arriving child and for those already present, to allow the children to settle down and become deeply engaged in their activities. In the Nursery, each child should be accompanied by an adult who helps the child take off his or her coat and put on his or her slippers.

Dismissal for the half day Nursery and Kindergarten programs is at 12:45 p.m. Full day programs are dismissed at 3:15 p.m. We gather the children together before they go home for a good-bye song and verse. We respectfully ask that you do not take your children from the playground before we have said our goodbyes.

Car pool schedules should be submitted to the office. If there is a change, please let both the teacher and the office know in writing. If the teacher does not have a written note from you or know the person picking your child up, your child will not be released.

Before and After School

Please be sure that your child gets enough sleep. We recommend a bedtime of 7:00 p.m.  It is very tiring for young children to be with many other children, especially at the beginning of the year. We are very willing to offer suggestions and support if getting your child to bed early has proven to be a challenge.

It is important that children have a good, nutritious breakfast that will sustain them for the morning. A peaceful morning routine will get the whole family off to a good start. The children are much better prepared to enter into class activities when they have had a quiet morning without any media. The children should not bring toys from home.

When your child comes home, your child will tell about the day in his or her own time and way. If you feel you need more information about your child’s day in school, or are curious about the classroom activities, please speak with the teacher.

We ask that you be mindful that the grades and full day Nursery and Kindergarten are still in session after the Early Childhood 12:45 p.m. dismissal. Because the playgrounds are still being used we ask that you not allow your children to play there.


In addition to what is included in the Dress Code in this handbook, we would like to emphasize that the children need to wear warm, comfortable clothing that will allow them to play freely. Dress your child in layers. We would rather that you send us too much since we can always remove a layer if a child gets overheated. We go outside in all weather, so your child will need completely waterproof rain and snow gear, a warm hat, and mittens. Your child’s teacher will supply a resource list for outdoor gear and long underwear sources.  Everything should fit snugly to keep out chilly winds. Your child should have an extra set of clothes to leave in school in the cloth bag provided by the teacher. PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING! We also ask that children not have any media paraphernalia, writing or pictures (as stated in the Dress Code) on their clothing, or nail polish or jewelry, since they are a distraction from the mood of imaginative play that we encourage in our Early Childhood programs.


If your child is unable to go outside for recess with the class, it is better if he or she stays at home. The Early Childhood day is a long and social time for a young child who is feeling under the weather. The school nurse can advise you when it is appropriate for your child to attend school after an illness.

Indoor Shoes

The children need to bring a pair of indoor shoes to leave at school. They should be comfortable, cloth, rubber-soled slipper-type shoes. Slip-on or tie sneakers are ideal. No animal slippers or light-up shoes, please.


The birthday is a very special celebration in Waldorf Early Childhood programs, and it is wonderful if both parents and siblings can attend. Your child’s teacher will speak to you in greater detail about how birthdays are celebrated in his/her class. The birthday family may give a gift to the class if they wish, such as a basket, silk, or a gift of service.

Snacks and Allergies

If your child has any allergies or food restrictions, please let the school nurse and your child’s teacher know right away. We provide healthy, organic food for snack and lunch each day. We sweeten things with honey or maple syrup.

Please see also General Information for more on how the school handles illness and medication.


Teachers, assistants, and administrative staff cannot, by law, give any medication to a child. Any treatments, emergency medications, etc. that may be needed during school hours must be coordinated with the school nurse.

Grades 1–8

Schedule & Subjects

Each day begins with the Main Lesson, a two-hour period devoted to a particular subject for a “block” of three to six weeks. There are four remaining periods each day (two before and two after lunch) for subject classes. Below is a schedule for grades 1–7.  Grade 8 starts at 8:15. The schedule is slightly modified for grades 1 and 2. On Fridays, Grades 1–4 are dismissed at 12:45 p.m.

  • 8:30–10:30 a.m.                     Main Lesson
  • 10:30–10:55 a.m.                    Snack & Recess
  • 11:00–11:45 a.m.                     Class Period 1
  • 11:50 a.m.–12:35 p.m.            Class Period 2
  • 12:35–1:20 p.m.                      Recess & Lunch
  • 1:25–2:10 p.m.                        Class Period 3
  • 2:15–3:00 p.m.                        Class Period 4
  • 3:15 p.m.                                   Dismissal

Extended Day Program

The Extended Day Program provides care and activities for children in the Early Childhood programs through the grade school. Care is provided from the end of the school day through 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. To enroll in the program, please contact the Main Office.

Main Lesson

The Main Lesson begins with a morning verse, singing, recitation, and some movement and concentration exercises. Each lesson also includes a review and discussion of the previous day’s study; an activity, demonstration or presentation of new material; and work on artistic and academic projects. For most Main Lesson blocks, each student creates a Main Lesson book which summarizes and illustrates the subject.

World Languages

Learning foreign languages has always been an integral part of Waldorf Education. Stress is laid on experiencing the foreign culture directly through the language; children play games, sing folk songs and celebrate the seasonal festivals typical of the culture. Speaking and hearing a different language at a young age has a profound effect on the whole development of children, fostering versatility and flexibility, as well as helping them develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of other cultures.


Eurythmy is an essential and unique part of the Waldorf curriculum. Incorporating aspects of both physical education (leaping, skipping, balance and coordination), and artistic content (music and verse), eurythmy engages the whole child. Eurythmy gestures related to the sounds of speech and elements of music, when practiced rhythmically, have a health-bringing effect on the body and mind.

As with all subjects taught in Waldorf schools, eurythmy mirrors the developmental stage of the child.  In the early grades, fairy tales and legends give the imaginative pictures that are brought to life and expressed through the gestures, rhythms and simple spatial choreography or patterns. Later, verses from the mythologies and cultures studied in the Main Lesson give opportunities to learn increasingly complex group patterns and to craft an inner awareness of the life of language. From simple melodies to more difficult pieces, the tone eurythmy curriculum progresses through the grades helping children learn basic elements of music through playful movement. In the life of the school, eurythmy can be seen at assemblies, festivals and in class plays.

Physical Education

Physical Education classes include rhythmic movement, coordination exercises, and a wide variety of games. For the younger students, there are circle games with singing and verses, and running games that make use of control, speed and quick thinking. These lead to traditional gymnastics and sports in the grades. These movement activities help the students grow strong in their bodies and develop a sensitive way of working with their classmates.


Through working with their hands, the students develop manual dexterity, practical thinking and artistic judgment. The work progresses from simplicity to complexity—from knitting a scarf in first grade to sewing a garment on the sewing machine in eighth grade. Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and hand sewing are introduced.

Sculptural Arts

Sculptural Arts teach children to work artistically in three dimensional or sculptural forms.  Explorations of form in nursery/kindergarten begin with beeswax, sand or bread dough as mediums.  The early elementary grades bring further work with beeswax and older grades may work with clay and wood. These projects are part of Main Lesson studies and are usually done with the class teacher. In the older grade school years, this work in transformed into woodworking classes as the children are ready to work with a resistant material like wood.

Orchestra & Musical Instrument Study

Instrumental Program for Flutes and Recorders, Strings, Orchestra, and Recorder Ensemble

Learning to play an instrument and participating in an instrumental ensemble is part of the curriculum for all students.  In first, second, and third grades, the children learn to play the pentatonic flute with their class teacher. Toward the end of third or the beginning of fourth grade, they switch to diatonic flutes or soprano recorders. Practice on these flutes or recorders continues throughout the elementary grades with the class teacher.

In the third grade, subject teachers begin to work with the students as well. Each student begins to study the violin or cello. Group lessons are given during the school day.  Fourth graders play in a class string ensemble.  Students in fifth, sixth, and seventh grades play as an orchestra or in a recorder ensemble.  Eighth graders join the high school students for instrumental work.  Regular at-home practice of ensemble/orchestral music is essential.  Before-school practice sessions, led by high school students, will be arranged whenever possible for those students wishing for or needing more guided practice time on stringed instruments.  These sessions will be announced at the beginning of the school year.

Private lessons are very helpful but are not required for students who have participated in the group stringed instruction in third and fourth grades.  Students entering the school in fifth grade and higher who wish to play a stringed orchestral instrument but are new to the instrument, usually need private lessons to learn the basics before joining the orchestra.  These students participate in the recorder class in school until they are ready to join the orchestra on the violin, viola, cello, or stringed bass.  Students in fifth, sixth, or seventh grades not playing an orchestral instrument participate in the recorder ensemble. The recorder ensemble accommodates beginning players. Families are responsible for renting or purchasing their own stringed instruments; the music teachers will provide information on rentals and private music teachers. The school provides recorders.

Singing and Chorus

Throughout the grades, students sing with their class teacher and world language teachers. All students in grades 6 – 8 also participate in Chorus. The sixth and seventh graders sing together.  The eighth graders are part of the high school choral program.

Land Stewardship Program

The Land Stewardship Program at the Hartsbrook School provides students with the opportunity to participate in an active farm and garden environment that combines the many varied components of working with soil, plants and animals. The program enables learning to take place in a meaningful way and provides a practical foundation for the study of the human being in relation to nature.

The Hartsbrook High School Student Handbook

“The soul is not twin-born but the only begotten, and though revealing itself as child in time, child in appearance, is of a fatal and universal power, admitting no co-life.   Every day, every act betrays the ill-concealed deity.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dear Hartsbrook High School Students and Parents,

At the Hartsbrook High School we strive not only to fulfill the educational goals of a college preparatory program, but also to stimulate the subtler inner awakening and enlivening that guide students on their path toward becoming full human beings.  For students, taking part in an active and responsible school community is an opportunity to grow into native talents for involvement in and service to the larger community.  This is the greater goal of all education.  As Rudolf Steiner has said:

“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living”

The policies in this handbook are designed to provide clear expectations and boundaries for students that support their participation in a healthy social environment, as well as the sense of opportunity that exists in being a student.  Behind these policies lies the goodwill of all the teachers and administrators who come in contact with these students each day and who know them so well.  Through dialogue and conversation we expect to keep the principles behind these “rules” alive, so that the healthy development of the student remains the central experience of being a member of our school community.

With confidence in our students’ working and growing together,

The High School Faculty


The Morning Verse

I look into the world,

In which the sun is shining,

In which the stars are sparkling,

In which the stones repose,

Where living plants are growing,

Where sentient beasts are living,

Where humankind, soul gifted,

Gives the spirit a dwelling place.

I look into the soul

Which dwells within my being.

The world creator moves

In sunlight and in soul light,

In wide-world space without

In soul depths here within.

To thee, creator-spirit,

I will now turn my heart

To ask that strength and blessing

For learning and for working

May grow within my being.

Rudolf Steiner

“We are now at the point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.”

Margaret Mead


In-School Activities

Aside from regularly-scheduled academic and artistic classes, students may participate in a number of activities during the school year, such as Literary Magazine, and Model U.N.

Social Events

A number of organized social and artistic events take place during the school year, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween parties, a Winter Solstice Pageant, Coffeehouse and the Prom.  Various grades traditionally take on the organization of particular events.

Off Campus Learning

Includes field trips, practicums and Intensive Learning Weeks, which all provide opportunities for educational experience, work practicum, in-depth community service, or meaningful engagement in the natural world.

Students in senior year may explore taking courses off campus at local colleges or educational programs in subjects which are of particular interest to them and as a way to have an early experience of the college environment.

Academic-based Intensive Learning Weeks

There are two academic-based Intensive Learning Weeks during the school year. These take place in September and May. The focus is different depending on which grade is involved but each is in conjunction with a particular block in the schedule. For example, the first Intensive Learning Week for 12th grade takes place during the Zoology block and involves a week at the Hermit Island Campground in Maine, pursuing in-depth study of marine biology. Some Intensive Learning Weeks will be overnight week-long trips, while others will be extended days and take place at school or locally.

Arts-based Intensive Learning Week

A high school musical or drama is performed most years and involves students from every grade. We ask that every student contribute to the overall production in some way so that the high school students experience themselves as a community that crosses the grades. During the second trimester we ask students to participate in rehearsals both in and after school the academic work of the second trimester is concluded one week before the play performance so that the work and learning of the following week is completely focused on elaborating and refining all aspects of the drama. All families should plan for their students to be available after school during that week.

International Exchange Program

All students are encouraged to consider spending up to three months abroad, to engage in a language or cultural exchange in the sophomore or junior year.  Students discuss preparedness for this experience with their language or subject teacher, and with their advisor.  Lara Radysh, the International Exchange Coordinator, then assists the student and his/her family with the formal arrangements, which frequently results in an “exchange” between our school and one abroad. This is a program which most frequently poses extra-curricular costs such as fees for lodging, visa and passports, transportation etc.


Students may participate in a variety of organized and competitive sports, such as soccer and crew in the fall, basketball in winter, and ultimate Frisbee in the spring.  Competitive games are played with other local independent schools.  Students may also participate in the ski program in the winter.  The sports program is an extra-curricular program outside of the school day and not figured into the tuition expense. The coaches and equipment must be paid for. There is a fee of between $125-150 for all sports programs. There may also be additional expense for personalized uniforms. While this fee is necessary to support the staff and the program, it should not be prohibitive to a student who really wants to play a sport but his or her family cannot provide for the fee. Consultation with the Faculty Chair and Athletic Director is encouraged and may result in a scholarship or an exchange of the fee for a student or parent’s offer to drive or work for the sports program.

