Phillips Academy Andover review by Dartmouth College student. I never had a class bigger than 15 people at Andover, and I never had a class period that didn't go at least a minute or two past the bell as people stayed to finish up conversations. With most subjects taught around the Harkness table, everyone is equal in scholarship, and teachers are there to foster discussion instead of lecture. The curriculum is broad and diversified, and included second and third year college level classes in every subject. The best part is the passion brought to each class by the students and the teachers.
Dorm life at Andover was the highlight of my adolescence. The friends I made in high school, who I parted ways with 2 years ago, are still my nearest and dearest. The system is broken down to be small and familial... A group of about 16 students share two house counselors as a unit, but that can be a part of a larger dorm or of a smaller house. A group of dorms are a "cluster", and cluster activities are much like the House activities in Harry Potter: clusters compete against each other for intramural sports, put on events like a Casino Night or a Fashion Show for the school, (usually to raise money for a service project) and have "munches" together once a week in the cluster common area. The dorms were much nicer than the ones I have come across in my 2 years at college, and the incredible sense of community stays in my heart. The town of Andover is also a great place to be in high school... about a 10 minute walk down the hill from main campus, the town is home to coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, delis, a train station (for easy access to Boston) and a number of other stores. It's safe and welcoming but with so much more to do than more isolated schools like St. Paul's, Exeter, and Deerfield.
School Newspaper, The Phillipian (oldest highschool newspaper in the country); Varsity Tennis (played in college);Varsity Squash (played in college); School Yearbook Community Service Board Member: The service program at Andover is very developed and a Board of 30 seniors oversees the variety of programs that probably 80% of students are involved in. I did at least 5 programs for three years, and when I was elected to the Board my senior year, I coordinated an ESL class taught at Andover to Latino immigrants from a nearby city.