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Lawrence Academy, Groton MA

GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
Several older closed threads but nothing current.

We added this to our list based on rave reviews by other parents on their 9th grade program, and extremely positive comments by a College Admissions Officer on applicants they've interviewed.

It's an ISL (Independent School League) school, meaning no PG's in sports, which we consider positive.

One concern is that it's half day and half boarding: only about 200 boarders. We wonder if there is sufficient weekend activity for the boarders, or if it empties out on weekends.

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Replies to: Lawrence Academy, Groton MA

  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,402 Senior Member
    They do have a fair number of kids coming in as athletes and repeating a year. The back door PG. :)

    They also had a scandal some years back with their football program:
    http://archive.boston.com/sports/schools/football/articles/2011/04/21/lawrence_academy_hit_with_isl_sanctions/
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    “One concern is that it's half day and half boarding: only about 200 boarders. We wonder if there is sufficient weekend activity for the boarders, or if it empties out on weekends.“



  • CTMom21CTMom21 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    We had visited LA a couple of years ago and have heard good things about it, but the one criticism I heard (from an acquaintance who is a SS consultant) was exactly what you said -- with roughly half day students, it does empty out on weekends, and there are not a lot of structured weekend activities for boarders. Of course, that's just one person's observation.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,024 Senior Member
    edited January 25
    @Garandman agree with @doschicos the no PG thing isnt real. Many schools have no PGS but they have many kids repeating up through Senior year. As for the 1/2 day verses boarding, that was a big issue for us when considering Milton Academy. I think it depends on the kid. In hindsight my kid would have been fine. He does school work over the week-end and in between works out and relaxes--not a super social kid. If you have a highly social kid it might be different. (we know several kid there and they all seem to be very happy--its a sporty school)
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,150 Senior Member
    I can't help on this school, but I think the 200 isn't the issue as much as whether they leave for the weekend.

    If 150 kids stick around for the weekend and activities are planned, it's probably fine. If there are 500 boarders and 450 disappear Friday night, that's a different beast.

    I mention this less for @Garandman who is a savvy BS parent than for others making decisions around size of boarding community, both on its own and as a percentage of total.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,189 Senior Member
    I think its a real sleeper. I've commented on it before also. Overshadowed by Groton which I think is right down the street. Beautiful campus and excellent reputation.
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    edited January 25
    @CTmom21, thanks, that’s what we want to get to the bottom of. He’s grown up in the city so we want to make sure he’s not left to his own devices....

    @Center lots of boys in general and athletes in particular repeat. No PG’s means they have the kid for at least two years if not more. So there has to be an organized plan for long term athlete development to be successful. Having been to a school with lots of PG’s (Phillips), ANYTHING is preferable. We have mandated that our son repeat 9th grade if he goes to an independent school so moot point.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,024 Senior Member
    yes i am familiar with the repeat phenomenon. there are repeat seniors at some schools. No PGs means many different things. I would hardly call the typical prep school a real venue for long term athletic development. but that is another discussion. As you well none of these schools are perfect....:)
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,189 Senior Member
    I mapquested powderhouse road Groton to Boston Road Groton, and I believe the two schools are something like 2.4 miles apart.
  • buuzn03buuzn03 Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    Lawrence is more in town than Groton, so depending on the school's policy about going off campus, @Garandman , garandkid may be able to entertain himself by CVS or pizza lunch easier than if at a school more isolated, like Groton. My DS is at ISL school but has competed in both Fall & Winter sports against non-ISL school's that have PG programs. He says you can definitely tell the difference in the teams' dynamics, etc. Most ISL teams develop within and as was mentioned above, although this is the back door PG (maybe), it is still a development concept vs a bring in a ringer concept.
    DS is in a school where, although 75% board, most are "local" boarders and STILL go home on weekends. So, Im not sure that the actual percentage of boarders will tell the whole story. I'd suggest asking the question of what is the percentage of boarders who live within an hour of the school...most students who give tours will give an email for questions. You may ask such student from Lawrence how many kids usually stay on campus vs going home. My DS is perfectly fine with a large number of students going home...he likes the day and a half of quiet campus, gym to himself for workouts, first picks of dining hall fare instead of leftovers in the pan...listening to his music in his room versus having to compete with the loud rap from down the hall...I think it depends on your son's personality and again, the school's true weekend boarding numbers.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 528 Member
    @preppedparent I agree with you. It not only gets overshadowed by Groton down the street but also by others in “the neighborhood” mainly within a half hour. It is competing with a handful of very top schools. If it were in a different location ( even 5-10 miles different) it might be in a different league. I have heard only good things. But my kiddo didn’t apply.
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    edited January 26
    The view from the campus is amazing, in all directions. The town of Groton is considered part of campus.

    Our kid doesn’t have high SSAT scores (though he does have straight A’s) so Groton School was not one on his list. We met the football coach, there will not be any shenanigans, that story is old news.

    Going to contact friends of friends with kids there currently.
  • vwlizardvwlizard Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    My son's school is a feeder to LA, so I know lots of kids that have ended up there. I can't speak of weekend activities but can tell you the "type". Nice kids with a natural curiosity. They tend to do well in a cooperative rather than competitive environment. I'd say "typical" kids rather than the uber-competitive only interested in getting into ivies type. I've talked to parents of kids in upper grades and even though they live nearby, usually the kids end up boarding for at least 1 or 2 years as the commuting gets tedious. Sounds like they don't go home every weekend, which must mean there's enough to do on campus to keep them there, even if it's just hanging with friends. Not much to do in the town, but a new shopping complex has opened about 10 minutes away (intersection of 495/119) with ice skating, movies, a grocery store, restaurants, etc. I'm sure they run buses.
  • GarandmanGarandman Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    The commuter rail to Boston stops a few miles away (Ayer?) and they shuttle over.

    One of the local moms said the shopping complex in Littleton is a boon, but the restaurants are difficult to get into as the Inn is being renovated at the moment.

    My son was quite impressed, and other parents we’ve spoken to were pleased with the program. The kids seemed happy.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 18,402 Senior Member
    When you're in Groton, I recommend grabbing a bite here: http://filhoscucina.com/home.asp
    It's right near campus. We'd always go after away matches vs. Groton/Lawrence.
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