Foxcroft School - Review #1
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2012-2014|
|Sports and Activities:||During my time I participated in Foxhound traditions, was the head of the Current Events & Debate club, started up the Arabic Club and played on the varsity Volleyball and Softball team.|
|College Enrolled:||Gettysburg College|
|Home Town, State:||Chantilly, VA|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Located a short 10-minute drive from the luxurious small town of Middleburg, VA; Foxcroft School is the heart of a place that makes positive upbringing of their students the center of their priority. With special traditions that become intense like Foxhound, visitor welcome traditions and a very small environment (less than 150 students), by her senior year a girl knows nearly everything about the campus and faculty. One of the things that makes Foxcroft School unique from other boarding schools is that it truly focuses on the whole person as opposed to test scores and getting X number of students to Ivy Leagues for the sake of prestige.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Despite coming to Foxcroft School as a junior and only spending two years there, the school shaped and formed me in the best way possible. At Foxcroft, I could genuinely be a teenage girl with all the weird quirks, attitude problems and everything else that comes along with that period of youth. My academics were in order, I had access to fruits and vegetables each day, I exercised at least 5 days a week and unless I had a boyfriend, I only worried about boys on the weekend for the most part. I'm not sure I can name a particular achievement (I got into an honor's society?) but looking back on my experience as a high schooler, Foxcroft was the right choice to develop me into the young woman I knew I could be. There's some definite things that Foxcroft lacks (little to no discussion on gender identity, very strict prohibition of alcohol and drug substances so that first semester of college is a sure adjustment) but I think that Foxcroft gave me the tools to be confident in my decisions and have the reasoning to eventually stop destructive behaviors.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I started applying to schools the summer going into my sophomore year of high school and Foxcroft offered me a spot to start that sophomore fall. I wish I would have taken it. Specifically Foxhound, it's almost imperative that girls are there starting freshman/sophomore year to full take advantage of the traditions. However at any boarding school there's clubs and secrets that only 4-year girls can and will know and when you're in such a space, it can suck feeling like you left out or came too late. Also- be sure to make friends with your teachers. They're people too and the relationships I started at Foxcroft with teachers has carried over into college- I still visit my AP Biology teacher I had senior year and have a good relationship with her and her family.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The best part about Foxcroft is the home-y feel about the school. While the athletic facilities are brand spankin new and beautiful, the library (while still grand and open) is a bit older and has a more relaxed feel to it. It was my favorite place to go during the day when I had a free period or rainy days when no one wanted to leave their dorm. I also loved the campus. It was SO beautiful and green and open and wide and was just so reminiscent of a school on a farm with modern technologies. They just had their 100 year anniversary in 2014 and the school shows it with the old archives and parts of dorms that are worn down but in some ways, it's very charming and serves for some killer ghost stories.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Assuming your tour is led by a student (they usually are- another favorite part), ask questions about how they got to Foxcroft and how their friends got to Foxcroft. Each story is super unique and range from 'I really wanted a good riding program' to 'I'm a 3rd generation legacy and I've been in love since I came here as a baby' Stop by the PX (now I think it's Court and they decked out the merchandise and snack section) and take a stroll around the library. If you're with parents, step away from them and eat lunch with a group of girls and just observe how they interact with each other. Experiences without some sort of adult influence are always the 'real' ones and will really tell you about how the school functions.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Despite Foxcroft School not placing a heavy emphasis on taking AP Courses, most girls take them anyway. My experience coming from a great but rigorous public school in Fairfax County to here was a relief- but not in the sense that I felt it was easier but more so in the fact that my teachers and the school schedules allowed us all to manage our time and homework better. I liked that my teachers could offer extended time and knew each other so if I spent too much time on a math test- my math teacher could literally walk over to my Spanish class and let the teacher know what was happening. Teachers definitely held us girls accountable but they understood our schedules and our individual capacities. My senior year I took 3 AP courses (a relatively average amount) PLUS an AP Spanish Literature course that I worked with my Spanish teacher after class to prepare for. Stuff like that doesn't happen anywhere and the small class sizes and individual attention is definitely something to love.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Not gonna lie, I was not a star athlete during my time here. Athletics are strong in certain departments (field hockey, lacrosse, horse riding but that's a division of its own) and not so strong in others. There is mandatory participation which becomes a little played out by the time most girls are seniors but then you get to college and suddenly become super grateful for that craving to work out because it's become a slight force of habit after 4 years. There's a decent diversity of sports, the facilities are A1 and I had new uniforms for BOTH my separate varsity teams during my 2 years there. Coaching of course depends on the sport and how much success Foxcroft has seen in that area- I would say the field hockey and lacrosse coaches are fantastic but sports that don't win as much generally lack in competitiveness.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
