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Notes for Prospective Students
- The School - In 1850, Frederick Gunn fulfilled a lifelong dream
by establishing a school for boys and girls in his home of
In this setting, he and his wife sought to
develop each student's intellect, character, and values.
The Gunnery became a school for boys, but it returned to
coeducation in 1977.
- More than 156 years after its founding, the school's goal
remains the same: the education of each student to his or her
highest potential in an atmosphere of academic excellence,
competitive athletics, and strong, nonsectarian moral guidance.
Students are responsible for promoting their own intellectual,
physical, and social development and contributing to the well-being
The Gunnery's special character and strength result from
the unique manner in which faculty members both challenge and
support students in preparing them for the demands of college and
- The 220-acre campus borders the village green of Washington, a
small, historic town in the foothills of the Berkshires in western
By car, The Gunnery is about an hour from New Haven
and Hartford, 2 hours from New York, and 3 hours from Boston.A
nonprofit corporation, The Gunnery is directed by a 22-member,
self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.
The school's physical plant is
valued at $30 million.
The endowment is $21 million.
- The Gunnery is accredited by the New England Association of
Schools and Colleges and is approved by the Connecticut Association
of Independent Schools and the Connecticut State Department of
It is a member of the National Association of
Independent Schools, the Secondary School Admission Test Board, A
Better Chance, and the Cum Laude Society.
- Academic Program - The curriculum reflects the school's
commitment to a liberal arts education as the most appropriate
vehicle for developing intellectual curiosity and the basic skills
of communication and inquiry.
The Gunnery aims to prepare students
both for the rigors of college study and for lifetime learning.
Students generally carry five courses for each of the three terms,
which are approximately ten weeks in length.
To graduate, students
must complete 4 years of English, 3 years of mathematics, 3 years
of laboratory sciences, 3 years of one foreign language, 3 years of
history, and two terms of art.
Additional noncredit requirements
include one term of ethics in the sophomore year and one term of
public speaking in the junior year.
- The curriculum is unusually varied; Advanced Placement courses
and many electives are offered in all disciplines.
In the spring
term, seniors may apply for independent-study projects by
submitting formal, written proposals.
projects, some seniors leave the campus to work full-time; others
remain on campus, retaining a partial academic schedule while
researching a project or working in the community.
In both cases, a
student designs his or her own project, works closely with a
faculty adviser, and submits a written final report.
Faculty-supervised study hall is held in central locations for all
students who have not yet achieved Academic Merit status.
Merit students may observe monitored study hall in their dormitory
Study hall is held from 8:00 to 10:00 each night except
Saturday; supervised study halls are also held during each class
Classes, which average 12 students in size, provide a
seminar atmosphere, allowing for maximum student-teacher
In certain disciplines, students are grouped by
- The grading system uses the designations of distinction, high
honors, honors, high pass, pass, low pass, and no credit to reflect
a student's achievement in a course.
Six grade reports, containing
detailed written comments, are issued during the year
- When hiring new teachers, the school carefully looks for
individuals who are enthusiastic about teaching and working in a
variety of roles with young people.
Most faculty members live on
campus, coach, and lead activities.
Each student works closely with
a faculty adviser, who serves as a mentor throughout the student's
years at The Gunnery.
- College Placement - Careful and extensive college counseling,
beginning in the winter of a student's junior year, is conducted by
1 full-time and 1 part-time college counselor.
academic record, test scores, extracurricular activities, and
personal promise are all evaluated at that time, and a preliminary
list of colleges is drawn up by the student in conference with his
or her parents and the college adviser.
Juniors and seniors are
encouraged to talk with college representatives who visit the
campus every autumn.
Students also conduct research, visit
campuses, and attend college fairs.
By the end of the junior year,
their options are refined; in the senior year, each student files
applications to approximately seven colleges, generally no later
than January 1.
- In keeping with the school's tradition of sharing
responsibility, students are given opportunities to become school
The student body is led by 6 elected senior prefects, who
serve as liaisons with the faculty and Head of School.
students serve as residential assistants, working closely with dorm
parents in running each dormitory and in supervising evening study
Students are also instrumental in implementing The Gunnery's
work program and such organizations as the Red and Gray tour guides
and the Student Activities Committee.
Also, faculty members and
students serve together on the Disciplinary Committee.
- The Gunnery has clearly defined rules by which each student is
expected to abide for the benefit of all.
A first violation of a
major school rule usually results in the student being placed on
probation; a second violation may result in dismissal.
- Athletics - The Gunnery views required athletics as an
important part of the overall development to be promoted in each
Nearly all sports involve team participation and
competition with other schools.
