Location: Putney, Vermont
Enrollment: 169 boarding students, 51 day students
Diversity : 14% American students of color; 21% international students
Tuition: $45,300 for boarding, $29,400 for day
Financial aid: about 50% of students receive financial aid
What the Putney School is Like
The Putney School, a member of the Independent Curriculum Group, is a progressive school that offers strong academics, a vibrant arts program, a beautiful outdoor life, and training in sustainable living. The school was founded in 1935 by Carmelita Hinton, who believed in a progressive education by which students learn not only through traditional academic activities by also through experiential education. Putney was one of the first co-ed boarding schools in the country.
The school educates its students to be part of a wider world, to take on responsibility for social change, to engage in artistic life, and to be responsible for sustaining the environment. To foster these goals and to help students develop responsibility and responsibility in their community, the school requires students to participate in a work program. As part of this program, students have various responsibilities, including lunch and dinner crew duty and working on their 500-acre farm. In addition, students are responsible for working on the local land, which includes pasture and woodland, through tasks such as sugaring or maintaining trails. The farm is home to award-winning milking cows, laying hens, cattle, oxen, horses, pigs, turkeys, and sheep. The farm and local land produce milk, yogurt, maple syrup, eggs, and other products consumed at the school. Students can also make use of two greenhouses for biology and other classes.
Students’ academic programs include five academic courses each year, and the students benefit from small class sizes and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. During Project Weeks, which occur after winter vacation and at the end of spring term, students have ten days to pursue independent projects that they help create and carry out with faculty supervision. Seniors can take part in a five-week Work Term during the spring semester. During Work Term, they hold work-study jobs and work in various capacities, such as in local schools, clinics, and government offices.
Classes meet every day of the week (there is a half day on Wednesday) and on Saturday until about noon. After classes, students play sports, participate in extracurricular activities, and work in jobs on and off campus. They also participate twice a week in evening activities and in study in their dorms or library five nights a week. On the weekends, which last from the middle of the day on Saturday through Sunday night, students can go to Brattleboro, a local city to which transportation is provided, or go on weekend camping or other trips. Students can also ask for faculty and parent permission to spend Saturdays away from the school.
The school offers a number of extracurricular activities, including sports such as basketball, crew, lacrosse, and others. In addition, the school has ski trails, and many of its students have competed on national teams. All students can use the trails for skiing, and there is also snowboarding and snowshoeing on campus. In addition, each week, students and faculty get together for Sing. Evening activities include jazz band, woodworking, knitting, photography, weaving, orchestra, and others.
Alumni and alumnae of the school have gone on to attend colleges and universities such as Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard, Barnard, Columbia, Amherst, Duke, Reed, Yale, and others. The college admissions process starts in junior year, and many colleges send representatives to meet with students on the campus.