Additional Fees Not Covered By Tuition

The following activities are considered extra-curricular in nature and therefore include a fee in addition to tuition:

      • Model UN – the scholastic component of this is paid by the school, room and board are the responsibility of the student and family. This fee is $400.
      • All after school sports- There is an activity fee, approximately $150 and in some cases a fee for personalized uniforms, approximately $35-$50.
      • Lunch or snacks on occasional trips such as the planetarium trip or other day trips.
      • Exchange Program – Students who participate in equal exchanges where a student comes to Hartsbrook and the Hartsbrook student attends school in their exchange’s home country will incur no tuition fees. There are expenses for room and board, transportation, sightseeing, etc. This is at least $500 -$650 per month. Some foreign schools will also charge extra fees for class trips, plays and sports

While fees support these activities and are essential, it is encouraged that difficult financial situations be discussed with the Faculty Chair. Arrangements are possible to avoid deterring a student’s participation.


The Hartsbrook School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin in its admissions, tuition assistance, or educational policies.

We are proud of our diverse student population from a wide range of economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, which includes International Exchange students who are each hosted by our students for a full trimester, as well as International students who are fully enrolled.  We have hosted or enrolled students from Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep.”

Henry David Thoreau

Individual Advisors:

Each student is paired with a high school faculty member who oversees the student’s academic and social progress in the school.  Advisors meet with advisees several times a year for a “check in” or discussion. Parents and students should be aware that these meetings are required and may need to take place after school. The advisor’s role is to:

      • Provide academic and social guidance and support.
      • Oversee curriculum and credit requirements.
      • Keep track of community service and extra-curricular activities.
      • Assist in communication between students and their teachers.
      • Inform students of rules infractions and determine consequences

Advisors are assigned to students in their first year in the high school.

In most cases, returning students choose their advisor from among designated faculty.

Advisors meet weekly in the Advisors’ Circle to confer and share information that can be of support to students in their classes and in the school.

Grade Advisors: 

9th Grade: Steve Haendiges, Caryn Hesse

10th Grade: Cherrie Latuner, Alex Workman

11th Grade: Chip Weems, Tony Cape

12th Grade: Thomas Heineman, Rosemary McNaughton

International Students: Lara Radysh and Grade Advisors

Each grade is assigned two Grade Advisors from among the High School faculty.  The Grade Advisor has the responsibility for holding an awareness of the class as a whole.  The Grade Advisor may hold the position for that grade for two or more years so as to become increasingly familiar and experienced with the particular needs and challenges of that grade.  The Grade Advisor’s primary role is to guide the class through experiences common to that grade, such as SAT preparation for the 11th grade.

Therefore, the Grade Advisor is available to:

      • facilitate or coordinate class meetings to discuss class business, interests, questions, and concerns;
      • facilitate communication with teachers or students;
      • oversee organization of class trips.

The High School Faculty Chair, Virginia McWilliam, has overall awareness and responsibility for program and teacher development, as well as for the day-to-day operations and administrative tasks of the high school.  Issues which are beyond the capacity of individual advisors can be referred to the Faculty Chair for action, which may include referral to the Advisors’ Circle, the Faculty Conference or the Executive Circle, as appropriate.

The High School Assistant, Caryn Hesse has responsibility for carrying out many of the administrative tasks for the high school, including maintaining calendars and schedules.  Parents may contact the Administrative Assistant for information on day-to-day details of school life. Ms. Hesse also performs the functions of College Guidance Coordinator, Registrar, Educational Support Coordinator and 9th Grade Advisor.

Beginning in junior year, the College Guidance Coordinator assists students in the first stages of the college applications process, providing information on standardized tests, curriculum choices and options for college readiness, overseeing accommodations for testing, and keeping files of college applications.

The Hartsbrook College Guidance Coordinator, working with retired Northampton High School Guidance Counselor, Fred Itterly, meets with students several times during their junior and senior years to help guide the process of selecting the best college for the student by helping the student become aware of the manifold opportunities at colleges, as well as financial aid options

The Registrar disseminates and keeps records of grade reports, prepares transcripts, and writes counselor reports for college admission.

The High School Educational Support Coordinator works with the Elementary School Educational Support Coordinator, teachers, advisors, School Nurse, School Counselor, parents and tutors to oversee and implement specific individualized student support structures.


Students may approach advisors, teachers, or staff members to ask for intervention regarding personal or family difficulties.  A request for intervention may also be submitted anonymously by concerned friends, faculty, or parents.  The School Nurse, Laurie Zacek, whose office is located in the Elementary School, is available to talk with students during her school hours or by appointment. The School Counselor, Tina Howard, is also available for consultations with parents and students. This can be arranged through a discussion with the Faculty Chair, Virginia McWilliam. The high school observes all legal parameters for confidentiality as well as mandated institutional reporting requirements.


Urgent communication should go through the High School Assistant, Caryn Hesse:

      • Email:  Caryn checks email frequently at throughout the day and will send you a confirmation when your child has received the urgent message.
      • Voicemail:  You may also leave a voice message on her phone (413) 586-1908, ext. 106.  When calling the school’s main number, you may dial extension 106 at any time to avoid the menu options.
      • Alternate:  If you do not receive a response to your message within an hour, it is possible that Caryn is unable to respond immediately due to other work obligations.  In this case, if it is an emergency or extremely urgent, please contact Vesna Vasovic, in the Main Office at extension 100.  Vesna will ensure the message is conveyed to the high school. Please do not contact Vesna with non-urgent, non-high school matters.

 Urgent communication includes the following types of situations:

      •  Changes in plans regarding after school transportation.
      •  Unanticipated appointments affecting the school day.
      •  Household emergencies.

Non-urgent communication can be sent directly to your student’s cell phone:

      • You may leave a text or voice message on your student’s phone that can be checked by the end of the day. If you anticipate a need to communicate during the day with your student, please have the student communicate this with the High School Office. We will provide an opportunity to check messages, make a call on a cell phone or the school phone during the lunch break.  Remember that unless it is an extreme emergency, the next opportunity a student will have to use their cell phone after lunch will be at the end of the day.

Non urgent communication includes:

      • Errands
      • Social arrangements
      • Forgotten items

Please consider whether your message must be delivered as soon as possible or if it can wait until the end of the school day when you can contact your student by cell phone.

“If I must look with my eyes on joy, though my heart knows nothing but distress, these two things fit ill together.  In such manner no one can become rich in courage.  May Fortune show me what would be best for me to do.”



      • Students should bring academic or social concerns to their individual or grade advisors.
      • Parents should direct questions about a particular student’s progress to the teacher of the subject and to the student’s individual advisor.
      • If students or parents feel that the advisor has not adequately addressed a concern, they may bring their concern to the High School Faculty Chair.


This section outlines rules and policies and consequences for infractions.

Depending on the nature of an infraction, an Incident Report (see appendix) may be used to gather information from the student(s) to be considered by the student(s’) advisor(s) in determining consequences. The report becomes part of the student(s’) permanent file.

Consequences for infractions may include discussion with school representatives, discussions with parents, after-school detention, probation, suspension, compulsory withdrawal and expulsion.  As of September 2010, probations, suspensions, compulsory withdrawals and expulsions will be recorded on the Common Application school recommendation form that accompanies most college applications.


Hartsbrook High School strives to support the best interest of each individual in the community, while asking each individual to respect the importance of the community.  Our programs reach their full potential when all students participate fully.

If a student will be absent, we ask that parents notify the high school office by 8:15 am of the morning of the absence by calling the High School Office (586-1908, ext. 106) or e-mailing her at If the school has not been notified by a parent or guardian by 8:15 am we will assume that the student has an unexcused absence and make every effort to locate the parent to be informed of a student’s whereabouts.

Absence Due to Illness

If a student is absent due to illness for 3 consecutive days, the parent must communicate updates to the status of the situation to the Administrative Assistant when communicating that day’s absence. Students should check the homework link daily during the duration of the illness and should be in touch with all their teachers, as well as their advisor to develop a plan to complete their work. If the illness persists beyond three days, parents should contact the student’s advisor with regular updates. Students need to work with their advisor to resolve incomplete work. We ask that in these instances of prolonged illness the student return to school with a doctor’s note.

Extended Absence

Students who are planning an extended absence (an absence of a week or more) must submit their plans in writing to their individual advisor and have them approved by the Advisor and the Faculty Chair well in advance (at least two weeks) of the absence.  Failure to address extended absences in advance may result in the student not receiving permission and having the absence considered unexcused.  In emergency situations, parents should notify the student’s advisor, who will expedite the internal process.

Presence on Campus

Students are required to remain on campus at all times during school hours.  Students are required to obtain permission from a parent and to be signed out by the Administrative Assistant if it is necessary that they leave campus before the end of the regularly-scheduled day. These students should advise the teachers of all classes that they will be missing due to their early departure.  (See Early Dismissal.)  Seniors may arrange with their advisors to leave campus for some part of the day for the purpose of taking courses at other locations.  Rules prohibit students driving in groups off campus.  (See Student Drivers.)

Absence and Course Credit

Regular attendance at school is mandatory and necessary for the full awarding of course credits.  Extended absences, even if excused or because of medical reasons, may have an effect on course credit. A student’s attendance record is furnished to colleges as part of the student’s final school transcript.  (See Transcripts and Credits.)

Student Absence and Participation in Sports and Performance Events

Students who are absent for any part of a day may not participate in extracurricular activities that day, such as on sports teams or in theatrical performances.  For certain extenuating circumstances, such as a prearranged appointment, an excused absence may be allowed.  At least a full day’s notice is necessary and the decision will be made in consultation with the Faculty Chair.

“Every man is a consumer and, ought to be a producer.  He fails to make his place good in the world unless he not only pays his debt but also adds something to the common wealth.  Nor can he do justice to his genius without making some larger demand on the world than a bare subsistence.  He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


Punctuality is an important life skill, a basic requisite for work and interactions in the world. It is also a sign of commitment to social cooperation.  Here at the high school, we take seriously that we’re preparing students for that kind of cooperation in the world at large.

Therefore, students are expected to be at school for the start of morning meeting at 8.15, which is the official beginning of our school day, a gathering in which we share important announcements for the day and tune ourselves for the concentrated work of the Main Lesson.  Students arriving late to this gathering disorient themselves and are disruptive to the integrity of the meeting.

Students and parents must plan for transportation that allows students to arrive at school between 8:00 and 8:10.  Students who are not in attendance at morning meeting by 8:15 are marked tardy.  Parents will be informed of their student’s tardiness. Students have an allowance of three morning tardies per trimester to provide for extenuating circumstances.

On the fourth and each subsequent tardy, students will be asked into a conversation with the Faculty Chair, who will assign an appropriate consequence, which may include community service or after-school detention, either of which may preclude participation in sports or other extra-curricular activities that day.  Consequences for tardiness to Main Lesson are at each teacher’s discretion and may impact the course grade.

We request that parents notify the high school office in advance if a student will arrive late for a pre-arranged reason, such as a medical or dental appointment.  These instances will be counted as excused tardies.  The faculty requests that whenever possible parents arrange such appointments to take place after school, or if impossible, outside the Main Lesson. The Faculty Chair will review any pattern of students seeking repeated excused tardies. Students who have an extenuating circumstance that prevents them from regularly arriving on time should contact the Faculty Chair in writing in advance of the school year or semester.

Lateness to Class

Teachers expect that students will be ready to begin class (sitting down quietly at the desk/table with all materials needed for class) at the starting time of the period.  Students must use the break time between classes to prepare themselves to begin.   Lateness will be reflected in the school report and effect a student’s grade.


A cut is when a student is absent from a class or school activity without the knowledge or permission of the school.  Teachers report cuts in their classes to the High School Faculty Chair who notifies the parents.  Cuts are considered grounds for suspension or expulsion.

School Visitors

Student guests to the High School are welcome with permission.  Students who wish to invite a guest must apply for permission through the Faculty Chair and complete and submit an Emergency Form at least a week prior to the visit.


Dismissal is at 3:25 p.m. Students are expected to remain the full day and are encouraged to make medical and other appointments outside the school day.

Illness or Injury

Students who become ill or injured during the day should report to the high school Administrative Assistant who will consult the school nurse. For more information on how the Hartsbrook School handles illnesses please see General Information.

Early Dismissal

For all students who must leave early the procedure is as follows:

      • The High School Assistant must receive either a note, email or a phone call from a parent or guardian.
      • The note or phone call record is filed at the High School desk with the Early Sign-Out Log.
      • Upon leaving, the student must sign the Early Sign-Out Log and have it initialed by the High School Assistant or any available faculty or staff member (who will rely on the note or phone call record for verification).

Students who must leave early on a regular basis may keep dismissal permission on file.  They must sign the Early Sign-Out Log as above.

