Concord Academy offers an enormous variety of activities both on and off campus. Sign-up sheets for dances, films, concerts, athletic events, shows, and other activities are posted outside the Student Life Office prior to the events. Signing up is a definite commitment to participate, not simply an indication of interest. All students on the sign-up list will be expected to share in the expenses for the activity. All students attending off-campus events must travel to and return from the event in school-provided transportation, unless excused by the administrator on duty or acting director of student life prior to leaving campus. Boarders must follow sign-out procedures according to boarding rules.
3.02 All-School Council
The All-School Council comprises the student head of school and student vice head of school, class presidents and representatives, the head and vice head of boarding students, the head of day students, the co-heads of diversity, the co-heads of entertainment, the co-heads of environmental affairs, community action representatives, and faculty representatives. The All-School Council meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. Council meetings are open to all members of the CA community.
The All-School Council takes an active role in representing the student body when reviewing policies, discussing issues, and formulating proposals. All proposals passed at all-school meetings are recommended to the head of school. The council sponsors Club Expo, Winterfest, and other weekend events on campus. Above all, the All-School Council affords students the opportunity to have input in the daily life of the school.
3.03 Automobile and Parking Policies
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 form by August 12. Day students may only use cars to commute to and from school.
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 senior. Juniors who choose to drive to and from school will be required to park either on Main Street or an adjoining street and to pay required fees. 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.
Eligible seniors are allowed to use their car during the school day if proper sign out procedures have been followed though the Student Life Office.
Boarding students are not allowed to have or operate a car under any circumstances. Boarding students must obtain permission to ride in a car by completing a white slip with their house parent or an administrator prior to riding in a car. Day students transporting boarding students who do not have the appropriate permissions will lose their driving privileges and parking permits.
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.
Calendar information changes frequently. For the latest and most up-to-date information, check Concord Academy’s Web calendar at concordacademy.org/calendar.
3.05 Cell Phones
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 (outside school buildings). 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 blackout times listed in the Boarding Community section of this handbook.
Students must respect the privacy of others and not use cell phone or other cameras to take images or videos of others without their expressed consent, which must be given prior to the use of the camera.
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 the Appendices for the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.
3.06 Change of Status for Boarding Students
Boarding students may only change their status to become day students when the school places a student on temporary leave from boarding due to a medical condition or other related concerns. Typically, leaves from boarding are granted for either an entire semester or year. Students on leave from the boarding community are still obligated to pay the boarding tuition while enrolled at the school.
3.07 Change of Status for Day Students
Day students wishing to become boarding students may request to do so by submitting a letter to the acting director of student life and the director of admissions by February 1 for the upcoming school year. The letter should state the reason for the request and must be signed by both the student and their parent(s) or guardians(s). Those students wishing to become boarding students are encouraged to speak with their parents, the director of residential life, and the director of admissions to discuss boarding life and the expectations and responsibilities associated with becoming a boarding student. Students who submit applications by February 1 will be notified of decisions as soon as possible, but no later than March 10. Late applications will be considered, although notification will not occur until mid to late April.
3.08 Chapel, Community Assemblies, and Vespers
Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 8:40 a.m., 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 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 2:20 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 Vespers, 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.
3.09 Community Clean-Up
Community Clean-Up is a student-initiated program that began at CA in 1988. The goal of the program is to provide students with a way to contribute to the school and the community by conducting a major clean-up of the campus grounds each fall and spring.
3.10 Community Weekends
Many of the events are designed to foster a sense of community and allow for interaction among students of all ages and backgrounds. Day and boarding students are expected to attend at least one event on campus over the course of a community weekend, and should sign in with the administrator on duty or the chaperone of the event. With infrequent exceptions, boarders are not permitted to be away from campus for part or all of these weekends:
September 9-11, 16-18
3.11 Daily Dress
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, formal Sunday dinners, and Vespers, appropriate dress is coat and tie, dress, or blouse and skirt. No jeans, sneakers, or flip-flops are to be worn at these formal occasions.
3.12 Daily Schedule
7:15–8:15 a.m. Breakfast
8:20 a.m. Student houses close for the duration of the school day
8:40 a.m. School day begins with chapel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and announcements in the Performing Arts Center (P.A.C.) on Monday and Thursday
10:00–10:15 a.m. Mid-morning break
11:50 a.m.–1:05 p.m. Lunch block, dependent upon student schedule and day of week
3:10 p.m. Classes end; student houses open
3:20–5:45 p.m. Athletics and activities
5:30–7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30–9:30 p.m. Study hall—all visitors should be off campus; day students remaining on campus are subject to boarding regulations and must sign in at the library
10:00 p.m. House check-in Monday through Thursday: (9:30 p.m. on Sunday)
11:00 p.m. House check-in Friday through Saturday
3.13 Damage to School Property
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.
