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From Newborn to Toddler: A Year of HATCH

by Sarah Peterson

A year ago, Jessica and I hosted The Hatch School’s launch event online. We had 139 folks join us on Zoom to learn more about why we thought The Hatch School was very much needed in our community and our vision of creating a school to Change the Game, Not the Girl.

At that time, The Hatch School was a newborn - a wee and charming creature, full of unknown promise, keeping its parents founders starry-eyed with love, up late at night taking care of it, and facing the terrifying realization that they have been charged with keeping it alive (despite feeling deeply unqualified at times).


A year later, HATCH is taking its first steps: towards a building, students, faculty - and it’s easy to see how in a few short years the school will be developing independently and making everyone proud.

It takes a village to raise a child school, and we’re so grateful that the support for this project has only grown since that day a year ago. We’ve accomplished so much, and with every day that passes The Hatch School’s reality is becoming more and more concrete.


There are many, many decisions to be made about the HOW of a school program, and we’ve very intentionally centered our mission when making nuts-and-bolts decisions about classes, schedules, grading practices, extracurriculars, and signature programs. We’re really proud of how we’ve worked to identify and adopt best practices to ground our work, such as our choices to design The Hatch School’s instructional practice around a problem-based learning model and enter into a partnership with The Mastery Transcript Consortium to support competency-based assessment. We’re also proud of how we’ve created brand new programs and systems when we haven’t been able to find models that support our vision and meet student needs, such as our Work/LIFE program.


A school is a living, breathing organism made up of the people who are part of it. As we’ve developed our practices for bringing students, families, faculty, and volunteers into the HATCH community, we’ve taken care to make choices that center our institutional values and will allow the school to start healthy and strong. The 11 trustees who have signed on to help shepherd The Hatch School are particularly charged with holding us accountable to our commitment to equity, access, and inclusion as we develop systems such as our Family Individualized Tuition model.


While community and programs define the experience of attending The Hatch School, much of our time this year has been devoted to establishing HATCH as an institution. It’s crucial we ensure that The Hatch School program and community are built atop a solid legal, financial, and logistical foundation. To these ends we’ve spent countless hours on the most unglamorous of tasks: talking to insurance brokers, learning about HVAC requirements for K-12 school buildings, and setting up our accounts with Labor and Industries. We’ve also connected with many people and organizations who are able to fund the work of The Hatch School and advocated for their investment in the future of HATCH.

We’re celebrating these accomplishments next week at our virtual Birthday Party, at 7pm on Thursday, March 3. Please join us to learn more details about what the first HATCHlings will find waiting for them when they come to school on their first day this fall, and about what we’ll be inviting them to co-create with us once they arrive. RSVP today!

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