Riding the PVTA Bus

Students may ride the PVTA bus after school dismissal, once a bus permission slip is on file in the high school office.  This procedure differs from that of the Elementary School where students taking the bus are dismissed from school early. High school students are asked to wait for the later bus and parents need to be aware that the school does not provide a crossing guard for this later bus departure. Bus permission slips are available in the main office.

Student Drivers

Students who are licensed to drive and who drive vehicles to school must observe all campus and state rules and regulations regarding parking, speed limit, and the wearing of seat belts.  Students are never permitted to drive other students (except siblings as indicated by law) during school hours, including on school excursions, regardless of the status of their license or age. Students are not permitted to sit in their cars during school hours.

Electronics Use

Hartsbrook High School is an educational community that thrives on person-to-person interaction among students, teachers and staff. Our electronics use policy is designed to foster a humane educational environment and community for all students.  We recognize the benefits of personal, networked electronic devices such as computers, cell phones and digital music players, and we appreciate the benefits of the internet.  At the same time, we believe that their indiscriminate use in school interferes with and even substitutes for the development of our own capacities as members of our learning community.  Our electronics use policy is as follows:

Policy on Cell Phone and Other Personal Electronic Devices

We place great value upon our community and connection to each other. This is best served by direct interaction when we have the opportunity to be together. We have found that the use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices during school hours tends to limit the depth and authenticity of interpersonal interactions, and introduces a distraction during classes. We also recognize that electronic tools are a fact of life and that appropriate use of these tools is a skill that can be cultivated during the high school years. In support of using the technology in an intentional way, the following is our policy:

During the school day (8:00 am -3:25 pm) if a student wishes to bring a cell phone into the school we require that it be turned off and placed in a repository in the office. Any other electronic devices (e.g. music players, tablets, laptops, etc.) must be stowed in a student’s bag and only used with permission.

Should a student have a need to use their electronic device during school hours, they must request permission from their advisor or the High School Office and stow the device or return the phone to its repository immediately after use. When a device is needed during class, for example for a math computation or a translation, the teacher of the class may give permission to use the device, and may request that students retrieve cell phones from the office for the class, which must then be returned to the repository after use and before the next class.

If an electronic device is used without permission, used for purposes other than that for which permission was granted, or found to be stored in contradiction to this policy, it will be confiscated for at least 24 hours and returned when there is a conversation with the student and parent or guardian.

If there is a second offense the faculty chair will consider further appropriate consequences such as further conferences, after-school detention or suspension.

Students who need to call home during the day may do so in the office with permission. Parents who need to contact their student should contact the High School Office. (See High School Handbook section titled Communication with Your Student during the School Day.

By bringing or sending an electronic device to school, students and their families accept the responsibility to adhere to this policy. Cell phones on campus during school hours and any confiscated devices will be held at the office under reasonable supervision but the school will not be held responsible for theft or damage. Families should employ prudent data protection plans such as frequent back-ups, passcode locks and remote locating and locking security if available.

Students with specific learning challenges may make a formal, written request for an exemption to the laptop policy if use of a computer will provide them with long-term educational benefit.

Students who use a computer at home to complete work must print their work at home.  Students may not email work to themselves and expect to access and print it at school.  On rare occasions there may be a printer malfunction or other emergency at home that makes it impossible for a student to print at home. In that case, a student must save their work to a flash drive and ask the High School Assistant to print it. This will be accomplished during Main Lesson so the student must inform their teacher of this in the event that it should cause the assignment to be late. Students are not permitted to leave class to print or photocopy work that is due.

Use of electronic devices such as personal music players and cell phones on class trips is at the discretion of the trip leaders.

After School Cell Phone Policy

It is our desire to cultivate a sense of community and encourage direct meetings on our campus that are not impeded by the distractions of devices. To support this, while at the same time acknowledging that high school students have after school responsibilities for which they need to communicate, we allow high school students to use cell phones and devices after school only in restricted places. Cell phones may be used after 3:25 in the lobby of Piening Hall or in the upper parking lot only. No cell phone or device may be used under the canopy at any time.

We would appreciate it if parents could assist in this endeavor by refraining from using your phones under the canopy as well. Please also refrain from texting your student during the school day. Your student will not be able to read a text within the boundaries of school rules until 3:25. If you need to reach your student during the day with an urgent message, please email (best) or phone the High School Office. If you receive no response from the High School Office within the hour, please call the Main Office and every effort will be made to pass on the message. Minor communications, such as where to meet after school or changes in plans, can be communicated to your student’s phone where it will be heard or read after school hours.

Appropriate Attire

Students at Hartsbrook High School are fortunate to participate in a range of activities in the classroom and out, from movement warm-ups to course-related excursions on the grounds or on field trips.  Students’ attire, including footwear and outerwear, must be safe and appropriate for a range of activities at all times.  In addition, students may be engaged in activities that require particular kinds of dress.  Such activities can include farming or other work or educational practicums, presenting publicly, or attending all-school assemblies.

With respect to dressing appropriately for their daily encounters with other high school students and their teachers, Hartsbrook high school students, along with faculty, have developed the following policy:

High school students’ attire should be healthful, respectful and not distracting.  It should avoid extremes, express good judgment, and take into account the sensibilities of the school community.

These guidelines apply to all school functions including field trips and class trips.

Footwear must be worn at all times, indoor and outdoor, unless at the specific request of a teacher, and must be appropriate for the student’s activities that day.

For school assemblies and special performances, students are expected to wear “assembly dress”—clothing that is more formal and festive than usual school attire. Assembly dress does not include jeans or T-shirts.

Students whose dress does not comply with the high school community’s agreed-upon standards will be asked into a conversation with the Faculty Chair, who will determine whether a change of dress is required and/or if a consequence will be given.

Any student or teacher may express discomfort with a student’s dress to the Faculty Chair.

Food and Drink in School

Since a great deal of social interaction occurs around food, we strive to become aware in the high school of the impact we make on our environment during meals. Students should bring food from home for snack and lunch in labeled containers that can be kept in their lockers so that the Common Room space can be kept clear of personal food containers. Unlabeled contains found will be disposed of. Disposable plates, bowls and plastic cutlery will not be provided to students. Students are not permitted to prepare food in or obtain supplies from the Faculty Kitchen. Students are expected to be mindful of picking up their trash after eating, both indoors and out.  No food may be consumed during class time or in the classroom at any time, unless as part of a special event authorized by the teacher.  Students may consume only water in sealed containers during class.

Gum chewing is not allowed at any time anywhere on campus or on school excursions or at school events.

Prohibited Activities

The following serious behaviors are never permitted on the Hartsbrook campus, on school excursions, or at school events.  Infractions for these activities will result in the most severe consequences.

      • Inappropriate language. This includes profanity and especially language that is demeaning to others.
      • Inappropriate physical contact. This includes fighting or abusive behavior or behavior that is distracting and detrimental to the learning environment.  Identification of such behavior shall be at the discretion of ANY teacher.
      • Disrespectful or disruptive conduct. This includes any kind of horseplay in the buildings.
      • Verbal abuse, harassment or bullying of any form, including via electronic technology. See the Hartsbrook School Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedures described in the general Hartsbrook School Handbook.
      • Carrying firearms, blades, or other objects intended as weapons.
      • Use of abuse of alcohol or controlled substances. See below.

Alcohol and Controlled Substances Policy

This policy pertains to use, possession or being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances at school or at school-sponsored events.  Students may not self-administer either prescription or nonprescription medications (except with written exemption).  Medications must be held by the school nurse and dispensed by her.

When there is a reasonable suspicion of drug use, actions that the school may take include, but are not limited to:

      • Notification of the student’s parents
      • Evaluation of students by qualified personnel (e.g., the school nurse)
      • Search of clothing, backpacks, lockers and other personal belongings
      • Required drug testing
      • Enlistment of law enforcement

First Offense

When an incidence of illegal drug or alcohol use is confirmed, parents will immediately be notified to take the student home.  An automatic suspension of at least two days will follow.  A family meeting between the student, his or her parents, the administrative chair and the student’s advisor will take place before the student can return to school.  In addition, the school will require a written report from a certified Massachusetts substance abuse counselor recommending the student for substance abuse education.  Both the consultation and the education sessions, if recommended, will be conducted outside school hours and will be at the parents’ expense.

In addition, the student shall be barred from representing the school in any school-sponsored sports or performance activities for 14 consecutive days.  The incident report and record of suspension will become part of the student’s permanent record.

Second Offense

A second family meeting will be held. A longer suspension will follow.  A drug education program will be mandatory.  The student shall be barred from representing the school in any activity for the remainder of the year.  The record and nature of the incident and suspension will be part of the student’s permanent record and will accompany transcripts for college admissions.

Third Offense

Automatic expulsion.

Appeals Process

Students who wish to contest an alcohol, drug-related or any other disciplinary action may bring their case before an appeals panel comprising the all-school Faculty Chair, the High School Faculty Chair, the student’s advisor and a teacher nominated by the student.  Requests should be made in writing within three days of the disciplinary action, to be followed by a hearing within seven days.  If a student has been suspended or expelled, that status shall remain in effect until the appeals process is concluded.  The decision shall be made behind closed doors and is final.

The Hartsbrook High School Anti-Hazing Policy

Hazing behavior is an activity that is neither condoned nor tolerated in any way at the Hartsbrook High School.

The Hartsbrook School issues a copy of the Massachusetts Anti-Hazing Law to every secondary level student (grades 9-12 or ages 15 and older) enrolled full-time, and every student group, student team, or student organization, including every unaffiliated student group, student team, or student organization, and a copy of the school’s anti-hazing disciplinary policy approved by the High School Advisor’s Circle

Further, we file, at least annually by October 1st, a report with the DESE certifying:

      1. a) that we comply with our responsibility to inform student groups, teams, or organizations, and every full-time enrolled student, of the anti-hazing law
      2. b) that our adoption of a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing; and
      3. c) that our hazing policy has been included in our Parent and Student Handbook and is explained to and discussed with all students.

Hazing as defined by DESE is “…any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.”

Anti-Hazing Disciplinary Policy:

Students who engage in this behavior either as organizers or as participants, will be subject to consequences in keeping with our student handbook discipline policies. Faculty investigate any allegations of hazing under the direction of the Faculty Chair. If a case of hazing is proven to have taken place, either on or off school grounds, the Faculty Chair and the faculty will establish what consequences are warranted.   These consequences may include, but are not limited to: restitution (completing an activity that benefits the school community), suspension (one day or longer), or expulsion and the notification of authorities.   A description of the incident(s) shall be written in report form and placed in the student’s file.


High School Diploma

A High School Diploma is awarded to students who have accrued the required number of credits in graded courses to complete a college preparatory program.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate of completion is awarded to students who have demonstrated commitment to their academic progress in high school, but may not have been graded or completed all coursework, but by agreement of the teachers completed a significant number of courses on a pass/fail basis or consistently received accommodations to the usual academic load.


The transcript includes a yearly and a cumulative grade point average computed from the grades and credits for courses.  Students may request to be graded in non-graded courses and to have these applied to their grade point average.

Students in grades 11 and 12 receive a transcript at the conclusion of the year. Students who leave Hartsbrook will have their final transcript sent to their new school.

Transcript Grading

For purposes of the transcript, an individual course grade is converted to a grade on the 4 point scale. Grades for all the courses and classes in one subject are combined. For example, the English, Math and Language on-going classes would be averaged into one grade.

Transcript grades are assigned as follows:

  • A+       4.3
  • A         3.84 – 4.00
  • A–       3.50 – 3.83
  • B+       3.17 – 3.50
  • B         2.84 – 3.16
  • B–       2.50 – 2.83
  • C+       2.17 – 2.50
  • C         1.84 – 2.16
  • C–       1.50 – 1.83
  • D+       1.17 – 1.50
  • D         1.00 – 1.17
  • F          below 1


Credits are awarded for hours spent in class, with 120 hours equal to 1 credit.

  • Main Lesson blocks, 4 weeks = .33 credits
  • Main Lesson blocks, 3 weeks = .25 credits
  • Ongoing classes, 4x per week per trimester = .33 credits
  • Ongoing classes, 3x per week per trimester = .25 credits
  • Other classes are figured on the following formula: credits =  # of classes /120

When a student’s absence exceeds 10% of the number of hours of a course, credit on the student’s transcript may be adjusted proportionately.  A student’s advisor will work with the student and teacher(s) to determine whether work can be made up in such a fashion that credit may be granted.

When absences exceed 25%, the teacher will determine whether any course credit will be granted.

Questions regarding High School Diplomas, Certificates of Completion and Transcripts should be directed to the Registrar.

