St. Paul's Schoolreview by Dartmouth College student. The academics at St. Paul's were amazing. They prepared me well for college and the course offerings are amazing for a high school. My favorite was astronomy; St. Paul's has three really great observatories (and 1 more that has been recently added) and the instruction I received was second to none. My classes were demanding but at the same time, the teacher to student ratio is so small that kids never really fall too far behind without the teacher noticing. I also never had any bad teachers during my four years at St. Paul's; I had some who were challenging, some who were funny and some who just knew a lot about their subject. But I never had a teacher who didn't care about their subject and their students, which is rare to find even at top level colleges. The distinguished visitors that they brought in to talk to the whole school were great. I saw John Kerry (SPS grad) during his campaign for the president, the director of the FBI, a member of the Leakey family (famous anthropologists) and numerous others who weren't as famous but just as engaging.
The quality of life was probably the one thing that I had some reservations about at St. Paul's. Obviously the students have access to state of the art facilities for pretty much everything they could possibly want and the houses are great, but with so much pressure from teachers to do well and from outside sources (mostly parents) to get into a top college, there wasn't a whole lot of time to relax and enjoy your time. The campus is absolutely beautiful and I would highly recommend spending a lot of time exploring all the little paths and rivers that run through the 2000 acres of land that the school owns. I felt however, that when I took time to do such things, I wasn't taking advantage of all the other offerings at the school. The town of Concord is not exactly ideal for a boarding school considering its fairly spread out and not exactly prosperous. There is some resentment from townies who don't like the rich St. Paul's students, but it was never a serious problem while I was there. The dining facilities were great and the formal seated meals twice a week actually became a favorite of mine during my last years. The houses are an excellent way to connect on a personal level with the other students because of their small size and the amount of time students spend together in their houses.
The extracurricular activities were great at St. Paul's. I took advantage of 5 sports when I was there and had fun with all of them. Some sports are more successful than others, so the schedule's vary from sport to sport, but the ISL, of which St. Paul's is a member, is a great league and has just the right amount of competition in it to make things fun and also give athletes the ability to pursue their sports beyond high school. The arts program, especially the ballet, is amazing. The facilities, although they don't really need it, are about to be upgraded once they build the new math and sciences building and move the arts department to the old science building (which will be renovated). Although I didn't take advantage of many of the opportunities, it's impossible to do them all, the choices are abundant. The debate club was always doing well, the student assembly was very influential, and if you couldn't find a group that already existed for your special interest, you could receive funding from the dean of students to form one. It was a great system and since a lot of students took advantage of it, there were numerous clubs and organizations for a wide variety of issues and interests.