Dear Hawthorn Families,
It is with deep regret that we are informing you that Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls will be closing effective August 15, 2023. Although our Board of Directors was optimistic that Hawthorn would reach our student enrollment targets for the coming school year, we were not able to attain the necessary scale and are now faced with the realities of program and budget constraints. A variety of factors contributed to our drop-off in enrollment, a drop experienced by Hawthorn and countless other schools in our region – shifting demographics in the City of St. Louis, overall population decline, the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on student enrollment, and attendance. While we have operated well as a small school, the prohibitive per-student cost of providing a quality educational program for our small student body has led us to this extremely difficult decision.
All of us at Hawthorn are deeply sorry for the disruption this closure will have on our students, their families, our faculty and administrators, our community partners, and our donors. There is no good time to close a school. Until only very recently we remained hopeful that we could increase our enrollment enough to remain open. As soon as we knew that would not be possible, Hawthorn’s Board and school leaders felt that making this decision now, before the school year gets underway, was the best option for all of our stakeholders.
We will work tirelessly over the coming days and weeks to find quality school placements for your students and support your families to help navigate this change. Additionally, we are also assisting our faculty and staff as they transition to new positions for the upcoming school year. Our teachers have played an instrumental role in the success of Hawthorn.
We are proud of the school we built -- the educational program we provided for hundreds of young women, along with the quality educators and administrators who gave so much of themselves to support our girls’ learning and growth. We are proud of the impactful partnerships we developed in the St. Louis community. We are proud of the way we stewarded the generous investment from our donors that enabled Hawthorn to launch and operate. We have, throughout our journey, lived into our school’s core values: integrity, contribution, support, courage and joy.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve your families. You will receive another email in the next few hours sharing the specific resources, points of contact and support that will be available to assist your family through this transition.
Hal Davies - Board Chair
Daphné J Morgan - Head of School