Back to School

Everything you need to get ready for September.

Whether you're brand new or a seasoned Griffin, these resources will help you prepare for the upcoming academic year. This is a comprehensive, but by no means exhaustive, depository of useful information. If you have a question or concern about coming back to school, please let us know.

Registration Dates

You should plan to arrive on (and not before) your appointed registration date. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Front Office at (860) 963-6100 prior to your arrival. Registration activities will be held in Parsons Lodge for students and their families.

Monday, September 3 | 9:00 AM — 11:00 AM

Registration for Student Leaders

Tuesday, September 4 | 9:00 AM — 11:00 AM

Registration for New Students

Wednesday, September 5 | 9:00 AM – 12:00 NOON

Registration for Returning Students

Thursday, September 6

Classes Begin

Vacations and Long Weekends

School vacations and long weekends are also located on the school calendar.

    • Family Weekend (October 18–20)
    • Long Fall Weekend (October 20–23)
    • Thanksgiving Break (November 17–26)
    • Winter Break (December 12–January 3)
    • Long Winter Weekend (January 30–February 4)
    • Spring Break (March 7–25)
    • Long Spring Weekend (April 20–22)
    • Commencement (May 26)
    • Last Day of School (May 30)

Because we are not prepared in our dormitories or dining hall to accept students before the appointed times, students should return at their scheduled time and not before. No vacations may begin earlier or extended beyond the appointed times. Students are not required to leave campus for long weekends.

Suggested Packing List

This suggested packing list is provided to assist boarding students and their parents as they prepare for the approaching school year. The items listed are suggested and by no means mandatory or exclusive.

Computers and Technology

Pomfret School technology supports students that use Macs or Windows computers for the 2018-19 school year.

Macs typically offer better battery life, user-friendliness, reliability and durability than PCs and we do strongly recommend that students bring a Mac. Pomfret faculty and computer labs are equipped with Macs and we have found the Macintosh operating system to be less susceptible to viruses and malware than Windows computers. By focusing on one platform we can improve the depth of our technical support and repair service whereas providing similar support to all types of Windows laptops and versions of Windows operating systems is more difficult due to variations in hardware and software.

If you're planning to bring a Windows computer, be sure to check with the Technology Office before you arrive to campus. Please note, Chromebooks or iPads are not acceptable substitutes at this time.

Requirements: Make sure your laptop meets our minimum requirements: A 2014 or newer Apple MacBook (Pro, Air, or "MacBook" are all suitable models). An internal hard drive of at least 256GB and a minimum of 8GB of RAM. For students who expect to do a lot of photo or film editing and/or store a lot of music, we recommend more RAM and a larger internal hard drive.

Update: Before coming to campus, install all recommended updates for your laptop. All 2014 or newer MacBooks should be capable of running the latest Mac OS High Sierra (10.13).

Backup: Make a backup of your hard drive before you come to campus. Bring an external hard drive with you to campus for subsequent backups. Looking for a recommendation? This Seagate USB 3 model is an economical choice.

Physical: Check over your laptop for any physical issues. Do all the ports work? Is the screen damaged? Will the battery hold a charge for a minimum of 4 hours?

Protect: We strongly recommend a hard shell case to protect your laptop and a keyboard cover to protect the keys. Every year we have students that come in after a spill with accidental liquid damage. Bring along a well padded computer bag or backpack.

Invest: AppleCare+ for Mac extends your coverage to three years from the original purchase date of your Mac and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or $299 for other damage, plus applicable tax.

Printing: Students should not bring their own personal printer. Pomfret provides multiple print locations for students.

Internet: Expect to use wireless internet at Pomfret. All academic, residential, and common spaces on Pomfret's campus are Wi-Fi enabled. Dorms do not support wired internet connections.

Tuition and PomfretCard

Tuition Pomfret offers several tuition payment options suitable for a range of family financial situations. For parents not enrolled in one of the extended tuition payment schedules, charges for Tuition 1 and Fees will be billed on July 1 and payment is due by July 31. The document entitled Navigating Your Financial Requirements covers many topics of importance to parents.

PomfretCard An initial minimum deposit of $750 for boarders or $350 for day students must be received by July 31 to activate your child’s PomfretCard account. Please note: you will not be billed for this initial PomfretCard deposit.

Make A PaymeNT

Summer Reading

Each June we publish a required summer reading list right here. Read every day, if you can—in a favorite chair, waiting for a plane (or in it), idling under a tree, or lounging on a beach. Although we expect you to read at least three books this summer, we trust you will seek and read more that appeal to you.