Reports and Grading

Teachers provide Grade Reports, which include a narrative report and a course grade, to students and parents for all subjects on the following basis:

  • Main Lesson
    • Students receive a copy of the Grade Report with the returned Main Lesson book.  Grade Reports for Main Lesson are also sent home to parents at reporting times.
  • On-Going and Elective Courses
    • A Grade Report is sent home at reporting times.
  • Honors Options
    • All main lesson subjects are taught at a rigorous college preparatory level or honors level.  However, a specific Honors Option may be offered in both Main Lesson and/or track classes as an opportunity for students to complete academic and artistic assignments, research papers, or individual or group projects over and above those required as part of the standard assessment for that course.  Students receive a separate grade and separate credit for the honors portion of the work.
  • Arts, Practical Arts
    • Teachers decide which of these courses are to be If a student wishes to be graded, he/she should inform the teacher and the individual advisor within the first two weeks of the course.
  • Physical Education
    • We encourage all students to participate in a sports program for the community, camaraderie and health it provides. Physical Education classes are not given as part of the Hartsbrook High School’s daily schedule. However, students may earn the required 30 hours of Physical Education credit by participating on Hartsbrook sports teams or by documenting regularly scheduled extra-curricular movement. (i.e. rock climbing, gym activities, dance, yoga or Pilates classes, etc.)

Pass/Fail Grading

In special circumstances, students may apply to take an academic course on a Pass/Fail basis.  This decision must be made before the course begins or during the first three weeks of an on-going course.  Pass/Fail applications must be approved by the high school faculty.  Teachers and advisors may also request such applications.  Taking an academic class on a pass/fail basis could affect the grade point average.

Grade Appeals

If a student does not understand the basis for a grade after speaking with the teacher, he/she may speak with his/her individual advisor and/or the Faculty Chair, who will facilitate a conversation with the course instructor, if necessary.

Changing Courses

Academic continuity and keeping one’s commitments are encouraged.  However, there are some circumstances in which changing a course once it has begun may be appropriate.  Students may make requests through their individual advisor.  In accommodating the request, advisors must take into account the teacher’s preparedness to take a new student into the lesson plan given that the course is already underway.


Course Expectations

At the beginning of each academic course, the teacher will hand out a set of course expectations outlining the course requirements and the basis for assessment.

Students and parents can consult High School Week at a Glance for a link to the homework site postings for course expectations.


High school homework assignments vary with each teacher. The homework load is not intended to be excessive, but it requires organization, planning, and time management.  If the homework load seems unmanageable, the student should consult with the teacher, then with his/her individual advisor.

All students are expected to complete homework assignments.  Where appropriate and necessary, teachers will modify assignments.


Learning to take notes is a crucial academic skill. Students are expected to take their own notes, unless there is a special arrangement with the teacher. However, the willing “lending” of one’s work to another student with the intent to deceive is plagiarism.


The use of others’ work without proper citation and attribution is considered academic theft and is called plagiarism.  Plagiarism is an extremely serious offense in academic communities and often leads to expulsion for a first offense.  Similarly, Hartsbrook High School takes a serious view of plagiarism, whether students borrow from another student’s work, from print sources or from the internet.

It is a role of teachers in the high school to prepare students for a “no tolerance” policy at most institutions of higher education.  Therefore, teachers will teach about plagiarism—what it is, how to avoid it, and its ramifications—but will hold students accountable for work that is not their own.  Work submitted for grading that is not a student’s own will incur grading penalties in addition to any disciplinary consequences.

Disciplinary consequences for plagiarism can include a verbal warning, parental notification, suspension, or expulsion.

Late Assignments

Being on time with assignments is an essential element of coursework.  A teacher may reduce a student’s grade for work that the student turns in late. Where appropriate and necessary, teachers will modify an assignment deadline.


A teacher will provide an extension for an assignment when it is made clear in advance that it is appropriate and necessary.


Rarely, under extenuating circumstances, a teacher may mark a student “Incomplete” when work is not received by the course deadline.  The teacher will specify the date by which the work must be completed. Unless the teacher has specified otherwise in the Grade Report, a grade of “Incomplete” will become an “F” if the student fails to fulfill all of the teacher’s requirements.

After School Homework Club

Hartsbrook High School provides a quiet and proctored space for students to accomplish their homework every Wednesday after school. In some cases, a student will be required to participate when a teacher determines that this help is needed. Parents will be notified by the student’s advisor when this is the case. All students who are placed on Academic Probation will be required to attend Homework Club weekly for the duration of the trimester or longer.

Academic Probation

A student who receives a final course grade of C- or below will come under academic review by the faculty.  In consultation with the student’s advisor, the faculty will indicate measures to be taken to encourage the student to improve his/her academic standing.  Such measures may include remedial work and/or suspension of extracurricular activities while the student is establishing good academic standing.

Elective Credits

The faculty encourages additional extra-curricular activities as a way for students to balance their academic involvement with engagement in other spheres. The high school is happy to assist students in organizing clubs in areas in which they have interest.

Students who participate in clubs or take classes are eligible for up to 30 hours of elective credits per year, which are noted on their transcript. To receive credit, students should submit a record of their activities to their individual advisor.

Community Service 

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” 

Rabindranath Tagore

At the high school we believe that students become better rounded when they develop the ability to perceive others’ needs and respond to them helpfully.  For this reason we require that all students participate in some kind of community service.  It is most fulfilling for students if they can build an ongoing service relationship with at least one type of activity or organization and thereby develop meaningful connections.  However, students may find smaller, individual opportunities to be of service, such as helping at school functions, church or synagogue activities, babysitting, tutoring and the like.  Thirty hours of community service are suggested for each student per year.

Junior and Senior curriculums augment the community service requirements by participation in the service trips to Triform Camphill Community and the Senior Community Service Trip.

School Supplies

  • Backpack
  • Lunchbox or suitable container clearly labelled with the student’s name
  • #2 Pencils or Mechanical Pencils with replacement graphite
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Pens
  • Eraser
  • Graph Paper –the student’s math teacher will inform the class whether this needs to be 4 or 5 square
  • Loose Leaf Paper – NO spiral notebooks, please
  • Binder (optional)
  • Where grade or class appropriate: A computer, and printer at home and a supply of printer paper and extra ink
  • Colored pencils
  • Ruler
  • Homework assignment book or planner, (these will be given to all students, although 11th & 12 graders may opt to purchase their own version)

The school provides Main Lesson paper and each student is encouraged to keep a supply at home that they can periodically replenish.

Out of a concern for the environment we make an effort to cut back on the high school’s consumption of disposable products. To this end, all students should bring labeled items available for their lunch and snack consumption. The school will not provide paper plates, napkins or plastic ware. Students will be responsible to clean their own items after each use. Students are expected to return these items clean to their lockers. Items found around the lunchroom and not properly stored will be disposed of.

Supplies for lunchroom: (Should be clearly labeled)

  • Mug for hot beverages
  • Water bottle
  • Silverware
  • Microwave safe container for food, if needed

All of these items can be stored in the student’s locker in the Common Room.

Students will not be permitted in the Faculty Kitchen. This space is a professional space immediately adjacent to faculty offices. There are frequently meetings, small classes or tutoring sessions taking place in this room and faculty meet in passing or informally to discuss school matters.


General Information

Attendance and School Hours


Arrival: Students can enter the classrooms at 8:15 am. Students need to be ready to begin their day by 8:30 am.

Dismissal: 12:45 pm for half days; 3:15 pm for full days.

Elementary School

Arrival: Grades 1–7: 8:10–8:25 am; Students need to be in their places by 8:30 am or they will be marked tardy. Grade 8 – 8:10 am; Students need to be in their places by 8:15.

Dismissal: Grades 1–4:    Monday – Thursday  3:15 pm
Fridays and half days  12:45 pm

Grades 5–8:    Monday – Friday   3:15 pm
Half days   12:45 pm

High School

Arrival: Grades 9–12: 8:10 am; Students need to be in their places by 8:15 am or they will be marked tardy.

Dismissal: Grades 9–12:   Monday – Friday   3:25 pm
Half days  12:45 pm


The beginning of the day contains the seed of what the day will become. Therefore, it is essential that students arrive on time. In the event of an absence or unexpected delay, parents or guardians need to notify the school  by 8:15 am.


Students who are not at their places by 8:15 am in grades 8 – 12 and 8:30 am in grades 1 – 7 will be considered tardy. In grades 1 and 2, the parent or driver needs to accompany the tardy student to the office and fill out a Morning Late Slip. The student will bring this form to the class teacher. Students in grades 3–8 fill out these forms themselves.


The Hartsbrook School’s program depends on full attendance. In the event of absence, teachers may assign make-up work for missed classes in grades 6–8. If a student misses more than 10% of classes in any subject, teachers may assign additional work in order for course requirements to be completed. This 10% includes excused and unexcused absences. An unexcused absence may result in a notation on the Final Report that work is incomplete. Extensive absences require a note from a health practitioner.

In the high school, students who are absent for more than three days may not receive full credit. Students are required to discuss how to make up work with their advisers. Absences, tardiness and credit awarded will be noted on trimester report and on the transcript.

Excused absences include: illness, medical appointments which can not be scheduled after school hours, personal or family emergencies, and absences which have been approved by prior arrangement with the class teacher. Family vacations are not excused absences.

If a student will be absent, the school office needs to be notified before 8:15 a.m. In the high school, each student needs to contact his/her teachers about making up work that is missed.

Illness or Injury

We do not have the facilities to care for sick or injured students in school. If students are sick or unable to participate fully in the program, they should stay home until they are better.

Illness or Injury during the School Day

If a student becomes ill or injured during the school day, the teacher will send the student to the nurse’s office, where school nurse (when on duty) or the staff will assess the situation. If the student is unable to participate in school activities, the staff will call the parent to arrange for the student to go home.


Students are expected to leave the school grounds at dismissal time unless they are participating in the Extended Day program, under the supervision of a parent or another designated adult, or if specific arrangements have been made with the teacher. Students in the grade school must be dismissed to a parent or designated adult; they can not be dismissed to an older grade school student or to watch athletic contests.

Students who are not picked up by 3:30 pm must return to the office so that the Office Manager can contact their car pool drivers. They must be signed out when their ride arrives. Students whose parents/carpool have not picked them up may not play on the playground after dismissal.

Music Lessons

Students who stay after school for music lessons are under the supervision of their music teacher.  They must wait before and after their lessons in an area supervised by the teacher. Parents of children who stay for music lessons must fill out a form in the Main Office that informs the school of the dates and times the student will be in school for the lesson.

Use of PVTA Bus

The PVTA Bus service is operated by the area colleges. There is a currently a bus stop at 193 Bay Road on both sides of the street. Service to this stop on this route has been suspended pending bridge repairs on a connecting street.

Children in grades 1–12 may ride the bus after school once a bus permission slip is on file in the Main Office. Bus Permission Slips will be sent home at the beginning of each school year. Each day, an adult crossing guard will meet the bus riders from grades 1–8 at dismissal to accompany them across Bay Road to the bus stop. High School students are allowed to cross the street independently but usually have to ride a later bus as their dismissal is at 3:25 pm. Parents should contact PVTA directly for fare and schedule information.

Health and Well-Being

Physical Exams

All new students and students in nursery, kindergarten, grades 4, 7, and 10, and all athletes must provide a copy of the Massachusetts School Health Record (otherwise known as the physical exam) dated within the last 13 months. If a child is entering kindergarten, documentation of lead and vision screenings is required. If a child has any kind of health issue for which she/he is under the regular care of a physician, we will need an annually updated copy of the physical examination.


Immunizations have been a very effective public health measure in limiting the incidence of many communicable diseases. Current immunization records or a letter of religious or medical exemption signed by parents or guardians, must be on file before the first day of school.  The MDPH immunization requirements for entry into school can be found at

Annual School Health Update

The school requires that an Annual School Health Update form be filled out by the parent/guardian prior to the start of school annually. This record provides essential medical information that is important in keeping a student’s medical history updated annually.

Emergency Medical Release Form

The school requires an Emergency Information and Release Form for each child, stating where the parents can be reached during the school day. This form gives the school permission to obtain emergency medical care. Your child may not attend school until this form is complete.

School Nurse

Our school nurse oversees school health policies and programs, maintains medical records, and protocols and policies to meet state regulations. The school also requires an Emergency Information and Release Form for each child, stating where the parents can be reached during the school day. This form gives the school permission to obtain emergency medical care. Your child may not attend school until this form is complete.

ulations, recommendations and guidelines.  Our school nurse provides health care to our students and staff, performs health screenings, and strives to maintain a safe, healthy school environment.


In accordance with state regulations, school faculty and staff are not permitted to administer any medications to students in school. If a child requires short-term or long-term medication during the school day, parents are required to contact the school nurse and provide a physician’s order, parental consent and the medication. The administration of medications to children at school is managed by the school nurse with provisions for self-administration of selected medications, as determined by the school nurse. Parents may come during the school day to give a medication to their child by making prior arrangements with the class teacher.

Lice and Infectious Diseases

If the school nurse receives report of possible lice or nits on hair from a parent of a specific child or teacher, the school nurse will check that student in the nurse’s office or check the entire class on the day that the report is received. The school will notify the parents/guardians of children in the classroom if a child is identified as having lice. The student may remain in class until dismissal, but should not stay at school longer than regular dismissal time (no after care or extracurricular activities).  The day following commencement of treatment, the school nurse will recheck students to authorize return to school.

