Three or four mornings a week, a member of the senior class or faculty presents a chapel talk to the school in the Elizabeth B. Hall Chapel. Chapel presentations offer a wide range of knowledge, style, experience, and media to the school community. On Monday and (many) Thursday mornings at 8:40 a.m., the entire school gathers in the Performing Arts Center (P.A.C.) for announcements. Community assemblies take place in the P.A.C. on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m., at which time the school comes together for a lecture, concert, film, or all-school meeting. Two to three evenings per semester, the boarding community meets for community dinner, which includes dinner and a cultural celebration. These occasions represent a vital aspect of boarding life at Concord Academy and offer an opportunity for the community to share a common experience.
Students are expected to wear appropriate clothing to school. It is understood that underwear is not outerwear. Students may not appear with bare feet in the school buildings or in the dining hall. For evening or off-campus performances and community dinners appropriate dress includes a coat and tie, slacks, dress, blouse, or a skirt; no jeans or sneakers should be worn at formal occasions. In the boarding houses, students are expected to wear clothing or be covered by a bathrobe in common areas such as hallways, common rooms and common areas of bathrooms. Students should not wear only under garments or a towel in these spaces.
Day student juniors and seniors wishing to drive to school, including those who anticipate receiving a driver’s license during the coming academic year, are required to complete and return the automobile permit request form. Day students may only use cars to commute to and from school, and are not permitted to drive themselves or be driven by another student during the academic day unless they have received permission from the student life office. Students should not go back to their cars during the academic day and are expected to bring with them what they will need for the day. Students in other grades will not be extended this privilege, and cannot drive off campus during the academic day, unless extenuating circumstances (e.g. a medical appointment) apply.
Juniors and seniors will be allowed to park in the West Gate lot, however, because of the finite number of parking spots, we cannot guarantee on-campus parking for every student. All student drivers must have a CA-issued automobile permit, whether parking on or off campus. Illegally parked or unregistered cars are subject to ticketing or towing.
Parking at CA remains a privilege and we are pleased to extend it to eligible students. So as to reduce the number of cars coming to campus, we ask all drivers to carpool whenever possible.
Boarding students are not allowed to have or operate a car under any circumstances. Boarders must follow sign-out procedures according to boarding rules. Day students transporting boarding students who do not have the appropriate permissions will lose their driving and parking privileges.
Both parents and students should be aware of the Graduated Licensing Law, which states (among other things) that drivers with a junior operator’s license are not able to carry passengers other than family members in their car for the first six months after receiving their license. Students are also reminded that in Massachusetts, drivers under the age of 18 cannot use any mobile electronic device for any reason while operating a motor vehicle. The only exception is for reporting an emergency, at which point the driver should be off road and parked.
Day students are welcome to bike to campus, and can lock their bikes to one of several bike racks on campus. In addition, a number of bikes have been donated to the boarding program for student use as long as there is a boarding host inviting day students to use a bike, and they follow all sign out and safety procedures. All cyclists must wear helmets.
Students who have a visitor on campus must obtain permission from the dean of students or the administrator on duty. If a student plans to have a visitor attend classes, the student host must obtain permission from the dean of students and their teachers prior to bringing a visitor to school. When student houses are open, visitors entering the house should be introduced to the house faculty on duty, and permission must be granted. All visitors are subject to the rules that apply to Concord Academy students, and the Concord Academy host is responsible for the behavior and actions of their guest.
Visitors from outside Concord Academy are not permitted on campus after dinner hours on Sunday through Thursday evenings, unless explicit permission is granted by the dean of students or the administrator on duty.
Other visitors to campus may include friends of the faculty, administration, or staff; prospective students and their parents; trustees; and distinguished leaders in the arts, sciences, or humanities. It is expected that Concord Academy students will make every effort to be hospitable to these visitors and to treat them courteously and cordially.
Students must follow sign out procedures to go beyond the extended campus, into a private home or car, or when they will miss a commitment. For complete sign out procedures, see Appendix D.
The extended campus stretches west to Thoreau Street, north to the Sudbury River behind campus, east to Monument Square and Rite Aid, and south to the Emerson fields and CVS. Extended campus does not encompass any portion of Nashawtuc Road.
The Moriarty Athletic Campus is part of the extended campus weekdays between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. when there are practices and/or games scheduled; and for an hour before and an hour after games scheduled on Saturday. At these times the extended campus continues down Sudbury Road to Fairhaven Lane, only as a means for direct access to the Moriarty Athletic Campus. Side roads off of Sudbury or Fairhaven are not part of the extended campus.
