Skip to main content
Concord Academy

New Boarding Parents FAQ

Due to the evolving situation around Covid-19, the information found on this page is subject to change. Please see our Healthy Concord webpage for the most up to date information about Concord Academy’s response and reopening plans. 

What is essential for boarding students to bring? 

See the Boarding Packing List for necessary items. Please remember that students should label everything, including but not limited to books, clothing, devices and all electronics, cameras, charging cords, calculators, etc...  We recommend installing an electronic tracking app on any device (phones, computers, etc), such as "find my iphone" in case something goes missing. 

How will my child do laundry? 

There are laundry machines on campus where students can clean their clothes at no cost. If you prefer, you can also set up laundry service through our local vendor, E&R Laundry. E&R mails information to boarding families in the summer thus you can sign up via their mailing, or sign up directly on their website here.  If you wish to wait until registration, a representative from E&R Laundry will be at registration as well. 

What about food? Are there snacks available? Will my child be able to get enough to eat when desired? 

Our dining service is open for three meals a day. In addition, each house has a “house store” where boarders can purchase snacks each weeknight between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m. In addition, each student house now has a full kitchen that students can use to cook or bake with house faculty approval.  Due to our proximity to town, students may walk to local eateries or a local grocery store during their free time. During the weekends, the dining hall is open for three meals per day as well. On Saturday nights, the House Faculty on duty makes a home cooked snack for the students, which many students look forward to all week! Students may also sign out to visit larger grocery stores if they wish, such as HMart, Whole Foods, Target, or Trader Joes. Each house has a communal refrigerator where a student may store food.

When will I have an opportunity to go shopping with my child after they have moved in? When can we meet up again to help with the room? 

Our Orientation Program is designed to help students transition and acclimate to a new school and for some, a new country. After parents say good­bye on registration day, students are very busy and involved in orientation activities until the first day of school. We have found that in order to encourage students to make friends and adjust to living away from parents, it works best not to have any additional scheduled time with parents outside of the allotted time during registration. But rest assured, your child will be well cared for through this transition. House faculty and student leaders offer extra support throughout the move-in process to make sure students feel comfortable and at home in their new space.

For those students who wish to purchase school supplies or additional items for their room, we offer several trips off campus for students to pick up needed supplies within the first week of school. In addition, one of the benefits of being right in Concord Center is that students can walk to a multitude of stores. As part of our Orientation Program, we give all new students a tour of Concord Center to help familiarize them with all of the local offerings.

How/where can we set up banking? 

There are a number of banks within walking distance of school. They include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, TD Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, and Cambridge Savings Bank.  No student should have more than $150 in cash on them or in their room at any given time (and that's only if needed; most should have far less than this).  Numerous banks are within walking distance of campus.

Where do I send packages to my child?  What is Concord Academy's mailing address?

All packages should be sent to our package center at 126 Main Street, Concord MA 01742.  Letters can be mailed to 166 Main Street, Concord MA 01742. 

When will my child know their housing assignment and names of their roommate(s)? 

All boarders learn about housing assignments when they register. Families should leave their student's belongings in their car until after their child has registered and learned of their housing assignment.  Please know that underclassmen can expect to be in a triple for at least one year during their time here.

May my child stay in the houses the night before registration? 

Unfortunately, we are not able to open the houses until registration, as we are training our student leaders and making final preparations to campus.  

What type of travel arrangements should I make for my child? 

We strongly recommend that parents make flight arrangements early to assure availability of flights. We ask that parents honor the release times for each break when booking flights. We send out our school calendar early to enable you to make travel arrangements early. Included in the calendar are times when the houses close at the beginning of a break as well as when they open to welcome students back.  Students needing to arrive before school opens will often connect with their host family or local friends.  In addition, we keep one on–campus house open for an extra night at the beginning and end of our winter, spring and summer breaks, since we understand the difficulty in making arrangements internationally. Students needing to stay on campus need to request a spot from the Director of Residential Life.

Before each major break (Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks), the school provides a bus to bring students to the airport and bus/train terminal in Boston. If your child needs help arranging a car service at a different time, they may coordinate logistics with Renee Coburn in the Student Life Office. We encourage students to connect with Student Life at least three weeks prior to their departure. Bus and car services to JFK/New York are not provided.

Please note the following important dates for travel planning:

  • Thanksgiving break--School Closed.  Please schedule transportation and accommodations for your child so they leave campus no earlier than 3 pm (or after their sports/extracurricular commitment) on Friday, November 20, and no later 12 noon on November 21. Houses stay open on the evening of Friday, November 20 to maximize flexibility with travel arrangements, but on November 21 at noon, all students must depart campus and school is closed until Sunday, November 29. 
  • December break--School Closed.  Please schedule transportation and accommodations for your child so they leave campus no earlier than 5 am on Friday 12/18, and no later 12 noon on that day.  School closes at 12 noon on Friday, December 18 until Monday, January 4, when houses open at 4 pm.
  • March break--School Closed.  Please schedule transportation and accommodations for your child so they leave campus no earlier than 12 pm on Friday March 5, and no later 4 pm on that day.  School is closed until March 22, when houses open at 4 pm. 
  • Summer break--School Closed.  Please schedule transportation and accommodations for your child so they leave campus no earlier than 12 pm on Friday, May 28, and no later 4 pm on that day.  School is closed for the summer. 

