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Governor's Academy: Weekend scene, boarding, unique programs...?

LeeLeeBLeeLeeB 12 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi. I'm posting because I'm not finding a ton of recent info on Governor's Academy (MA). I have already looked in depth on cc and of course on the Governor's website.

We do not live in this region, so issues of boarding/weekends are important to us.

1) What are weekends like these past few years at Governor's? I've seen on cc that Governor's "clears out." Anyone know if that is still happening? "Clears out" can mean different things (if that was even accurate or is still happening to begin with). Is it a ghost town? Or just not as super full as a school with 100%v or 85% boarding? Any idea how many kids are staying on campus?

3) Do day students regularly come on the weekend for fun events (including Friday nights)? So, the opposite of "clears out"?

3) Are a lot of the boarders really local kids who just choose to board, but live nearby?

4) Governor's website doesn't list a ton of examples of weekend activities, nor a "day in the life" weekend schedule. Since there is no Saturday class, it's a lot of time to fill! I think my kid as a 9the grader will feel most at home if there is a lot going on every weekend, & if it's organized by the school or student leaders.. Are there fun low key things happening (not just big field trips to a symphony or movies): like s'mores, or an organized frisbee event, volunteer dog walking, or a trivia night?

Thanks!
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Replies to: Governor's Academy: Weekend scene, boarding, unique programs...?

  • RedLionessRedLioness 87 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    From what we got at Governor's, apparently there are a lot of themed dances and whatnot on the weekends. Not very specific, but I don't have that much information. I don't think there are a lot of "fun low-key things" happening, but I'm not an expert.

    You know what, I can't even adequately answer the rest of your question. I hope you get it answered, tho!
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  • GovsParentGovsParent 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    My daughter graduated from Govs in 2014, so my information is somewhat dated, but based on info from friends before and after, things haven’t changed much. The answer to all of your questions is pretty much yes. Yes, there are a higher percentage of boarders than at some other NE schools. Yes, a lot of the boarders live fairly close to the school (within an hour). These features operate in two opposite directions—more kids do go home on weekends, but because they are so close to the school, they also are more “around” the school on evenings and weekends. When they get driver’s licenses, they can drive your kid to Dunkin Donuts!

    The school does have activities scheduled every weekend—dances, trips to the movies or mall, water slide, roller skating, etc. Another nice tradition, which I believe is still in effect is “Mansion House” on Saturday night. The headmaster’s house is open for students to come and hang out, with plenty of food, games (?pool table), sports on TVs, etc. The faculty is very accessible and informal activities with them are common. As with most schools, there are lots of faculty kids and dogs to give the place a family feel. My daughter’s “sport” was babysitting for a coach for several terms. The town of Newburyport is about 5 miles away, and has tons of shops and restaurants so that it’s a very lively place. The beach is also within a few miles. Boston is an hour by train.

    I know there is a lot written about schools “clearing out,” but unless your kid is a real city kid (in which case most NE schools will seem remote), the difference between 150 kids on campus and 300 is not really significant. There is still a critical mass. My daughter sometimes enjoyed the relative peace of weekends after a hectic week. The most important part will be your child’s friends—if 2-3 good friends are around, it doesn’t matter who else is or isn’t there. Also, the sports teams play on Saturday afternoons, which keeps kids around and brings many parent spectators until late in the afternoon.

    Our family has nothing but good things to say about Govs. It has a little less formal feel than some of the others, both in architecture/campus layout and people. My daughter struggled early on, and the teachers, advisors and administrators were there for her and for us. The school does well with kids in a broad range of academic abilities. Drama productions are outstanding and well attended by students and parents. Sports facilities are very good—the bathroom in the hockey rink is cleaner than my house.

    Overall, I would recommend a look if you’re interested. I would not see the day/local student population as a reason to avoid it.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1734 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thacher's previous head of school, who was there for decades, attended Governor's himself as a kid. He imported Governor's tradition of opening the head of school's house every Saturday. It is now Thacher students' most beloved tradition. Thank you, Governor's ;-)
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