FROM THE ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL FOR STUDENT LIFE
he student life experience at Pomfret is designed to complement each individualâ€™s academic journey by offering enriching programs with an emphasis on helping every student identify strength of character, cultural competency, ethical and compassionate decision-making, wellness, and socio-emotional fluency as both personal goals and individual guidelines. With various opportunities for involvement and leadership in clubs, social activities, co-curriculum programs, as well as programs targeting mental and physical soundness, each student builds a personal portfolio centered on responsibility and well-being at Pomfret and develops skills that equip him or her for life. The School provides a safe and sturdy bridge that spans the social and emotional spectrum, from middle school...to high school...to college. The path beyond Pomfret is formed by established relationships with adults and peers that will last a lifetime. Kindly,
Rich Dempsey Assistant Head of School for Student Life
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVITY
As one of the four pillars of our Strategic Plan, at Pomfret the commitment to Health and Wellness is more than a label; it is a way of life. From the day a student arrives on the Hilltop until the bittersweet commencement farewells, our focus as educators is to establish a healthy balance between the curious mind, the hungry intellect, the open heart, and the adolescent appetite for life. In May of 2014 a single significant gift of $3 million—from an anonymous donor with the sensitivity and perspective to recognize the need—was announced, putting the School firmly on the path toward, in the words of one Trustee, “the extraordinary.”
In June of 2013 at an award ceremony in New York City, A Better Chance (ABC) celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. In 1963, its mission — to provide educational opportunities to young people of color “capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership” — was considered groundbreaking. Among the awards presented at the ceremony was the Legacy Award, honoring the sixteen independent schools who in 1963 opened their arms to the ABC students, “for exhibiting leadership by opening doors…[and] blazing a path for others to follow.” Pomfret School was one of them.
Assistant Head of School for Student Life Rich Dempsey joined Pomfret’s administration in 2013, to keep the focus on the well-being of our students, and to maintain the momentum of what he calls “the safe and sturdy bridge.” To accomplish what the Board of Trustees regards as the crucial alliance of “mind, body, and spirit,” Health and Wellness programming incorporates everything from yoga and mindfulness and the concept of good food to the introduction of a four-year academic and grade-appropriate curricular component. Facilities will also undergo a renovation to incorporate 24-hour infirmary care. HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAM Ninth Grade: Self • Transition • Challenges • Teamwork Tenth Grade: Others • Exploring myriad issues of diversity • Making healthy decisions • Active year socially Eleventh Grade: Community • Teaming up; thinking about others • Impact on the school; on the greater community • Leadership positions Twelfth Grade: Life • Not just survivor skills for Pomfret, thinking beyond • Life 101 • Healthy relationships; protecting one’s self
At Pomfret, the doors to diversity have long been open wide, and through them have walked a spectrum of students bearing on their shoulders differences and orientations that range from the racial, ethnic and cultural to the social and personal. The School places great value on its legacy of diversity and inclusivity, in part for the vibrancy and depth it brings to the community, and for the enrichment and perspective it brings to our classrooms. In the winter of 2014, the School implemented a Diversity Strategic Plan, formally recognizing a culture of acceptance and alliance already well-established. Examples abound: • Annual faculty participation in the NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC) • Student participation in the POCC’s Student Diversity Leadership Conference • VOICE, a student diversity group • Leadership in SPHERE • GSA club fundraisers for LGBT issues • Annual GSA aluluni/ae brunch on Reunion Weekend Director of Diversity Steve Davis has spent 25 years working in independent schools in some capacity as a Diversity administrator. When it comes to Pomfret, he told the faculty, “I have not been in an institution that seems to get it as much as this one. I do believe it’s a special something that is here.”
LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Being a student leader at Pomfret is a valued and honorable achievement. Each leadership position carries different responsibilities, but all bear the same expectations: leading by example, abiding by school rules, exhibiting a positive attitude, contributing to school pride and spirit, upholding the values of the School, and supporting and supplementing the work of the faculty in making school life enjoyable, healthful, and productive.
