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The Fessenden Boarding School Advantage

Everything is a Boy Thing
For more than 100 students, 42 residential life faculty members and their families, including our Head of School, Fessenden doesn’t just feel like home—it is home.

The advantages of a small boarding school program—individual attention, high residential faculty/staff to student ratios, and opportunities for interaction with mentors 24/7—give our boys the care, support and guidance they need to thrive.

Exceptional Faculty Providing Extraordinary Care

the boarding advantage

At our boys boarding school in Massachusetts, faculty are more than teachers. They are mentors, coaches, dorm parents, advisors, and confidants, building an unparalleled level of trust and rapport with our boarding students. When boys have a question, they can seek out a teacher at dinner or during study hall. If they want advice, they can catch up with their coach or advisor at breakfast. Over the weekend, they can explore a new destination, participate in a local service project, or take advantage of our proximity to Boston and head into Chinatown for Dim Sum with their Mandarin teacher. 

No matter where, when, or why, our unique size and tight knit community allows us to give the boys an experience that makes them feel at home in West Newton, because they are. 

A HOme away from home

Our Boarding School is a Home Away From Home

Here at Fessenden, friends and faculty become family.

Our dorms are home to 11-19 boys each, allowing for stronger bonds, interaction, and connection, not only with their roommates and peers, but with their dorm parents and their dorm families as well. When far from home like many of our boarding students, simple things like family style meals, birthday celebrations, and movies on Fridays provide the boys with a community that feels more like family. 

In addition to the support our boarders receive from residential faculty, the skills they learn in their dorms enable them to be responsible, independent young men. Cleaning their room, personal hygiene, laundry, and even sharing spaces with peers all create opportunities for personal and community responsibility. Students are free to be themselves, and parents can feel confident that their boys are well cared for, as if they were our own. 

Boston in our backyard
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Cultural and Historical Boston in our Backyard

With one of the most culturally rich cities in the country less than 10 miles away, Fessenden’s location is prime for taking advantage of all that Boston has to offer, enhancing the living and learning experience for our boys. 

Seeing a theater performance at Boston University, catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, or participating in the Winter Walk to end homelessness—countless opportunities are just minutes away for our boarding students. 

Getting to and from Fessenden is a breeze for both domestic and international boarding students and their families with Logan International Airport a quick 20-minute drive from campus.  

Care and Wellbeing

Faculty and staff share in the joyful moments with the boys, and they can also recognize with a passing glance if they’re having a difficult day—these are the small moments that provide the boys with the sense of connection and guidance they need. There is always someone reaching out and checking in with the students in class, on the playing fields, and around campus. 

Caring not only for the emotional wellbeing of each student, but also for their day-to-day needs, faculty can make sure a boy can have his braces tightened, pick up new sneakers, or get a fresh haircut to feel his best.

Faculty and staff members are present in every way at Fessenden. And while we encourage and cultivate independence among students, we ensure their safety by checking in throughout the day at meals, study halls, and during free time.

It truly takes a village, and we’re proud of ours.

Set up for success

Students are Set Up for Success

When boys live on campus at our New England boarding school, they gain a level of independence and a set of life skills that will serve them well here and beyond. Expectations are appropriately set, and in taking responsibility for their laundry, homework, recycling, room tidying, and more, our boys are growing as good people, neighbors, and friends.

Through experiences both in and out of the classroom, our core values of honesty, compassion, and respect come to life as the boys build character while they live, study, and play. Fessenden boys make life-long friendships, gain confidence, and are prepared academically, socially, and emotionally for all that’s to come. 

With a healthy balance of structure and independence, Fessenden boarders are ready—and excited—to take their journey to the next level.

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Our New England Boarding School Options

Seven-day boarders reap the full benefits of the boarding school experience, becoming immersed in the campus life and creating deep, lifelong connections with peers and faculty who serve as teachers, mentors, coaches, and friends.

The five-day boarding arrangement allows boys to benefit from the boarding program during the week and to travel home on weekends. For families who plan to send their son to a seven-day boarding secondary school, this is a good transitional option. This option is only available for domestic boarding students.

Fessenden’s diverse boarding population includes students from 15 countries, on average. International students are immersed in American culture, which helps accelerate their English language acquisition and cultural competency. At the same time, our American students benefit from the perspective and cultural richness international students provide. 

While most boarding students take advantage of our well-recognized program for multiple years, we also have a number of boys who join us for the culminating year of Fessenden’s program. Having listened to the stories of their friends who board, they want to take part. Boys who have chosen this option often report they had an easier time transitioning to high school and college than their non-boarding peers.