When I visited Dunn School, I understood why one faculty member described it as a West Coast school with an East Coast feel. This may have been because of the sprawling green fields surrounding the campus, the white-wooden fences and the cottage-style architecture. The school is located in Los Olivos, in the heart of Southern California wine country, 40 minutes from Santa Barbara and 2 hours northwest of Los Angeles.
Dunn is a smaller school, with 170 students in the high school (grades 9-12) and 60 in the middle school (grades 6-8). Boarding is available for students in grades 8-12. The smaller student body helps to create a very friendly and inclusive environment. As I toured the campus, all the students and faculty seemed to know each other and greeted one another warmly. Students have a great deal of access to and interaction with faculty, as almost all faculty members live on campus and kids meet with their advisors 6 times a week.
In addition to academics, there is an emphasis on a holistic education and hands-on learning at Dunn. Students are involved in athletics, community service, art and outdoor activities. The school also has a Learning Strategies program that provides a wide range of in-depth support and guidance for college-bound students.