Get Summer ReadinG »

New Dress Code

Starting in September, Pomfret School will adopt a more flexible and equitable dress code. This policy reads as follows:

Students must dress in a manner that respects others and that respects the occasion. Clothing must be neat, clean, and in good repair (i.e., no ripped clothing, shirts must have a finished neckline). Clothing should also provide appropriate coverage. Slippers, pajamas, sweatpants, yoga pants, athletic shorts, and leggings are not permitted, though non-sweatpant, non-pajama, non-legging clothing items bearing the Pomfret logo are allowed. Caps may not be worn in School buildings. Clothing must not reference drugs or alcohol, contain obscene language, display derogatory references to race, sex, or ethnicity, or be perceived as offensive by any other group of people.

For special occasions, a coat and tie with dress pants and shoes, or a skirt or dress of appropriate length and coverage, is required. Clothing that represents other cultures that is consistent with the formality of these occasions, and is worn in an appropriately respectful manner, is also allowed. These events include Academic Convocation, the opening and closing Sundial ceremonies, the Candlelight Service, Moving Up, Graduation, and other events as directed. All members of the community are welcome to use this dress code at any time.

Faculty members shall enforce the dress code consistently and in a manner that ensures that all students are treated equitably regardless of race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size.

Academic Updates

7-Block Schedule

Three years ago, Pomfret moved to a long block schedule to allow for deeper learning in our class blocks, while seeking to reduce the pace of the class day and to allow students time to reflect on their learning. The schedule we implemented three years ago has functioned well for this purpose, but as programs have grown over time, we have recognized the pressures our six-block schedule has had on opportunities for class choice. We have also seen increased pressure on our tour guide program and recognize the need for greater flexibility.

To that end, we are tweaking our six-block schedule to become a seven-block schedule. Students will continue to take no more than six classes, and class blocks will be 70 minutes in length. We will continue to incorporate intentional breaks between classes that not only allow for processing time for students, but also allow for important community meeting times, something we believe to be at the core of the Pomfret experience. We will gather as a community while also providing time for advisee group meetings, student life programming, office hours, and a new student-led meeting time. We hope that this revision will give us increased flexibility in class scheduling and give our students better choice in the electives they take.

New Course Pathways

We believe foundational skills are critically important for students to engage in our longer class blocks. Some of our students, as well prepared as they are before they get to Pomfret, do not arrive fully ready to engage in a collaborative classroom, and we have worked thoughtfully to ensure that we teach students how to be successful in our classrooms in both their freshman and sophomore years.

* Freshman math and world language placements depend on the student's background, ability, and interests.

Last year Pomfret launched Humanities 1, an interdisciplinary program that unites freshman English and Global Studies classes. These courses, combined with a new Freshman Arts Immersion class, which introduces students

to the major art forms, marked a new and thoughtful approach to how Pomfret welcomes our youngest cohort of students to the Hilltop. This approach was a great success, and so we now move forward with another important step in our grade-based course sequencing for freshmen.

This year freshman science classes will shift from a physics-based approach to an engineering-based approach. The idea behind this new class is to offer students a common foundation that will allow them to be successful at the next level of our science offerings, while seeking to spark an interest in science for those who may not have found an area of passion yet. Chemistry, biology, and physics will all continue to be offered for forms four, five, and six, in addition to our elective offerings in astronomy, forensics, and environmental science.

* Sophomore math, science, world language, and elective placements depend on the student's background, ability, and interests.

Building on the freshman Humanities 1 curriculum, Humanities 2 will be offered to all sophomores this year, uniting sophomore English and American Studies classes for the first time. In addition, sophomores will take a new one-term health and wellness course that will address topics such as social issues, healthy relationships, and substance abuse. This will ensure they receive important information that is both essential and developmentally appropriate, while also expanding the QUEST curriculum for our sophomores. For students enrolled in Global and Sustainable Development as a sophomore, this requirement will be deferred to junior year.

For the other two terms, sophomores will be free to choose from a long list of electives. More often than not, at least one of those electives will be an art course.

Project: Pomfret

Project: Pomfret, a flagship collaborative learning program, is entering its sixth year as a staple of the Pomfret experience. We have been committed to examining and refining our academic offerings to deliver the best possible experience for our students and to help them develop the skills we feel are necessary to achieve the Vision of the Pomfret Graduate To that end, we are moving forward with an exciting revision to Project: Pomfret that we believe will continue to make this an impactful experience for students, while adjusting the timing to better fit with our term, athletic, and holiday calendars. The major change for next year is in the timing.

