In order to maintain our status as one of the best private boarding schools in New York and the greater New England area, Hoosac School recognizes the importance of new and challenging academic courses. In addition to the core curriculum offered at Hoosac, we yearly introduce new, and often specialized, courses. In an effort to create an individualized academic experience for each student, independent programs of study are also designed in several fields, ensuring a thorough and unique college-preparatory education for each of our students. Hoosac’s variety of course offerings reflect not only the individual areas of concentration and interest among the faculty, but also our belief that the larger implications and truths addressed in a particular course are not limited solely to a particular field. At Hoosac, the ideas introduced in any given course elucidate ideas and questions in other, often seemingly unrelated, courses. In designing our curriculum, we strive to impart to students the basic truth that questions and ideas are not confined to the conventional boundaries of a particular field of study. The study of Mathematics makes us better writers, art makes us better mathematicians, and philosophy makes us better artists.
The study of art at Hoosac focuses on the enrichment of the student’s knowledge and abilities in the visual arts. Students learn about aesthetics, different artists, art movements, and the use of different media.
The introductory course teaches the fundamentals of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Students are encouraged to explore their creativity and imagination using these different materials.
We regularly plan trips to local museums such as The Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum. Students experience first hand the works created by artists they have learned about in class, and they are also be exposed to a variety of painting styles, culturally diverse art, and works by local artists.
Aesthetics is also offered.This is a class where the students learn about the philosophy of the visual arts. We engage in class discussions on this topic and read the work of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel and others regarding the philosophy of fine art.
Our approach to the study of English is threefold. Our curriculum seeks to develop the student’s ability to think, speak, and write through the practices of critical reading and literary analysis, discussion and public speaking, and various modes of writing. Students are placed in English courses that best serve their academic and intellectual needs based on diagnostic writing samples as well as a meticulous assessment of the student’s reading and writing experience to date. Because we tailor our teaching to the specific needs and strengths of the individual student, the English classroom at Hoosac is often a place where the less confident student first overcomes the belief that she or he cannot learn to write. Yet, it is that same commitment to individual attention that often allows the more advanced student to begin to overcome persistent obstacles in the development of her or his writing.
Outside of the classroom as well, the English Department is a vital and active part of academic and creative life at Hoosac, regularly organizing events such as the school-wide oratory contest, essay contests, and student-faculty creative writing workshops. The English program at Hoosac also twice yearly oversees the production of a student literary magazine, guides our student-run Peer Writing Assistance Program, and hosts regular guest speakers and guest led workshops. In addition to our work within Hoosac, membership in various professional organizations has allowed us a greater presence in the larger academic community, opportunities for professional development in our field and a means of staying informed of current issues in college preparatory English education.
The study of English as a second language at Hoosac School is rooted in a dynamic curriculum offering students not only formal classroom training but also total immersion in a boarding school setting. Upon their arrival at Hoosac, ESL students take a diagnostic exam to place them in an appropriate level of ESL instruction. Classes of 6 to 10 students meet for eighty minutes daily. Listening and speaking skills are developed using our state of the art Sanako language lab, as well as reading and English composition through intensive individual and group training. English grammar and vocabulary are a constant focal point throughout their study at Hoosac. Beyond ESL classes. ESL students at Hoosac do all of their cross-curricular coursework in English. All ESL students participate in theater, community service, team athletics and public speaking. ESL at Hoosac School is a full time experience that reaches far beyond the classroom.
Ethics is a year-long course which VI Formers must successfully complete as a requirement for graduation. The study of Ethics at Hoosac School examines from both theoretical and practical points of view a basic question: what is the good? Throughout the year, we evaluate both religious and secular ethical theories beginning with Plato and Aristotle and progressing through classical Eastern and Western writings on morality, including Hun Tzu, Nietzsche, Aquinas, Locke, Mill, Hume, Kant, among others. The course is seminar-based in form and includes frequent written work and examinations as well as class presentations and case studies.
Be sure to visit "Gadfly", Hoosac School's Ethics Blog, athttp://hoosac.blogspot.com
The study of history can be said to offer a culture two distinct ways of seeing: a window, giving the student a view of the past, and a mirror, presenting a reflection of a personal/national/global identity formed and informed by an understanding of the past. This duality of perspective constitutes the core philosophy of Hoosac's History Department.
The student of history at Hoosac is exposed to this dual perspective across the range of courses offered by the History Department. The exploration of history through readings, research, lectures, projects, and trips is directly linked to the examination of the world today through ongoing discussions of current global events, social movements and political trends. The international character of Hoosac's classrooms affords a variety of perspectives that add resonance to and expand the understanding of history as it affects the various regions, cultures and personal interests of each inhabitant of this planet.
Classes of 6 to 12 students meet daily for the entire school year. Speaking and listening skills are emphasized as well as reading and writing.
The target language is presented and rehearsed with exercises and assignments and the aid of our Sanako language lab technology and web based language curricula. Practical conversational abilities are developed through practice and role playing.
Many languages are spoken at Hoosac thanks to the international diversity of the student population. Language Arts students at Hoosac School can immediately put their skills to use outside of the classroom. Hoosac offers Latin and French in the classroom, as well as numerous independent study opportunities supported by individual instruction in conjunction with our Rosetta Stone technology.
The focus of the Mathematics Department is to allow all students to acquire a foundation in mathematics that will serve them well in their continuing education beyond Hoosac School . Great care is taken to ensure that a new student is enrolled in the appropriate math course based on their ability and proficiency and not solely on age or grade level. But, should a course prove to be too challenging or not demanding enough there is flexibility in the Mathematics Department to allow for a change.
Because science and technology are such an integtral part of our world today, the goal of the Science program is to provide all students with the fundamental principles and concepts of science.
The Science Department curriculum is designed to encourage science literacy and understanding. The extensive natural environment that makes up the Hoosac School campus supplies a unique classroom for just such understanding. Science is no longer just something in a textbook! This special setting allows students to experience a sense of discovery that many have never known.
The Science Department works to produce graduates with the necessary tools to move on to the next phase of their education. As a student fulfills his or her science requirements the ground work is laid for further study at the college level.
The Hoosac School Technology Department serves the needs of the student body in several important ways.
Our technology curriculum is progressive, and focuses on familiarizing students with information technology and preparing them for the productive use of technology in their academic and professional careers.
Adhering to a goal of continuous improvement, Hoosac School currently has a campus-wide fiber optic network and wireless system which enables students to access the internet from anywhere, in class and in the dormitories. Cable TV (CATV) service is currently offered in a room-by-room basis in some of the residence halls, with further expansion planned.
At Hoosac School, our goal is to provide each student with safe and productive internet access. All student internet access provided by the school is content filtered with standards surpassing those established through the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Students are strongly encouraged to provide their own laptop computers. The Technology Department is always available to provide purchasing advise, configuration assistance and technical support.