Prominent leadership roles include: • School Council • Prefects • Key Club Tour Guide Leaders • Pomfret Ambassadors • Deans’ Assistants • Discipline Committee • Writing and Math Centers Tutors • Athletic Council • Editorial Staffs for Student Publications • Head Waiters • Team Captains Student Leadership Institute Effective leadership defines the culture, message, and impact of any institution. To that end, Pomfret’s newly-elected student leaders are required to participate in the School’s Student Leadership Institute. Facilitated by faculty and administrators, the focus of this three-day workshop (held at the end of the school year) is on self-reflection and a collaborative sharing of ideas, designed to equip students with a well-defined set of expectations (their own and others’) and a template for action.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH Being a member of the Community Service team (offered as an afternoon activity option), participating in a service project with teammates, or pursuing other opportunities with members of a Form are just a few examples of Pomfret’s Community Outreach program. Designed to provide every member of the community with the opportunity to serve others, students learn empathy and gain rich experiences and critical skills essential to becoming active citizens and engaged leaders. Examples of Pomfret’s service projects: • Collecting gifts for needy children (during the holidays) • Hole in the Wall Gang Camp • Palmer Arboretum • Collection for local food pantries (TEEG and Daily Bread) • Pomfret Public Library book sale • Audubon After School program • Two blood drives a year • Food concessions during events to raise money for a variety of causes • Sterling, CT Backpack Project (keeping students fed during the weekend)
RESIDENTIAL LIFE Warm and Inviting Environment The Pomfret community serves as a home away from home for our students. We believe that warm, homelike dormitory living is a priority. Nearly 100% of our faculty live on campus and more than 70% are dorm parents or affiliates who remain close at hand to supervise and mentor, and offer support. They focus on: • Providing individual attention to each student • Helping students learn from the differences of other students’ backgrounds and beliefs • Developing and fostering a sense of unity within each dorm Pomfret utilizes student leaders (prefects) to help faculty lead each dorm unit. Student prefects are elected in the spring for the following year and placed by faculty. The position is one of leadership and responsibility; all prefects undergo extensive training, and arrive early on campus before each school year begins to help prepare for Opening Day and to welcome new and returning students with the spirit and pride that is Pomfret. Diverse Living Spaces: Boarders and Day Students The majority of our boarding third formers (freshmen) live in house dorms in what is known as Freshmen Circle, providing a community within a community for our younger first-year students. Other house dorms are available, as well as four large traditional style dorms, known as “The Bricks.” These dorms overlook “The Quad”— a central outdoor meeting place for such student activities as barbecues, dances, and casual socializing. Each dorm unit has a common room (for dorm meetings, socials, and a place to relax) that is comfortably furnished and includes such essential teenage amenities as a flat-screen TV and a microwave. Day students are provided with their own lounges and study rooms in the Olmsted Student Union. Each day student is assigned two large lockers — one for academic materials and one for clothing and accessories. Living and Learning Together Third and fourth formers (freshmen and sophomores) are naturally given more supervision and are expected to follow the expectations of evening study hall, lights-out, and room-cleaning regimens. As they become fifth and sixth formers (juniors and seniors), less supervision is needed as these routines become habits. Students and faculty work together to organize their dorm lives by planning everything from fun and meaningful activities to participating in dorm maintenance — all terrific lessons for teamwork and for life in college.
CLUBS AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES Pomfret has an abundance of opportunities for outreach and involvement in the life of the community. Media Team Pomfret offers a unique and well-known Media Team option for students. During each term, students on the team capture various campus events with their photos, videos, and written word. Many great student works have been published via Pomfret’s print and electronic communications vehicles. Clubs
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Amnesty International Book Club Chinese Club Christian Fellowship Classic Film Club Culturefest (annual celebration of differences) Cooking Club Diplomacy Environmental Club Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Glee Club Hillel International Students Club Investment Club Manuscripts (student literary magazine) Math Team National Junior Classical League (NJCL) Political Discussion Group Pomfret Missionary Society Pontefract (school newspaper) Ski Club VOICE (student diversity group) WBVC 91.1 (Pomfret’s FM radio station) Women’s Action Coalition
Activities • • • • • • • •
Trips to local areas and/or surrounding cities (Providence, Boston, NYC) for: theaters, movies, museums, shopping, dining, etc. White-water rafting Hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing Barbecues and carnivals on the Quad (popular outside gathering area) Concerts and dances Shows, hypnotists, films Faculty-student competitions Recreational sports
2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR Opening Days September 2, 2014 Registration for preseason athletes and prefects September 3, 2014 Registration for new international students September 5, 2014 Registration for all seniors September 6, 2014 Registration for all other new and returning students
Spring Vacation* March 6 - 24, 2015 (campus closed) Classes resume March 25th, 8:30 AM
Fall Family Weekend & Holiday* October 16 - 18, 2014
Exams For Underformers May 28 - 31, 2015 Students may depart following their last exam
Fall Long Weekend* October 18 - 21, 2014 (campus closed) Classes resume October 22nd, 8:30 AM Fall Academic Term Ends November 21, 2014 Thanksgiving Vacation* November 22 - December 1, 2014 (campus closed) Project: Pomfret begins December 2nd, 8:30 AM Winter Vacation* December 18, 2014 - January 4, 2015 (campus closed) Classes resume January 5th, 8:30 AM Winter Academic Term Begins January 5, 2015 Long Winter Weekend* February 5 - February 8, 2015 (campus closed) Classes resume February 9th, 8:30 AM Winter Academic Term Ends March 4, 2015
Spring Academic Term Begins March 25, 2015 Commencement May 24, 2015
Student Leadership Training May 25 - 30, 2015 ** There may be slight adjustments to the School Calendar. *Students may not leave prior to their last regularly scheduled class, exam, or event. Schedule changes should not be requested to accommodate travel plans. Dormitories close the day school vacations begin. Students must return to campus by 7:30 PM on the last day of each break.
For details on Student Life at Pomfret, visit: www.pomfretschool.org/StudentLife
If you have questions regarding Student Life at Pomfret, please contact: Rich Dempsey Assistant Head of School for Student Life email@example.com 860. 963. 5285 Dolph Clinton ’92 Dean of Students firstname.lastname@example.org 860. 963. 6150 Steve Davis Director of Diversity and Community Relations email@example.com 860. 963. 5958
Admissions Office 398 Pomfret Street PO Box 128 Pomfret CT 06258-0128 Phone: 860.963.6120 Fax: 860.963.2042 www.pomfretschool.org