In situations when one or more cases of a vaccine-preventable disease or certain other communicable diseases are present in a school, all susceptibles, including those with medical or religious exemptions, are subject to exclusion as described in the Reportable Diseases and Isolation and Quarantine Requirements. Certain communicable and infectious diseases are reported to the Massachusetts local boards of health. Parents will be notified if an infectious disease is reported in a classroom so that appropriate measures can be implemented.


Prior to participating in any after-school athletic program,  the athlete must fill out the Pre-Participation Head Injury Concussion Form (found on our website). If a head injury (including hits to the nose and mouth) occurs during school or a sports practice, the parent will be notified. The parents will receive a Head Injury Resource Sheet and any further recommendations for referral to their family physician. If a student is diagnosed with a concussion and the injury occurred during sports, the student must present the Post Sports-Related Head Injury Medical Clearance and Authorization Form. This will provide permission to return to school and to participate in sports/PE activities/classroom activities. An instructive video on concussions for athletes and their parents can be found on our website.

Mandated Reporting

The school is required by law to report all known or suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services (DSS). If an employee of the school has reasonable cause to suspect physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child under the age of 18, he or she should notify a member of the Executive Circle immediately. The Executive Circle will inform the Faculty Conference; the Faculty Conference will exercise its judgment in light of legal standards. The information contained in this report is private and confidential and may be shared only with school employees and members of the Board of Directors on a need-to-know basis. According to Massachusetts law, any person who releases such information more widely is liable for a fine of no more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than two-and-one-half-years, or both. (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 119§51A Section E).

If the DSS asks to interview a child in connection with such a report, whether filed by the Hartsbrook School or by another party, the school encourages the DSS to find an appropriate off-campus location for such interviews because we are concerned that a family’s right to privacy and confidentiality may not be maintained in the school setting, which has a limited number of private spaces, a community in which most children know most or all adults present on campus, and a setting in which children are not routinely removed from classes.

However, if the DSS must interview a child on the Hartsbrook School campus, the school will allow the interview under the following conditions. Some or all of these conditions may be waived by the school when the school feels that this is required by emergency circumstances.

  1. The Hartsbrook School will require the DSS to notify the parents and will then allow the interview to take place as expeditiously as possible.
  2. The DSS staff person will check in with an identified staff member of the Hartsbrook School and show his/her ID.
  3. A Hartsbrook School staff member will sit in on the interview.

General Policies

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found is located in the hallway in Hartsbrook Hall and inside the front door in Piening Hall. Please check these areas for missing articles of clothing. Smaller lost and found items such as jewelry will be kept in the school offices. Unclaimed articles will be given to a charitable organization. Please label your child’s clothing, especially boots, gloves, hats, and coats.

Snow Days

For notice of closing or delay due to weather, watch WWLP-TV22 or WHYN-TV40 or consult their websites. Our closings and delays may not always coincide with those of the Hadley public schools. You can also call the main school number, (413) 586-1908, for closing information. We will notify all parents using their preferred method of notification via the AMG alert system.

Photographs and Video Policy

The Hartsbrook School has a no photo/no video policy during all school events with the exception of the first day and final day assemblies and graduation. Only school-authorized photographers may take photographs or videos at all other school events. Contact your child’s teacher if you are interested in being the photographer for a particular class event.

Electronic Media Policy

The school’s position in regard to television viewing, movies, videos, video games and computer exposure for children is conveyed by teachers at the time of application. Research and experience indicate that exposure to these media hinders the learning process and limits the development of children’s capacities and abilities (perceptual, intellectual, creative, and social).

Though we cannot legislate what is and is not done at home, we strongly encourage you to find alternatives to electronic media, and will be happy to help you do so.

In the high school, students may be asked to use a computer for note taking and assignments. See high school handbook (Section IX) for a more complete discussion of media policy in the high school.

Dog Policy

In order to keep students and our farm animals safe, dogs are not allowed on campus.


Smoking is not allowed on any school grounds or in any of the buildings as per state regulations.

Fire Drills

Regular fire drills and fire inspections are conducted by the Hadley Fire Department.

Early Childhood Playground Rules

  • Children must be supervised by an adult when around the Homestead barn and animals.
  • Children are to play inside the fence area unless a teacher permits and supervises children in other areas of the yard.
  • The “monkey bar” play structure is for use by the grades school children. Kindergarten children may not climb it at any time, including after school time.
  • The swings are for swinging in a seated position. Standing on a swing is NOT safe.
  • The outside stairway provides access to the upstairs offices and is not to be used as a play structure.
  • Shoes must be worn by everyone at all times.
  • Balls, Frisbees, and “foxtails” are the only things that may be thrown on the playground.
  • Sticks can be very dangerous and we do not allow the children to use them in any fashion that would harm themselves or a friend such as throwing, running, swordplay, poking, etc. However, we encourage their use for building and digging, and as other tools. We ask that parents help us uphold these important safety rules.
  • Children use ropes in various creative ways. Our large swivel handled jump ropes should stay in their places and should not be used for play other than jumping. Ropes may only be used on the playground under adult supervision. Please monitor any loops that are made and be sure to untie them when you go inside.
  • Hula-hoops are fun for twirling, running after, and playing “train” or “horsey.” We don’t allow them to be used in a game of “chase” to catch hold of other children.
  • Snow and sledding:
    • No throwing snowballs unless within an organized group activity.
    • Sledding is allowed on the hill with adult supervision. Children must sit, lie feet first or be on their knees facing forward. No standing or head first position. Slide down and walk up the sides of the hill.
    • The school will provide all play equipment used at school. Children are not allowed to bring their own athletic equipment or toys to school.
  • Flowers, foliage, bits of sticks and stones are all parts of our school playground and must be left there so that we all may enjoy them each day.
  • Gunplay is not allowed. Teachers tell the children that only grown-ups carry guns, and that those who do so are trained to use them safely.
  • Please turn off your car radio and media systems while on school grounds.
  • Only adults are allowed to take toys out after school hours, and everything must be put away when you leave. All toys must be stored away in the shed after use. The teachers appreciate parents’ help with this.

Elementary School Playground Rules


Morning recess begins at 10:35 and ends at 10:55. All students must be outdoors by 10:45, unless they are excused by their teacher. Students who have not finished snack by 10:45 must bring their food outdoors and finish it, sitting at a designated location, before playing. Students who bring a note from home that they need to stay indoors for health reasons stay in the Hartsbrook Hall lobby.

Lunch recess begins at 12:35 and ends at 12:55.

Students must stay in sight of the teachers on duty at all times.

With the exception of baseball gloves and yo-yos, students may not use personal toys or sports equipment brought from home while at school without express permission from their teacher.



  • play safely and harmoniously
  • play imaginatively
  • play within boundaries
  • play games that are fun for all
  • jump rope
  • play tetherball
  • play Four Square—grades 3 & 4
  • play with pogo sticks/stilts
  • sledding, if supervised
  • swing on swing set


  • teasing or bullying
  • exclusive play
  • leaving designated recess areas without permission
  • running with sticks
  • hard baseballs or bats
  • tackling
  • standing on swings
  • team games for points, or win/lose, without adult supervision
  • tree climbing beyond designated areas
  • going in or near stream
  • standing in wagons



  • play safely and harmoniously
  • play imaginatively
  • play within boundaries
  • play games that are fun for all
  • play catch with SOFT balls/Foxtails
  • play Basketball, if supervised & available)
  • play Volleyball if available
  • play Touch Football(no tackling)
  • play Soccer (no heading)
  • play Kickball
  • play Baseball, if supervised
  • play Frisbee/Ultimate Frisbee
  • jump rope
  • play tetherball
  • play Four Square
  • sledding, if supervised
  • swing on swing set


  • teasing or bullying
  • exclusive play
  • leaving designated recess areas without permission
  • hanging on or climbing Soccer goals
  • toys or sports equipment from home except yo-yos and baseball gloves
  • tackle football or tackling
  • heading balls
  • throwing snowballs or ice
  • hard balls or bats
  • kicking basketballs, volleyballs, tetherballs,
  • ones, etc.
  • standing on swings
  • tree climbing beyond designated areas
  • going in or near stream
  • standing in wagons
  • entering Athletic Shed

The following areas are off limits to students unless supervised by a teacher:

  • the space between Piening Hall and the South Modular
  • the slope heading down to the Hartsbrook Brook.

When the bell rings at 10:55 a.m. and 12:55 p.m., play stops and all play equipment is returned to storage. Fifth through eighth grade students line up under the canopy in places designated by their teachers.  Students are led into the building by their teacher. Grades one through four line up by their outside


  • Students must obey the recess teacher’s decisions concerning clothing, conditions, and safety.
  • Students must wear waterproof or snow pants, a coat, hat, gloves, and boots.
  • Sledding is in designated areas only.
  • Sledding is only permitted when a teacher is present.
  • Form a line to take turns when there are more students than sleds.
  • Face forward when sledding. When 2 people share a sled, one of them must face forward.
  • The path must be clear before you go down.
  • Sledders must avoid running into others below them on the hill.
  • When you reach the bottom, come back up the hill on the sides.
  • Hand the sled to the first person in line and go to the back of the line.
  • When the bell rings, return the sleds to the sled shed and stack them neatly.

Locations for Recess

First through fourth grades have recess on the Elementary School playground. Inclusive ball games are allowed for grade four when facilitated by a teacher. No soccer may be played on this field at recess.

Grades 5  – 8 may play on either the Elementary School playground or the Piening Hall field.

The canopy on the south side of Hartsbrook Hall is reserved as a quiet space.  First through fourth grades should not congregate under the canopy during recess. No ball games should take place under the canopy. On rainy days children will play outside wearing appropriate rain gear. In the absence of rain gear, students may play under the canopy on the east side of Hartsbrook Hall.

Elementary School Indoor Rules

  • Walking only in the hallway (no running)
  • Quiet voices in the hallway
  • Students may only whisper in the hallway when classes are in session
  • No running hands on walls or windows
  • No students are allowed in the faculty room
  • No students may use the copy machine or paper cutter
  • Three children are allowed in the bathroom at a time. Others must wait outside the bathrooms.

Parking and Drop-Off

Please drop students in grades 1–12 off in the loop provided. Do not park there. If parking is needed, please use the rectangular parking lot adjacent to the basketball court. Please use spaces efficiently and carpool when you can as space is limited. Parents are responsible for children on school grounds before arrival and after dismissal. Children are not allowed in the parking area unaccompanied by an adult.  High school students who drive themselves to school should park in the end of the rectangular lot near the basketball court.

Early Childhood parents and drivers may also park in the parking lot closest to Bay Road. Please escort your child(ren) into the building and back to the vehicle. Children are not allowed in the parking area unless accompanied by an adult. If additional parking is needed, please use the rectangular parking lot mentioned above. Parents are responsible for children on school grounds before arrival and after dismissal.


School Supplies

The school provides many of the supplies needed. Materials include (but are not limited to): crayons, colored pencils, Main Lesson books, textbooks, handwork supplies, beeswax, paints and painting paper. These materials are given to the students who then assume responsibility for them as their own possessions. The tools and materials given are of high quality and with care they will serve the students well. In grades 4–12, students are responsible for replacing materials that are damaged or lost.

In the high school, a list of supplies needed can be found at the end of the high school handbook and will be mailed to students during the summer.

Student Belongings

A school bag or backpack is needed for students in grades 4–12. All belongings should be labeled with the student’s name. If student belongings are found in common spaces or on playgrounds they will be placed in the Lost & Found which is located on the first floor of Hartsbrook Hall. High school students are expected to keep their belongings in their lockers during the school day.


Toys, non-educational items and athletic equipment, with the exception of baseball mitts and yo-yo’s, may not be brought to school. Radios, Walkmans, iPods or any other kind of electronic equipment may not be brought to school or on class trips. Trading cards and watches that beep are not permitted in school. These items will be kept by the teacher during the school day and returned to the parent or guardian.


In the Kindergarten, a healthy snack is prepared at school and lunch is provided on Tuesday – Thursday. Students in the grades bring their own snacks and lunches. Please pack food in labeled, reusable containers when possible to reduce waste.

Candy and Gum

Students may not bring candy or gum to school.


Assemblies for the children take place regularly throughout the year. Assemblies are opportunities for the children to present to each other what they have been learning in their various classes. The assemblies may also be a festival of song and story marking a special event or season.

Because assemblies are special occasions, children are expected to wear neat and festive clothing for the assemblies on the first and last days of school, and on the assembly days listed on the school calendar (see Dress Code for a full discussion).

Parents are not expected to attend assemblies, but are welcome to do so. Unfortunately, seating is extremely limited, and parents may need to stand in the rear of the hall. Assemblies take place at Piening Hall unless otherwise announced. Most assemblies are listed on the school calendar; others will be announced in the Bulletin.

Field Trips

Field trips are an integral part of the curriculum. Field trips include walks originating from school grounds and others requiring approved transportation (school bus, designated van or private vehicle operated by school staff or parents). Before a field trip is taken, parents receive a description of the trip and a permission slip to sign and return. Field trips are considered school events that take place off-campus. On field trips students must remain with assigned groups and must follow school rules and guidelines.

