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?
- Where do I eat?
- What is Formal Dinner?
- What if I get hungry in my free time?
- When do I do my homework?
- May I have a computer in my room?
- What happens on the weekends?
- Do I have to stay every weekend?
- Who does my laundry?
- Who cleans my room?
- How do I stay in touch with friends/family from home?
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.
A snack bar in the Student Center offers a variety of light meals and snacks. 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. There are many restaurants within a five-minute walk of campus.
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.
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.
All students are required to stay on campus 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 build a strong boarding community at Pennington. 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.
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.
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. 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.