is one of the four pillars of The Woodhall School. As part of a boarding school community, students, faculty, and staff have an opportunity to live and work with people of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Students develop greater confidence and gain insight into themselves through their interactions with their peers and teachers in the dormitory, dining hall, house jobs, clubs, weekend activities, and community service.
Two dormitories—Tower Dorm and French Hall—serve as the “home away from home” for boarding students at The Woodhall School. The intentionally structured routine of dormitory living helps to expose and support students to healthy living habits. The vast majority of rooms are double occupancy with only a couple singles reserved for seniors. Students often room with a student in the same class year. The School provides all the major furniture to each room including beds, desks, chairs, and dressers.
Each student is responsible for sharing his space with his roommate and for keeping the room in order, while adding their own personal effects. The dorm rooms are one of the many places on campus where students socialize and learn how to be respectful community members. Each dormitory has a kitchenette where boys can cook and store a reasonable amount of food. On Saturday mornings, dorm parents and residents of Tower and French meet to discuss any dormitory issues.
The Student Center in Tower Dormitory includes a game room with Ping-Pong, Foosball and pool, and a student lounge with seating areas, a television and a fireplace.
Three faculty members who live in apartments connected to each respective dorm serve as Dorm Parents. These adult mentors offer students guidance and support in residential living at The Woodhall School. They ensure a safe and supportive living environment while seeing that each student develops a sense of personal accountability in the dorm.
Student Leaders serve as dorm prefects. Prefects assist the Dorm Parents in creating a welcoming environment in each dorm. They are peers that set a positive example and help cultivate a strong community.
Students and faculty gather for meals in the school dining hall, Velge Hall. Meals at Woodhall are a communal event, and a faculty member begins every lunch and dinner with a moment of reflection and thanks. Meal times not only provide physical nourishment but also foster community spirit.
Breakfast is cafeteria style, with eggs made to order and hot meals, such as French toast and bacon & egg sandwiches and hash browns. Fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt and bagels are also available. Lunch and dinner are family style, with a faculty member at the head of each table and a student assigned as waiter. Soup and an extensive salad bar are offered at lunch and dinner as well. Four nights a week, students wear jackets and ties to dinner.
The school chef, Chris Griffith, prepares homemade meals, often taking suggestions from students and teachers and including local seasonal fruits and vegetables in his menu. He is assisted by a talented Dining Hall crew.
House jobs are an integral aspect of The Woodhall School and help develop a sense of community through shared responsibility. House job assignments rotate approximately every three weeks. With the exception of lunch or dinner crews, house jobs take place after Morning Meeting.
After a busy academic week, students have the opportunity to relax and socialize on campus or with their peers from neighboring boarding schools. On Saturday nights Woodhall schedules off-campus activities, such as movies, shopping, and bowling. Woodhall students participate in dances and other social events with all-girl boarding schools including Westover, Miss Porter’s, Ethel Walker, Miss Hall’s, Emma Willard and Stoneleigh-Burnham.
Students in good standing may go off-campus to bike or walk into town for dinner and shopping. Students can play tennis at the town courts, hike in the Bethlehem Land Trust, and swim at Long Meadow Pond.
At times, students prefer to stay on campus to watch a movie on the big screen in the Abigail J. Woodhall Theatre, swim or fish in the pond, shoot hoops in the gym, have a cookout at the Class of 2009 grill, or sit by a camp fire on “Mount Woodhall.” Throughout the year students and teachers enjoy Woodhall traditions – Fall and Spring Community Days that precede Family Weekends, Ping-Pong tournaments in the Student Center, Ice Hockey Tournaments on the pond, the French Dorm bottle and can cookout, campus-wide Capture-the-Flag and the Wooden Chef Competition.
During the year, Woodhall organizes outings for sporting events such as minor league baseball, AHL hockey, or collegiate lacrosse and hockey games at Yale University. Students travel to New Haven, Hartford, New York City, and Boston, for cultural events, museums, and theater, and to fishing trips on Long Island Sound. In the Winter Term Woodhall offers Sunday ski and snowboarding trips to Butternut Ski Area in Great Barrington, MA.