School NewsJul 30, 2022
— updated Aug 26, 2022
Commitment to Community
125 years and counting
Miss Hall’s School has always strived to be a good neighbor and member of the Pittsfield and broader Berkshires communities. Our mission is to encourage our students to be authentic contributors to the common good — it is part of our ethos as an institution.
As a school, Miss Hall’s is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, and we also give back to the community continuously and in a variety of ways.
- Through our Horizons program, now in its 28th year, Miss Hall’s students volunteer and intern throughout Berkshire County, providing 12,000+ hours per year in valuable community service in schools, assisted living facilities, and nonprofits county-wide, often working with community members most in need.
- The School awards more than $6 million annually in financial aid to students near and far who have excellent academic credentials, excel in school life, and show great promise, and specific scholarships are designated for Berkshires residents. We bring students from around the world to live and learn with regional students, regularly enrolling exceptional students from countries where access to education for girls is, at best, limited or, worse, nonexistent.
- Miss Hall’s employs more than 100 adults who are raising their families and serving their communities in the Berkshires, volunteering with nonprofits, contributing to local government, coaching in youth sports leagues, and more.
- Annual events such as opening and closing weekends, Fall Family Weekend, Reunion, and Commencement Weekend, regularly bring hundreds of guests into the local Pittsfield community for lodging, dining, and recreation. Our 150 students who come to us from beyond Berkshire County also frequent local stores and restaurants during the course of their stay in Pittsfield.Miss Hall’s also makes its facilities available to the community.
- The School has long been the residential home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center musicians each summer, and the School regularly hosts athletics events, including AVA Volleyball, AAU youth basketball, Bolts West soccer, and Berkshire Reign Youth Sports basketball, has hosted youth theater and drama programs from Barrington Stage, and partnered with Housatonic Heritage/The Mastheads, a public humanities project.
Horizons in Action
Now in its 28th year, Horizons is Miss Hall’s signature service-learning and internship program. It provides pathways to student success: leadership skills, change-making experience, and real-life opportunities at more than 75 professional offices, businesses, nonprofits, and arts organizations in the Berkshires. These experiences consistently set Miss Hall’s students apart as they apply to colleges and go on to change the world.
The School also invests tens of thousands of dollars annually in the upkeep and preservation of its properties. We take seriously the stewardship of our historic campus and buildings, prioritizing those that directly serve students. MHS fundraises each year for campus preservation, and we are tremendously grateful for the support we receive from alumnae, families, and friends.
At the same time, gifts of property can often come with considerable deferred maintenance and may not be accompanied by funds for maintaining them. Older properties are also expensive to maintain, and despite stereotypes applied to independent and boarding schools, Miss Hall’s School does not operate with a limitless budget. We continually assess our priorities, and our first priority is always our students.
Miss Hall’s has focused intentionally in recent years on divesting properties that are non-contiguous to our campus, choosing instead to apply our resources to those closest to us. One of those properties is the Weston property at 465 Holmes Road, across the street from our main entrance.
The Weston property, which Miss Hall's purchased in 1997, is a wonderful property that includes a house that requires a lot of repair. We have been thinking and planning about this property for the last 25 years, and our 2017 master plan laid out several potential future uses. Though we are exploring possibly repurposing the property, there has not been any decision made at this point. We will continue to assess options, and any decision for the Weston property will not be made on a whim.
Miss Hall’s School has been a part of the Pittsfield community since 1898, and we take great pride in our community. We are eager and excited to begin our 125th academic year.