Top New England schools for a well-rounded education

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Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. It requires graduates with diverse qualifications and skills that stand out among candidates — something a well-rounded education is capable of providing. 

Enrolling your child in a school that offers a well-rounded education means your child is not confined within the four walls of the classroom. Their learning takes place in numerous settings and mediums, they engage with like-minded peers and dedicated faculty, they take part in expansive after-school programmes and they grow in an environment where they are seen and heard. 

Thankfully, many schools in the US — especially those in New England — are more than capable of providing a holistic education. They develop individuals that are prepared for college and beyond while experiencing a well-lived life. 

If this is the outcome you seek for your child, consider these well-rounded schools in New England: 

Pingree School

At Pingree School, students engage fully in classes, after-school programmes and clubs — and still make it home for dinner. Source: Pingree School

Zoom in on the town of South Hamilton, Massachusetts, and you’ll find Pingree School, a vibrant independent secondary day school where students thrive. They engage fully in classes, after-school programmes, and clubs — and still make it home for dinner.

At Pingree, relationships are paramount. Students and parents connect with a built-in community that is friendly, warm, and inclusive. Parents get to enjoy front-row seats to their child’s growth. They visit the school for games, performances, and a wide array of social events — joining their child’s journey through the pivotal stage of adolescence and beyond.

Such robust family life is not mutually exclusive to a great education at Pingree. Here, learning is holistic. Each student’s schedule is unique. Students are given extensive flexibility in their academic journey, with a comprehensive array of courses and an ever-evolving list of electives that challenge them to step beyond their comfort zones and take intellectual risks. They explore a stimulating and thought-provoking curriculum as well as a wide variety of artistic, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities. Whether it’s through the performing or visual arts, or as a member of one of the school’s competitive athletics teams, Pingree students are always exploring and enhancing their personal growth.

The sweeping 100-acre campus is a thriving, catalytic space for students to explore, create, connect, reflect, dream, and discover. Pingree is a short ride away from Boston, the region’s cultural and educational hub. Equally accessible are the ocean and mountains, which Pingree uses as natural extensions of the classroom environment. To learn more about how Pingree prepares students to lead full and meaningful lives, click here.

The Putney School

The Putney School

The Putney School has been practising project-based learning, integrated curricula and hands-on education for over 75 years. Source: The Putney School

Creative yet practical, visionary yet grounded — the Putney School is one of the most progressive schools in the US. That’s not all. This co-educational boarding and day school for grades nine to 12 is distinctive in many other ways. 

One is its culture of vibrant intellectual curiosity within an informal environment. Free from the race for grades — it does not teach the Advanced Placement curriculum or any other standardised tests — they learn in compelling ways. They are in charge of the destiny of their education. By operating the school’s dairy farm, participating in physical work programmes, getting elected to the governing board, sitting in as members of the admission committee and more. It’s an effective approach too — the majority of Putney students win places at top colleges and universities. 

The second reason is its project-based learning, integrated curricula and hands-on education. Although only recently implemented by other schools, the Putney School has been practising these for over 75 years. Its academic arts programme encompasses a wide range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, one of the central Putney experiences. Students engage and explore a topic meaningful to them. 

The third reason? Support. Learners of all stages and experiences are celebrated here. There are English language classes for international students. The Afternoon and Athletics programme ensures Putney students are not just active, but reap the full physical and emotional benefits of exercise. Across the curriculum, issues of social justice and race are taught.

George School

George School

George School encourages self-reflection and openness to foster a welcoming community where each student is celebrated for who they are. Source: George School

A global school that holds local Quaker roots, George School in Newton, Pennsylvania boasts a 240-acre lawn and wooded hillsides for students to develop and ignite their passions through a philosophy of openness and introspection so students can flourish intellectually, personally, and spiritually. 

The co-educational boarding and day school represent 37 countries, with 41% students of colour in a community of 540 students in grades nine through 12. The school is among the first to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, with 59 courses to select from in a rigorous programme that balances academics and community service, creativity, and athletics. 

Residential life at George School is where students learn to be independent and grow through meaningful friendships. It is a second home that provides young minds with the opportunity to constantly reinvent themselves through various student clubs, sports, and adventures, all within a supportive environment that will help shape their character.

Student support goes all the way to the upper years, as evident in the school’s student-centred College Counselling service. With the help of an exceptional team of counsellors to nudge them in the right direction, students are able to make informed decisions that are grounded in self-reflection about their future plans after graduation. Every senior student secures placement, with some securing several admissions to illustrious universities such as Brown University, Columbia University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others.

Collegiate School

Collegiate School

Old, but not old-fashioned, Collegiate labels its academics as neither traditional nor progressive. Source: Collegiate School/Facebook

As one of the oldest schools in the country, Collegiate School — established in 1628 — balances respect for its past with the need to always improve, reinvent and reimagine. Boys in this single-sex day school learn traditions and values in a small-school environment. At Collegiate, boys from kindergarten to upper school develop their individual capacities for personal and academic excellence. 

Old, but not old-fashioned, Collegiate labels its academics as neither traditional nor progressive. Here, a programme that is structured and challenging yet flexible and comfortable is what you’ll get. Boys in the lower school develop their knowledge and skills in all aspects of growth: physical, social, emotional, and intellectual — before they explore cognitive learning and personal growth in middle school. Step into Collegiate’s upper school, and you’ll find that students immerse themselves in scholarship, think critically and exchange ideas. They become leaders who serve their community. 

Indeed, community service is an intricate part of the Collegiate student life — which also consists of after-school programmes and rich clubs and activities. The school is committed to guiding boys of all levels to develop habits of caring for and helping others. Students participate in group community service projects, work with non-governmental organisations, take part in the neighbourhood and city-wide campaigns and raise funds to support a variety of causes. 

Collegiate’s Arts programme is just as prolific. Students at all levels take part in different courses: drama, visual arts and music. They learn how to play musical instruments, take classes in acting, directing, technical design, and New York City theatre and take advantage of New York City’s many museums and cultural institutions, among others. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International



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