St. Mark's Questions

Just got accepted at St Mark’s for fourth form! I have a couple of questions. Do they have any options for students to design their own courses? Also, how do dorm arrangements work?

Ooo same! I also got accepted into St. Mark’s as a 4th form :smiley:

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@buuzn03 had a son at St Marks

Dorms are arranged mainly by grade for III &IV forms. Years after, it’s the lottery system. There are a few single dorms available upon request, space willing.
There are upper classes you can design on your own, and Lion Term (end of year project) is by your own design. Saturday classes are electives based on your own interests and range from photography, politics, underwater robots, hiking to the physics of Lost (the series). The kids love Saturday classes.
If y’all have any other questions, feel free to ask! St Marks was the perfect school and community for my son. It will always hold a special place in our hearts.


hey, y’all! current st. marker (3rd, rising 4th) here, and I shared my experience applying last year on cc :slight_smile:
haven’t been on here since forever, but wanted to check in since it was m10 again. happy to answer any rising questions!
@buuzn03 ultimately helped me so much in choosing this school and it’s absolutely perfect.

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@random_person123 as previously said, dorm arrangements are basically fixed for III & IV forms to “bond” and basically create a living space where you’re forced to interact (in a good way) and form friendships easily. There is a new dorm being built, not sure for which form yet, but it looks super cool! Other forms have the dorm lottery in mid-April (coming up soon!), and prefects usually get the singles.

Lion Term & Saturday classes are the most common ways to design courses, but there are TONS of fellowship opportunities (I think we have one with upenn now) that really allow you to broaden your focus in so many areas and do a deep dive.

I will add something tho – I know for a fact that they are not accepting a lot of new IV formers as they are overenrolled in the III form last year (they had to cram III formers in the IV dorm), so being accepted is awesome! (heard that from an AO that my friend has connections with, btw.) revisit day is awesome too :slight_smile:



What’s the course load like? All of the courses look super interesting so I’m tempted to take 6 courses but not sure if that would be too much (or if it’s even allowed for my first semester). Also what are your favorite traditions (if any)?

No problem!

The course load is decent if you make your time worth it (ie free & community blocks during the day before study hall). III formers are required to take 6+ courses (you can only take 7 if you’re in orchestra/choir/jazz band), and IV formers usually take 6 too. There’s an art and religion requirement that most people do in their III-IV form year, which is one full year of religion electives and one year of art/2 years of orchestra/choir/jazz band (not sure if this is clear, hope it makes sense!). I can’t give any real advice as a III former, but your advisor will be so helpful in the course selection process, and you can pop in to any teacher’s office and just inquire.

Favorite tradition would definitely be Groton night, it was crazy this year with tons of performances and team cheers, and of course and the insane zebra-burning.

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HEYYYY!! It’s so nice to talk with you again! How is St. Mark’s?? :smiley:

Also, I looked at the website and I actually have a few questions! First of all, do you know how many 10th graders get accepted each year and around how many students there are per grade? Secondly, I noticed that 3rd and 4th formers have to participate in interscholastic sports in all 3 terms. Does that mean we have to participate in a sports team at St. Mark’s all year long? Do club sports or strength and conditioning classes count? Third, how are day students integrated in the environment? Do students leave in the early afternoon or evening? Also, do day students eat dinner at St. Mark’s? Lastly, what times are the meals available for (general time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner)?

Ok that was a LOT of questions!! Sorry, I’m just really curious and excited! I probably will have more later, but that’s it for now! Thank you lol

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WOOOO!!! St. Mark’s is awesome! A perfect fit for me :grin:

  1. There are around 90 students per grade, I know for our grade currently, we have 95 (3 are supposedly “leaving” this year), and the current IV form has around 92. Not sure how many 10th graders get accepted every year, but we did over-enroll last year, which barely opens up any spots. For the 2020-2021 season, I think we had 7 new sophomores? Not sure, but I can get back to you on that.

  2. That’s actually a thing I was confused about too. Some other activities also fulfill the athletic requirement. Fall/winter play & robotics are really fun from what I’ve heard, but the sports team are great too. For fall I did field hockey (never played before) and made most of my friends there. Did basketball in the winter, it was a small team of mainly III formers so we bonded more. Now I’m doing crew (never did before either!) and it’s really fun so far! Club sports do not count, but there is a special program that you can register an out of school sport and make it your athletic requirement (I know someone did it for ice-skating), and the athletic director is the perfect person to ask. Strength and conditioning classes do not count.

