Choosing the Hurley
Each year, parents across the North Zone choose the Hurley for its outstanding commitment to academics, its unique Spanish-English dual immersion program, its small size and its impressive array of enrichment classes. At the Hurley School, parents also find a welcoming environment, fostered by our active parent groups, our energetic and dedicated teaching staff and our helpful bilingual administration.
Choosing the right school for your child requires having access to as much information as possible. If you can’t find the answers to your questions on our website, please contact us at 617-635-8489.
The Hurley School is dedicated to providing each child with an excellent education and the critical thinking skills necessary to excel in high school and beyond. We strive for academic excellence from kindergarten through 8th grade. At each step, our teachers ensure that every child receives tailored instruction and homework to challenge, support and promote confidence. Because we are a small school, each student receives individualized attention.
The Hurley School’s rigorous bilingual education provides each student with daily academic challenges which our students meet successfully. For instance, in 2012-2013 our third grade students achieved the highest MCAS scores in our district. Also, in 2010–2011, 65% of our 3rd graders tested into the Boston Public Schools’ Advanced Work Class(link is external) (AWC); all but one chose to stay at the Hurley to continue their bilingual education. And since the creation of our middle school in 2009, our students have gone on to succeed at high schools across the city, with an increasing number admitted to Boston exam schools in both 7th and 9th grades. Our excellent middle school teaching staff help our students thrive during this transitional time. Each year, our middle schoolers outperform their peers. In 2009, two Hurley 6th graders achieved the two highest scores in the city on the district-wide History Alive exam.
Hurley teachers draw on both the most innovative components of the BPS curriculum and on specialized programming to provide an exciting academic experience for our students. In the elementary grades, we use:
- Writing: The Lucy Calkins Writing Curriculum
- Reading: The Reading Street Curriculum
- Mathematics: TERC Investigations
In addition, teachers develop project-based work that crosses disciplines and enhances learning. To support this teaching, the Hurley invites its many partners into the classroom to share their expertise and experience. Students also venture out of the school on field trips as close as the Villa Victoria Cultural Center to hear Colombian Jazz or as far as Lovells Island to explore tidal pools.
At the Hurley, we believe that science is an important key to the future, requiring teaching methods that thoroughly engage our students. Every grade at the Hurley has its own unique science program. In K–2nd, the classroom teacher brings a hands-on approach to earth science, using the Hurley’s garden as well as trips to the New England Aquarium as illustration. In 3rd– 5th grades, students work with a science specialist and benefit from STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) such as robotics and woodworking to enhance the traditional science curriculum. In middle school, the dedicated science specialist uses the resources of our partners at Northeastern and MIT to bring science alive, with opportunities to see first-hand research on the human brain and to dissect sheep hearts. Fieldtrips to the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, local geological formations, and other science-related institutions are a key part of science education at the Hurley.
The Bilingual Advantage
By 5th grade, students who have studied at the Hurley since kindergarten can read, write and speak both Spanish and English with a high level of proficiency. Unlike traditional elementary school language programs that expose children to a foreign language for 40 minutes once a week, the Hurley School immerses its students daily in a stimulating bilingual and multicultural environment. Because Hurley students hear and read Spanish as often as English, they acquire a second language in much the same way that they learned their first.
Academic excellence goes hand in hand with language acquisition at the Hurley. All our teachers have extensive training in implementing a dual-language program as integral part of an academically rigorous education. As a result, the Hurley’s tested dual-language approach graduates well-educated students who are not only bilingual but also biliterate.
The Benefits of Bilingualism
- Academic: Our students, whether native speakers of English or Spanish, achieve high levels of success in both languages.
- Cognitive: Bilingual students perform better on tasks that call for creative thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving. Bilingual students also have greater linguistic awareness and a more complex understanding of their native language.
- Socio-Cultural: Proficiency in two languages also permits students to broaden their horizons by engaging with folk tales, songs, idioms, expressions, historical documents and other primary sources without the mediation of translation. Because our students are bilingual, they deepen their understanding of the world by communicating with people from other cultural groups.
- Economic: There is an increasing demand for bilingual employees. By the time Hurley’s students enter the workforce, this will be even more important.