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Five Interesting Facts about New England Boarding Schools

If you're looking for fun, interesting facts about boarding schools, you've come to the right place! From history to student life, by the end of this post you'll learn five things about boarding schools you hadn't known before. 

1. They’re really old

Many New England Boarding schools were founded shortly after the establishment of the 13 colonies. Cheshire Academy was founded in 1794, only 22 years after Connecticut joined the colonies to rebel against Great Britain.

In addition to just being plain cool, the age of Connecticut boarding schools adds something else to the mix—a long history of excellence, which affects alumni networking opportunities and school reputation.

2. They’re really big

New England boarding schools are known for their sprawling acreage, numerous campus buildings, and wide open athletic fields. New England boarding schools are a lot like college campuses—they’re a small town for the teachers, students, and families who live there. That means there are multiple food options (at Cheshire Academy, we have a snack bar in the Student Center in addition to the meal options offered in the Gideon Welles Dining Commons).

In addition, many have their own pools and ice rinks alongside turf fields and baseball diamonds. This better supports the athletic offerings that almost all students participate in. Cheshire Academy has a full-sized ropes course—one of the few in Connecticut—and a 5k course in the back fields. In addition, the 104-acre campus houses a charming lake that’s great for summer reading, an art gallery, and many single-family houses, home to faculty and their children.

3. They’re really small

While New England boarding schools might be large in acreage, their class sizes and total enrollment is often quite small. While local schools may have thousands of students, many New England boarding schools welcome just one hundred students in each class year for a total of 400 or so students on campus. Of course, every school is different; some boarding schools bill themselves are more intimate environments, and may accept only a handful of students on campus. Cheshire Academy is a mid-sized school, with a 400-student enrollment in the 2014-2015 academic year.

4. They have great relationships with the towns they’re housed in

Cheshire Academy is located in Cheshire, CT. As part of an ongoing relationship of respect and trust for the town, the Academy offers a full four-year boarding school scholarship to one resident of the town of Cheshire every year. Not only that, but the Academy’s Ich Dien society often participates and supports community service initiatives around town, like blood drives and leaf raking in the fall.

The town of Cheshire does plenty for Academy students, too. From their great local businesses (many of which are walking distance to campus) to their annual events, many Academy students, teachers, and families, find themselves enjoying all the town has to offer.

5. They take students off campus

Students don’t spend all their days on campus. In fact, every weekend there are plenty of events that get students out of the dorms and into the nearby area. At Cheshire Academy, students can take a teacher-driven bus to New Haven for shopping, Coldstone for ice cream, and restaurants for hibachi or Mexican food. Plus there are always movies, malls, and more.

On special occasions, students get to spend a class day out in the field touring local art museums or more. Recently, student athletes went on a trip to Orlando, Florida to participate in group pre-season training.

Check back for part II, which will share five more interesting boarding school facts!

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Caitlin Garzi

Written by Caitlin Garzi

Caitlin Garzi is the Assoc. Dir. Of Digital Marketing for Cheshire Academy. She works with CAScratchUp bloggers and maintains the look and feel of the blog.

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