3.14 Dining Hall
Students are expected to behave in a courteous and orderly manner in the dining hall and wear shoes and appropriate clothing. Meals are served cafeteria-style, and when students have allergies they should be in contact with the food-service director so accommodations can be made. Students must clear their dishes and silverware from the tables after eating. Dishes and silverware are not to be removed from the dining hall. Additionally, students are not to take food from the dining hall, including food from the salad bar, before or after designated meal times. When Sunday night dinners are formal (e.g., Vespers), students should dress accordingly.
Breakfast 7:15-8:15 a.m.
Lunch 11:50 a.m.–1:05 p.m.
Dinner 5:30–7:00 p.m.
Continental Breakfast 9:00–11:00 a.m.
Brunch 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Dinner 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Continental Breakfast 9:30–11:00 a.m.
Brunch 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Dinner 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Continental Breakfast 8:00–9:00 a.m.
Breakfast 9:00–9:45 a.m.
Lunch 11:50 a.m.–1:05 p.m.
Dinner 5:30–7:00 p.m.
3.15 Email, Online Communications, and the Internet
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. If the school becomes aware of content posted by students that does not meet the school’s expectations, it reserves the right to respond with either disciplinary action or a Health Center intervention. Likewise, if the school becomes aware of students creating accounts using the school’s name or the name of someone other than themselves, it reserves the right to respond with disciplinary action. 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.
3.16 Emergency Response
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, the school will send messages to students, parents, faculty and staff by phone or text using Connect Ed, our mass-notification system, in the event of an incident. 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.
The Concord Police Department conducts annual training and drills for all students, faculty, and staff 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 may result in dismissal.
3.17 Extended Campus
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 Athletic Campus is included in 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 Athletic Campus. Side roads off of Sudbury or Fairhaven are not part of the extended campus.
Boarders who want to watch a game at the Athletic Campus should sign out and back into their houses on the extended campus checklist in the house. Athletes do not need to sign out.
Day students may not drive to the Athletic Campus either for practice or spectating. Day students wishing to walk to the Moriarty Athletic campus should sign out and back in with the Student Life Office.
3.18 Fundraising Activities
Concord Academy takes care to ensure that fundraising by student, faculty, parent, and school groups is coordinated throughout the school year in order to avoid over solicitation of members of the local and school community. All activities that involve solicitations of support, including advertising, goods, or monetary contributions, must be approved by the acting director of student life.
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.
3.20 Guidelines for Student Parties
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 acting director of student life life to discuss 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 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.
No student may hitchhike for any reason while under the school’s jurisdiction, including hitchhiking to and from school.
3.22 Kitchen Duty
Boarding and day students are required to perform kitchen duty two to three times a year. Kitchen duty includes serving food, washing dishes, and cleaning tables in the school dining hall, as well as conducting routine maintenance in the Student-Faculty Center. Boarding students typically are assigned kitchen duty on weekends and day students on weeknights. Students may not pay other students to perform kitchen duty for them. A schedule of kitchen duty assignments is posted in each house for boarders, and placed in each students google calendar. Students are expected to complete all assignments accordingly.
3.23 Lost and Found
Students should mark all possessions with their names; books should have names written on the outside spine, and clothing should have nametags. Items left in public spaces and hallways will be taken to the lost-and-found closet by the student mailboxes. Found valuables such as watches, glasses, cell phones, calculators, wallets, etc., should be turned into the Student Life Office. While the school makes all reasonable attempts to help students locate missing items, it is not able to offer financial remuneration for such items. Students are encouraged to exercise common sense regarding where they leave their belongings and to take them home or to their house each evening. Lockers are available outside the Student-Faculty Center conference room for the storage of valuable items.
3.24 Media Requests
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 Communications Office before responding. Students are required to alert the 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 like to engage or notify the media of a CA-related event, they are required to notify the Communications Office first. In general, the Communications Office is available as a resource for consultation, mock interviews, or any guidance that may help with media inquiries.
In the case of an urgent message for a student, contact the administrator on duty at (978) 402-2388.
3.26 Notice of Environmental Hazards
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. Before any pesticide is applied on campus, a 48-hour notice will be sent electronically to all students and adults.
