St. George's (SG), RI

Any SG parents or students on here? Attending revisit day and staying in the area during the adjacent weekend. We had a brief visit for the tour/interview, so kiddo superficially knows the “vibe”. All school videos have been watched and online info sessions attended. Looking for recommendations so that DS can dig into the school details as much as possible and also learn the surrounding town. Any local haunts? Student-favored restaurants? Are there specific parts of the school that kiddo should be sure to explore? Any SG pertinent questions to ask that would help DS make the most informed decision?

I can only give suggestions as a frequent Newport visitor, and a possible SGS parent (we too will be at revisit day), so hopefully a current parent or student will also chime in.

I’d suggest grabbing lunch or dinner at Mission, and ice cream at Clementines (given it’s open for the season) on Saturday or Sunday. Both are located in “half town”, which SGS kids are allowed to go to during free time, without permission. It’s likely you’ll run into some SGS kids at either/both. I’ve heard the food is terrible at SGS, so it’s nice to try out the local half town food spots!

I’d also take a ride down to second beach (literally down the hill from SGS) if your kiddo has any interest in surfing. Purgatory Chasm is also a neat spot (take a right on Tuckerman Ave before heading down the hill to second beach).

And of course spend some time in downtown Newport. Our favorite restaurant is Clarke Cooke House, and The Black Pearl is famous for their clam chowder. As you likely know, SGS has the “dragon wagon” which is a van that takes students back and forth to down town on weekends.

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Helpful for nuts and bolts:

Curriculum:

My son is a 2019 graduate, and loved every minute of his time at SG. His academic experience was strong, and he enjoyed almost every one of his teachers–still keeps in touch with many. The new science facilities are excellent. I haven’t seen the renovated Schoolhouse yet, but it’s a wonderful, historic building and the pictures look great. Athletics are competitive in the ISL for the most part, but not a powerhouse. Teams are well-supported by the student body - Friday night lights and Middlesex weekend are big events. The Christmas celebrations are also a highlight. Chapel is mandatory, but everyone seems to enjoy it as a break from the school day. The school itself is a little more traditional/conservative than some others (CA for example), but only by NE standards. There is a relatively high boarding population, so there is plenty of activity on weekends. I think they still have Saturday classes - son didn’t mind, again felt it made the week easier. He also thought the food was fine - not great, but fine.

Newport is a wonderful resource. Walk down Thames Street, and you will see lots of fun little shops and one good restaurant after another. Bowen’s Wharf is also fun, and 22 Bowen is one of our favorite “nice” restaurants. The kids love the Red Parrot (pub grub) and Newport Fidgety. If you have time and aren’t from the area, check out the mansions, even just a walk or drive down Bellevue Ave.

If you have specific questions, ask, but it’s a great school and under-noticed.

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given the applicant pool from from 600 to 1150 in 2 years - i’d say they are definitely noticed now! gorgeous location

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More information for current prospective families and others:

@cityran and @GovsParent
Thank you for your insight and suggestions - very helpful!

DC had a wonderful revisit, complete with a rainbow on his way to the school and last-second goal winning lax game at the end of the day. He definitely felt “known” from the second he stepped foot on the campus. The administration did an amazing job of presenting the school in a way that felt honest and clear. It seems like a great fit and he is excited to start this fall.

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Congratulations! I hope you and your family have as good an experience as we did. No bait and switch here, they will know your son all the way through. DOn’t forget to make reservations for Parents Weekend ASAP!

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We too were truly impressed with revisit day, and left feeling comfortable that SGS is a great fit for Kiddo2.

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Email today from HOS Alixe Callen:

June 8, 2022

Dear St. George’s Community,

I write today with mixed emotions. At this past weekend’s annual meeting of the St. George’s Board of Trustees, I shared that the 2022-2023 school year will be my last on the Hilltop. Beginning on July 1, 2023, I will become Head of School at Milton Academy — my beloved alma mater…

We are so sad to receive this news. One of the reasons we fell in love with SG (twice) was because of our one on one interactions with Alixe during the interview process (for kiddo1, who did not attend SG) and during the revisit with kiddo2. Attending a school during a head of school transition is never ideal, especially when the outgoing head is as wonderful as Alixe. We are hopeful that the forward momentum SG has had over the last few years will attract the best candidates for her replacement.

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We heard the same announcement, albeit from the other side, Milton. It seems like she has had a transformative impact on these schools for the long term. I didn’t appreciate the work she did with Acton LPS which has become a sought after location by many in the MA area. Hopefully the lasting impact with that school system offers some comfort. I’ve heard such wonderful things about SG on these forums.

There’s plenty of reason for optimism. My son had two years with the Petersons and two years with the Callens. When the Petersons left, many of the kids were devastated and took some time to warm up to the Callens. Not for any reason other than that they knew and liked the Petersons and the Callens were not the Petersons, as well as a little “settling in” period for all concerned. Within a few months, everyone had adjusted, and my son graduated with nothing but positive things to say about each of them, despite their significant differences. Interestingly enough, my goddaughter, whose time at SG spanned the transition from the prior head to the Petersons, reported the same thing—they hated Peterson because he wasn’t the former guy, and came to love him.

So I think the take home messages are 1) there will always be some fear or resistance to change, but there’s every reason to think it will work out fine, and 2) there are plenty of longtime faculty, faculty spouses, coaches, staff, and administrators who contribute to the environment that attracted you in the first place and can be expected to carry that through the transition. As important as the HOS is, it takes a village.

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