Plans for 2020-21 School Year
Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls

Hawthorn FAQs

Can my student attend Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls?

Hawthorn enrolls 6th - 9th grade girls who are eligible to attend public school in the City of St. Louis.

In order to enroll, families must complete the enrollment packet and provide all the required records. Click here to begin the enrollment process.  

Does the school require uniforms?

Yes. Hawthorn girls come to school each day in the school uniform. Occasional dress down and theme days provide fun variety to the standard uniform.

Does the school provide transportation?

No. Students’ families are responsible for their children getting to and from school on time. Several Hawthorn students take public transportation to and from school and those who live close by walk.

How can Hawthorn parents get involved in the school?

Hawthorn parents/guardians sign a commitment form during the enrollment process in which they pledge to serve as partners in their student’s education. This partnership with Hawthorn includes supporting the girls in their efforts to meet Hawthorn’s academic requirements, encouraging their girls to become active members of the Hawthorn community, and holding their girls accountable for following all school rules.

Hawthorn parents and guardians are invited to volunteer in a number of capacities at the school and to attend programs and events specifically for parents at the school. They will also be expected to attend all parent-teacher conferences. In addition, Hawthorn seeks parent input through committees, focus groups, surveys and informal conversation. This input is essential to the development and growth of this new school.

How is Hawthorn preparing Students for College?

Highly qualified teachers, small class sizes and differentiated instruction provide the structure and support students need to thrive. Students have short, mid and long-term assignments and work independently and in groups – all skills that prepare them for college. Our STEM curriculum and integrated use of technology equips and empowers girls with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century workplace.

Hawthorn's counselor works with the students individually, preparing them for standardized testing, essay writing, and financial aid applications. The counselor supports families, as well, through the college inquiry, application, and financial aid process. As a small school, Hawthorn’s team of counselors, advisors, and faculty is able to provide individualized care and support to each student to help her identify curricular and co-curricular areas of focus to best prepare her for post-secondary success. 

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public schools, free and open to all students in the districts in which they operate. A charter school is organized differently than a traditional district public school; it is governed by an independent school board whose only focus and responsibility is that particular school. This allows charter schools to be highly responsive to the needs of their students and families. Charter schools operate under contracts that allow them to be closed or replaced for failing to reach specific academic and non-academic goals, or for failing to operate in a responsible manner.

How is Washington University involved with Hawthorn?

Charter public schools in Missouri must have a sponsor in order to operate, in addition to being accountable to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Washington University serves as the sponsor for Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls and provides various academic supports and resources to the school.

What is unique about Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls?

Hawthorn is the first all-girls’ public school in Missouri. The single-sex environment allows girls to focus on academics and to grow their leadership skills while being part of a nurturing environment that supports their specific needs. It is girls, and only girls, who lead class discussions, clubs, and other student-driven initiatives. Girls at Hawthorn are free to be themselves and we celebrate each girl’s unique personality.

Our students form lasting friendships and care deeply about their relationships with each other that form the "Hawthorn Sisterhood."

Is Hawthorn part of a larger charter school network?

Hawthorn is an affiliate of the Young Women’s Leadership Network (“YWLN”). YWLN supports five highly successful all-girls’ public schools in New York City and 16 affiliate schools around the country. As an affiliate school, Hawthorn receives support from YWLN on curriculum design, programming, professional development and best practices for educating urban, adolescent girls. YWLN is not a network of charter schools, but a group of affiliated schools that support each other in these ways. Hawthorn does not belong to a charter school network.

Why is the school called Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls?

The Hawthorn is the Missouri state flower. The flower blooms on a tree – the image of an exquisite bloom coming from a base that is a straight and strong foundation captures the vision of Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. The Hawthorn tree also bears thorns at certain times of the year, a sometimes appropriate metaphor for adolescent girls. Finally, the Hawthorn is a living thing, a plant, thus the image incorporates the school’s focus on science and the importance of plant science in the St. Louis region. The leadership component of our curriculum is also reflected in the name of the school and our affiliation with the Young Women’s Leadership Network is referenced as well.


Learn About EnrollmentIs Hawthorn Right for You?

Learn more about what makes Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls so special. 

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are creating ways for prospective students to find out what is so great about the Hawthorn sisterhood. Please explore our website and follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

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