An excellent high school education can set your child on the right path for college and beyond. Children will learn to discover themselves, their aspirations and passions, especially when they are supported by teachers and staff who care for them.
Concord Academy (CA) students do just that. From Grades Nine through 12, they learn and grow in compelling ways that put them in charge of the destiny of their education.
CA is distinctive in many ways. An education at its 26-acre campus on Main Street in Concord, Massachusetts can be described as personalised, student-centred and visionary. Here, nearly 400 students are exploring their interests in a family-like community while achieving academic excellence.
A unique combination of “big school” opportunities with “small school” bonds is the key reason behind this success. Few other schools offer a broad curriculum, wide range of extracurriculars, 30-person student houses each with three faculty families, individual advising and daily all-school meetings — all at once.
The full force of these features is far-reaching. “CA offers such a wide range of courses taught by some of the smartest people I have ever met,” says student Gigi. “It has truly offered me so many opportunities to branch out and explore new fields which I know I wouldn’t have been able to do if I weren’t at CA.”
A broad and rigorous curriculum
Unlike other independent schools of this size, CA has a broad curriculum that caters to every interest. Intellectual possibilities are abundant with over 230 courses in eight academic departments offered, such as visual and performing arts, English, History, Modern and Classical Language, Health and Wellness, Athletics, Computer Science, Maths and Science.
Such a holistic curriculum helps students settle in nicely at the school as they can enjoy a “as wide as you can” dream curriculum. When you like what you’re studying, you’ll do well — creating a positive feedback loop.
Lynn Lewis and Elyse Barry can attest to this. “The balance CA strikes between academics, arts, and athletics is a unique aspect of the school. Academics is the main priority at CA, with arts and athletics being equally important aspects of student life,” says Lewis.
“At CA, you won’t be forced to choose or even favour one or the other, allowing students lots of choices,” shares Lewis.
Barry agrees. “I chose CA because I just loved how you get so much choice in picking classes that you’re interested in! I am able to control what I’m learning, and try different things that I’ve never heard of before.”
Each student is paired with an advisor – a faculty member or administrator who will mentor and advocate for them. They meet once a week, every week, throughout the school year. This highly individualised approach empowers students to explore and engage with courage, self-awareness, discipline and a sense of personal responsibility. To parents, the advisor serves as a vital link between home and school.
What truly sets CA apart from other private high schools in Massachusetts is how its students are free from unhealthy pressure to compete against one another. Courses of first semester ninth graders are graded on a basis of pass or no credit. And only courses taken at CA after the ninth grade year are included in the student’s grade-point average (GPA). These foster a collaborative, creative and intellectually driven environment where students are free to take risks and explore new interests.
A place where curiosities are explored
Many CA students are incredibly active in the arts and athletics and have the option to join over 90 student-led clubs and organisations. Here, afternoons are often spent on interscholastic athletics, theatre productions, music group rehearsals, and intramural sports. As they let their bodies and creativity take flight, they’re forming a strong community and making a lifetime of memories.
“I would say that practically every memory that I have had with the basketball team has reminded me that I belong at CA,” shares student Margo Buchanan. “Sports at CA are so much more than sports: they are an even tighter-knit community than the one we already experience as a school. Joking around in the locker rooms before practice or laughing on long bus rides to games always reminds me of how happy I am to be at the school I am at.”
A home away from home
Boarding at CA is like living with family. Its largest student house has 30 students with three faculty families living in the house. Its smallest house has 20 students. Welcoming, safe and caring, this is an ideal environment for students to study, hang out, and learn from the diversity of perspectives gathered under one roof — earning CA the 12th spot on Niche.com’s “2023 Best boarding high schools in America.”
On weekends, boarders can explore the town of Concord’s safe downtown area’s many shops, only a one to two minute walk from campus. They can also take a 20-minute train ride into the city of Boston and Cambridge with the appropriate permissions.
International student Smile Jiang describes CA as “vigorous, warm, and brimming with love and possibility.” Boarding here has shown her how CA values relationships and focuses on building community.
“Be truthful and unapologetic when you tell your story,” she says. “Everyone at CA will value and appreciate you for who you are. Also, trust yourself to make some steps and leaps outside of your comfort zone, and explore all that this community has to offer (including some top-tier hot chocolate)!”
Learn more about the school that goes to great lengths to ensure every student’s success both within and beyond the four walls of the campus. Find your place at Concord Academy.