Education In and Out of Class
Teachers are the most important part of a student’s classroom experience. The school is designed for boys who need and want the personal attention, guidance, praise, and inspiration of real, human teachers. These are students for whom personal guidance and mentoring are more important than the abundance of facts and electronic stimulation that comes from computer directed instruction. Computers are generally used for lengthy writing assignments and other particular purposes, but in most respects the educational experience is personal and human rather than electronic.
Classes typically have only 3 to 6 students. Within these small groups, instruction is quite traditional, with discussions, presentations, and assignments. In such small classes, every student sits near the front of the room and teachers and students are always in direct contact with each other. Lessons can be modified to fit one or two students’ special interests or difficulties; and interruptions because of a student’s abundance of enthusiasm or momentary frustration do not need to become major issues.
Student evaluations and grades (A through F) are based on class assignments, homework, quizzes and tests, class participation, and effort.
Physical activity, music, art, and drama, are important parts of a Hampshire Country School education, but these mostly take place outside of formal classes as extra-curricular activities and events. Except when the activities are part of a mini-course or special elective, they are not graded and are not given credit toward high school graduation.
Parents are sent scholastic reports with grades and teacher comments at the middle and end of each trimester. They meet with each teacher for a formal parent-teacher conference during the October and February Family Weekends.