Day students may not drive to the Moriarty Athletic Campus either for practice or spectating.
Each evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, all students on campus are required to be engaged in academic pursuits in designated areas of study. On Sundays, all 9th and 10th graders on campus are required to attend an afternoon study hall from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Students have the opportunity for extra study time on Sunday nights during Quiet House at 7:00 p.m.
Boarding students are expected to remain in their houses or in structured study hall unless they sign-out for a specified academic destination. 9th and 10th grade boarding students have a structured study hall unless they have received permission to study in their house. 9th and 10th grade day students who elect to remain on campus must sign-in with the adult supervising study hall and study there until picked up. 11th and 12th grade day students must sign in with their location through the Boardingware App, or with the adult supervising the library.
Unless necessary, parents picking up day students should do so prior to study hall Sunday through Thursday evenings.
In the event that a member of the CA community — student, faculty, or staff — is contacted by the media (in any way, including but not limited to email, phone, and social media) they are required to contact the Marketing and Communications Office before responding. Students are required to alert the Marketing and Communications Office of media inquiries regarding any school-related situations. Parents of current students are encouraged to do the same. Should a member of the CA community wish to engage or notify the media of a CA-related event, they are required to notify the Marketing and Communications Office first. In general, the Marketing and Communications Office is available as a resource for consultation, mock interviews, or any guidance that may help with media inquiries. The best approach is to take down the contact information of the person making the inquiry and let them know that the appropriate person from the school will respond, without making any comment to the journalist. This information should then be given to the Administrator on Duty.
All students receive access to CA Connect, which contains a suite of technology tools, including email. At registration, students are given their username, password, email address, and other pertinent information. All students are expected to check their email, CA Connect home page, and Schoology at least once daily for important communications.
While Concord Academy does not actively monitor students’ activity on public social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, blogging sites, etc., students are expected to adhere to the guidelines for public conduct and common trust described in this handbook. Students are prohibited from creating accounts using the school’s name or the name of someone other than themselves or posting material that can be interpreted as harassment or cyber-bullying. Students should recognize the potential dangers involved with posting to these sites, as well as the risks associated with misrepresenting oneself and/or making personal information available to the public.
Students are permitted to use cell phones on campus, but are expected to be conscious of those around them; they should have cell phone conversations only in private areas where they will not disturb others. Cell phones must be turned off in classes and at other public gatherings (e.g., chapel, announcements, assemblies). Boarding students with cell phones must observe the restricted times listed in the Boarding Community section of this handbook. Students using their phone after lights out, or at public gatherings such as during classes, chapels, announcements, etc. will likely lose their phone for the day. If this becomes a recurring issue, the dean of students may become involved for further discussion.
Students may not use cell phone-based Internet access for laptop or desktop computers, as such services circumvent the school’s security measures and its time and content restrictions. See Appendix H for the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.
The following are considered violations of the school’s phone policy and may constitute a civil or criminal offense:
· Using another person’s phone or device for the purpose of secretly placing or viewing a call or text;
· Using someone else’s phone or computer to call, text message, email, etc. without obtaining explicit prior permission;
· Using a faculty or staff office telephone to place a long-distance call without explicit approval;
· Using obscene or offensive language in the outgoing message recorded for a voicemail box;
· Making false emergency reports to 911, campus security, the Health Center, or faculty and administration offices (e.g., suicide, fire, bombs, etc.);
· Using an electronic device to harass others (e.g., anonymous calls, repeated unwanted texts, obscene calls, inappropriate postings, etc.).
Students who misuse phones or devices will be held fully accountable and will be subject to the school’s disciplinary code. While it is impossible to delineate all of the inappropriate uses of phones and devices, common sense and respect for the privacy of others are the best guides for avoiding difficulty.
The boarding houses are not open during the academic day, thus students should not be in the houses during these times unless they have gained permission from the student life office. Houses are homes for the boarders, and day students are welcome and encouraged to visit them when invited and accompanied by an occupant of that house. Day students are not permitted in the boarding houses during study hall.
Concord Academy supports students in having a reasonable degree of privacy with respect to their conduct, their personal property, their vehicles when on campus and their on-campus rooms. Those privacy interests are not absolute however, especially when they collide with the school’s interest in addressing risks to the health, safety, or well-being of students or others, or the school’s interest in enforcing its own rules, policies, and standards.
