A Day In the Life
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A STUDENT AT LAWRENCEVILLE? IT MEANS A SCHEDULE PACKED FULL OF CLASSES, STUDY HOURS, ATHLETIC PRACTICE, REHEARSALS, AND TIME FOR FRIENDS, SPECIAL EVENTS, EATING, AND SLEEPING. STUDENTS LEARN TO MANAGE THEIR TIME, MEET THEIR COMMITMENTS, AND ENJOY THEIR FRIENDSHIPS.
Classes begin at 8:00 a.m. and the dining center opens one hour before that for breakfast. Classes meet four times each week for 55 minutes. Science classes and advanced classes in all disciplines are also able to make use of an additional 55-minute period each week for labs, extended discussions, test practice, writing workshops, etc. There also are three 40-minute periods each week for student-teacher consultations, during which no classes or labs are scheduled.
The entire School eats lunch at the same time. Most students choose to sit in their own House dining rooms. This tradition is yet another example of how the House System defines the Lawrenceville experience. On Monday students take lunch with their academic advisors. Each advisee group shares a table and time is spent discussing both individual and group concerns. During these meetings, students often schedule a private meeting with their advisor if needed.
The entire school assembles Friday mornings for community meetings. These gatherings feature readings, reflections, and announcements from various students and faculty members. School meeting agendas include outside speakers, musical presentations, and opportunities to examine student issues.
Classes end at 3:05 p.m., when the focus of the day shifts. Students head down to the field house and playing fields for team practice, if they are on a sports team, or perform community service. Either way, it’s a refreshing change from academics. On Wednesdays classes end at 12:20 p.m., and students have the choice of studying, rehearsing performances, practicing sports, working on publications, or fulfilling their social service requirement. Saturday classes end at 11:30 a.m.
Dinner is served cafeteria style from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All Forms eat in the Irwin Dining Center, except for the Fifth Form, which takes meals in the Abbott Dining Hall, attached to Upper House. After dinner, there are a variety of things to do: clubs, activities, homework, and socializing. Check-in is at 8:00 p.m. for Lower School, and Crescent and Circle Houses, and 9:00 p.m. for the Fifth Form, Sunday through Friday. Permission to leave the House after check-in to go to the library, rehearsals, club meetings, or to meet a teacher for consultation is granted after check-in time, but students must check back in with the master on duty by 10:00 p.m. (11:00 p.m. on Saturday).
On weekends, at least one House sponsors an all-School social event. These activities range from dances, to theme parties, to festivals. Each house tries to outdo the other by offering the best event with the best attendance. The Student Council Vice President for Social Life is responsible for the planning of the all-School events that may include carnivals, concerts, and formal dinners and dances. Faculty members are on hand to take trips to local shopping areas and movie theaters. Reach Out to the Arts is a faculty led club that takes weekly trips to cultural events in New York and Philadelphia. Day students are invited to attend all campus activities. Princeton is a popular destination and the local bus stops right in front of the Lawrenceville campus. Students may sign out for the weekend with permission of their Housemaster.
A Lawrenceville education builds on a tradition of intellectual and civic engagement and prepares students to be responsible leaders in the 21st century. Ever since James Cameron Mackenzie championed the House system in the 1890s and Edward Harkness and Allan Heely implemented discussion-based, Harkness teaching in the 1930s, a Lawrenceville education has been marked by close faculty-student interactions and deep intellectual engagement. Lawrenceville faculty members are expert in their disciplines and committed to teaching well. They work closely with students to help them discover and develop their intellectual passions and think critically and creatively about the world around them and about the challenges and opportunities before them.
Academic advisors—faculty members associated with or living in the Houses—help students choose their course load. These consultations focus on the overall degree of difficulty of the schedule, concerns about adjusting to the rigors of the School’s curriculum, and commitments to athletic or extracurricular activities. In addition to traditional academic courses, Lawrenceville students are required to meet other important educational obligations, including the following:
Part of becoming an educated citizen means knowing how to contribute to society in order to make the world a better place to live. Therefore, students fulfill a 40-hour community service requirement for graduation. Students often find that the hours they spend in community service are among their most fulfilling activities at the School. The Community Service Program is staffed with a director who coordinates relationships with local social outreach organizations to create both on- and off-campus service projects. Transportation is provided for students involved in off-campus service projects.
Employing literature, history, art, and religion, this Second Form course enables students to learn how these disciplines interact and have a critical impact on the human condition. Students will look at a wide variety of cultures and epochs (Greco-Roman, India, and China) and develop skills in writing, grammar, reading, visual interpretation, computer literacy, and library research. In this foundational course of study, attention is given to developing the necessary skills and habits of mind to take full advantage of the Harkness Table. The Harkness Table has been a feature of the Lawrenceville classroom for over seventy years, but learning through discussion rather than lecture is a new experience for many students.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR
As a residential community, Lawrenceville takes seriously the concerns and challenges facing adolescents, and therefore requires Third and Second Formers to take a multi-week seminar designed to help them discuss issues ranging from friendship to sexuality to substance abuse to stress—with the goal of helping them make healthy decisions.
Full academic reports are sent home at the end of each trimester; interim reports are sent in the middle of each trimester. Reports include comments and grades from each teacher, indicating the student’s accomplishment, effort, and attitude. Interim reports are brief evaluations of the student’s academic situation at mid-term without specific grades. In addition to the formal reporting system in the middle and at the end of each term, teachers relay information about a student’s academic progress, both good and bad, to the adviser, Housemaster and the Academic Dean through reports called Academic Memos, sent at the discretion of each teacher throughout the term.
Athletics Department Philosophy
The athletic experience is integral to a Lawrenceville education. Through interscholastic and intramural competition, lifetime sports and activities, and a comprehensive fitness program, the school seeks to build character, to instill team values, and to advocate a life-long commitment to positive physical and emotional habits. On the playing field, as in the classroom, Lawrenceville promotes citizenship and leadership, teaches sportsmanship and fair play, and aims to inspire a passionate pursuit of excellence.
THE LAWRENCEVILLE SCHOOL OFFERS A WEALTH OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO STUDY AND PRACTICE THE ARTS BECAUSE IT IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN BROADENING A PERSON'S APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLVING, TO AESTHETIC ENJOYMENT, TO OTHER PEOPLE, TO LIFE ITSELF.
We involve ourselves in the arts for many reasons, but the main one is because we like it. Our involvement draws on and stimulates parts of our minds like few other endeavors. It makes us smarter. It makes us more discerning. It helps us welcome the beautiful and acknowledge the not-so-beautiful in ourselves and in others.
The Lawrenceville School inspires and educates promising young people from diverse backgrounds for responsible leadership, personal fulfillment and enthusiastic participation in the world. Through our
- unique House system,
- collaborative Harkness approach to teaching and learning,
- close mentoring relationships, and
- extensive co-curricular opportunities
we help students to develop high standards of character and scholarship, a passion for learning, an appreciation for diversity, a global perspective, and strong commitments to personal, community, and environmental responsibility.