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Boarding School Relationships With The Towns They are Located In

CC4lifeCC4life Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
This is sort of a random question, but I was wondering how the relationships are between different boarding schools and the towns they are located in. I was wondering if these relationships vary depending on whether the BS is a school or an academy (since academies are typically more open to the public than schools). In particular, I was told by our tour guide at Choate that Wallingford residents and teenagers are typically not very kind to Choate students while Deerfield Academy students told us that the local residents of deerfield were always really accepting and helpful towards the DA boarders. What is this relationship like at other schools (Andover, Exeter, SPS, Milton, L'ville, etc.) Also how often are you actually immersed in the culture of the town of the BS one attends as a boarder? Are they sort of in their own little bubble?
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Replies to: Boarding School Relationships With The Towns They are Located In

  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 43,634 Super Moderator
    since academies are typically more open to the public than schools
    Calling oneself XXX school vs.YYY Academy is just nomenclature; I don't think you can make the blanket statement that you did.
    Are they sort of in their own little bubble?
    Pretty much, although this depends, in part, on the school. Often, it depends upon what you make of it.
  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee Registered User Posts: 411 Member
    I read an article about living in Wallingford and the writer sounded really bitter towards Choate... but you already knew that. I don't have anything new to add to the conversation, I just find it weird that you are applying to both Deerfield and Choate!
  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee Registered User Posts: 411 Member
    But how would the locals know that a person goes to the BS or LPS?
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    Andover & Exeter blend well into their towns. Probably helped by the campus design, location & the fact that both schools have a healthy percentage of day students from the local community.

    Milton Academy has strong town-gown relations from everything that I have read & heard. Probably due in large part to the significant day student population.

    St. Paul's School is 100% boarding & not located as close to town as are Andover & Exeter. SPS offers the most bubble like community as a result, in my opinion.

    In short, location (walkability to town) & presence of day students probably have a significant impact on relations with the local community.
  • CaliMexCaliMex Registered User Posts: 1,693 Senior Member
    It is quite common for local residents to have an unfavorable opinion of the teens attending the local boarding school, who might not always be on their best behavior when they are in town.

    That’s why we were blown away when a fast food server at a restaurant near SAS told us the St Andrew’s kids were always very respectful and nice.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 43,634 Super Moderator
    But how would the locals know that a person goes to the BS or LPS?
    I assumed the OP was referring to other teens. Adults are not going to care (or at least won't say anything openly). The kids, however, know who is a townie and who is not (even without the Choate sweatshirt). It's not like any of these places are bustling metropolises. Even if the kid goes to a local private/parochial school, and not the LPHS, the locals all know each other.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    @Calimex: To which schools are you referring ? My experiences & impressions are quite different other than for one of the top boarding schools.

    Not sure if still accurate, but the Hill School allowed local teams practice time on their ice skating rink which should result in building a positive relationship with the local community.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 7,437 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    Not first hand knowledge, but I have heard that Concord Academy enjoys a good relationship with the town & locals.

    As noted by @Sue22 in an above post, it is not uncommon to hear of poor relations between college students & the local community when a serious socio-economic difference exists. An example within the past decade would be Bates College in Maine.

    Another type of example exists in Evanston, Illinois on a specific issue regarding taxes between the town & Northwestern University. This disagreement has little to no impact upon the students.
  • CC4lifeCC4life Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    @skieurope when it comes to the difference between academies and school designations we were told at both the andover and Exeter information nights that the academies tend to be more open rather than gated off, I wasn't sure if this was just a selling point per se or if it was actually true at all schools. However, after visiting several different schools, while I think it may not be true for all schools and academies, I have definitely seen it to be true in most situations. For example, Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, Milton, Blair, and LFA all seemed, IMO, to be open to the public as they didn't have clear break between them and the town. However, schools like SPS, Groton, and L'ville, and Taft had clear entrances and exits, which sort of blocked of the school from the public. Again, that is just my opinion as I don't think I have visited enough schools to claim that this is a fact. I was wondering if anyone else had this feeling when visiting BS.

    @ilovechoateeeee It is kind of weird that I'm applying to Choate and Deerfield, but personally I felt like each one was an amazing school in their own way (even though they are really different schools). I was also waitlisted at both of them last year so I thought I might increase my chances if I applied to both (sort of desperate at this point hahaha).
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 6,132 Senior Member
    @skieurope when it comes to the difference between academies and school designations we were told at both the Andover and Exeter information nights that the academies tend to be more open rather than gated off, I wasn't sure if this was just a selling point per se or if it was actually true at all schools. However, after visiting several different schools, while I think it may not be true for all schools and academies,

    I think it's more closely related to year of founding that anything else. Few schools founded in the 20th century have "Academy" in their names. Andover, Exeter, Deerfield, Milton and Lawrence Academy were all founded in the 18th century. LFA and Blair were founded in the 1850's. SPS, Groton. L'ville and Taft all have later founding dates than those "Academies."

    It may be that the older design happens to be more open to the community. Many early private schools were built close to the center of town.
  • AgincourtAgincourt Registered User Posts: 196 Junior Member
    In the original use if the terms, academies indicated a close physical connection with the towns while schools were understood to be more removed and self contained. There are always exceptions and variations.
  • MariFeighMariFeigh Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    I agree! Is there a specific reason anyone would think it's weird to apply to both Choate and Deerfield? I thought both schools were amazing. Deerfield's athletics facilities blew me away. I still can't get over those facilities. And Choate just seemed like a really awesome place to be in just about every way. The faculty seemed really caring, the cafeteria was awesome. The atmosphere just seemed comfortable. (But I'm a parent. Maybe there's something I missed.)
  • ilovechoateeeeeilovechoateeeee Registered User Posts: 411 Member
    They're in some ways opposites- DA is rural, traditional, and preppy while Choate really isn't. But that's just my impression from visiting. They are both wonderful schools!!
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,527 Senior Member
    I think it is because Choate and Deerfield are rivals. But we applied to several rival schools.
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