History – Hyla Middle School is an independent private school founded in 1993. We teach students in grades six, seven, and eight, and draw children from Bainbridge Island and surrounding communities. The genesis of the school reflected a growing national concern that middle school students are an overlooked segment of the school population. The founding group of parents and experienced educators shared a belief that middle school students are at a pivotal point in their academic and personal development and should be given special focus. We feel we have achieved that with our students.
Hyla opened its doors on Bainbridge in a small rented office space with nineteen students and six teachers, three of them full-time. Response to the young school was immediate and positive. Within the first two months, the student body had grown to twenty-nine. That spring, the historic Bucklin Hill Farm (an 1887 homestead) came on the market, and the Board raised the funds necessary to purchase and remodel the main farmhouse to be used as a school. Hyla began its second year in this new setting with sixty-two students and a staff of eight. To prepare for an enrollment of over 80 students the next school year (95-6), a new building containing 4 classrooms and a multi-purpose space was completed during the summer.
We have maintained a student body that numbers between 82 and 90 since then. With tremendous support from the community, we have purchased more land and carried out various projects so that we now have a beautiful 13-acre campus with trees and a meadow, a playfield and basketball court, a climbing wall in the barn, and 4 school buildings affording 12,000 sq. ft. of space, including a library, computer room, and 10 classrooms.
With a tradition of excellent child-centered academics, an inclusive sports program, and a committed community service program, Hyla has become a well-respected institution on Bainbridge Island.