  3. Day students are basically like boarding students. They play the sports (3:30-5 (mon, tue, thu, fri) or 1:30-3 (wed)) and usually stay for dinner. They don’t leave in the afternoon due to sports, and now we’ve opened dorms for visitors like other boarders and day students.

  4. Meals. Probably my least favorite part about the school lol. Food isn’t awesome, but I learned how to cook my own in the dorm. Mon-Sat: bfast 7-9, lunch 10:55-12:50 (depends on your class, different lunch blocks due to covid) dinner 5-7. Sunday: brunch 10:30-12:30, dinner 5-6:30. The meals for Saturday are a bit wonky, when we don’t have Saturday classes I think the meal times are the same as Sunday.

Keep the questions coming! This school is awesome and we would love to have you! <333

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I got accepted to St. Mark’s as III form this year!
Can you talk more about music at St. Mark’s?
Also, can you share the matriculation in the past few years?

Thank you very much!

Thank you so much! It’s great that you’re doing well at St. Mark’s!! I also have a few more questions lol:

If day students want to stay overnight during the weekend, do you know where they would stay?
Do you know when orchestra rehearsals take place? Are they integrated during the academic day or in the afternoon? Also, do you know how someone would go about doing both a sport and an instrument (esp. seriously)?
How is the workload? For how many hours would the homework take? How many classes are in the average academic day? Are Saturday classes a pain?
How is the environment? Would you say it’s more collaborative or competitive? Is it easy to ask teachers for help? Do students generally have a close bond with the teachers?
Also, do you know around how many applicants St. Mark’s got last year or this year?
Lastly, what’s your favorite aspect of St. Mark’s School so far?

Omg I’m so sorry for rapidly firing questions at you lol. I swear a few minutes ago I only had 2 questions, and all of a sudden, I just kept asking more and more questions! I was legit obsessing over St. Mark’s School’s website like a madman and was taking in every piece of information I could find (I am not okay help). I regret not applying last year because it seems like such a nice school and community to be a part of, and it’s sorta sad to only be able to experience 3 years of it! Anyways, thank you so much for taking the time to read (and never mind answer) my myriad of questions!!

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The zebra burning sounds absolutely insane lol (in a good way). I also have a few more questions:

  1. I noticed there’s an option to take ISPs (Independent Study Programs). I have a couple of relatively obscure and niche interests and was wondering what people have done with the program in the past? How does the grading work? Examples of topics I’m interested in pursuing through this is computational neuroscience, machine learning, the science of consciousness and architecture. I’ve touched on most of these topics/read about them in the past, but never taken a formal course if that makes sense? (Which is why it would be super cool to explore this academically).
  2. Does anyone actually follow the dress code to the letter? I noticed it was quite formal. Also, what are your thoughts on chapel?
  3. What does a typical weekday/weekend look like?
  4. What are your favorite courses that you’ve taken so far?
    Thanks again!

You’ve probably found this link already, but in case you haven’t: (Last page has matriculation info)
Hope this helps!

Hey! Congrats on the acceptance! :grin:

The music program is great! We offer private lessons and have a TON of music courses, from orchestra to advanced music theory. Music studio I & II are guided but self-paced courses for students to explore music as a class and fulfill their art requirement, which is awesome. Ensembles like Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Choir need 2 years of commitment to fulfill your art requirement, but it’s really fun from what I’ve heard. We use a color block schedule (ie. plum, green, blue, yellow, etc.) A block meets 3 times a week, but ensembles meet twice a week in the 80-minute block and students use the 45-minute block to practice so you don’t have to worry about spending TONS of time outside class to practice. The teachers are super chill and nice, and although I don’t take any music classes I still talk to them about music stuff :grin:

For matriculation, @random_person123 sent a useful link, but if you want specific numbers, email your AO! I emailed him when I got accepted and he sent me this crazy spreadsheet lol.

Hope this helps! St. Mark’s is awesome place and as an incoming III former you night live in the new dorms (from what I’ve heard) :eyes:

You’re welcome! Keep 'em coming lol

  1. As previously mentioned, ensemble rehearsals take place twice a week (during the academic day) in the 80-minute blocks, and the school gives you the 45-minute block as practice time/free block. The PFAC (Putnam Family Arts Center, where the arts stuff is) is always open, so whenever you’re free you can grab your instrument and take a room! My friend has taken 7 classes (really hard ones too lol) including orchestra, and still goes to every sports practice on time and full of energy lol. She’s managing it pretty well, and when I ask here how she does it, she just says study hall is really helpful and the time allows her to be really productive.

