News & Media

Lower School News Archive

2019

  • November

    Letters of gratitude to veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day.

    Annual Veteran’s Day Letter Writing

    In honor of Veteran’s Day, community members from all three divisions voluntarily took the time to write heartfelt letters of gratitude to veterans in honor of Veteran’s Day.
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  • LS Community Service and US Hackley Earth Action League representatives spent the day at the TaSH Farmer’s Market.

    Teaching Sustainability

    On Saturday 11/9, Lower School Community Service and HEAL (Hackley Earth Action League) representatives spent the day at the TaSH Farmer’s Market, educating the community about the dangers of single use plastics and giving away reusable bags.
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  • Donating Treats for Troops at the Lower School.

    Treats for Troops -- and UNICEF

    In the days following Halloween, Hackley Lower School students donated all or part of their Halloween loot for Treats for Troops, sponsored by the Soldier’s Angel Organization --and shipped off eight shopping bags full of candy! They also collected approximately $910 in UNICEF donations.
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  • All members of the Lower School faculty dressed in black and maroon.

    Black and Maroon Day

    Like the best traditions, it started by accident, and for fun.  Several Hackley Lower School teachers began noticing that many of them wore clothes in black and maroon to school on the same day--so they decided to declare an occasional "Black and Maroon Day"!
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  • The Hackley Lower School Orchestra learned a fun piece with a bit of a Halloween theme and decided to take it to the next level and add a theatrical element.

    Happy Halloween from the Lower School Orchestra

    The Hackley Lower School Orchestra is excited to present their very first music video. In keeping with the goal of promoting creative expression through the arts, the students learned a fun piece with a bit of a Halloween theme and decided to take it to the next level and add a theatrical element.
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  • The Hackley Lower School Halloween Parade video.

    The Monster Mash!

    You can count on Hackley to come out in full Halloween Spirit!  Even under cloudy skies!
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  • October

    Students in 1M heading to the outdoor classroom.

    Observing Nature Through Varying Perspectives

    Students in 1M took a trip to the outdoor classroom to complete a writing activity. “I observe…,” and “I wonder…” are two writing prompts they used.
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  • Regina with her students at Hackley School.

    Overcoming Obstacles Through Service-Learning

    Lower School Science teacher Regina DiStefano's summer work on the opportunities presented at the intersection of diversity, sustainability, and service work is featured in the Community Works Journal, Digital Magazine for Educators.
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  • The importance of play in the educational life of our students.

    Play and the "6 Cs" at Hackley

    Hackley's Director of Lower School, Lisa Oberstein, offered this thoughtful reflection on the importance of play in the educational life of our students.
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  • Celebrating Mrs. Hackley in the Upper School.

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Hackley!

    By tradition, October 27 is "Founder's Day," a Hackley celebration recognizing our founder, Frances Hackley, on her birthday. Our campus celebration took place on Friday, complete with "Selfies with Mrs. Hackley," a black and grey spirit Dress Down Day, and birthday cake! ​Check out the "Did You Know?" photos on Instagram.
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  • The Hackley Lower School fourth grade students visited the sculpture gardens at Pepsico on October 22.

    Learning About Public Art

    The fourth grade students visited the sculpture gardens at Pepsico on October 22 as part of the research portion of the process that will lead to them collaborating on a public art sculpture for the Hackley grounds.
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  • Helping clean up the Scenic Hudson RiverWalk.

    Helping Hands at the RiverWalk

    On Saturday, October 19 about 30 Hackley volunteers arrived at Pierson Park in Tarrytown to help clean up the Scenic Hudson RiverWalk. Friends of the RiverWalk supplied trash bags and gloves and Hackley Community Service provided a delicious brown bag lunch. The weather was gorgeous and the volunteers collected 14 bags of trash.
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  • A first introduction of the 5th graders in the 2nd graders room.

    Fifth Grade/Second Grade Partnership

    Hackley fifth graders visited their Lower School buddies in second grade last Friday during community time, continuing the tradition of cross-divisional mentoring and friendship that is a wonderful benefit of our K-12 community.
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  • Our Founder, Frances Hackley, touring campus on Founder's Day.

    Founder's Day: Celebrating Mrs. Hackley!

    On Friday, October 25, the Hackley School Community will celebrate Founder's Day -- a Hackley tradition recognizing the birthday of our Founder, Frances Hackley. Read about Mrs. Hackley's extraordinary leadership at Hackley and beyond.
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  • Fun with the 4K video wall.

    Under the Sea!

    The 2nd grade visited the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in support of our study of world oceans! Fun and learning was had by all!
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  • Describing their “mystery noun.”

    Mystery Nouns in Second Grade

    Hackley second graders took on the Mystery Noun challenge to deepen their learning about common nouns and identifying words as either people, places or things.
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  • September

    During their lunch shifts, students had the opportunity to mingle and make friends across the grades.

    Peace-zza and Peace Soup for Peace!

    Hackley Lower School celebrated Peace Day on Friday, 9/20 by sharing a “Peace Meal.”
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  • Chef Andy Lasseter in the Lower School Dining room.

