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, prefects, 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. Two salad bars, wok bar, a panini station, and hot and cold entrees offer a variety of choices. During the weekends, brunch and dinner are served. Vegan and vegetarian choices are always available.

What is Formal Dinner?

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

What if I get hungry in my free time?

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.

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 personal devices in your room. All students have Pennington WiFi accounts for gaining access to online resources, including email, Google Drive, Schoology, and other school-related tools.

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 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.

Who does my laundry?

Washing and drying machines are available in the dormitories or in the laundry room for student use. If you don't want to do your own laundry, you can register with a 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 during your iPad training session. Students are allowed to have cell phones, which you may use during free time. Each boarding student has a locked mailbox in the Campus Center; letters and packages are delivered to the Campus Center when school is in session.

Where can I store things over the summer?

The Pennington School uses All Campus Storage, which offers a hassle-free summer storage and shipping service. Services include online registration, door-to-door pickup and delivery, all items insured, free packing materials on campus, and 24/7 customer support. Items are picked up, stored over the summer, and delivered to the new dorm room in the fall. ACS can ship items home to even to college dormitories if desired.