History

This section provides a comprehensive look at the history of boarding schools in the US. We’ll cover the evolution of private schools, as learn the importance of school mottoes and explore the history of 15 schools and their founders.
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Updated   September 05, 2017 |
The St. Grottlesex Schools
Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. More here.
There is, of course, no such school as St. Grottlesex. The name is a conflation of the names of five prestigious private schools four of which are affiliated with the Episcopal Church.  Middlesex is non-denominational. While these schools were founded more than 100 years ago, they have all moved with the times. Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. First-rate academics, superb athletic facilities and programs and an abundance of extracurricular activities complete the picture. 

 

 

"St. Paul's School is committed to educating the whole person and preparing students to make contributions to a changing and challenging world. The philosophy of St. Paul's School defines education as all of the structured experiences in which students participate: course work, athletics, activities, and our life together as a fully residential school. These opportunities involve valuable interaction between faculty, students, and staff."
 
Founded: 1856
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
Head of School: Michael Hirschfeld
Endowment: $433 million
Grades: 9-12
School Type: Coed
Number of Students: 536
Number of AP Courses: 12
Percentage of Students of Color: 39%
 

St. Mark's School, Southborough, Massachusetts

 

"St. Mark's School educates young people for lives of leadership and service. Founded in 1865 as an intentionally small residential community, the School challenges its students to develop their particular analytic and creative capabilities by both inspiring their academic and spiritual curiosity and kindling their passion for discovery. We value cooperation over self-interest, and we encourage each person to explore
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Updated   February 01, 2017 |
School Mottoes
Private school mottoes speak to the high-minded purposes for which most schools were founded.
 
 
Private school mottoes speak to the noble purposes for which most schools were founded. School mottoes typically are Latin phrases attributed to some of the great writers of antiquity. You will also find mottoes which are taken from scripture.  What is special about a school motto is that it captures the essence of the school in a brief phrase of just a few words. Here are some school mottoes and a bit about the schools to which they belong.
 
Admiral Farragut Academy, St. Petersburg, Florida
Admiral Farragut Academy's motto is Scientia Omnia Vincit which means “Knowledge Conquers All”. The Academy was originally founded in Toms River, New Jersey in 1933. It moved its campus to Florida in 1945. The school is coeducational and offers grades PK-12.
 
 
Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut
Fidelitas et Integritas or "fidelity and integrity" is the original motto of Choate School which was founded by Mary Atwater Choate in 1896 as a school for boys.
 
Fenn School, Concord, Massachusetts
Fenn School, which was established in 1929, is one of several private schools which uses its motto as a powerful tool to guide its students. "At the heart of the Fenn philosophy is our motto, Sua Sponte. When boys begin to understand what it means, not just as a motto, but as a way of life, they are well on the way to embodying the Fenn character." The school's motto translates as "On one's own responsibility."
 
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Updated   June 08, 2016 |
How Private Schools Evolved in the United States
Private schools came first. Then public education took root.
In the infancy of the United States of America, schooling for young people, such as it was, was provided by small, private schools, not public schools. Education in colonial days was quite stratified. Boys learned core subjects such as reading and math. Girls learned the domestic arts. Only white children received an education until slavery was abolished. Very often teachers were well-intentioned men who themselves did not had much formal education. Yes, back then, most teachers were men.

The first private schools were established by the religious missionaries of the Roman Catholic Church in Florida and Louisiana. By all accounts education in the northeastern colonies was better organized in the 18th century than its counterpart in the southern states. Schools such as Boston Latin School were founded in order to teach the Classical
Languages of Latin and Greek. In Manhattan Collegiate School "was established by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam, the parent ecclesiastical body of the Dutch Reformed Church for the colonists of New Amsterdam." In Washington, DC, Georgetown Preparatory School was "founded in 1789 by America's first Catholic bishop,
Prep is the nation's oldest Jesuit school and the only Jesuit boarding school." In the early part of the 18th century English grammar schools taught more subjects as the need for a more educated populace grew. The latter part of the 18th century saw the development of the genre known as the Academy. Visionaries such as William Penn guided the educational thinking
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Updated   June 29, 2016 |
5 More Schools and Their Founders
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
It is fascinating to delve into the beginnings of a private school. It's the time when the  school is so malleable and so strongly influenced by its founder's zeal and lofty goals. The community is tiny compared to what it will morph into over the years, indeed over the centuries, in some cases. The hardships and sacrifices which are endured are almost unimaginable in this day and age. when new schools seem to pop out of a delivery box fully funded and all set to go.
 
I hope that you will explore these five schools against the backdrop which I have set out above. They are unique as private schools always are. They have great personalities, character and rich histories. Yet they share a common theme and purpose: to provide the very best well-rounded education for their students so that their graduates can make a difference in the world today.
 
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Founded in 1881 Number of students: 436 Grades PK-12: Boys and girls day school PK-8. Girls boarding and day: 9-12 Religious Affiliation: Nonsectarian Setting: Urban
 
Overview: The school was established by an Episcopal bishop. James Paddock with the financial support of businessman Charles Wright. Bishop Paddock named the school in honor of Wright's daughter Annie. The school was a girls' school until the earthquake of 1949 damaged Lowell School, the local boys' school. AWS set up temporary quarters for boys. The coeducational program expanded to 8th grade in the 1970s.
AWS offers
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Updated   June 29, 2016 |
5 Founders and Their Boarding Schools
What prompts somebody to start a boarding school? The motives range from idealism to munificence right on through to capitalism. The common thread seems to be ample capital and a vision of what education can do.
Any school is a lot of work and takes a great deal of money to open and to continue operating. So, when you look at the examples of these five founders of legendary boarding schools, you can only marvel at the sheer determination which each one had to make his or her dream come true. American boarding schools are some of the best in the world. In an age when everybody seems to be taking shots at America and what we stand for, that's a nice statement to be able to make. Here then are snapshots of the founders of five boarding schools. They are an inspiration forever, as indeed are all the founders of boarding schools throughout the United States.
 
Maria Bissell Hotchkiss and The Hotchkiss School
 
Founded in 1891
Number of students: 598
Grades 9-12, PG. Coeducational
Religious Affiliation: Nondenominational
Setting: Rural
Maria Bissell Hotchkiss had inherited a fortune from her husband Benjamin Hotchkiss. He made his money manufacturing guns. After he died, Mrs. Hotchkiss donated 65 acres of land to establish a school for boys. She wanted the school to be a feeder school for Yale University down by the shore in New Haven. Her original gift of 65 acres expanded over time into a magnificent campus of 645 acres of pristine Northwestern Connecticut countryside. Mrs. Hotchkiss' munifence also established a generous financial aid program which gave boys who could not otherwise afford the opportunity of attending The Hotchkiss School. The school became a
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The St. Grottlesex Schools
September 05, 2017
Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. More here.