My first year at Foxcroft I took yearbook with Ms. Thorndike. It was a nice, relaxing class and I got the chance to briefly explore the digital arts. Unfortunately that was the only one I did directly through the school- I managed to bring in my old private violin teacher to continue my private lessons because the school lacked an orchestra and band. However, if theatre, singing, choir and piano are things you're into there's plenty of outlets for that. There are lots of artistic girls but unfortunately not very many outlets or professors to allow this creativity to be expressed in different ways.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Foxcroft had the average amount of volunteer opportunities and student organizations. Unfortunately not much diversity but most girls I knew did a sport and had one or two other clubs or tour guide positions that they balanced.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Here's where Foxcroft really starts to become distinct. In all the other boarding schools I visited, not once did I see a sleeping porch, something that every freshman, sophomore and sometimes junior sleeps in during their time there. It sounds weird- and it is a little weird but it's a place where everyone sleeps and ONLY sleeps. This means that the rooms are strictly for studying/getting dressed which is kind of cool because it doesn't allow for that weird combination of half doing work on your bed and not really getting anything done because your brain associates that part with sleep- etc. Room selection process besides freshman year is your choice but unless you have a fridge in your dorm for various reasons, there's no real access to food late at night unless you have a bottle of water and triscuits sitting in your room. As a junior, I had bedtime that was partially enforced but as a senior we had no bedtime.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
I still talk about Foxcroft's AMAZING salad bar to this day. This place is where I really learned to enjoy balsamic vinaigrette dressing, bean sprouts, and lunchmeat with sesame seeds for a yummy crunchy lunch. The hot food line was average- sometimes the food was great and other times it wasn't too good but I felt that for the small size, there were a good amount of options. The dining hall opened around 7AM on the weekdays (I think maybe 9/10 on the weekends) and closed around 7:30PM every night. There was no assigned seating but of course with boarding school traditions the seniors had their special seating area and an outside porch and during Foxhound seating arrangements were modified to accommodate the tradition as well.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Middleburg is a cute, quaint town. Most times it serves as a nice way to get off campus even though it's only a short 10 minute drive away. There was a bus offered every Sunday to get into town and most times we would just wander around for an hour or so and buy groceries from Safeway (which is very Middleburg- they have an unreal variety of Kombucha drinks and Triscuit varieties and the prices are a taaaad ridiculous) then get a cup of coffee or pastry from a local shop. I loved how it was small and fit in with the environment of Foxcroft- Middleburg is a bubble itself and Foxcroft was definitely included in that which is different from other surrounding school towns where the campus life and outside of campus life can seem to contrast. Middleburg also has a good amount of events for holiday seasons and is bigger than one expects so you won't familiarize yourself with the whole town until after probably a year or so.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Given that this school is very small and all-girls, we were each other's social life. I remember random sleepover parties and events we would invite each other to just to get off campus or take a student friend who lived far away to your home for the weekend/break because you wanted to spend more time with them or didn't want them to be alone. There wasn't much of a social life save a few mixers with an all-boys school and ALL the surrounding all-girls schools every semester and their respective semi-formals and formals at the end. We had trips to Kings Dominion and DC and when I went back to visit this year they were expanding but there was really little room to get to know people outside of your school unless you made a conscience effort to keep in touch and branch out. During boarding school I made sure to keep in close contact with my friends from home and occasionally friends I had made at school.
|7:30 AM||Wake up. Quick breakfast.|
|8:00 AM||First class - AP Biology|
|8:45 AM||Second class - AP Human Geography|
|9:30 AM||Free period - check mailroom for packages, buy a snack, plan out week and homework assignments in the library|
|10:15 AM||Third class - AP Spanish Literature|
|11:00 AM||Fourth class - AP English Literature|
|11:45 AM||Peer Learning Associate - worked with different students to help study and make a study plan|
|12:30 AM||Fifth class - Physics ; would eat lunch sometime afterward|
|3:00 PM||Sports practice from 3-5:30PM. Shower then dinner at 6PM.|
|7:30 PM||Study hall from 7:30PM to 9:45PM. Bedtime promptly at 10:30 ish.|
|10:00 AM||Breakfast at the dining hall.|
|11:30 AM||Go back to sleep|
|2:30 PM||Mixer prep. Texting boys and figuring out what to wear for the evening activity!|
|5:00 PM||Leave for the mixer. Usually a 1-2.5 hour bus ride|
|7:00 PM||Woodberry mixer - a few appetizers, lame DJ, awkward dancing, good ol' teenage stuff|
|12:30 PM||Return from mixer.|
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