We will visit Choate very soon to have an in-person tour. What to ask during these unusual times of campus visit? Our kid is a STEM/Engineering kid. I am not sure what the tour involves and what building(s) we will see. We plan to arrive earlier than the scheduled time to see the town and campus. Any recommendations?
Places to see on campus…
- Dorms - Memorial house for freshman boys. Freshman girls are divided between two other dorms. There is also a gender-neutral dorm available. I doubt tours will go in the dorms, since students are not currently allowed in other students’ dorms, but maybe they have made special arrangements for tours.
- Academic buildings - the Lanphier Center and the Icahn Center. The classrooms are great but not particularly important to see. The robotics lab at the LC and the science labs at the IC are worth seeing. Other academic buildings are very nice, but honestly just a collection of classrooms. It’s what goes on in the classrooms that is really special and may or may not be evident on the tour.
- Student Activity Center (SAC) - great space for kids to mingle. Better than many similar college facilities.
- Athletic center - also impressive.
- Colony Hall and Paul Mellon Center - great spaces for the kids to come together for school meetings, etc.
- Koehler Environmental Center - if your child has an interest in that unique opportunity.
To get a sense of what is immediately accessible in Wallingford, walk west on Christian street and leave the formal campus. When you hit N Colony Rd, you can go either direction and see what shops and businesses are available. If/when Uber is available again, much more of the town becomes accessible, including visits to Walmart to stock up on Pop Tarts, etc.
For lunch, I recommend The Eatery or Vinny’s Deli.
The kids hang at Archie Moore’s (good wings, but can get crowded), and you must stop at Mr. D’s candy store across the street for ice cream.
Our favorite place was Jake’s Tavern where the bartender always knew our names and started our drinks the minute we walked in the door. Also, decadent nachos:
(Side story: When we were in Dublin watching a “football” game in our hotel lounge, I ordered nachos. When the very sad plate appeared, I shared this pic with our waitress who gasped and said no one in Ireland would ever eat that much food.)
Also, Jake’s was a great place to get the town’s impression of Choate as well as meet up with other parents. I miss that place.
ETA: Just so I don’t come across as a total jerk with that Irish story, we stayed in that hotel for two months and knew the waitress well. She suggested that we (Americans) might enjoy the nachos. When they came, I whipped out my phone to show her what nachos are supposed to look like. It was all in good fun. (I also had pictures of what football is supposed to look like.)
Hi, we sadly won’t be able to visit the campus, but excited to ask questions of Choatie students, alums, and parents.
I have a lot of faith in the amazing academics & extracurricular, welcoming community, and supportive faculty. Our questions are on other elements:
How is the medical/counseling services? If there is a medical issue or injury, how well are the kids taken care of? If the kid comes in needing mental health support (e.g. for clinical anxiety, etc…) is there a long wait to get a session and is it possible to have consistent support (weekly session)?
How are the dining halls and cafes are with allergies (nuts, dairy, gluten). Are they truly careful with things like cross-contamination, e.g. separate station, knowledgeable dining staff. How are kids with allergies supported for mug nights, etc…
How often do parents hear from the school: 1) about general school news and 2) specifically about their student. Our family is completely new to the BS experience and we’ve been really involved in our local schools, so it will be tough to not be on/near campus to really know what’s going on.
Keywords: Choate, Choate Rosemary Hall, CRH, Choatie, 2021 Admissions, Class of 2025
Choate has an 11-bed infirmary and 24-hour staff. Our son developed appendicitis over College Info Weekend junior year during a blizzard. I got a call on my layover in Chicago to go straight to Children’s Hospital in Hartford where his advisor had taken him after the school doctor’s diagnosis. He had his appendix out late that night. Many CC BS parents kept an online vigil with me that snowy evening. Good times.
Anyway, although we missed a major BS event, he was in good hands all the way. Over his years at Choate, he was in the infirmary enough that they joked about naming a bed after him. Another example–freshman year he had a very bad case of strep that kept him from taking two finals. His advisor managed everything with the doctor and his teachers. We got plenty of calls, plenty of updates, and learned not to worry about him. So, don’t worry new parents. All of these schools have your kids covered.
I don’t have personal experience with mental health support, but Choate is equipped there. You should contact the Health Center to get these questions answered.
The school will initiate contact whenever necessary, but you can expect a check-in call initiated by your student’s advisor during early weeks to let you know how things are going and to answer any questions – in our case, “Is our son still a student there? We dropped him off three weeks ago and haven’t heard a peep. We assume he’s still enrolled?” You will also get very detailed (online) reports from each teacher when term grades are released, and you will be able to set up appointments to meet with teachers over Parents Weekend if you wish. The school uses e-mail to distribute significant information that is not covered in the bulletins and routine school communications you receive. For example, during our son’s time there, hurricane Irene hit and there were a couple of blizzards that Choate thought we might want to know about.
You will be well-informed about school news and calendar events through regular/routine mass emailings. How informed you will be about your kiddo’s day-to-day life is a different story and is up to you and your student. In our case, I just kept an eye on the Wallingford police blotter to make sure I wasn’t missing anything serious.
Judging by the shorts, this is a sport I might watch.
I certainly recommend it Choatiemom.
It is a great way to spend a couple of hours watching 36 fit young men running, kicking & marking (catching on the full) the ball in a non stop 360 degree action packed game.
The season started 2 days ago; I can’t wait to get back to being able to see it in person next weekend.
Go swannies (Sydney Swans - nicked named the “Bloods”)
Thanks for being so generous with your perspective and advice! Do you still have a kid(s) at Choate? We’re completely new to CC
No, our son graduated in 2015, but I’m still here for some reason, happy to contribute where I can.
I rely on more current Choate parents, like @Altras, to correct anything I say that may be out of date.
So excited I chose Choate for the class of 2025!