New Hampton School - Review #8
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2002-2004|
|Sports and Activities:||Varsity soccer (captain), varsity lacrosse, Women's Athletic Council, tour guide.|
|College Enrolled:||Wellesley College|
|Home Town, State:||Gilford, NH|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
New Hampton's classes don't use just one teaching style. This pluralist approach allows, and assists students who learn in many different ways. The round table discussions in all english classes are integral, and engage both student and teacher in meaningful discussions and debates. Outside of the classroom, New Hampton's advisor groups, which consist of 4-6 students and a faculty member, are extremely useful. The close relationship one develops with faculty opens up the opportunity to discuss anything with their advisor. Advisor meetings are regularly scheduled, but most people meet with their advisor (who they choose) whenever they need anything. From group birthday dinners to off-campus errands advisory groups at New Hampton are awesome.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I feel that I've grown infinitely as an individual and group member. Spontaneous discussions with friends and teachers on every issue or nothing at all.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Don't listen to people who stereotype your school, so don't be afraid to break boundaries.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The sense of community. Being able to walk into the headmaster's office and talk about anything from the Red Sox to Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences. Being around people who genuinely care and forming real relationships.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Shadow a student! See how the classes really work, be proactive in your prep school search. Make sure you see yourself being a community member.
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Finding myself in a small class on my first day I looked around the table and immediately dreaded the homogeneity of the composition of my class. Upon introduction all of my generalizations had been dispelled. A Californian surfer was on my right, across the table an skateboarding drama student from New Jersey, to my left a quiet day student and expert pottery student, it went on and on. The diversity of our class lead to the sharing of so many different perspectives. Combining diversity, with the discussion based curriculum, and teachers who sat alongside us...everyone gained! The schedule at New Hampton is amazing. Each day of the week has a different schedule for classes, different meetings and end times. Mondays and Fridays until 3, but earlier for the rest of the week. A sleep-in day every week.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I liked that athletics were not mandatory for all four years, and instead used for socialization purposes for students not wishing to pursue sports. However, as an athlete the varsity level programs are extremely intense. New Hampton's teams meet with conditioning staff twice a week for dynamic stretching and plyometric sessions. Basketball and football at New Hampton consistently have players moving on to the collegiate level, many to nationally-ranked programs. In such a close community everyone comes out to games and supports their friends, dorm-mates and students.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
New Hampton's Arts programs are particularly advanced and a definite asset to the school. The programs are inclusive and many people start photography or painting because they hear about how great of an experience a classmate had. Pottery and music lessons are especially popular and the faculty are always in the studios because they love their work. Student bands and art shows are on campus and are always fun.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Community service is mandatory for all students, however everyone gets to choose their activity. From sports clinics to environmental restoration to Habitat for Humanity there are plenty of options. The service culminates senior year with a self-designed service project that can be just about anything. There are many student organizations like chess clubs, gay-straight alliance, language clubs, and creating clubs is easy too.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
I was a day student, but there were no divisions between day and boarding students. I was always in the dorms hanging out with friends and on snowy nights when I couldn't drive home I was encouraged to stay over with friends. The dorm parents have a great relationship with the boarders, and children of the faculty are usually favorites of students.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The dining hall at New Hampton is wonderful. The head of the dining hall is a vegan, which as a vegetarian meant good tofu and alternative dishes. Accommodations are made all over the place, special dishes geared towards international students and recipes from home were always welcomed! Students and faculty eat in the same hall and often meetings and chats lead to integrated tables. Faculty families dine as well and it provides a true community feel. Also, having the dining hall open most of the day always for snacks and another place to hang out in between classes or activities.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
New Hampton is a small town and the school is right on Main Street. Its rural setting is idyllic, but tucked surprisingly close to a state highway. There's always someone to go into town to get Subway with or run to the Irving for late night snacks. On campus there's a family operated store that sells every food item you could need.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
There are no cliques! In the dining hall there are no boundaries, everyone knows everyone else. Meeting so many different people before coming to college was a great experience and prepared me for my college experience. Students aren't confined to one role in the community. Star athletes are often exemplary students, and the crossover with athletic and the arts are encouraged.
|10:00 AM||All-School Meeting for open announcements, advisor meetings and jobs follow|
|3:30 PM||Sports and Activities (times vary)|
|8:00 AM||Class (class on Sat. only in fall and spring is only biweekly, with community service days in between)|
|11:00 AM||Lunch, sports games and activities.|
|7:00 PM||Off-campus outings all Saturday and Sunday|
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Social media is an essential part of a boarding school's marketing strategy
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.