Fall offerings include crew,
cross-country, field hockey, football, and soccer.
include basketball, ice hockey, and wrestling for boys and
basketball, ice hockey, and volleyball for girls.
include baseball, crew, golf, lacrosse, softball, and tennis.
Participation in the athletics program is mandatory.
service, an arts option, the ski program, outdoor club, and the
Independent Study Program are available alternatives for eleventh
and twelfth graders for one term only.
Miller Memorial Athletic Center includes two
full-sized gymnasiums, the fully equipped Noto Fitness Center, a
weight room, a wrestling room, and locker and shower facilities.
The Linen Ice Rink was renovated and enclosed in 1996.
restored Haddick Field House provides additional locker, shower,
and storage areas.
There are four clay and four hard tennis courts,
a new boathouse on Lake Waramaug, four athletic fields, and a
In addition, students have access to the
2,000-acre Steep Rock Reservation and The Gunnery's Neergard Woods,
70 acres of woodlands, where the school cabin is located.
- Extracurricular Opportunities - Students are strongly
encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities.
three student publications: The Gunnery News, The Red and Gray (the
school yearbook), and Stray Shot (the literary magazine).
dramatic productions, one of which is a musical, are held annually,
and there are opportunities in both vocal and instrumental music.
Student organizations include Amnesty International and the One
World, computer, international, photography, Ultimate Frisbee, and
Members of the Community Council and student tutors help
their peers with personal and academic problems.
More than 50
students volunteer to serve as campus tour guides for admissions
and other visitors.
- Daily Life - Classes are held six days a week; Wednesday and
Saturday classes are held in the mornings only, followed by sports
competitions in the afternoons.
Monday through Saturday, breakfast
is served from 7:15 to 8:15, followed by participation in the
campus job program (a commitment of approximately 20 minutes each
week), dormitory jobs, and room cleanup.
Seven 45-minute class
periods begin at 8:30 and end at 3.
Each class meets four times per
week; two meetings each week are double periods.
Lunch is served
daily at 12:30; Tuesday and Friday lunches are formal, family-style
meals at tables headed by students' advisers.
- The Gunnery community comes together for an all-school meeting
every Monday and Thursday morning for special programs or general
Sports practices take place daily between 3 and
5:30, and dinner begins at 5:30.
Study hall is from 8:00 to
10:00, and students must be in their dormitories at 10.
- Weekend Life - Because the school values community spirit,
students are required to remain on campus during a number of
weekends each term.
On the remaining weekends, they are allowed to
go home or visit a friend after Saturday classes and sports.
on campus is a leisure day until dinner, which is followed by study
A late-morning brunch is served, and students are free to
worship at area churches if they wish.
- A four-day weekend falls near the middle of each term.
school closes during these long weekends, and all students must
leave the campus.
The Gunnery is also closed during Thanksgiving
recess, winter vacation, and spring break.
- The Student Activities Committee plans many activities,
including movies, dances, concerts on campus and at other schools,
and open houses in faculty members' homes.
Also offered are trips
off campus to New York City, local shopping centers, sports events,
and ski areas.
The Metropolitan Opera in New York is a perennial
- The Gunnery is committed to enrolling a diverse student body.
Approximately $2.4 million in financial aid has been awarded to 44
percent of the student body for
- Admissions Information - When considering applicants for The
Gunnery, the Admissions Committee considers academic aptitude and
achievement, character, and extracurricular abilities and
The school selects applicants who can be served well by
its programs and who will, in turn, enhance the community.
Gunnery seeks active and involved students with a strong desire to
excel academically and to participate in sports and other
- Most new students enter in grade 9 or 10.
A few eleventh
graders are admitted, and, on occasion, a highly qualified twelfth
grader is accepted.
Approximately 10 postgraduates also enroll each
- An admissions decision is based on a student's academic record,
a guidance counselor or adviser recommendation, two teacher
references, a written application, a student writing sample, and
SSAT, PSAT, or SAT scores.
Applicants for grades 9 through 11
should take the SSAT, and twelfth grade and postgraduate candidates
are asked to submit SAT scores.
A personal interview with a member
of the admissions staff is required.
The Gunnery also has an active
network of parent and trustee volunteers who answer questions for
- Application Timetable - An inquiry is welcome at any time.
Campus tours and interviews can be arranged by contacting the
Admissions Office in advance.
Appointments are scheduled from 8:15
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and from
8:30 to 11 a.m.
on Wednesday and Saturday.
Applicants whose files
are successfully completed by January 31 are notified of their
acceptance on March 10, and students are expected to reply by April
After March 10, applications are considered until all places