Library Locations and Hours

The Hartsbrook School Children’s Library is located in Hartsbrook Hall. The collection is open to all parents and students. Currently the locations are:

  • Grades 1–4: Hartsbrook Hall downstairs hallway—Picture books, beginning readers, and short chapter books.
  • Grades 5–8: Hartsbrook Hall upstairs hallway—Longer chapter books and a nonfiction collection.

All of the libraries are operated on a self-serve basis. Circulation is one week for picture books and one month for all other materials.

The information about the borrower and the due date is written in by hand on the card, and the due date should also be written on the pocket in the book. Containers for cards of circulated books are found in each location.

Returned books should go in the containers provided on each level of Hartsbrook Hall. Volunteers will re-card the books and shelve them. Please do not re-shelve books on you own as this can create confusion. If you would like to volunteer to help with the library or have questions, please speak to Louise Spear.

Coming-of-Age Library: There is a small collection of books on this topic available to parents in the nurse’s office.


Birthdays are wonderful festivals for children. In the grades, the birthday child often brings a cake or wholesome treat for the class. Birthday children have also often given a gift, such as a book, to the class. Parents may wish to consult with the teacher to determine what kinds of gifts are appropriate. (See the Early Childhood section for celebrating birthdays in Nursery and Kindergarten.)

Extracurricular Participation Policy

The Hartsbrook School offers our students in the upper grades the opportunity to participate in a number of extracurricular activities in an after-school program. Any student in grades 1–8 who has been absent, for part or all of the school day, may not participate in any extracurricular activities that day unless an individualized plan is made with the faculty. An exception would be an excused absence for an appointment. Children who need to be excused from movement activities during the school day cannot participate in after-school movement activities.  Internal or external suspension or disciplinary problems will result in non-participation. Please see section IX Working and Learning Together for a description of how Notes of Concern are treated in grades 6–8. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege reserved for students in good standing, and may be suspended in the case of ongoing disciplinary difficulties.

Early Childhood and Lower School Dress Code

Hartsbrook students are expected to dress in clothing that allows them to participate fully in all school activities and that reflects respect for the educational environment.

Assessment of compliance with this dress code is at the discretion of any teacher or staff member.

General Guidelines

Students are expected to wear neat, clean clothes.  Clothing should fit properly and not be torn or cut off with frayed edges.  Undergarments should never be visible.  These guidelines apply to all school functions including field trips and class trips.  Teachers will provide lists of additional clothing for special situations.

Two-Finger Rule

All shirt straps must be at least the width of the wearer’s two fingers. Any writing or logos must be coverable by the wearer’s two fingers.

*Hartsbrook t-shirts and sweatshirts are permitted, and coats and jackets worn only outdoors may have writing.

Hem Length

The hems of shorts or skirts can be no shorter than mid-thigh.


Students need to have sturdy indoor shoes that stay securely on the feet.  Sneakers are needed for PE and outdoor activities while boots are required for rain and snow.

Outside Gear

Students go outside every day and must have appropriate gear for outdoor activities such as PE classes, agricultural arts classes and recess.

Assemblies and Special Performances

Students are expected to wear assembly dress which is clothing that is more formal and festive than usual school clothes. This does not include jeans and t-shirts or sweatpants or sweatshirts.

Make-Up, Dyed Hair and Nail Polish

In grades 1 – 5, no make-up, nail polish, or dyed hair is allowed in school. In grades 6 – 8, make-up should be subtle and nail polish and dyed hair are allowed.


Jewelry is permitted if it is unobtrusive and safe for all activities.


Educational Support

The Hartsbrook School strives to meet the educational needs of all students. Because our curriculum is largely presented through the spoken word, arts, and practical activities, students with different learning styles can participate meaningfully in our program. At its core, however, the school places a strong emphasis on learning within a class group. During the admission process, the teacher will attempt to identify possible learning differences, and our Educational Support Coordinator, Elyce Perico, may be asked to review the application as well, in order to build as complete a picture of the child’s learning style as possible. In addition to the assessment during the interview with the child and discussions with parents, we also look at past school records and prior evaluations, and we may request additional evaluations.

As a child progresses in the school, parents and teachers may have ongoing and evolving questions and concerns about the child’s educational needs. In conjunction with the Educational Support Coordinator (ESC), teachers and parents work together to further determine what may be needed to support the child’s learning. To arrange for further evaluation or other assessments, parents may make a request through their local school district or with a private developmental consultant. Evaluations by the school district are free, but parents pay for private consultations. Based on these evaluations and ongoing communication, the parents, class teacher, and Educational Support Coordinator can establish a course of support and remediation.

A second grade screening, a third grade reading assessment and classroom observations/recommendations are all provided through the school program. This is also the time we screen each child’s vision and hearing. It may be important to begin support programs at this time to aid a child’s acquisition of academic skills. Close work with the Educational Support Coordinator and other remedial therapists and medical professionals can support the classroom work.

If a need becomes more evident, direct academic and/or therapeutic support may be required. Parents, in collaboration with the class teacher and the Educational Support Coordinator, will arrange support services at the parent’s expense.

Ideally, support services should be part of the child’s regular school day, though this may not always be possible due to space and time limitations. In order to help the child remain as much a part of the regular class activities as possible, it is important that the class teacher, Educational Support Coordinator, tutor, other therapists and parents work together. We may request ongoing evaluations to ensure that the school continues to meet the child’s changing needs. Although the Hartsbrook School tries to find ways to work with children who have different learning styles and needs, there will be situations in which, despite the best efforts of teachers and the school, we will be unable to meet a child’s needs. In this situation, the Faculty Conference reserves the right to determine the best course of action.

Educational Support Group

The Educational Support Group (ESG) is a committee of faculty members, headed by a trained remedial teacher (the Educational Support Coordinator), with a mandate from the Faculty Conference to coordinate activities concerning the academic and social needs of our students. To that end, ESG provides classroom observation, faculty Child Study, Student Support Circles, and faculty development opportunities, as well as coordinating developmental and academic assessments and overseeing the support within the school.

Child Study

With the knowledge and permission of the parents, the faculty will observe and describe a student over a period of 2-3 weeks. The student is described in terms of physical attributes, strengths and weaknesses, habits, health and temperament. This is done in a non-judgmental, confidential and reverential atmosphere. The picture of the child that emerges through this process becomes the foundation for specific recommendations intended to support the child throughout her/his educational program.

Student Support Circle

Parents, class teacher, and the Educational Support Coordinator meet for an in-depth review of a student’s progress and needs, and together outline recommendations and goals for the classroom and the home. This meeting may also include other teachers and consulting professionals on occasion. A Student Support Circle can be initiated by a parent or teacher by contacting the Educational Support Coordinator. This meeting can generate a Student Support Plan (SSP), our form of an Individual Educational Plan (IEP).

Educational Support Coordinator

The Educational Support Coordinator (ESC) is a trained Therapeutic Educator (Remedial teacher) who supports students, teachers and parents through working with the Educational Support Group to coordinate activities concerning the academic and social needs of our students. Classroom observation and consultation, coordinating developmental and academic assessments, organizing and overseeing student support schedules, Child Study, Support Circles (parent/teacher meetings), and faculty professional development opportunities are some of the responsibilities of the ESC.

The ESC also provides therapeutic and academic support for small groups and individual children. A limited number of hours per week are available for this work within the ESC position.

If it is agreed that parents wish for their children to receive individual private support with the ESC, this work will be funded through a private contract agreement with separate fees that are not included in regular tuition.

Working and Learning Together

The healthy social life is found

When in the mirror of each human soul

The whole community finds its reflection

And when in the community

The virtue of each one is living.

Rudolf Steiner

Working and learning together requires discipline and form from students and teachers. The foundation of a healthy learning environment is safety, mutual respect and cooperation among students and between students and teachers, along with a willingness to strive to do one’s best. To promote these values, teachers and parents work together to establish clear expectations for student behavior. The art of teaching asks, to begin with, that educators work on self-discipline. Under the guiding authority of adults, children gradually develop the self-discipline necessary to assume responsibility for their own actions. Students are also expected to gradually develop the inner discipline they need in order to take responsibility for their own learning.

Every human community lives by principles that reflect its values, and the Hartsbrook School strives to live by a set of principles that emphasize the importance of cooperating with and taking an interest in others, practicing respect and tolerance, and taking responsibility for one’s own conduct. These principles are articulated in the Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle.


Be kind, safe, and helpful in word and deed.

From the Citizenship Principle comes the Code of Conduct that regulates our daily social life together.


Be courteous

Participate fully/Do your best

Abide by the rules of our community

Follow teachers’ directions

See also appendix for examples of specific behaviors that would be considered violations of the Code of Conduct.

Working Together

Disciplinary Procedures

A student who fails to abide by the Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary measures. Some students may also need an Individual Support Plan in meeting the Hartsbrook Code of Conduct; those students will be referred to the Educational Support Group.

Teachers at the Hartsbrook School may not use any form of corporal punishment under any circumstances. If children are in danger of harming themselves or being physically harmed by another child, the teacher will use the minimum amount of restraint necessary to ensure the children’s safety.

Violation of this rule will be referred to the Faculty Conference members of the Executive Circle who act on behalf of the Conference in all matters requiring employee discipline.  Disciplinary actions considered by Conference members of the Executive Circle depend upon the nature of the violation and range from a verbal warning to suspension and termination. In cases involving severe misconduct, the Board president is also informed and legal counsel is consulted.

Nursery and Kindergarten

In the early childhood programs, we try our best to help the children weave a healthy social tapestry through the stories we tell, the activities we do, and the mood we create within the classroom. Within this context, we strive initially to handle discipline in an implicit manner; when difficult behavior occurs, children are redirected in an imaginative and playful way. When that implicit approach is not effective, we meet the child in a more explicit way. For example, when a child is excluding another from play, a teacher may say, “In kindergarten, we all play together.” We then work to help children find ways to be more inclusive. A child who needs more direction might be seated close to the teacher during snack, engaged by the teacher in meaningful, helpful work with another child, or a pedagogical story might be told to the whole class. Every child is unique; teachers and parents work closely together, and good communication is essential.

Grades 1–5

Teachers at the Hartsbrook School strive to build classroom discipline on the foundation of positive and purposeful working together. In the lower grades, teachers help children learn and practice appropriate behavior that reflects the Code of Conduct. When inappropriate behavior occurs, students are counseled or redirected on an individual basis. The student may be given a restorative task or be asked to leave the classroom for a specified time (time out). A student who persists in inappropriate behavior, especially in instances concerning safety, may be sent home from school.

More Serious Infractions in Nursery, Kindergarten, and Grades 1–5

The measures outlined above are the usual approach to discipline. When these are not effective, or when the inappropriate behavior is more serious, other measures may need to be taken. The class teacher reports the matter to the Executive Circle, and together they consider more serious steps which may include, but are not limited to, holding a parent-teacher conference, referring the student to the Educational Support Group, probation, suspension, compulsory withdrawal or expulsion (See also pages 6–7 of section IV for a fuller discussion of these last three steps).

Grades 6–8

In grades 6–8, students are expected to take more responsibility for practicing self-discipline and working out problems. Teachers may send home a Note of Celebration to acknowledge examples of this type of good citizenship.

When students do not observe the Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle and the Hartsbrook Code of Conduct, teachers are charged with the responsibility and authority to solve minor disciplinary challenges through immediate, direct action. If these measures are not immediately effective, teachers use the following series of steps.

      • Reminding the student, orally, what is expected of him or her.
      • Giving the student an oral warning that he or she must change the behavior in question.
      • Sending a written Note of Concern to the student’s parent(s).

(Note: Depending on the nature and severity of the problem, a teacher, at his or her discretion, may skip the reminder and directly issue a warning, or skip both the reminder and the warning and immediately send home a Note of Concern. Suspension or probation may also be warranted without going through the Notes of Concern process.)

Notes of Concern (See sample Note of Concern in Section IX)

When a teacher issues a Note of Concern, it initiates a series of prescribed actions which are undertaken in order to 1) help the student bring his or her behavior into alignment with the school’s expectations and 2) document the measures applied as a tangible record of the behavior lapse. An accumulation of Notes of Concern leads to increasingly severe disciplinary measures.

1st Note of Concern


      • Note of Concern is turned in to the Administrative Assistant in the Main Office
      • Original is given to student to take home by issuing teacher. Original must be signed by parents and returned to class teacher next school day.
      • A copy is mailed to parents as a courtesy
      • A copy is given to the class teacher the same day. The class teacher is to ensure that student misses the next recess in a designated area. This could include an assigned activity.

2nd Note of Concern within 8 weeks

The Second Note of Concern initiates more serious consequences

      • The Administrative Assistant notifies the Athletic Coordinator in person or by phone, and the student misses the next scheduled extra-curricular event within the
      • Parents are contacted by the class teacher and a meeting is set up between the class teacher, the issuing teacher and the parent within 48 hours of the incident. The student may attend part of this meeting.
      • The student misses both recesses the following day in designated area.

