Purnell School - Review #1

Read more details about Purnell School on their 2019-20 profile page.
Purnell School

About the Author:

College EnrolledHumboldt State University
Home Town, State Austin, TX
Years Attended Boarding School3
Activities During Boarding SchoolThere are many things to do to keep you busy at Purnell. I was a Door Knocker, which is the student lead tour guides Big Sister, they help student’s transition from home life to boarding school life Floor Leader, usually two per hall, those students help the dorm parents monitor the dorms and enforce rules and regulations (quiet hours, bed time) Secretary / Treasurer, Student council was one of my favorite activities, there's lots of games and activities held throughout the year that student council regulates Ad-libbers, this is Purnell's acting group, we would perform plays and skits throughout the school year at various performances Student Activities Committee, you work with the Director of Residential life to help plan weekend activities Shoots and Strawberries, school Choir But my favorite above all was Lacrosse; I was the Goalie for three years. Purnell has a no cut program so anyone who wants to join a sport is more then welcome.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Purnell has the perfect student body size to get a personal connection with staff and peers, you'll know every student, teacher, spouse, campus child & pet within the first month. Purnell is located close to New York City with NJ Transit located right down the road which is great for weekend travel plans and activities.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I have to say that prior to coming to Purnell I was somewhat sheltered. I become so much more cultured and developed by the time I left. I'm by far more independent and capable to handle life's challenges better now having attended boarding school.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My first year I only joined one organization and I found myself sitting in my dorm all the time. I would get involved asap with more then one organization, it's a great way to discover what your passionate about and to work along side with other students who share the same interest.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked Residential Life best. I loved living in the dorms, I thought it was so cool to "be in high school and live away from your parents", I liked the feeling I got when I locked my dorm, it felt like I was locking the dorm to my own little house or apartment. Decorating your room, staying up late to gossip with your roommate, meeting the other girls on the hall, eating late at night and having hallway parties is just as exciting as it sounds.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Take advantage of everything, boarding school really is a blessing, it's such a great holistic education that can't be matched anywhere else. Take advantage of the gym, the teachers with extra help, the lounges, your advisor (I still love mine), the outdoors and all the clubs & organizations.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Purnell is great at individual attention, teachers are always willing to help plus there's a learning center. My first two years at Purnell there was extra help time built in the daily schedule, however my senior year they modified classes and so it became a bit more challenging to see the teachers you needed. They may have changed it, I don’t know.The academics seems slightly easy my Sophomore year but once I became an upper class men the teachers and classes became a bit more challenging. The workload was manageable, it varies from class to class and depending on the teacher some assignments were more time consuming.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked the Athletic directors when I attended Purnell, they would work with you if you suffered from an injury and wanted to stay physically active. Sports meet everyday from 4:00 - 5:45 depending on what you were participating it. Competitive athletes would typically practice for the whole time versus non-competitive athletes who usually went on time slots (i.e. 4:00 - 4:30, 4:30 - 5:00, 5:00 - 5:30) also non-competitive sports have every Wednesday off. Some competitive sports include Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball for the fall. Basketball takes place in the winter and Lacrosse, Softball, Tennis occurs in the spring.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Purnell is all about the Arts; the theater teacher is immaculate. You can participate in various activities, anything from lighting and sound to Singing, Band, Dancing, Acting, Stomp, Painting, Guitar, Private Lessons and even Clowning. There's multiple off campus performances that occur during the school year. Something that I loved about Purnell is that if you have an affinity for something, let's say the Violin, you can perform in front of the school during a morning meeting no problem. Just Ask.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Roots and Shoots is the main volunteer organization on campus also Purnell Greens is the environmental group which takes a predominate role on campus. There are so many opportunities at Purnell to get involved with, if you ever find yourself sitting in your dorm, bored, then you know something wrong.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
It's fun to have your best friends come over before going to bed; you make friends that will stay with you forever. You live with your peers, go to class with them, eat with them and exercise with them, which really builds a bond that cannot be found anywhere else, and with Purnell it's an even closer nitch because of the small student body size. Usually it's two girls per room however I was in a triple my junior year (by request) and my roommate of two years was in a Quad (two bunk beds, four girls) her first year. After your first year at Purnell you have the opportunity to request who you'd like as a roommate and if your ever assigned to someone that you just can't seem to get along with there's always the possibility of a roommate change. The dorms are Purnell are equip with a bed, desk, closet, dresser and one phone line that is share between two roommates. There are vending machines and a late night cafe for munching, your allowed to have food in your room and in certain situations your allowed to have a fridge.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Even now that I'm in college I find myself calling my school cafeteria the "Dining Hall". Breakfast is served every morning usually between the hours of 7:15 - 8:30 am, lunch is held around 11:45 - 12:15 and dinner begins at 6:00. The food was good, there's hot food (tofu also), a salad bar, soup and toast daily. Students are assigned to a faculty members table for two weeks then you'll rotate. Breakfast is open seating but lunch and dinner are assigned.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Rural. This I felt was the biggest downfall for Purnell. The school got a lot of frowns from the students calling it a "cow farm" and such. Yes, it's directly next to a dairy farm but the campus itself is located in the most beautiful area. It's very scenic but out there, there is a Bank, a Deli (which is the hot spot), a Post Office and a Church.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked knowing everyone by name; with such a small school it was easy to get to know every student for who they were. You also get to know the faculty really well. There's plenty of babysitting opportunities!

Daily Schedule:

8:00 AMMorning Meeting
8:30 AMBreakfast
9:00 AM1st Class
10:15 AM2nd Class
11:30 AM3rd Class
12:45 AMLunch
1:15 PM4th Class
4:00 PMAthletics
6:00 PMDinner
7:30 PMStudy Hall
10:30 AMBrunch
12:00 AMWeekend Trips All Day Long
5:30 PMDinner
6:30 AMTrips
10:30 AMCheck-In For The Night
Read more details about Purnell School on their 2019-20 profile page.

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Purnell School Alumni #1
    Class of 2008
    5 Stars  
    Humboldt State University
    Purnell has the perfect student body size to get a personal connection with staff and peers, you'll know every student, teacher, spouse, campus child & pet within the first month. Purnell is located close. . .
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