Walk to town, no Saturday, no tie/blazer

Am narrowing down choices for kid #2. Non-negotiables are:

  1. Schools that are walking distance to town (free to walk to town, no permission needed)
  2. No Saturday classes (max 2x a month)
  3. No tie.

So far, I have
-Concord Academy

Are there more that I can add?

I tried filtering on boardingschoolreview, but not sure how accurate their info is.


I think most schools have some kind of “whereabouts” rules, so your student may have to sign out to go into town even if it doesn’t require permission.

If you are open to the Mid-Atlantic region, George School ¶ would check your boxes. Newtown is a very nice town and the students avail themselves of it.

Loomis is a pretty long walk through suburbia.

Kent has a cute small town right next to campus. I don’t remember whether or not there was Saturday class.

Mercersburg has a cute town a little further away, but I met a current student who bikes over there on a regular basis. The traffic level in that town is so light that I wouldn’t worry.

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Exeter has Saturday classes, but your condition of “max 2x per month” may be satisfied. The town of Exeter is very charming.

Lakeville/Hotchkiss - same thing, Sat. classes are often suspended due to special events, open weekends, etc. Lakeville is small, has a few restaurants/cafes/yoga, about a one mile walk from the dorms.

Thanks gardenstategal. We drove through George School in March (couldnt do visit since they were busy with M10). Loved the layout of the school, but even with the Newtown nearby, it still felt so isolated.

Thanks VisibleName2. Will call and ask Kent about Saturday classes.

Thanks Croix. Will read more on Hotchkiss.

just called Kent. 2-3 Saturdays every month. pretty strict dress code. need to inform on school app every time going to town.

You are on the right track!

Have kids at Andover (step-daughter class of 2025) and Williston (son is also class of 2025 as of next week, yay!).

Andover-great campus and Andover as a town is a bonus as it has lots of options “in-town”. One more thing- some boarding students do A LOT of Doordash/UberEats ordering fwiw so you don’t even need to leave your dorm :face_with_peeking_eye:

Williston- new family so can only speak to what we’ve been told

Green/Blue weeks dictate Saturday class schedule, so only 2x per month; dress code is more structured ie- no athletic wear, sweats, etc but absolutely not blazer and tie place (my son is coming from a strict dress code Boston day school- he’s thrilled!). Campus is in Easthampton and like other schools, use your app to check-out to go “in-town”. There is no use of DoorDash/UberEats permitted.

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Williston says the town is part of the campus so I don’t think any extra permission is needed

Mercersburg town is close by and at least according to the handbook - you have to go into town with a second person (ie not alone)

We are a new family to both schools so ask again in a month for more details

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My son just graduated from Williston.

Most of the town is included as “in bounds” along with the campus.
The town is adjacent to the school, so no shuttle is needed.

The school uses an app requiring parental approval when students want to go off campus, but that’s not necessary for most of Easthampton.
Also, most of the stores in town accept payment from the Williston student account (the Sammy card), so students don’t have to use cash or a separate credit card. Parents can view Sammy card purchases through the school portal.


Can’t wait to see what the vibe is like with actual students!

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Milton Academy may fit your requirements as well. Casual dress code and students frequently make trips to Boston as well as to the surrounding town. Parents fill out a form indicating what their preferences are for their child with regards to leaving campus.

I’m confused by this thread.

I just checked off on the forms that kiddo had permission to go off campus. (There’s a 4 hour only option, but I thought that would be too restrictive - taking a public bus to Boston would eat up a lot of that time.) Anyway, I’m only hit up for case by case permission for overnights. Are there mainstream BSs where kids need permission to walk off campus to go the ice cream place?

So, is the issue about “permission” a concern that they’ll have to sign in/out and use a tracking ap (maybe?), or that they’ll have to get parental permission every time they go off campus?

As far as “no tie”… I’m baffled. Are you looking for all the trappings of the BS stereotype without a tie? Or are you going a more Putney direction? In other words, is it a more relaxed clothing thing, or a more relaxed atmosphere thing?

About Kent: the dress code is two layers so it’s satisfied easily without a tie.
As for going to town-during the day hours the kids just go-the app tracks them without them actually inputting anything.

I think that for thie OP, pinning down location will be key. It sounds like they want proximity to quite a large town. So many great schools mentioned here, even near towns, are not going to fit that bill.

I’m thinking that schools with large day populations might – in some cases – correlate with that.

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Concord meets all those criteria. I went there back in the 1980s, and loved it. My kid didn’t want to apply there, however, and is going to Exeter — which has a dress code (not too strict) and Saturday classes.Concord’s a great school and sounds like a match.

Thanks KateKara for the clarification. still too formal for us as per phonecall the other day, no shorts allowed, and always need something with a collar.

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Hi garden. need walking distance to small town. drove through some schools that aren’t walking distance, and it felt a bit claustraphobic to not be able to escape.

that’s right Bonacker. Concord definitely does. but am looking for options as well, hopefully with a slightly bigger student population too.

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