Day and Boarding; Grades 6-12

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Frequently Asked Questions about Boarding

Students thinking about boarding school often have a lot of questions. Answers to the ones we hear most often are below. Feel free to ask us about any other topics that are not covered below!

Will I have a roommate?

Most boarding students live in double rooms. There are a few single rooms that are usually reserved for middle school students and seniors. New boarding students are matched with roommates with similar personalities and interests. After the first year at Pennington, you are allowed to request your roommate.

Where do I eat?

During the week, three meals a day are served in our dining hall. A salad bar, wok bar, a pizza bar, and hot and cold entrees offer a variety of choices. During the weekends, brunch and dinner are served.

What is Formal Dinner?

On Monday evenings, the boarding community gets together for dinner. Dress is formal, and students and faculty are assigned to tables. After the meal, announcements are made, birthdays are celebrated, and accomplishments are noted.

What if I get hungry in my free time?

There are vending machines in the Student Center for a quick snack. A supermarket is one block from the School, and students are free to go shopping there after their academic and extracurricular activities during the week, as well as on the weekends.

When do I do my homework?

You are required to be in your room at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday for study hall. All boarding students study quietly in their rooms under the supervision of hall parents until 9:30 p.m. If you need to use the library during study hall, you may do so with a library pass from your teacher.

May I have a computer in my room?

You are allowed to have a computer in your room. All rooms are equipped with computer hook-ups with direct access to the school's computer server, the Intranet, the Internet, school email, and individual directories on the School's file server.

What happens on the weekends?

There are many things to do on the weekends. A schedule of events is published each Friday, and students can be very busy as they take advantage of the activities that are offered. Weekly activities include trips to the movie theater, area restaurants, and to the mall; library hours; free swim in the pool; Pennington athletic events; open gym; and exercise room sessions. Each weekend there are also special activities included in the schedule, such as trips to theater performances, professional sports events, the beach, amusement parks, flea markets, and community festivals, as well as day trips to Philadelphia and New York City.

Do I have to stay every weekend?

All students are required to stay at school for the first weekend of the year. For this weekend, special activities are planned that allow boarding students the opportunity to get to know each other and make new friends. Additional community weekends, when boarding students are required to stay on campus, are scheduled periodically throughout the year to help boarding students build a strong community at school. Students are allowed to sign out on any weekends that are not designated as "community weekends." To see the dates of all community weekends, please visit the Parents page and click on the Residential Major Dates Calendar.

Who does my laundry?

You may do your own laundry with the coin-operated washing and drying machines available in some of the dormitories or in the laundry room, which has multiple coin-operated washers and dryers for student use. If you don't want to do your own laundry, you can register with the laundry service for an additional cost.

Who cleans my room?

You are responsible for keeping your room clean and neat at all times. Hall parents check rooms during the evening at the beginning of study hall. All in-room bathrooms must also be kept clean.

How do I stay in touch with friends/family from home?

There are many ways to communicate with family and friends. When you arrive at Pennington, you will set up a Pennington School email account. You can email friends from any computer on campus or from your room if you have your own computer. Students are allowed to have cell phones, which you may use during free time. Each dorm has a telephone on which you may make phone calls using a phone card. You can also receive calls on the dorm phones. Each boarding student also has a locked mailbox in the Student Center. Mail is distributed each weekday. Fax machines are also available on campus for student use.