Choate Rosemary Hall (commonly referred to as Choate) is one of the larger boarding schools, with a number of unique programs. Choate prides itself on not being tied to tradition, which allows them to pursue new ideas. For example, Choate has created a number of signature programs. Choate’s Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies program includes language study, along with focus on art, culture, history and politics. They also have an environmental immersion program where students live “off campus” for a whole year in a sustainable living dorm, and take courses about sustainability while also contributing to the house (gardening, measuring energy consumption, etc.) There are also signature programs in the arts and science research. The depth of these programs really sets Choate apart.
Another way that Choate is embracing new things is by being the first boarding school to adopt a 1:1 iPad program. Students use the devices in class, and teachers incorporate apps and technology into their homework. During my visit, I peeked in on a number of classes in the new math and computer science building, and I saw students using iPads in a number of different ways, including taking notes, as well as working collaboratively around a small table. Choate also has a strong robotics team, as well as strong math, economics, and debate teams, so students have opportunities to pursue their passions in a variety of fields.
Choate’s location is more suburban rather than rural, with students able to walk downtown easily and have access to shops, restaurants and coffee shops. There are also day trips to Boston and New York City about once a term, which students take advantage of, and there are lots of different programming options on campus each week.