  2. Workload really ranges. I take 6 classes, and I usually have about 2-3 hours of homework. My roommate also takes 6 classes, but she only has around 1-2 hours of homework every day (I don’t know how that works lmao). Monday & Wed-Fri you only have 4 blocks (or less depending on the free block), but on Tuesdays, there are 5 blocks (it’s always a terrible day, even with a free block). Saturday classes are generally not a pain, they start at 9 am and end at 11:30 ish. The classes aren’t serious, like I know there are ASL classes and personally, I took a class on making a book by myself (it was awesome!).

  3. Definitely collaborative. I’ve seen no hostility between students because of grades, and everyone is willing to help each other out. There are prefects in the dorm who are pretty smart, and during study hall, you can go to them for help. I LOOOOOVE my teachers, and I have a close bond with quite a few of them. My advisor is the librarian, and I love the library, so I can always chat with him about book recommendations. My physics teacher is super laid-back and chill, so I can always find him outside of class to talk about random things lol. My history teacher is also the Dean of Academics, so I would go to him whenever I have questions about the academic system. The teacher’s offices are easy to find your way to, and they’re always super supportive. I usually just email them for help, but I know people go to their offices to chat about it more sometimes.

  4. I think there was a number on my acceptance letter but I can’t find it anywhere lol. Lemme get back to you on that.

  5. I know it’s cliché, but the community. There basically hasn’t been a day so far where I dreaded school, or couldn’t pull myself out of bed and get ready. Also, SNOW DAYS!! We’ve had a few so far this year, and they’re sooooo fun. We get to play with the faculty kids, and have insane snowball fights lol. I’ve missed also those experiences due to COVID for the past few years, and it’s amazing to relive them again with the people I care for.

  6. The new sophomores this year have had similar feelings. It really pushes them to treasure every moment they have with their peers and teachers. Hope to see you this coming fall! :)))

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Coming from a public school with terrible school spirit, Groton day was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before lol.

  1. I have heard about this program, but not quite sure what it is exactly about. However, I do know teachers at our school who know quite a bit about the topics you listed, and I do encourage you to reach out to them (their emails should be on the school website, under the “faculty” tab). Consider contacting the head of science, and maybe even the psychology teacher. It would be super cool to do this!

  2. If I’m being honest, no. It’s basically casual dress, with the exception of blue jeans (and some people still wear them with no consequences). You might get caught sometimes, but most of the time it’s pretty loose. Chapel is okay, in my opinion. But I’m kinda biased because it’s right in front of my free block so I can’t get a sleep in lol. The speeches are really good, and it’s not super religious. Just singing some songs, and a few minutes of meditation/rest/praying.

  3. We have a teacher who organizes the weekend activities (also my field hockey coach and dorm head!) and you can request weekend activities. Every weekend there’s a target and natick mall trip, with some unique ones depending on the week. I’ve been to escape rooms, movie trips, apple picking, fairs, museums, Starbucks, multiple donut places, and downtown Boston. There were also ski trips, farmer’s market trips, and hmart runs. Pretty wide range of things to do every weekend!

I’ll break down the general (mon, tue, thu, fri) weekday here:
7 am - breakfast opens
8 am - classes start/chapel (tue & fri)
3 05 pm - classes end
3 30 pm - athletics/after school activities start
5 pm - athletics/after school activities end, dinner opens
7 - dinner ends
7 30 - study hall starts, must check in at dorm 5 minutes before.
9 30 - study hall ends, free time for 30 mins
10 - be in rooms
10 30 - lights out

  1. I would say English. It’s a lot of work, but I love discussing literature and writing. We haven’t done a lot of heavy writing yet (our first essay was due before spring break), but there has been quite a lot of reading and analyzing. All classes are pretty good, and I don’t dread them (depends on the day tho tbh).

No problem! Hope to see you in the fall :)))

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To anyone who is considering St Mark’s, you can’t beat the community. It is the best group of people and kids you can find. We always felt supported there. Everyone mixes with everyone- very few cliques are formed.
The matriculation list does not reflect the acceptance list, so be careful when you place emphasis on that (there are multiple threads regarding this point). If you work hard, you will get into top colleges.
The food is not great, but my son has discovered it is much better than his college food and my daughter has found it’s better than her BSs food. So, take that for what it’s worth.
Dress code is not overly formal. You’ll be able to be comfortable going to class. No sweat pants or denim jeans and no graphic tee shirts.
My son would not trade a day spent at SMS. His experience there has been better than any college day, so far.
@Lex6314 has given great information so far- kudos! St Marks is truly a special place with incredibly special people. If you choose to attend, you will not regret it!