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On Being a Day Student at a Boarding School

Scott Allenby

Proctor’s origins date back to 1848 when a group of women gathered around a sewing circle in the home of Samual Butterfield on Main Street in Andover. Their desire to seek educational opportunities for the Town of Andover’s youth led to the launch of what was then called Andover Academy. For its first 75+ years, Proctor served as primarily a town academy for local students until in 1932, the lower school and female students were phased out and Proctor became primarily a boarding school. 

Proctor Academy Day Student Leaders

Since the school began re-admitting day students in the 1970s, Proctor’s Day Student population has grown to represent nearly 30% of the student body. On Wednesday evening, we hosted our Day Student families on campus for a kick-off meal to officially launch the 2023-2024 school year. This group of talented, interesting, curious students adds an essential dimension to the Proctor community.

Proctor Academy Day Students

As Day Students and families met advisors and heard from Head of School Brian Thomas, Assistant Head of School Alisa Barnard, and Dean of Day Students John Bouton, connections were made with each other and with the greater community. Throughout these conversations, both the benefits and challenges of being a day student at a boarding school came into focus. Here are some of the most common benefits and challenges of being a Day Student at a Boarding School: 

Proctor Academy Day Students

Benefits of Being a Day Student at a Boarding School 

  • Engaging deeply in a residential community, and yet still sleep in your own bed at night. 
  • Having your family as a support system - academically, socially, and emotionally - at home each night. 
  • Taking advantage of the resources, facilities, programs, and opportunities of a boarding school while living in rural New Hampshire. 
  • Having your boarding friends to your house on weekends to share a home cooked meal. 
  • No line for the shower or laundry. 
Proctor Academy Day Students

Challenges of Being a Day Students at a Boarding School 

  • Balancing daily demands and responsibilities of family and school. 
  • Commuting to and from campus, especially during inclement weather. 
  • Feeling like you are missing out on life on campus that happens when you are not here. 
  • Convincing your parents to come pick you up on campus on Friday and Saturday nights. 
  • Attending extra help sessions for your classes that may be held during evening study hall. 
  • Not having a room to land in during breaks in the academic day, after practice, or before evening commitments. 
Proctor Academy Day Students

As a school, we celebrate these benefits and recognize the challenges that face our Day Student families. We will continue to work to support the Day Student experience to the best of our abilities as the year gets underway, and are always willing to hear suggestions for how we can enhance the experience for our Day Students. If as a Day Student parent you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dean of Day Student Life John Bouton or have your student connect with one of our four Day Student Leaders: Braeden MacKenzie ‘24, Carly Solomon ‘24, Bea Robblee ‘24, and Hayden Kidder ‘24. Check out more photos from the Day Student Welcome Event Here

Learn more about Student Life at Proctor Here!

Proctor Academy Day Students
  • Community and Relationships
  • Residential Life