At this year’s Open House, Head of School Virginia Connor highlighted St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s long history of providing an inclusive, values-based program focused solely on the needs of young children, which she noted was especially relevant today.
“We are an Episcopal school founded to bring together children and families of all racial, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds,” she said. “One of the crucial aspects of our program is helping children to become people of conscience and compassion. This is not a new endeavor for us—it has been part of our mission since our founding 70 years ago.”
Ms. Connor cited the value of daily Chapel for elementary students as a uniting force for the community. “Our school family includes people of all religious faiths and those who don’t have a strong faith tradition,” she said. “But each day in Chapel, we ask ourselves the question ‘Who is my neighbor?’” Ms. Connor said that students are encouraged to recognize not just their classmates and friends, but people throughout the city and the world as neighbors and ask themselves, “How can I know my neighbor, support and defend my neighbor, and care for my neighbor?”
The strength of the faculty was another important message from the evening. “Our faculty have more than 1000 collective years of experience educating young children,” Ms. Connor said, encouraging parents to spend time talking with teachers and asking for their insights about important aspects of the school’s program.
She even offered a list of questions parents should ask, not just at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s Open House but at the other schools they are considering. The classroom schedule was at the top of the list. “When you learn particular subjects, and how frequently each subject is taught—that kind of planning matters,” she said. “The class schedule will tell you what a school values.”
Other questions included
Where do graduates attend high school, and what is the placement process like?
Where is the school and what does the neighborhood convey?
How is discipline handled—what do you do when something goes wrong?
In addition to the 100-plus faculty members who were present, parent representatives also volunteered at Open House, guiding prospective parents through the building and answering questions about what it is like to be a parent at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s.
Director of Admission Kate Dworkoski reminded families of the school’s commitment to their children. “If you choose St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, we promise that we will come to truly know your child—to appreciate their unique selves; to understand what motivates them, how they learn best, and how to reach them when something is holding them back. We vow to love, care for, and teach your child so that he or she becomes all that they are meant to become.”