The Governor's Academy
(formerly Governor Dummer Academy)

1 Elm Street
Byfield, MA 01922
Tel: 978-499-3120
Gr: (Boarding) 9-12 | 406 students
An aerial view of the Academy's 400-acre campus adjacent to the salt marshes of the Atlantic Ocean
An aerial view of the Academy's 400-acre campus adjacent to the salt marshes of the Atlantic Ocean
Students pose on a couch in the Cobb Room. A painting of King George, who appointed the school's founder to the position of Lt. Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, hangs in the background.
Academy students are encouraged to pursue the arts in a variety of
disciplines: film, photography, painting, ceramics, architecture, technical theater, drama, chorus, band, and orchestra.
Small classes allow students to receive the attention they need, to ask questions and take on challenges in a supportive environment.
Science classes usually involve labwork, the theoretical applied in hands-on learning. (Note the lab glasses atop the girls' heads.)
The Student Center is one of the most popular hubs of activity on campus. Two plasma televisions, a ping pong table, snack bar, computer stations and wireless internet access, two fireplaces and a book store make this an ideal home away from home for both day students and boarders.
Our tech theater program trains students to design and work lights and sound as well as build sets. Tech theater is offered as an afternon activity and as an art class.
At the Academy, no one falls through the cracks. Students participate in their learning every day in every class.
Our athletic teams are extremely competitive in the Independent School League, frequently winning championships and playing in post-season tournaments.
The performing arts are alive and well at the Academy. Students perform in three drama productions each year, while the dance, vocal and instrumental groups present several concerts.
Welcome to the oldest of the New England Boarding Schools.
Established as Dumm'r Charity School in 1763 through a bequest from Massachusetts Bay Lieutenant Governor William Dummer, what is now called The Governor's Academy provided the foundation for the preparatory school tradition in America.
Today, more than two centuries after its founding, The Governor's Academy continues this tradition of innovation through inventive, inspired programs that reflect the Academy's pioneering spirit.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Review #1 - Class of 2007Princeton One of the main things is that it has a block schedule, which makes it more. . .
  • Review #2 - Class of 2006Allegheny College GDA has many unique experiences to offer its students. However, I would say that the best thing about this small. . .
  • Review #3 - Class of 2005Trinity College There is a real sense of community at Govenor Dummer. The school is relatively small compared to many other schools. . .
  • Review #4 - Class of 2003Boston College Governor Dummer Academy (GDA) benefits immensely from its talented and dedicated faculty. Nearly the entire faculty lives on-campus and. . .
  • Review #5 - Class of 2003Connecticut College GDA had such a wonderful balance between innovative educational methods and traditional basic training. On any single day, I. . .
  • Show more reviews (2 reviews)

Top 20 Placements

Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 323 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2016 School Data
The Governor's Boarding School Avg.
School Focus College Prep College Preparatory
Grades Offered 9-12 9-12
School Type Co-ed Co-ed
Religious Affiliation Non-denominational Non-denominational
Year Founded 1763 1910
Campus Size 450 acres 110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment 406 students 295 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score n/a * National Avg. »View
Offers Post-Grad Year No No

Academics and Faculty

Saturday Classes No No
Classroom Dress Code Casual Casual
Average Class Size 12 students 12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio 1:5 1:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered 28 16
ESL Courses Offered No Yes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program Offered Yes Yes


Endowment Size $75 million $16 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
$57,500 $50,475
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
$45,800 $28,200
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant $39,800 $22,000
Merit Scholarships Offered No No


Application Deadline Jan. 31 Jan. 15
Accepts Standardized Application Yes No
SSAT Required Yes Yes
Average Percentile SSAT 81 -
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsMichael Kinnealey

Course Listings

List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses


# Interscholastic Sports Offered 17 14
SportsAlpine Skiing, Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Winter Track, Wrestling


Total Extracurricular Organizations 31 23
ExtracurricularsBook Club, Chapel, Chorus, Christian Fellowship Club, Creative Writing Club, Debate Club, Drama Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Environment Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), German Club, Governor Dummer Honor Society, Harvard Model Congress, Health and Wellness Committee, History Club, Jewish Fellowship, NEXO (Latino and Hispanic students), Orchestra, P.R.I.D.E. (students of color), Peer Advisors, Poetry Society, Proctors for Mansion House, Student Center & Performing Arts Center, Productions Club, Project Outreach, Social Committee,

College Matriculation

Year: 2016 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
New York university (NYU) 5
Elon University 4
Tufts University 4
Colby College 3
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 3
Cornell University 2
Cornell University 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 2
Northwestern 2
University of Pennsylvania 2
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • The Academy offers a challenging, thought-provoking and student-centered curriculum that inspires a passion for learning. By focusing on the learning process and the development of 7 Essential Skills (, The Governor's Academy teaches students how to think critically, creatively, and independently. We encourage students to acquire knowledge through hands-on activity, multi-disciplinary inquiry, analysis and reflection. Many structures, including the advising system, extra help sessions, and evening study hours--supervised by dormitory parents--help students learn to study and manage their time well. Our goal is to teach young people to become actively accountable for their own learning and to grow by learning with others. Classes meet for 60- and 90-minute periods, affording students and teachers more opportunity to explore subject matter in depth, from different perspectives and with a variety of classroom activities. In addition to traditional assessments such as tests and papers, students debate, conduct hands-on laboratory and field experiments, make oral presentations, research in groups, use technology to create presentations, and design their own portfolios. Students and faculty bring to The Governor's Academy a richness of experience, perspective and diversity which adds immeasurably to the education of all. This is the spirit that inspires a community- this family- of learners. During the past decade, many new buildings have been erected or renovated, including the Math and Science Center, Library, Student Center, Performing Arts Center, renovated dining hall, new ice hockey arena, synthetic turf field and dormitory. For more information about admission, please contact Mike Kinnealey, Director of Admission, at
  • School accreditations: New England Association of Schools and Colleges; Association of Boarding Schools
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