3.27 Personally Offensive Material
Concord Academy recognizes the rights of students to make individual choices and to represent individual values when reading or viewing printed material. However, the school must maintain certain standards of propriety and decency relative to the use of printed material by students in student houses or in public spaces. Consequently, students are advised against having the following printed material(s) at school:
- pornographic magazines, posters, books, or other material demeaning to human beings
- overtly racist, homophobic, or sexist material(s)
- 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 engage the student in a serious conversation about the material. In cases of disputes of this policy, director of residential life or the acting director of student life assumes the role of final arbiter.
3.28 Personally Offensive Material (Electronic)
School policy prohibits having the following electronic material at school:
- pornographic images or videos, or other obscene material demeaning to human beings;
- overtly racist, homophobic, or sexist material;
- hate material.
This policy is broad and, consequently, applies to downloading, uploading, storing, viewing, and printing electronic 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 the Appendices.
3.29 Scheduling School Events
Before scheduling events, students must first check with the acting director of student life to avoid any scheduling conflicts. The following faculty and staff members have the responsibility of scheduling rooms in their respective facilities:
- Amy Spencer and Jessica Cloutier-Plasse (Performing Arts Department): P.A.C., all music rooms, and the SHAC dance studio.
- Shawna Penders (Food Services): Student-Faculty Center dining hall.
- Nancy Howard (Student Life Office): Student-Faculty Center conference room, Library Conference Room, Great Room, Trudy Room, Ransome Room, the Chapel, and classrooms.
- Sue Johnson (Athletics): wrestling room and SHAC atrium
- Sarah Woods (Operations): Moriarty Athletic Campus meeting room.
After 10:00 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and after 11:00 p.m. Friday–Saturday, all external doors on campus buildings will be secured. Student houses are equipped with an electronic card access system. The system may not be subverted by propping doors open. 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.
3.31 Senior Responsibilities and Privileges
Seniors are expected to lead by positive example, abide by school rules and expectations, and assume leadership roles within the community, either as elected student leaders or as models of appropriate behavior. In February, the senior class may propose adding privileges for the spring term. The proposal must be presented in writing to the acting director of student life. Approval of proposed privileges will be based on faculty assessment of senior leadership during the fall and winter terms.
3.32 Snow Days/Delayed Starts
On days when there is a snow emergency, the school will make an announcement by 6:00 a.m. on various platforms indicating that school is either canceled or will begin with chapel or announcements at 10:15 a.m.
Because Concord Academy is a residential school, and day students often travel within a broad geographical region, parents are encouraged to use discretion when making travel plans. If a student is unable to travel to school safely, their parents are encouraged to call the attendance line. On the evening of a snow day, boarding students will have study hall prior to the next day of classes.
3.33 Student Property Search Policy
Concord Academy supports students in having a reasonable degree of privacy with respect to their conduct, their personal property, 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 rooms, and their belongings if any faculty member, staff member, or other school representative reasonably suspects that 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 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 will be grounds for discipline.
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.
3.34 Threats, Violence, Weapons, and Dangerous Substances
Students are expected at all times to maintain a safe environment for themselves as well as others. Violence or the threat of violence will result in immediate action by the school, including notification of appropriate law enforcement agencies. Threats involving or possession of weapons or dangerous substances—including, but not limited to any firearm, knife, other weapon, fireworks or other dangerous item or substance— whether on or near campus or at or near any school-related function or event, will subject the student to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate dismissal. Similar consequences will apply to any student who aids or facilitates another student’s acquisition or possession of weapons or dangerous substances.
3.35 Visitors to Campus
During the school year, a wide range of visitors will come to campus. Student visitors who will be spending a day at the school should be introduced to the acting director of student life. Student hosts should obtain permission from their teachers prior to bringing their visitors to class. When student houses are open, visitors should be introduced to the house parent on duty. Whenever visitors are here, they are subject to the rules that apply to Concord Academy students.
Visitors from outside Concord Academy are not permitted on campus after dinner on Sunday through Thursday, unless explicit permission is granted by the acting director of student life 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.
3.36 Water Safety
Swimming is permitted in the Concord Academy pool only when it is staffed by lifeguards, as arranged by the acting director of student life, the director of operations, or the administrator on duty. No swimming is permitted in the Sudbury River. Canoes must be signed out, and students must be accompanied by an adult. The administrator on duty must be notified prior to departure and upon return. 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 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.