Where can we stay overnight in the area? 

Parents will find a number of options listed at the Chamber of Commerce website. Local hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts in Concord within walking distance to campus include the Colonial Inn, The North Bridge Inn, and the Hawthorne Inn. Many parents enjoy The Residence Inn by Marriott or the Best Western Plus, which is more affordable, yet is a short drive from campus (about 1 mile).

What other attractions are available within the town and local surroundings? 

Concord Academy is fortunate to be located in one of the most historic towns in all America, with easy access to the world-class city of Boston. Wonderful cultural and recreational opportunities abound.

When will my child learn their schedule, advisor, and teachers for the fall?

When the bookstore website goes live in early August, students may know their courses based on what books they need to order. They will receive a copy of their schedule along with the name of their advisor at registration. There will be an opportunity to meet your child’s advisor later that afternoon. If you are not able to attend the parent orientation session on the day of registration, your child’s advisor will reach out to you.

How do we order books for classes this fall?

Online ordering information will be shared with parents via an email in early August. Students will be able to order their books at the school’s online BNC bookstore at that time.

What if the books appear to coincide with classes my child did not expect?  What if their level placement for language or math is not what was expected?

Your child will have an opportunity to tweak their schedule during the first week of school during our “ADD/DROP” session.  While students will attend the classes listed on their schedule until a change is made, they should speak with their advisor, teachers, and department heads to facilitate a move that may be needed.  Schedule changes cannot be made until school begins during the "ADD/DROP" period.

What should my student have for the first few days of school - pencils, pens, binders, a laptop?

Students should come to the first meeting of each class with a binder or notebook and writing implements to take any early notes required. Teachers will let students know at their first class meeting what school supplies they will need for their course. These items are available at local stores within walking distance of campus.

Students find it very helpful to have a laptop, as campus has wireless access. Students use a variety of laptops and chromebooks on campus, so feel free to select the device most compatible with your child's needs. The Financial Aid Office will communicate with those on Financial Aid to relay details about a Technology Grant - funding which can be used to purchase a computer. 

During Orientation and in the first few days of school, the Information Technology Team will connect with all new students. The team will relay advice and additional helpful details about technology. Students have free access to many printers across campus, and many documents are turned in electronically. Students may also access computers in Concord Academy’s computer labs, and across the street in the Concord Free Public Library.  For short term needs, students may borrow a Chromebook from the CA Library.

Should my student have a cell phone?

We strongly recommend that students have a cell phone.  Next year, our school is adopting an online app-based system, called Boardingware, to track each student's whereabouts, so having a cell phone will greatly improve each child's ability to sign in and out. 

A student will use their cell phone, computer, or other electronic device to request leaves and indicate their whereabouts. Having a cell phone is also an excellent way for adults to find a student if they need to connect, and for families and friends to stay in touch.  At the beginning of the year, we ask students to program specific numbers into their phone so they can easily reach an adult on campus if needed.

Does CA have a dress code?

In daily dress we expect clothing to be appropriate and it is understood that underwear is not outerwear. Students may not appear with bare feet in the school buildings or in the dining hall.

Can a boarder spend the night at a day student's house?  

Yes, boarders are encouraged to spend the night at a day student's house when possible, as it can be a nice chance to connect with other families.  The boarder must simply follow our guidelines for requesting an overnight, so the house faculty can call the host to confirm plans.  Please be aware that there are some weekends when boarders will need to stay on campus. Additionally, during a weather emergency, we may ask students to stay on campus for added safety depending on the situation.  If a boarder wishes to stay over on a week night, they should fill out a "Day-Boarder Switch Night" form found in the Student Life Office.

Can day students spend the night with boarders in their houses?

Yes, day students are welcome and encouraged to spend the night in the houses. For a weekend overnight, the boarding host should obtain approval from their roommate(s) and the house faculty on duty that evening.  The house faculty on duty and the parent/guardian of the days student must communicate by email or through the house duty phone before 8pm. Pre-approval can also be obtained from Annie Bailey, Director of Residential Life or Sally Zimmerli, Dean of Students.  

We also have "Day-Boarder Switch Night" which enables a day student to spend a school night in a boarding house with a friend assuming they get the required permissions. They should obtain a form from the Student Life Office.

What is the school policy regarding boarding students visiting the homes of a day student?

Boarding students may visit the home of a day student if they obtain proper permission from their house faculty, which will include a connection with the host via our online whereabouts system called Boardingware.  A hosting parent must be home and willing to supervise.

How important is it for me to attend Family Weekend? 

Family Weekend is a wonderful opportunity for you to experience your child’s daily routine. Family Weekend begins on Thursday evening with parent socials and continues on Friday when families attend classes with their child, meet with advisors and teachers, watch athletic and performing arts activities and join together for a community dinner. On Saturday, families are welcome to watch sports practices and competitions, depending on the schedule. Families receive more specific information about Family Weekend early in the fall. While we are happy to have parents at other times throughout the year, the opportunities that exist on Family Weekend do not exist as readily at other times.

How can I get connected with other parents and get more involved with the CA community?

As part of Concord Academy’s Parent-to-Parent program, parent volunteers will contact new families over the summer, at the start of the school year and periodically throughout the year to welcome new families to the school and answer questions. They can be another resource if families have any questions.