    Taste Testing in Lower School

    As part of our Lower School Nutrition program, each month we highlight a locally sourced, (usually) organic food. The purpose of the program is to get students excited about trying new healthy foods.
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  • Hackley 7th graders and 1st graders working on their healthy plates.

    Teaching "The Healthy Plate"

    Hackley 7th graders are working throughout the fall with the first graders to teach them about healthy meals. 
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  • Find Your Path by Drawing It

    Head of School Michael Wirtz opened the 2019-20 Hackley School year challenging students to face the "blank page" of the year ahead as a chance to create their own paths forward.
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  • Hackley Lower School students set off into the woods  equipped with Hackley Trail maps and compasses

    Finding Our Way with Maps

    Hackley second graders have been learning about maps and map skills in Social Studies, and used Hackley's trail maps as a real life test of their map skills.
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  • LS Lego program

    Leading by Example

    Hackley Lower School's vibrant Team Lego program continues to grow, and recently enjoyed a visit from program "graduate" Ben I., current sixth grader, who has been mentoring the Lower School teams since last year.
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  • June

    You Will Be Found

    The Performing Arts Department recently debuted its yearlong video project, featuring the K-12 community in a moving and poignant video. Showcasing students, instrumentalists, vocalists, faculty, and staff members, the inspiration came from the virtual choir performance of “You Will Be Found,” from Dear Evan Hanson.
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  • Hackley second grader Luke D.

    Junior Athlete Qualifies for National Competition

    Hackley second grader Luke D. participated in the Tri-State Ambulatory Games, a Paralympic competition, over Memorial Day weekend and qualified to compete in nine track and field events at the US Adaptive Sports Junior Nationals this July in Minnesota. His biggest accomplishment so far has been beating the 800 Meter US national record for 11 and under in his disability class.
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  • May

    Building Communities...By Hand

    First graders learned about different communities through a hands-on building project. Students selected specific buildings within a community: urban, suburban, and rural, to paint and build.
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  • Teaching Our Buddies about Wolves

    This past week, the 4th grade students hosted their kindergarten buddies at a “wolf museum.”
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  • Ducklings!

    The weather may not have been very spring-like recently, but it is spring, nevertheless--proven by the arrival of Hackley's ducklings!
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  • Serving the Community Through Music

    The Music Institute’s Cello Club had their Inaugural Recital at the Marymount Convent Nursing Home in Tarrytown on Friday, May 10th.
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  • Pirate Adventures and Song

    Our 2nd grade Pirate Adventurers traveled the globe in their recent play, “Traveling the World for Buried Treasure.” One of their stops was China where they learned this beautiful children’s song, “One World, One Dream.”
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  • Fly...be free!

    During the first week of May, Hackley kindergartners and 1st graders released into the Lower School Garden the butterflies and ladybugs they had raised from larvae and watched as they went through their metamorphosis in the classrooms.
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  • Hack Gives Back

    Check out all that our students accomplished in the spring Hack Gives Back effort!
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  • Learning Made Personal

    Frida S. in the Class of 2027 found connection across Hackley generations with Ilyasah Shabazz '79 by way of her fourth grade biography project on Malcolm X.
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  • Building Bridges...with Spaghetti

    Hackley Advanced Physics students conducted a study on the theory and design of truss, arch, and suspension bridges, seeking to design the most efficient bridge using only spaghetti, fishing line, and hot glue.
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  • Exploring Project-Based Learning in Second Grade

    In Social Studies, the Second Grade have been traveling around the world, learning about various countries and their rich cultures and the students have been intrigued by how different life can be.
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  • Riverpark Cleanup

    On Saturday morning, April 27th, over 30 Hackley community members, spanning across all three divisions, came together to help clean up the riverbanks down by the water at Pierson Park in Tarrytown.
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  • April

    Cross Divisional Language Partnership

    On Monday, April 29th, Upper School French students had the exciting opportunity to visit 2H to teach mini-lessons about France, connected to the second grade Social Studies curriculum.
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  • PSAs for Earth Day

    In honor of Earth Day, Lower School and Upper School students have created this terrific set of public service announcements to remind students –and adults -- in every division about the proper ways to recycle.
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  • Making Monuments in Kindergarten

    Kindergarten students, in KK, recently worked collaboratively in small groups to recreate four U.S. Symbols (The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty) by upcycling items from Mrs. Murray-Jones’ portable Makerspace cart.
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  • Sharing Robot Wisdom

    On April 18, the MS Sumobot club invited the LS LEGO teams to visit.
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  • Summer Sports Camp at Hackley

    The week of July 22-25, Revolution Field Hockey, GameBreaker Boys & Girls Lacrosse, & Revolution Softball Camp will be held at the HACK.
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  • Experiencing Water Resource Accessibility

    During the week of April 15, students in 4th, 6th and 10th-12th grades had the opportunity to learn about water resource accessibility in an unusually powerful way and in conjunction with Earth Day.


