The Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut. Founded in 1891, the school provides an education of unsurpassed quality to 600 students in grades 9 through 12, and to a small number of postgraduates. Students at Hotchkiss come from across the United States and 34 foreign countries. Graduates attend many of the most selective universities and colleges.
The Hotchkiss School is an accredited member of the following organizations and affiliations:
- Confucius Institute Headquarters International Division (Hanban)
- Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
- Council for the Advancement and Support of Education
- Cum Laude Society
- Educational Records Bureau
- Global Education Benchmark Group
- National Association of Independent Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- The Round Square Conference of Schools
- Secondary School Admission Test Board
Learning at Hotchkiss: Advising, Faculty, Courses, and More
As one student says, “You get rigor, but more important, you get fascination.”
Academics at Hotchkiss reflect our mission to inspire a lifelong love of learning in each and every student. Asked what most defines the learning experience, our students and faculty quickly arrive at the word “rigor.” Everyone works hard, but at the end of the day, there’s a feeling of exhilaration. As one student says, “You get rigor, but more important, you get fascination.”
One of the first things you’ll notice about our classes: students and teachers are genuinely caught up in the excitement and momentum of learning. Our average class size is 12, and the learning environment is intimate, interactive, and inclusive. Most humanities classes, for example, are taught around oval seminar tables, which results in animated discussions and active learning. In all of our classes, students have opinions. They speak up. They disagree. They learn from their teachers—and from one another.
By design, the academic program at Hotchkiss is both flexible and broad: each student works closely with an advisor to plan a balanced program of study. Since we know our students well, we can guide them in the direction that best fits their interests, ambitions, and passions. We offer a curriculum designed to prepare students for the rigors and rewards of college, community, and life.
What do our students achieve with a Hotchkiss education? Recent graduates attend colleges and universities throughout the nation and even abroad. Older alumni have found success in a wide range of career fields including the arts, public service, medicine, industry, and education. More to the point, they are making the choices that are best for them.
To help students and their parents or guardians make the best choices from the wide array of opportunities at Hotchkiss, we have an advising system that puts each individual student in frequent contact with a faculty advisor and an advisory group. Initially, we match new students and advisors through conversations with the Dean of Residential Life, the Class Deans, the Dean of Academic Life and Admissions officers, but if – over time here – a student finds a different adult mentor, he or she is free to switch advisors. Still, in most cases, students and advisors are together from the student’s first day at Hotchkiss through graduation.
By design and from our own institutional research, we know that advisors are the Hotchkiss adults on whom students and parents/guardians rely most. Advisors are a key link to home, sending both formal and informal feedback, and helping students to resolve issues and concerns. Our advisors are some of the first adults to welcome new students and families on the first day of school, and advisory groups continue to meet weekly all academic year alongside more informal individualized meetings with advisor/advisee pairs. An advisory curriculum, built on the arc of the School calendar, addresses student issues, requirements, and needs throughout the year.
Advisors and students, together with input from parents, Heads of Department, and the College Office, plan an academic program. This coursework is designed to enhance a student's interests, meet diploma requirements, learn new skills, practice new mindsets, and grow in myriad ways. In the Upper Mid year, advisors and the College Office begin their formal work together to develop a college plan. The student’s network of support thus expands and broadens.
Because advisors play a large part in a student’s holistic growth throughout his or her Hotchkiss career, a deep bond often develops and continues to grow years beyond graduation.
The arts are an integral part of life at Hotchkiss. All students are encouraged to venture into the Hotchkiss arts programs to see what they can discover about themselves and others. For entering preps and lower mids, one year of study in the arts is required. Many students choose to go beyond this requirement. Whether in music, dance, visual art, theater, or photography, our classes are rigorous and require focus, commitment, and discipline. In addition to providing solid technical instruction, our arts courses are also designed to stretch students' creative boundaries, to give them a sense of historical context, and to encourage a familiarity with the varied artistic traditions of the world.
Beyond the classroom, Hotchkiss students have many opportunities to explore the arts. Each year, the Hotchkiss Dramatic Association sponsors three main stage productions in the Walker Auditorium and as many as twelve additional student productions in the Black Box Theater. Gallery talks and receptions with the artists accompany the six annual exhibitions of the Tremaine Gallery. Student music groups include brass, string, and wind ensembles; the jazz band; a cappella groups; two choirs and a gospel choir, as well as numerous student bands. Writers can submit work to or sit on the editorial boards of The Review, No Limits, or The Whipping Post. Hotchkiss is also fortunate to welcome to campus throughout the year authors, choreographers, dancers, musicians, poets, and artists from all disciplines as visiting artists and guest lecturers.
Whether you are already an accomplished actor or musician, are building a strong foundation in visual arts with an eye toward serious undergraduate study, or seek a comprehensive introduction to the varied disciplines of the visual and performing arts, Hotchkiss will provide you with a first-rate arts education.
In the fall of 1893 the first Hotchkiss football team played its only game of the year--against the previous year's Hotchkiss class at Yale. Since that time, the School's athletic program has experienced dramatic growth and change while never losing sight of its commitment to the value of athletics and exercise as a part of a complete education. Athletes here are students first, and this belief, along with the principles of fair play and sportsmanship, make up the foundation of the Hotchkiss athletic program.
Our athletic program and facilities are specifically designed to handle the community's range of interests and needs. To that end, the School offers a variety of interscholastic, intramural, and recreational sports. Our goal is for all of our students to leave Hotchkiss with a lifelong appreciation for fitness. Consequently, we require an athletic activity in each of our three seasons, although students may apply for a special project in lieu of athletics during one or two seasons. Interscholastic teams practice each afternoon for approximately two hours and have games on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Club and instructional sports meet four times a week for an hour.