Project: Pomfret will move from the two weeks between Thanksgiving and winter breaks to the end of February, leading up to March break. The specific dates are Monday, February 25, 2019 – Thursday, March 7, 2019. Students will then depart for March break after their last scheduled commitment on March 7. This new timing will minimize disruption to the winter academic schedule, will lessen conflicts with athletics, and will allow for a consolidated and efficient project period.

New Dean's Office Structure

Earlier this year, Julie Kremer was promoted from interim to permanent dean of students, and she will now lead a dean’s team that will take a form-based approach to student growth and development. Our traditional form dean structure — two faculty members who take attendance at school commitments and plan class events — will be replaced by a single dedicated dean who will oversee all aspects of that form’s Pomfret experience. Our new form deans will continue to monitor attendance, but will also develop a form-based student life program to ensure our QUEST pillars are integrated into our work as a boarding school community.

    • Freshman Dean — Sheridan Zimmer
    • Sophomore Dean — Quinn Rose
    • Junior Dean — Andy Graham
    • Senior Dean — Pat Boyd
    • Dean of Students — Julie Kremer

Student Handbook

We publish an updated version of our student handbook, the Griffin Guide, every August. In the meantime, here are a few policies to keep in mind:

Dress Code: Please refer to the "New Dress Code" drop down above.

Gaming: Personal gaming systems will not be allowed in the individual dorm rooms of freshmen or sophomores. However, those students are allowed to use them in dormitory common rooms, which will help foster a sense of community and bonding. Juniors and seniors are allowed the privilege of in-room systems.

Televisions: While televisions are still prohibited, a student is permitted to have one monitor in his or her room as long as it does not exceed 32" — a considerable increase in size from previous years. A standard 32" monitor measures 31.5" diagonally.

Refrigerators: All students will be allowed to have small refrigerators (less than 3 cubic feet) in their dorm rooms with the following stipulation: Freshmen may have one refrigerator per room; sophomores, juniors, and seniors may have one refrigerator per person.

Leave: In order to better streamline and simplify the weekend and weekday leave permission process, Pomfret School will continue to use an online attendance program called Boardingware. Following the same process as last year, students wishing to spend a night off campus will have to submit permission request forms through Boardingware using their secure website. Once request forms are submitted, students’ parents as well as other school personnel, such as advisors, coaches, and/or teachers, will receive email from Boardingware asking them to approve or decline the students’ requests. Requests will be reviewed and must receive final approval from members of the Dean of Students Office before students depart campus. More information about Boardingware will be provided prior to the opening of school.

Attendance: Students are required to attend all school obligations — including academic classes, athletic or afternoon activities, QUEST programs and any other scheduled school event — throughout the year. Any student wishing to miss an obligation must receive special permission from the Dean of Students Office and in most cases from other school personnel, which might include teachers, a coach, a college counselor, and/or an advisor. When organizing a weekend or weekday leave from campus, parents and students are encouraged to wait until they have received final approval from the Dean before committing to participating in any off-campus event and/or finalizing travel plans.

Class Schedules and Books

We release academic schedules in early August through your Sundial account. Our purpose in releasing schedules early is to give you ample time to review scheduled courses, and to order books in advance of your arrival in the fall. Should you have questions about scheduling or course placement, please contact Don Gibbs in the Academic Office. No schedule is set in stone. Plenty of time will remain to make adjustments, as necessary; we invite your participation.

To access your child's schedule, please log in to your Sundial account, navigate to the top left corner, and click on your child's name.

We no longer operate an on-line bookstore and have no partnership with a preferred vendor. Families are encouraged to shop on-line to obtain the best prices possible (a specific vendor is indicated for a few resources that can only be obtained through a single source). As you use the book list, please look for the correct course title and teacher as shown in your schedule. I caution you to use the exact ISBN number listed on the book list to ensure the order of the correct resources.

To review the book list, click here.

Dorms and Advisors

Dorm and advisory assignments are now available. To access them, please log in to your Sundial account, and click on your child's name in the top left corner. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dean of Students Julie Kremer.

This packing list is provided to assist boarding students and their parents as they prepare for the approaching school year. The items listed are suggested and by no means mandatory or exclusive.

Laundry Service: With classes, course work, and sports, chances are your child's free time during the academic year will be limited. Let "E&R –The Campus Laundry" provide them with some valuable extra hours each week with its on-campus laundry and dry cleaning services. To learn more, click here.