Kent School - Review #1

Kent School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Brown University
Home Town, State (Country) Wellesley, MA
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School At Kent, I played varsity soccer and softball for three years and managed the girls varsity hockey team for two years. I was captain of the softball team for both my junior and senior year. I was an editor of the school newspaper, the KENT NEWS, and acted as a peer writing tutor, tour guide and peer counselor.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Kent's emphasis on individualized education is one of the elements that sets it apart from other boarding schools. The Studies Office allows students to choose classes that interest them the most, when they have completed their required courses. In my experience, this allowed me to specialize early on in my high school career when I knew what I was passionate about. Also, Kent's use of the Harkness method enhances student experience in the classroom. Kent teachers seat students around a large oval shaped wooden table in many history and English classes and they utilize the open format of the classroom to facilitate discussion and class participation. Harkness tables were one of my favorite aspects of my classes. Finally, an element that sets Kent apart is the school's incredible faculty. You feel supported and encouraged on all sides--from your subject teachers to your advisor to your coaches. During my years at the school, I built lifelong relationships with my teachers, both inside and outside of the classroom.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Choosing to attend Kent was the best decision I've made. When I came to the school, I had ambition and lofty goals but was feeling lost in the system of a large public school. At Kent, I was welcomed by an advisor who I built a meaningful relationship with and helped me achieve my goals, encouraging me all the way. Throughout my three years, I learned how to effectively manage my time with all of my commitments and became increasingly self-reliant. At Kent, I grew into a confident learner and leader, learning to never shy away from a challenge.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
My advice for anyone going into boarding school would be to be open to building friendships with many different kinds of people. While it can be tempting to simply find your clique and stick with them, I found some of my most meaningful friendships were with people I wouldn't expect to like. Also, take advantage of as many opportunities as possible at your school. Once you find the things you're passionate about, dive in headfirst and pursue them. Oh, and invest in a good mattress topper.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
Overall, my favorite part of Kent was the meaningful relationships I built with both the faculty and the students. I frequently saw my teachers outside of the classroom, babysitting and even helping run a birthday party for the son of one of my teachers. In my teachers at Kent I found invaluable allies and supporters. While your teachers become your friends, your friends become your family. Living with your friends forges the strongest of bonds, as your friends become your support system as you live away from home. I left Kent feeling truly prepared for living away from home in college and ready for the challenges the next chapter would bring.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
My final words of wisdom would be to take advantage of the beautiful natural landscape Kent has to offer. In my final few weeks at Kent during "senior spring," I took a few hours every day to embark on a new adventure with my friends. I went kayaking on the Housatonic, hiked far down the Appalachian Trail, watched the sunset from "the rock" and watched the stars from Headmasters Field. My last few weeks at Kent will forever be some of my favorite memories. While it can be hard to find a spare moment with all of the activities at Kent, make sure to find time to relax and unwind and make some memories with your friends.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
One of my favorite aspects of a Kent education was the drive I felt to challenge myself at the school. Teachers were constantly encouraging students to push themselves harder and pursue subjects they were passionate about beyond the limits of the classroom. While I felt sufficiently challenged in all advanced level classes (of which there are many), the workload felt manageable since I stayed organized. What truly sets Kent's academic atmosphere apart is the sense of community built around academia. While at other prestigious schools, the top students could be observed competing against one another in their classes for the highest grades, at Kent, the top students help each other along the way, never hesitating to discuss ideas amongst themselves and the other students in their classes.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Though the athletics program at Kent is competitive, the level at which each sport competes is certainly different. Our strongest sports teams at Kent are crew, hockey, boys basketball and football. Every student is required to try out for at least two seasons of intramural sports. As a member of both the varsity soccer and softball teams, I was passionate about both sports. Though we weren't the strongest team, playing varsity soccer was one of the best ways to make friends when I came to Kent my sophomore year. The bonding experience of persisting through a grueling preseason and two-a-days was invaluable to setting up a great year at Kent. Finally, the varsity softball team was an amazing experience, and gave me a group of lifelong friends.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I wasn't very involved in the Arts program at my school, but it is truly excellent. With a variety of performing groups, ranging from choral and acapella to orchestra and jazz band, every kind of musician can find a home in Kent's new performing arts center. The visual arts program is also very strong, with top notch photo editing studios and labs. I have played piano for 12 years, so I would frequently find myself in the practice rooms playing piano in my free time to relieve stress. It was great to have facilities that were open at all times for student practice.