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Putney, Vermont, USA view map
Co-Ed, No Religious Affiliation
For example, thinking and doing are interwoven at Putney. We are progressive, and so we value experiential education, the idea that people often learn best by doing rather than by being told. Students here view education as something they are pursuing, rather than something being done to them. We regard education as the creation of intelligence rather than the transmission of information. We are both academically rigorous and culturally informal. We take our intellectual tradition seriously, but do not wrap it up in formalities.
We lead and we work. We value collaboration more than competition, and believe that leadership requires a deep understanding of what it means to work. We share the work at Putney and we share the leadership. Adults here believe that teenagers are capable and trustworthy. Students play an active role in running the community. Students are part of every decision-making body of the school, including the Board of Trustees. Our school council debates the real issues of the community, from the grading policy and graduation requirements to cell phones and community service. The student-run work program oversees work on the farm, in the kitchen and across the campus.
We value individuality and community, self and others. We take care of ourselves and each other and know what it takes to make a community function effectively. We are not a prep school, meaning that we do not merely prepare you to be somewhere else. We promote presence—at home and in the world—in community, in work and in self-expression. While our graduates go on to the highest caliber colleges and universities, they do so with a foundation of personal responsibility for their education and commitment to their community.
418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, Vermont, USA
Director of Admission:
There are no events for this school
Posted on September 7, 2014
Two alumni made the news recently for their efforts and harrowing experiences documenting the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
Posted on September 1, 2014
Architect Bill Maclay makes the case for net-zero architecture in a way that's being noticed in his recently released book, “The New Net Zero: Leading-Edge Design and Construction of Homes and Buildings for a Renewable Energy Future”, which features The Putney School's LEED Platinum Field House
Summary: We work hard, but not for grades. We value good questions, critical thinking, collaboration, and the ability to present your thinking in compelling and creative ways. Our classes are discussion-based, designed to engage you completely on several levels: personal, political, cultural and even biological.
At Putney you will learn from your peers, from your teachers, from books, from observation, from failure and from living and working on this particular piece of land. Classes take the form of seminars, labs and discussion groups that are held inside and outside.
When you learn by doing rather than being told, you develop confidence. Confidence allows you to take risks and be creative. There’s no such thing as extracurricular here; learning at Putney takes place every day all day. We offer 100+ classes, including electives like Existentialism, Ornithology, Revolutions: A Comparative Study and Feminist Perspectives in Literature. Remember, with Independent Study,
and Advanced Topics in every subject, there’s no limit to how deep you can
go in any class.
Department Director: Ann-Marie White
Average Class Size: 12
Full Time Teachers: 35
Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 73.00%
Student/Teacher Ratio: 5:1
Saturday Classes: Yes
Summary: The Putney School stands for a way of life. Putney is committed to developing each student's full intellectual, artistic and physical potential.
Life at Putney is rich and stimulating, with days that seem full almost to bursting with activity and learning. In students' Afternoon Activities, students are required to participate in weekly physical activity—either work or sport. The Evening Arts program provides a chance to explore diverse performing, visual and literary arts and crafts. The evening classes meet once or twice a week.
At the end of a long day, students need a place to retreat into, to relax, catch up on work and sleep, to feel safe, and at home. Each dorm is led by two to three faculty Dorm Heads, living in apartments attached to each dorm. Many dorm parents have children and pets, which gives dorms an "extended family" feeling, and regularly have their doors open for students to stop in for homework help or advice. Two to four student Dorm Heads also help coordinate many of the dorm activities, from nightly cleaning to weekly meetings and weekend events. Dorms and individual rooms at Putney are simple and small, yet very functional and comfortable.
Department Director: Todd Pinsonneault
Number of Dorms: 9
Average Students Per Dorm: 15
No. of Girls Dorms: 5
No. of Boys Dorms: 4
Dress Code: Casual
Clubs and Organizations
Summary: The arts at Putney offer breadth and
depth. Academic art classes create a
foundation of skill and context, while
Evening Arts are a chance to try
At least twice a week after dinner, every
student takes an Evening Art. These
classes vary each trimester and are
ungraded. As darkness falls, students
explore a new form of expression,
cultivate a specific craft and generally
unwind at the end of a busy day.