3rd Note of Concern within 8 weeks

Third Note of Concern follows same procedures as above with the following additions:

      • Parents are contacted by phone the same day by the Administrative Assistant after informing the class teacher.
      • The student is suspended for one day.
      • The parents meet a second time with teachers to discuss necessary steps and/or are referred to Educational Support Group for additional support and follow-up.
      • The student misses all extra-curricular activities for one week.

For the accumulation of Notes of Concern within an 8-week period, multiple Notes of Concern received on one day will be considered as a single Note of Concern.


A student who is suspended two times within an 8-week period will be placed on probation, the terms of which will be established by the school and stated in writing. A copy of the terms of probation will be conveyed to the parents and student verbally and in writing. If the terms of the probation are not met, the matter will be referred to the Faculty Conference to consider a recommendation of expulsion (See Section IV of Hartsbrook Handbook). Parents will be notified verbally and in writing when expulsion is being considered.

Please see High School Section VII for high school disciplinary information. The Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle and Code of Conduct and expectations stated above apply to the whole school

Learning Together

General Expectations

Students are expected to participate fully in their assigned program both during class time and in work to be completed outside of class. The directives given by teachers are to be followed in all cases, and students are expected to assume responsibility for fulfilling them.

Students are expected to be on time for their classes and to be ready with the required materials. A student in grades 6–8 who is late for a subject class must submit a Class Late Slip to the teacher. All students in grades 1–8 who are tardy for Main Lesson must obtain a Morning Late Slip from the office and present it to the class teacher.


When homework is assigned, it must be completed and handed in on time. If the student does not understand the assignment or is unable to complete it independently, it is important that the student let the teacher know before the assignment is due. Through fifth grade, teachers will inform the parents regarding homework expectations. Parents can assist students by asking directly if homework has been assigned and by helping to assure that it is completed and brought to school on time. If a student is having consistent difficulty completing work, teachers and the parents will work with the student to address the problem and build good habits.

In sixth through eighth grade, parents continue to play an important role in supporting homework, but the students are expected to assume greater individual responsibility for their academic work and conduct. If a student is having difficulty completing an assignment, he or she should contact the assigning teacher for help or to discuss alternatives. When students fall short of meeting these responsibilities, a Note of Concern may be issued and the system described earlier will be invoked.

Summary of Working and Learning Together

The expectations teachers place on student conduct are defined by the Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle and Code of Conduct.

The forms our school uses to record and communicate cases in which these expectations are not met are:

      • Morning Late Slip for students in grades 1–8 who are late to Main Lesson (obtained in office and brought to teacher)
      • Class Late Slips for students in grades 6–8 who are late to subject classes (filled out by student and brought to teacher)
      • Notes of Concern, used to inform parents when a student in grades 6–8 falls short of the school’s expectations for behavior, academic work, lateness, or any other area covered by the Citizenship Principle and Code of Conduct (filled out by teachers and given to child  to be signed by parents and returned.)

Other Information

Participation in After-School Sports and Activities

Students who have not participated in a class or classes for health reasons may not participate in after-school sports or other school activities on that day. Students must also be in good academic and behavior standing to participate in after-school sports and activities. Guidelines are described in the Note of Concern system.

Appendix #1

The following are some examples of actions that do not follow the Hartsbrook Code of Conduct, and which are therefore not allowed on school grounds and during all school-sponsored activities. When these behaviors occur, students are counseled or redirected. Teachers may also use logical consequences or help students to make amends for their actions.


      • bringing to school items other than those needed for school work and school activities unless a special arrangement has been made with a teacher (teachers may confiscate any items deemed unsafe, distracting, or otherwise inappropriate)
      • leaving designated play areas or school grounds without a teacher’s permission, approaching or entering bodies of water, including the Harts Brook, without teacher supervision
      • overly rough play, such as hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, and tackling, etc., and actions intended to cause physical harm, such as biting or striking others with objects
      • roughhousing on the playground and in the buildings which includes shoving and wrestling and similar activities even when done in fun.  Guided forms of wrestling or physical contact may be undertaken on a class basis under direct teacher supervision.
      • skateboarding, rollerblading, or bicycle-riding on school grounds (bicycles may be ridden to and from school)
      • throwing or wielding potentially dangerous objects, such as sticks, stones, mud, snowballs, etc.
      • using potentially dangerous school equipment outside of designated areas (hard baseballs or softballs, baseball bats, javelins, archery equipment, etc.); unauthorized use of school equipment, tools or machinery
      • possessing weapons of any kind, including knives, or any object or device that could easily cause bodily harm, including pocket or Swiss Army knives, whether on a student’s person, in a backpack, lunch bag, or locker (actions of this sort may result in immediate suspension and possible expulsion)


      • violation of the personal space or dignity of individuals, such as unwanted touching, grabbing, pulling on clothing, “stealing” hats, hiding others’ personal property, etc.
      • words or actions intended to cause emotional or social harm, including disrespectful, rude, or obscene language; verbal threats to harm person or property; and racial, ethnic, or sexual slurs;
      • bullying and teasing; including verbal put-down’s
      • stealing, intentionally damaging, or defacing property belonging to the school or individuals


      • plagiarizing the work of published authors or copying the work of other students, or their answers on quizzes and tests, and presenting these as one’s own
      • smoking tobacco products, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages or other controlled substances



The Hartsbrook School Anti-Bullying Policy and Procedures


It is the policy of the Hartsbrook School to provide a learning and working environment for students, employees and visitors free from bullying. Every human community lives by principles that reflect its values, and the Hartsbrook School strives to live by a set of principles that emphasize the importance of cooperating with, and taking an interest in others, practicing respect and tolerance, and taking responsibility for one’s own conduct. These principles are articulated in the Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle.

The Hartsbrook Citizenship Principle:

      • Be kind, safe, and helpful in word and deed

The Hartsbrook Code of Conduct:

      • Participate fully
      • Be courteous
      • Abide by the rules of our community
      • Follow teachers’ directions
      • Do your best


  1. “Aggressor” is a student or employee who engages in bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation.
  2. “Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students or employees of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that:
    1. causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property
    2. places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to him or herself or of damage to his or her property
    3. creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school
    4. materially and substantially disrupts the education process, orderly operation of a school or the working environment at a school
  3. “Cyber-bullying” is bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identify of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyber-bulling shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.
  4. “Hostile Environment” is a situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.
  5. “Retaliation” is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.
  6. “Target” is a student or employee against whom bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.


  1. Bullying is hereby prohibited by the Hartsbrook School:
    • On school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned leased or used by the School, or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by the School; and,
    • At a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned leased or used by the School, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process, the orderly operation of the school or the working environment.
  2. More Vulnerable Students. We recognize that certain students may be more vulnerable as a target of bullying or harassment based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnancy or parenting status, sexual orientation, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
  3. Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying is hereby prohibited.
  4. False accusations of bullying or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action.
  5. This policy does not require the Hartsbrook School to staff any non-school related activities, functions or programs.

Bullying Prevention Plan

  1. Reporting
    1. Any staff including but not limited to an teacher, administrator, school nurse, custodian, bus driver, athletic coach, adviser to an extracurricular activity or shall immediately report any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member has witnessed or become aware of to the Faculty Chair or his/her designee.
    2. Any student, parent, guardian or other interested person may report any bullying or suspected bullying to the Faculty Chair or his/her designee as soon as reasonably possible. If possible, reports should be in writing but there is no requirement that they be written.
    3. If an instance of bullying is reported to a staff member other than the Faculty Chair or his/her designee, the staff member shall immediately inform the Faculty Chair.
    4. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee in charge of receiving complaints should document reports according to Hartsbrook School Guidelines.
  2. Investigation: The Faculty Chair or his/her designee in charge of receiving complaints should conduct an investigation according to Hartsbrook School Guidelines.
  3. Decision
    1. Based upon a thorough investigation, the Faculty Chair or his/her designee shall make a decision that is appropriate for all parties concerning whether bullying occurred and if so what is the appropriate remedy including discipline of the perpetrator, appropriate educational and counseling remedies and protection of the complainant.
    2. Depending on the circumstances of the case, if it is determined that bullying has occurred the Faculty Chair or his/her designee may discipline the offending party by ordering:
      1. counseling;
      2. schedule or class change;
      3. stay away order;
      4. an educational component;
      5. a verbal warning;
      6. a written warning;
      7. suspension;
      8. expulsion, or;
      9. any other remedy deemed appropriate by the Faculty Chair or his/her designee.
    3. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee shall notify local law enforcement if he/she believes that criminal charges may be pursued against the alleged perpetrator.
    4. Any discipline should be viewed in the light of balancing accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior.
    5. If the incident involves students from more than one school, the school first informed of the bullying or retaliation shall consistent with state and federal law, promptly notify the appropriate administrator of the other school or schools. If an incident of bullying or retaliation occurs on school grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21, the school shall inform local law enforcement when appropriate and consistent with this policy.
    6. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee should confer with the complainant and his/her parents to explain the action being taken including what if any actions are being taken to create a sense of safety for the complainant, and implementation of any protection plans and to make counseling referrals if appropriate.
    7. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee shall confer with the alleged perpetrator and his/her parents. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee shall explain the discipline, if any, make any counseling referral, explain plans for creating a sense of safety for the complainant, explain any protection plans and reiterate any retaliation by alleged perpetrator or family/friends may subject the offender to further discipline up to and including expulsion.
    8. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee should follow-up on this decision in order to ensure that his/her recommendation has been put into effect.
      1. Bullying Prevention Plan—Educational and Professional Development Components
        1. This bullying prevention plan shall be developed and updated biennially. There shall be notice of the plan updates to each family of a student attending the school and a public comment period.
        2. Parents and guardians shall be informed about the bullying prevention curriculum of the school, specifically:
          1. how parents and guardians can reinforce the curriculum at home and support the school and school plan;
          2. dynamics of bullying;
          3. online safety and cyber-bullying; and
          4. identification of group of more vulnerable students.
        3. Each school shall provide to students and parents or guardians, in age-appropriate terms and in the languages, which are most prevalent among the students, parents, or guardians, annual written notice of the student related sections of the plan including protection for group of more vulnerable students.
        4. Each school shall provide annual written notice of the plan to all staff.
        5. All staff shall be trained and provision for faculty and staff duties shall be included in the school employee handbook.
        6. The Plan shall be posted on the website for each school.
        7. The Faculty Chair or his/her designee shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the plan.

Adopted by the Faculty Conference, December 16, 2010; Updated by the Faculty Chair, July 2014


Membership List for School Organizations

Members of the Faculty Conference 2017–2018

Members of the Board of Directors 2017-2018

Administrative Staff

  • Frances Cameron, Administrative Chair
  • Vesna Vasovic, Main Office Manager
  • Caryn Rozgonyi-Hesse, High School Registrar & College Guidance
  • Pilar Schmidt, Director of Development
  • Tracy McQuade, Development Assistant
  • Diane LaBarge, Business Manager
  • Leslie Evans, Enrollment Director
  • Mary Wallace, Business Office Assistant
  • Krista Wathne, Enrollment Assistant
  • Ed Mann, Facilities Manager
  • Henry (“Zeke”) Sicard, Maintenance Assistant

School Committees and Working Groups

  • Pedagogical Chair: Virginia McWilliam
  • Administrative Chair: Frances Cameron
  • Conference Co-Stewards: Valerie Poplawski & Virginia McWilliam
  • Faculty/Staff Meeting Chair: Janine Harrison
  • Early Childhood Chair: Magdalena Toran
  • Elementary School Chair: Heather Damon
  • High School Faculty Chair: Virginia McWilliam

Committees of the Board (Chair of committee underlined)

  • Buildings and Grounds: Dennis Szuhay, Jan Baudendistel, Heide Zajonc, Frances Cameron
  • Development: Andy Moskovitz, Louise Spear, Tracy McQuade, Pilar Schmidt, Heide Zajonc, Natalie Reed Adams, Wendy Buda, Kelly Feeney
  • Finance: Jed Liebert, Diane LaBarge, Frances Cameron, Noah Smith, Louise Spear, Caryn Rozgonyi-Hesse
  • Trusteeship: Anne Woodhull, Leslie Ritchie-Dunham, Natalie Reed Adams
  • Nomination: Dennis Szuhay
  • Long Range Planning: Lane Hall-Witt, Rosemary McNaughton, Alan Rice, Frances Cameron, Rachel Kennedy, Heather Damon, Nicki Robb, Heide Zajonc
  • Enrollment Committee: Swansea Benham-Bleicher, Nicole Thurrell, Leslie Evans, Virginia McWilliam, Carl Knerr

Committees of the Conference (Chair of committee underlined)

  • Festivals and Assemblies: Chris Shaw, Nicki Robb, Melanie Glissman
  • Teacher Development Committee: This committee is divided into three subcommittees, with the TDC existing as an umbrella committee. The subcommittees chairpersons are:
    • Mentoring – Catherine Hopkins
    • Reviews – Thomas Heineman
    • Professional Development – Janine Harrison
  • Nicki Robb, Catherine Hopkins, Alex Workman, Rachel Kennedy, Tim Zimmerman
  • Educational Support Group: Elyce Perico, Polly Saltet, Caryn Rozgonyi-Hesse

Working Groups

  • Upper Grades: Catherine Hopkins, Cherrie Latuner, Virginia McWilliam
  • Music Committee: Jan Baudendistel, Katharine Payne, Elyce Perico


  • AWSNA Delegates: Jan Baudendistel
  • Family Association Liaison: Virginia McWilliam
  • Board Members from Conference: Elyce Perico, Jan Baudendistel

Faculty, Staff, and Board Members 2017–2018

Natalie Adams, Board Co-Chair. Former Board Member and Former Faculty Chair of Washington Waldorf School. Re-joined Board in 2013.