Accordingly, the school reserves the right to conduct reasonable searches of students, their on-campus vehicles, their on-campus rooms, and their belongings if any faculty member, staff member, or other school representative reasonably suspects conduct that violates any school rule, policy, or standard or that poses a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of a student or other person has occurred or will occur. The school may take this action on its own or in conjunction with law enforcement or other authorities as it deems appropriate under the circumstances.
The school’s right to search students, their on-campus vehicles, their on-campus rooms, and their belongings encompasses all belongings of any kind that a student owns, uses, or possesses at any time on school grounds or in conjunction with any school activity. This includes but is not limited to: articles of clothing, backpacks, bags, lockers, vehicles, furniture, computers and other electronic devices, and all of the hardware, software, files, or other information or data that can be accessed on or with the device.
Students may be required to assist faculty, staff, or other school representatives in searches of their persons, on-campus rooms, and belongings. Any failure or refusal by a student to provide such cooperation is a violation of school rules.
In addition to searches based on a reasonable suspicion of misconduct or risk to health, safety, or wellbeing, the school also reserves the right to periodically conduct inspections of on-campus rooms to ensure compliance with the school’s rules, policies, and standards.
Students are expected to treat school property with respect and care. Damage to school property should immediately be reported to a faculty or staff member. The school may assess the damage and charge the student’s account.
Concord Academy recognizes the rights of students to make individual choices and to represent individual values when reading or viewing printed or electronic material. However, the school must maintain certain standards of propriety and decency relative to the use of material by students in student houses and in public spaces. Consequently, students are not allowed to have the following material(s) in print or electronic format:
· pornographic magazines, posters, books, or other material demeaning to human beings;
· racist, homophobic, or sexist material(s); and
· hate material.
Any violation of this policy is a matter of value clarification and education. An adult who discovers a student in possession of any of the above materials will reserve the right to confiscate the material from the student and, at a minimum, engage the student in a conversation about the material. This policy is broad and, consequently, applies to downloading, uploading, storing, viewing, and printing material that is profane or obscene or that uses language degrading to others. The distribution of offensive electronic material to others is a violation of school policy. For more information about this policy, please refer to the Acceptable Use Policy in Appendix H.
All student houses are equipped with an electronic card access system, requiring an active Concord Academy I.D. to enter. Academic buildings are similarly secured at 7:30 p.m. on weeknights, and throughout the weekend. After 10:00 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and after 11:00 p.m. Friday–Saturday, all external doors on campus buildings will be fully secured. Students who lose their ID cards must report the loss immediately to the Operations Department so that the lost ID card can be deactivated from the system. Any potentially dangerous or problematic behavior should be reported immediately to the nearest adult who will contact the necessary authorities. A security officer is on duty each afternoon and evening from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and can be reached at 978-402-2389.
Concord Academy is required to notify parents, students, and employees of the school’s asbestos management plan. This plan and recent inspections are available for review in the Operations Department during normal business hours. Under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Children’s and Families Protection Act, the school is required to develop and maintain an Integrated Pest Management Plan. This plan is also on file in the Operations Department during normal business hours. Should any pesticide be applied on campus, a 48-hour notice will be sent electronically to all students and adults.
The school administration, in conjunction with town officials, has developed protocols to respond to different emergencies and crises. If there is a need to lock down campus, the campus-wide Alertus emergency notification system will trigger an announcement to all student-occupied buildings. In conjunction with Alertus, in the event of an incident the school will send messages to students, parents, faculty and staff by phone or text using our mass-notification system. When the school is given an all clear, students, faculty and staff should gather in the Chapel for further instructions. Students who are on the extended campus at the time of a lockdown incident, should stay off campus until they are alerted to the all clear, at which point they should join the community as directed.
Concord Police Department conducts annual training on the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) protocols in the event of an immediate threat.
Fire drills are conducted by the Town of Concord Fire Department throughout the year, as required by state law.
Tampering with any life-safety apparatus, including, but not limited to, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire alarms, Alertus buttons, etc.is considered a major disciplinary offense and is prohibited..
Fire Procedures and Safety
There are heat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all student houses as well as sprinklers. These must be kept clear of hanging objects at all times. Students may not cover or hang things from any portion of the fire safety systems this includes emergency exit signs. Students may not hang on or swing from the sprinkler pipes. Space heaters are not permitted on campus unless issued directly from Operations in response to an issue with the heating system and should never be plugged into an extension cord.