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are a wide range of extracurricular activities at Kent, with clubs to fit almost every interest. One of the things I liked the most about Kent extracurricular life was the willingness of the school to accommodate new clubs. When I arrived at Kent, I sought to bring my community service club to Kent, calling it Kent Teens for SEGA. My club's mission was to provide support and aid for an all-girls boarding school in Tanzania. All I needed was to find a faculty advisor and I was able to create my club. It was an easy, hassle-free process.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life at Kent was one of my favorite parts of the school. You are assigned a dorm and roommate(s) at random during your first year but can choose where you live and with whom in subsequent years. I lived in all three girls dorms at Kent: North Dorm during my sophomore year, Hoerle Hall my junior year and Case Dorm my senior year. While I enjoyed my experience in all of the dorms, my favorite was definitely Hoerle. Hoerle is the newest dorm, co-ed with top-notch facilities and spacious rooms. One of the best elements of Kent dorm life is the presence of dorm parents in every dorm. You become close to the dorm parents living in your dorm, some even becoming your so-called "Kent mom" or "Kent-dad." When living away from home, it's really nice to have somewhere to go to bake cookies or have a home cooked meal or just relax on the couch.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining at Kent was decent. Though food options can be repetitive, Kent does their best to accommodate different food preferences and dietary restrictions. There's a main dining hall and a snack bar in the student center. The dining hall features a hot food station, a panini station, a pizza and pasta station, a stir fry/pancake and waffle station and a soup/salad bar. There's a formal dinner every Thursday night, during which students sit with their advisors and their advisory, which is a group of students who share the same advisor. The student favorite is probably the snack bar. The snack bar serves a variety of fried foods, pizza, snacks and drinks and is open at the times the dining hall is not. You pay for food at the snack bar with a student ID card that your parents load money onto.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
The close proximity of the town of Kent is a huge asset to the school, as it provides students with somewhere to go when they're not in school. The town of Kent is a mere 5 minute walk from the school and features a few sandwich shops, a pizza place, an ice cream store and many small shops. The town itself is charming and is a great place to go when you're tired of staying on campus. A favorite spot is J.P. Giffords, a market with amazing sandwiches and drinks. The school's surrounding area is absolutely stunning. Kent is often affectionately called "the lovely valley land" and it lives up to its name. The school is surrounded by mountains and is in close proximity to the Appalachian Trail and great hiking trails. I loved being able to go for a run in the woods and hike up to "the rock," a large boulder overlooking the town of Kent that each graduating class hikes up to and paints their graduation year on its face.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life at Kent was enjoyable. While Kent, like almost every other high school, has its cliques, people are generally friendly to their classmates. As a new student, I felt especially welcomed by the upperclassmen and not as intimidated to start boarding school in this new place. Groups of friends are usually based around sports or the arts or commitment to academics. Kent's elected Blue Key heads, members of the SC (the Student Council), organize events at the school, like dodgeball tournaments, hypnotists and school dances. There's always something to do at Kent.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
7:15 AMBreakfast at the dining hall (DH)
8:00 AMFirst class of the day
9:45 AMAll school meeting--either in the DH or chapel
12:00 AMLunch in the DH
2:45 PMClasses end
3:30 PMAfternoon activities begin
5:30 PMAfternoon activities end
6:00 PMDinner in the DH
7:00 PMFree time--spent in the dorms or the student center
8:00 PMStudy hall (2 hours)
Weekend
8:00 AMBreakfast in the DH
9:00 AMClasses begin (3 classes on Saturday)
11:30 PMClasses end
12:00 AMLunch in the DH
1:00 PMInterscholastic teams depart for away games
2:00 PMInterscholastic teams play games at home
5:30 PMGames end
6:00 PMDinner in the DH
8:00 PMBlue Key run activities--dance or ice cream social etc.
11:00 PMCheck-in at your dorm

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Kent School Alumni #1
    Class of 2017
    5 Stars   10/24/2017
    Brown University
    Kent's emphasis on individualized education is one of the elements that sets it apart from other boarding schools. The Studies Office allows students to choose classes that interest them the most, when they have completed. . .
  • Kent School Alumni #2
    Class of 2016
    5 Stars   11/5/2016
    Eckerd College
    The physical campus and surrounding areas of Kent School truly brought the campus to another level that few other schools had. The campus itself is set up so that the academic and residential buildings are. . .
  • Kent School Alumni #3
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   5/31/2017
    Albion College
    I hadn't attended any other boarding schools besides Kent, so I don't know much about other schools beyond what I saw when I visited other campuses for sporting events. From what I understand, Kent is. . .
  • Kent School Alumni #4
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   6/13/2017
    Boston University
    Something about Kent that I really enjoyed were our mandatory on-campus jobs. While many of these jobs are, admittedly, mundane, there are many jobs that were very great. Jobs change every term (on a trimester. . .
  • Kent School Alumni #5
    Class of 2015
    5 Stars   5/31/2017
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Two things that I thought made Kent unique were the Harkness teaching style and the jobs program. Kent had harkness tables in a lot of rooms and if there wasn't a harkness table in the. . .
  • Show more reviews (13 reviews)
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