We use our own and community facilities for physical education and for after-school athletic teams which include soccer, track, and ultimate frisbee. We have our own playing field, sport court, and climbing wall. We encourage our students to participate in our sports program.
Since choice, diversity, and new experiences are important to middle school students, we try to meet these needs with specific programs. We have elective blocks three times a week which change offerings four times a year. One of those periods, which we call PE elective, features active choices such as running, aerobics, invented games, frisbee, golf, kayaking, and rock climbing.
The other two periods are called general elective and offer a wide choice of activities including cooking, debate, community service projects, bridge, backpacking, building model planes, art offerings such as mosaics, weaving, or book making, and drama offerings such as radio drama, improv, or set design. We also offer several after-school clubs and a week-long Exploration Week program at the end of the school year.
Developing personal responsibility and community awareness and service are important goals at Hyla. Currently, the students are responsible for cleaning the school at the end of each day and for recycling at the school. The school has a weekly commitment to Helpline House, Bainbridge Island’s nonprofit service agency. Each student works there two or three times during the year. In addition teachers each offer and students are each asked to choose one community service elective during the year. Examples of choices are working on the yearbook, sponsoring a dance to raise money for a charity, and baking treats for the local senior center. We see community service as an important connection to develop for our students.