Due to safety precautions, students may not have the following items in their rooms:
· Refrigerators or ice makers (unless provided by the school);
· Televisions (there is one in the common room), TV screens or oversized computer monitors used for gaming or TV watching in rooms;
· Coffee makers;
· Video games and equipment;
· Hot plates, toasters;
· Heating coils, electric kettles;
· Halogen lamps, sunlamps, small appliances;
· Candles, matches, incense, lighters or any incendiary devices;
· Large fabric wall hangings (unless tagged as “flame resistant"”), posters and decorations that are disrespectful or offensive in any way.
Paths of egress should be kept clear at all times, including egresses if they are within a student room. At the beginning of each school year, house faculty review the fire procedures for each house. Fire drills are conducted four times per year by the Concord Fire Department as required by state law. By law, fire escapes may not be used for any reason other than as emergency fire exits.
Smoking of any sort, including the use of vaporizers, e-cigarettes, or the burning of candles, incense or other combustibles of any sort in any school building, is considered a major disciplinary offense. Smoking is not permitted by students on the Concord Academy campus or the extended campus, including downtown Concord. Violations of the smoking policy will be dealt with by the Discipline Committee.
For safety, doors to student houses are locked at all times; students must use their identification cards to unlock doors. Students should not use windows or fire exits to enter or exit the house, except in the case of an emergency. At night, each student's house is alarmed for added safety. Houses are also equipped with a lock-down reporting mechanism and call button for emergency situations involving an intruder.
Swimming is permitted in the Concord Academy pool only when it is staffed by lifeguards, as arranged by the school. No swimming is permitted in the Sudbury River. Canoes must be signed out, and students must be accompanied by an adult. Sensible respect for safety on the water must be regularly demonstrated by students who wish to canoe or kayak, and life jackets must be worn at all times.
Boarding and day students wishing to swim at Walden Pond must receive appropriate permission (following sign out procedures in Appendix D) before leaving campus. When swimming at Walden Pond, students must be in groups of three and stay within the boundaries of the designated swimming areas.
CA does not condone the use of supplements such as those commonly purchased at GNC stores or online and often used for the goal of enhancing athletic performance, building muscle mass or losing weight. Such substances, which are not FDA approved, can pose serious health risks especially to adolescents. Students instead are encouraged to follow good nutrition habits, sleep well and train within their chosen sport or in the fitness center to achieve their athletic and personal goals. CA staff members in athletics and the health center are excellent resources for guidance in these areas. Should a student choose to use supplements, parents must provide permission, and CA strongly suggests that such use be under a pediatrician’s supervision.
In order to best serve the interests of students, parents, and the CA community, the school requires that parents follow these guidelines for any party that CA students will attend:
· The student host or hostess must have their parents’ approval for the party prior to inviting guests.
· Parents of the host or hostess should contact the dean of students to discuss the details of the party and provide a list of invited guests.
· Parents of the host or hostess will remain at home and be visible to guests throughout the party.
· Alcoholic beverages will be neither provided nor allowed.
· Drugs will be neither provided nor allowed.
· Tobacco and nicotine products will be neither provided nor allowed.
· Students and parents should be aware that all Concord Academy school rules apply whether on or off campus.
At some point in the second semester, the school will extend a senior privilege to seniors to allow them to drive off campus during the academic day if they have a free block and have signed out with the Student Life Office. Seniors may bring fellow boarding and day seniors with them, provided they have authorization and the requisite number of months of driving experience. Parents/guardians should discuss this privilege with their senior. If a parent/guardian wishes not to have this privilege extended to their senior, they should contact the Student Life Office. The Student Life Office has the right to deny this request if weather conditions are questionable, if the student has abused this privilege, or other concerning situations exist. In addition, Senior Boarders who are in good standing are granted certain privileges that allow them more freedom in boarding life (less structured study hall, later curfew, no room inspections, etc). House faculty and the director of residential life oversee these privileges.
Some students enrolled at the school will reach the age of 18 before graduation. In Massachusetts, 18 is the age of majority, which means that legally, an 18-year-old student is able to enter into contractual obligations (and is required to abide by those obligations). As a condition of continued enrollment, students and/or parent(s) or guardian(s) will be asked to agree that when any student turns 18 while enrolled at the school, the school shall continue to have the right to communicate with the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) about a variety of topics regarding the student including, but not limited to, academics, conduct and discipline, medical and mental health, or financial matters, or any issue whatsoever that the school deems necessary. If a student refuses to confirm these conditions of enrollment in writing, the student may be asked to withdraw.
The school does not condone any form of gambling. Students should not bring poker chips to campus nor should they engage in any form of play that results in material gain for any of the participants. Students are also prohibited from using the school’s computer network to engage in online gambling.
No student may hitchhike for any reason to and from campus or to or from any school sponsored event.