Arts Department Director: Lynne Weinstein
Athletics Department Director: Cara Stickney
Notable Achievements: Annual winners of VT Scholastic Art Awards, Recent alums at RISD, CalArts & Chicago Art Inst.
Summary: Putney prides itself on being far more than a college prep school. Nearly all Putney students, however, proceed to college--and an impressive percentage of them get accepted at highly selective colleges.
Putney graduates thrive at intensely academic elite liberal arts colleges, research and technical universities, and prestigious art, music, and drama schools.
Jennifer DesMaisons, Putney's Director of College Counseling, spent eleven years working on the college side of admissions, and she discourages students from thinking only about academic or artistic strengths, possible majors, and prestigious names when selecting colleges. She states, "Long before Putney students and I start discussing their application forms, we look at what the students, in their increasing maturity, know about themselves. We talk about what most inspires and motivates them, and I introduce them to information about the universe of colleges and about specific colleges within that universe. In many ways what I'm doing is helping them confidently take the reins of their own lives. There's a wonderful 'Aha!' moment that happens for many students as they progress from feeling fearful and overwhelmed by the college process to feeling excited and optimistic."
Jennifer also helps parents understand the details of financial aid application.
Department Director: Jennifer DesMaisons
Percentage of Graduates Who Attend College: 90.00%
Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:
Middle Percentile of SAT Scores
Caitlin Cohen (Class of 2003) co-founder, Mali Health Organizing Project
Kate Brown (Class of 1997) attorney, U.S. Army Advocate General’s Corps
Lee Hirsch (Class of 1990) director of Sundance Film Festival Award winner, Amadla
Tea Leoni (Class of 1984) actress (Spanglish, Fun with Dick and Jane)
Tim Daly (Class of 1974) film, television, and theater actor (Diner, Wings)
Nell Potts Newman (Class of 1978) founder, Newman's Own Organics
Carlton Cuse (Class of 1977) executive producer, Lost
Jeffrey Hollender (Class of 1973) CEO, Seventh Generation
Tim Weiner (Class of 1973) Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
Bill Koch (Class of 1973) Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Silver Medalist (1976)
"The sense community at Putney is just incredible. Sometimes I forgot that I was with students and teachers. I see them all as part of my family now."
-Lena Jorde, Class of 2010, enrolled at Columbia University
"Putney allowed me to grow and develop in the direction most natural—and thus most right—for me. It helped me to better know myself."
-Eli Lichtenstein, Class of 2009, enrolled at Dartmouth College
"I can best describe the academics at The Putney School as intimate. Having a familiar relationship in the class enables a sense of security and openness rarely found in high school or college."
-Anonymous, Class of 2005, enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College
Summary: Teen Summer Arts, Creative Writing and ESOL programs
for high school students (ages 14 to 17) on beautiful hilltop farm campus in Southern Vermont
Visual Arts include animation, ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, glass arts, metal jewelry, painting, photography, graphic novel & printmaking, sculpture, fashion design, weaving.
Performing Arts include theater, contemporary dance, vocal ensemble and songwriting & music composition.
Creative Writing workshops include
Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, Writing for Performance
Students write, critique and publish poems, short stories and plays.
English language classes: (ESOL) for non-native speakers with arts workshops in the afternoon and evening.
Farm Program on our working farm with dairy herd, small animal barn, horses and gardens.
Students work with professional artists, dancers, actors, musicians, writers and teachers in two half-day studio workshops.
Department Director: Tom Howe
June 29, 2014 to August 08, 2014
Students take risks in their creative work, learn new things, and get better at what they already know by enrolling in half day workshops in the visual arts, performing arts, creative writing, farm, and ESOL.
Registration Deadline: June 21, 2014
Financial Aid Available: Yes
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