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  • Grandparents' and Special Friends' Day

    On Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day in early April, the Lower School welcomed over 250 grandparents and special friends to a fun-filled morning on the Hilltop.
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  • 1st Grade Publishing Party

    First graders celebrated the end of their Nonfiction Unit by presenting their work to LS students and teachers, the culmination of an interdisciplinary collaboration between first grade homerooms and Art, Science, and Library.
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  • Show Some Respect!

    The Lower School took on the latest Character Education virtue, RESPECT, with the help of our Kindergarteners, who dramatized various ways in which we can show respect for our environment, our classroom, and each other. Check it out here.
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  • Pi Day Challenge

    On March 14 (a.k.a. 3.14 or "Pi" Day) 3S had a Pi Challenge in which students set out to memorize "Pi" to the most digits.  Emma P. triumphed, successfully memorizing Pi to 106 digits! Close on her heels, Jack M. made it to 105. That's some good Pi!
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  • Springtime in the Garden!

    2H helping bring the Garden back to life!
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  • Reaching for the "Why"

    Hackley Fourth grade teacher Lesley Turton explores the introduction of "makerspace" activities to her History curriculum and the opportunities for hands-on, independent problem solving it opened up for her students. Read her story here.
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  • March

    Students Teaching Students

    On March 13, students from Spanish 8 helped Hackley second graders expand their International Studies with a lesson about the parts of the body including songs, movement, and even a game of Spanish Simon Says!
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  • Seeing the Possibilities Beyond the Classroom

    One of the joys of being at a K-12 school is the many opportunities for cross-divisional partnerships -- most recently seen when our 11th grade English students visited Hackley third graders to coach them in the craft of writing!
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  • Digging for Connection

    Dr. Adrianne Pierce, Hackley Classics Department Chair, shares this story in Hackley Perspectives about deepening connection with ancient history through archeology in our own back yard.
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  • United, we help...

    Hackley Lower School students set about shoveling off the playground first thing on Monday's snowy morning--many hands making light work!
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  • February

    Learning About the Amazon

    After learning about Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest, and deforestation, Hackley second graders presented their research on different species of animals that live there, sharing interesting facts, and discussing what would happen to the animals if the rainforest continued to be cut down.
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  • LS Character Education: Flexibility

    A multi-talented (and brave!) group of Hackley parents demonstrated the virtue of Flexibility for Lower School students.  Watch highlights of the action here!
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  • Summer Programs – NEW Course Added for Grades K-2

    American Girl Doll Tea Party & Crafting (D. O’Lunney) has been added to the Hackley Summer Program course offerings for rising grades K-2 . This fantastic new course will be offered in the afternoon of WEEK 2 and WEEK 3.
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  • Building Bridges: Understanding People with Different Abilities

    Over the past two weeks, the Hackley Lower School students, teachers, and many parents participated in the Building Bridges program.
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  • LS Leads in Literacy!

    Hackley Lower School students were truly leaders in literacy on Feb 1st!
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  • Lunar New Year Learning

    Upper School Chinese V students visited with second graders this week to teach them about the Lunar New Year and Chinese culture -- a timely extension of the 2nd grade Social Studies unit on Asia--and helped them create the Chinese symbol for "Spring." Fun and learning was enjoyed by one and all!
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  • Round Square Visitor with First Grade

    Hackley's Round Square visitor from Romania, Sergiu Ciavoi, visited Hackley's 1st grade classes on 2/7, and led an interactive presentation on his home country of Romania.
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  • LS Lego Tournament

    On the first weekend of February, two teams represented Hackley Lower School at a First Lego League Junior Tournament, with the theme "Mission Moon."
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  • January

    Silly Socks, PJs and School Spirit!

    How do Hackley Lower School students show their spirit?  In so many ways!!
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  • Flexibility is a Virtue!

    This week, Lower School parents wrote, directed and starred in a Character Education performance on the virtue of flexibility.
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  • PJ Day in Lower School

    Hackley Second Graders were enthusiastically adorned for Pajama Day this week -- part of the Lower School Spirit Week!
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  • Westward!

    Fourth grade students enjoyed participating in a Western Square Dance with their parents on January 11, part of their learning on Westward Expansion in the U.S,
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  • 5th Grade Paper Rollercoasters

    During the month of December students in Mr Lipin’s 5th grade science class created marble rollercoasters out of cardstock and tape, a  challenging project that developed student’s teamworking and problem-solving skills and also introduced them to concepts such as potential and kinetic energy. (View the student videos here.)
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  • The gathering

    Winter Wellness Welcome Back

    Hackley started the new year on January 7 in the Johnson Center with an official Welcome Back from Head of School Michael Wirtz and Community Council President Zaya Gooding before launching into activities designed to exercise one particular dimension of wellness — cognitive/mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual.  Enjoy these video highlights from the morning's work!
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  • Resourcefulness in the Hackley Forest

    After studying the dwellings of the Eastern Woodlands Native Americans, 3S students ventured out into the Hackley forest to find all the materials needed to build a chickee, wigwam, and longhouse.
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2019