Jan Baudendistel, Grade 4 Class Teacher and Grade 3 Cello, Board member. BA in Philosophy, Elementary Ed. Certification, Dartmouth College. Waldorf Teaching Certification, Lehrerseminar, Stuttgart.

Liz Bedell, Upper grades and High School English Teacher. BA in English, Harvard College. MA, English Literature, Middlebury College.

Swansea Benham-Bleicher, Board Vice President. Parent of current student and alumnus. Joined Board in 2011.

Michelle Brooks, Bluebird Kindergarten Teacher. BA in Early Childhood Education from Anna Maria College. MEd in Curriculum and Arts from Lesley College. Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate from Sunbridge College. Level I (Birth to Three) from Sophia’s Hearth.

Tupper Brown, Board Co-Chair. Parent of alumnus, Attorney. Joined Board in 2006.

Frances Cameron, P. E., Administrative Chair, Board Member (ex officio). BS in Environmental Engineering, MIT. MS in Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Anna Carlacci, Forest Kindergarten Assistant. Workshops in Waldorf Education at Spring Valley Waldorf Institute. Certification of Completion for Intro to Kindergarten Intensive at Sunbridge College.

Lea Chiara, Grades 1 – 6 Spanish Teacher. BS in Anthropology, Skidmore College. Advanced Spanish Language training at the International Language Institute of Northampton.

Mary Kay Costello, HS Science and Math.  BA Biology Wells College. MA Science, UMass Amherst, Graduate program in Secondary Education, Adelphi College.

Debra Courage, Early Childhood Cook. BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Megan Criticos, Meadowlark Afternoon Assistant and Early Childhood Extended Day Teacher. BA in French Studies, Smith College.

Heather Damon, Grade 8 Class Teacher, Elementary School Chair. Attended Prescott College in Prescott, AZ, Sustainable Community Development. Waldorf Teacher Training Certified, Antioch, New England. MA pending.

Jacqui DeFelice, Board member. Parent of alumni, Former Hartsbrook Enrollment Director for 9 years. Joined Board in 2013.

Kimaya Diggs, Choral Music Teacher. BA in Creative Writing and Opera Performance, Swarthmore College.

Joseph Dwork, Games Teacher in Grades 4 – 12 and Athletic Director. BS in Environmental Science from UMass Amherst.

Leslie Evans, Enrollment Director. BA in French and Continental European Literature, Boston University. Graduate Studies at Lesley University. Worked as International Student Program Coordinator for Scandinavian Seminars and with other international studies programs.

Margaret Evans, Handwork, Grades and High School. BA in Philosophy, Franklin & Marshall College.

Laura Friedland-Kays, Goldfinch Assistant.

Mia Friedman, Instrumental Music Teacher. Graduate of the New England Conservatory in the Contemporary Improvisations Department.

Sherri Gionet, Goldfinch Afternoon Assistant and Extended Day Director. BFA in Painting, Rhode Island School of Design. Career Development Study at Sophia’s Hearth Family Center, Keene NH. Years of raising children, teaching at a nature-based early childhood program, substitute teaching, and independent Waldorf Education studies.

Melanie Glissman, Grade 2 Class Teacher. BS from Lynchburg College. Certificate in Waldorf Education from Antioch College in NH.

Michael Gula, Forest Kindergarten Afternoon Assistant and Extended Day Early Childhood Teacher. BA in Plant and Soil Science, University of Massachusetts, Concentration in Sustainable Food and Farming.

Steven Haendiges, High School Adjunct Math Teacher. Mathematics Major in Actuarial Science, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. M.Ed, Creativity Program, University of Massachusetts. Graduate, San Francisco Waldorf Teacher Training Program. BA in Comparative Literature, University of Massachusetts.

Lane Hall-Witt, Board member. Parent of current student, Director of Smith College International Student program. Joined Board in 2013.

Janine Harrison, Song Sparrow Kindergarten. BS in Theater Arts, SUNY Fredonia. Certificate in Administration/Community Development, Sunbridge College. MA candidate, Waldorf Education.

Thomas Heineman, High School History Teacher. BA with Honors in History, University of Massachusetts. Waldorf Teaching Certificate (pending), Center for Anthroposophy, Wilton, NH.

Naomi Henderson, High School Art Teacher. Waldorf Teaching Certificate, Center for Anthroposophy. Wilton, NH.

Catherine Hopkins, Mentoring Coordinator and Class teacher Emeritus. BA in Education, Elementary Teaching Certificate, M.Ed., University of Massachusetts. Certificate of Graduate Education in Waldorf Education, Antioch/New England Graduate School.

Susanna Hoffmann, Bluebird Afternoon Assistant.

Michelle Huber, Grades 7 – 12 Spanish. BA from Sarah Lawrence College.

Tina Howard, Consulting School Counselor. MSW from Smith College School of Social Work.

Fred Itterly, College Guidance Counselor.

Brian Jacques, Grade 1 Class Teacher. BA in English from UMass Lowell. Waldorf Teaching certificate from Emerson College in England.

Alexis Major Jameson, High School Music and Movement Teacher. BA in Dance Anthropology, The George Washington University. MA in Elementary Education with a Waldorf Concentration, Antioch University, Keene, NH.

Jeff Kalman, Grade 6 Class Teacher. BA in Environmental Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey.  Waldorf Teacher Certification, Sunbridge College.

Rachel Kennedy, Forest Kindergarten Teacher. AS in Rural Resource Management, Sterling College. Waldorf Teacher Certification, Antioch University.

Diane LaBarge, Business Manager. Associate Degree in Business Management. Previously employed with accounting firms, tax offices, small businesses, non-profits, over 30 years bookkeeping experience.

Cherrie Latuner, High School English and Literature Teacher, Grades 7-12 Mentoring Coordinator. BA in English and French, SUNY Albany/Universite de Nice. MA in English (Creative Writing and Literature), Iowa State University.

Tanya Lax, Grade 7 Class Teacher. BA in English Literature, Middle Tennessee State University. M.Ed. and Waldorf Teacher Certification, Antioch University New England.

Nathalie Lewis, Song Sparrow Kindergarten Assistant. BA in Women’s Studies, New York University.

Jed Liebert, Board Member, Treasurer. Parent of current students, Financial Adviser. Joined Board in 2013.

Catherine Linberg, Goldfinch Afternoon Assistant. MA in Theater Arts, Brown University.

Rosemary McNaughton, High School Physics & Math Teacher. Ph.D. Candidate in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. MS in Astronomy, University of Toronto. BS in Physics and Humanities & Science, MIT.

Tracy McQuade, Development Assistant. BA in Sociology, Clark University. UNIX Systems Administration/C/C++ Certificate, Worcester Polytechnic.

Virginia McWilliam, Pedagogical Chair, High School Faculty Chair & Chemistry Teacher, Board member (ex officio). BS Joint Honors Chemistry and Biochemistry, Nottingham University, U.K.

Ed Mann, Facilities Manager.

Andrew Moskovitz, MD, School Physician, Board Member. BS, Magna Cum Laude, Syracuse University. MD, SUNY, Upstate Medical University. Board Certifications in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Currently practicing primary care, Springfield Medical Associates. Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Tufts University Medical School.

Ethan Myers, High School English. BA in Geology and Environmental Science from Guilford College. MA in English and American Studies from UMass Amherst.

Anne Musante, Grades 1 – 6 German Teacher. MA in Education from Nuremburg University, Nuremburg, Germany.

Katherine Nickel, Grade 3 Class Teacher. BA in International Relations, Wellesley College. MA in International Relations, University of Denver. Certificate in Waldorf Education, Antioch New England.

Julianne Patterson, Bluebird Kindergarten Assistant. Assoc. Degree from Greenfield Community College and BS from UMass Amherst.

Katharine Payne, Grades 1-3 Games, Woodwork, and Practical Arts. BA in German and Music, Bates College. Diploma in Waldorf Education, Emerson College, U.K.

Elyce Perico, Educational Support Coordinator, Board member. BM in Music/Performance, University of Miami. Waldorf Teacher Certification, Sunbridge College. M.Ed., Touro University/Rudolf Steiner College. Trans-disciplinary Therapeutic Educator (Remedial) Certification, Gradalis Training, Certified HANDLE Screener, Orton Gillingham Reading Approach Training.

Valerie Poplawski, Meadowlark Kindergarten Teacher. BA, University of Lancaster. Certificate of Pedagogical Eurythmy, Emerson College. Diploma for Eurythmy, The Ringwood Botton Eurythmy School.

Lara Radysh, International Student Exchange Program Coordinator. Rudolf Steiner School, New York NY, graduated 1994.

Leslie Ritchie-Dunham, Board member. Parent of alumni, Architect. Joined Board in 2013.

Nicki Robb, Land Stewardship Director, Agricultural Arts Teacher, Grade 8 Beekeeping, Animal Care Grades 3, 4 & 12. M.Ed. in Special Education, University of Massachusetts. Curative Education Seminar, Camp Hill, Aberdeen, Scotland. Former Director of “School to Farm” Program, Hampshire College. CPR & Wilderness First Aid Certified.

Amber Rounds, Upper Grades Assistant and Grades 5 – 7 Recorder Teacher. BA in History, Smith College.

Caryn Rozgonyi-Hesse, High School Registrar and College Guidance. MS in Waldorf High School Education, Sunbridge College.

Jan-Kees Saltet, German Grades 7–11 and High School Humanities Teacher. MA in English Language and Literature, University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Foundation Studies and Waldorf Teacher Training at Emerson College, Sussex, England. Training in Speech Formation and Painting in Stuttgart, Germany.

Polly Saltet, Eurythmy Grades 1–8. Swarthmore College. BA in Theater and Dance, University of Colorado. Foundation Year in Anthroposophy at Emerson College, England. Full Eurythmy training at the Eurythmeum, Stuttgart. Therapeutic Eurythmy diploma, sponsored by the Therapeutic Eurythmy Seminar, Stuttgart.

Pilar Schmidt, Director of Development. BA in English Literature, cum laude, Bryn Mawr. MA in Languages & Literature, secondary school level English teaching, Columbia University Teachers College.

Chris Shaw, Goldfinch Kindergarten Lead Teacher. MS in Waldorf Early Childhood Education, Sunbridge College.

Henry (“Zeke”) Sicard, Building and Grounds Assistant.

Louise Spear, Elementary School Administrator, Handwork Grade 5 Teacher, Board member (ex officio).  BA in Social Thought and Political Economy, University of Massachusetts. Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy.

Jessica Stark, Grade 5 Class Teacher. BA in Chinese Studies, Hobart William Smith College. Graduate studies at San Francisco State University. Graduate of Waldorf Teacher Training at Rudolf Steiner College.

Jacqueline Strauss, Meadowlark Assistant. CA College of Arts & Crafts 1988-1990. BA in English Literature, Wesleyan University.

Dennis Szuhay, Board member, Secretary. Parent of alumna and current student. 31-year career in pesticide regulation with the Environmental Protection Agency. Joined Board in 2009.

Magdalena Toran, Early Childhood Chair, Cricket on the Hearth Teacher. Early Childhood Certification, Sunbridge College, NY.

Vesna Vasovic, Main Office Manager. Studied Serbian Language and Literature at the University of Belgrade.

Gail Voisin, Handwork Grades 1–4 Teacher. BA in Art Education, Hampshire College. Foundation Studies in Anthroposophy, Biodynamic Gardening, and Education, Emerson College, England. Environmental Studies, Sunbridge College.

Chip Weems, High School Science and Photography Teacher. BS and MA, Oregon State University. PhD, University of Massachusetts.

Rebecca Winters, Land Stewardship Assistant.

Anne Woodhull, Board member. Parent of alumna, Children’s Play Therapist. Joined Board in 2007.

Alex Workman, High School Life Sciences. Foundation Studies. BA and Post-Bac studies in Chemistry and Biology, University of Pennsylvania. MAT in Biology and Chemistry, Smith College.

Irina Yakub,  Eurythmy Accompanist. MA in Music Education and Chorus, Moscow Pedagogical University. MA in Music Education, University of Massachusetts.

Dylan Young, Grade 7 and 8 Math and Grade School Assistant. BA, Mount Holyoke College.

Laurie Zacek, RN, School Nurse.  Associate in Science Degree in Medical Secretarial Science and an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing both from Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA.