Alternative Boarding Schools in New England - Oliverian School
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I didn’t like how big my last school was—how many students are there going to be?

A: We totally understand! That’s why our student body stays around 50 students.

Q: Is there anything to do nearby, like on the weekends?

A: Yes! Depending on what you’re into, there’s plenty. For example, if you enjoy being outside, we have a lot of beautiful hiking and biking trails surrounding the campus along with some fun swimming spots for warmer weather and ski locations throughout the winter months. Other things include the nearby town of Hanover which is home to many lovely stores and restaurants as well as movie theaters. There are places even closer to the school where you can pick up necessities if you need to as well.

Q: I’ve never been to school that didn’t have both girls and boys- Oliverian is co-ed right?

A: Yes, Oliverian is a co-ed school. We have dorms for the girls scattered around main campus, and the boys’ dorms are in cluster on the East side of campus.

Q: I am thinking about coming but am not sure if it’s for me- is there someone I can talk to about it or a way to get more information?

A: Of course! Barclay McKinnon would be your go-to guy for this one. He is the Director of Admissions and would love to fill you in about the school and answer any questions you have. We also highly recommend coming for a tour- and you can then speak to Barclay in person. You can also see our campus and get a feel for the school. It has helped many students to see the school before they arrive on their first day.

Q: How often can I go home to visit my friends and family?

A: Typically, students are permitted to go on a home pass one time per quarter. However, we can definitely make allowances if there is something away from school that you feel strongly about attending, like a wedding or family event.

Q: What kind of help is available to me while at Oliverian?

A: Great question! Everyone is assigned a counselor and then after the first week, pick their own advisor. This is typically someone you get along with well and would feel comfortable going to with a problem and opening up a little to. You also have a dorm parent who is available especially after the school day is finished and you have returned to your dorm. However, you are not limited to those three people as all the staff are extremely friendly and would love to help in any way they can.

Q: I know lots of other boarding schools require a dress code or uniform- what’s it like at Oliverian?

A: Oliverian does not require a uniform at all, so you can usually dress as you please. We do ask that you use your own judgment about appropriateness, but for the most part we don’t have a problem with peoples’ dress styles.

Q: Do I get my own room? It’s pretty important to me that I have some space to relax and unwind at the end of the day by myself.

A: The good news is that most of our dorm rooms are singles. We do have a number of doubles in both the girls’ and boy’s dorms, but tend to not give a roommate to those who have concerns about it.

Q: What’s the bathroom situation in the dorms? I take a while to get ready in the morning and don’t want to hold people up.

A: I’d be concerned about this too- but don’t worry. Although you don’t get your own, in each dorm there are a number of bathrooms that the students share. Some people take showers in the evening, so the numbers are smaller for bathroom use in the morning. This often eliminates the problem enough to not be an issue. However, we’ve recommended to students in the past to wake up a little extra early so that they themselves have more time and also less worry about making others late for class.

Q: I usually need time on the weekend to chill out and unwind from the week. Is there anything required of us on these days?

A: Your only requirements are brunch at 11am and dinner at 6pm. Other than that you can pretty much do as little or as much as you want! We usually encourage students to try and go on at least one trip, but it’s really up to you. It can be great to get out and do something fun with your friends and fellow students but we also recognize that the week can be a lot for some people and their weekends need to be filled with down-time.

Q: What’s the food like? My last school wasn’t serving us anything that I enjoyed and I hated mealtimes.

A: Oliverian is lucky to have two wonderful chefs- Ben, who works weekdays and Laura who works weekends. They both do a great job and are rated highly by our students. They typically serve a variety of options each day, including salads on the side. We also keep the kitchen open until curfew so you can grab snacks at any time.

Q: Can I have my phone and computer at Oliverian?

A:  Absolutely. There can be restrictions on their usage depending on your ‘level’ that week. Basically, if you didn’t have any significant hiccups or attendance issues that week then you’re good to go and can keep all your electronics until lights-out.

Q:  Can I smoke while I’m at Oliverian?

A: Sorry, this is one thing we say no to. Some of our reasoning is due to the challenge of keeping campus clean since cigarettes made their way onto the grounds and that non-smokers were being pressured to start up by those who already smoke.

Q:  Can we have pets at school?

A. This is actually a really popular question and one we have heard quite a few times. Unfortunately we have to say no to all pets. Luckily, each year there a few staff members who bring their dogs to live on campus with them so there are often dogs around! In fact, we have a few here right now whom the students love.

Q:  I heard there’s skiing lessons in the winter?

A:  Absolutely true! Once there’s a solid layer of snow of the ground, our weekly school-wide skiing lessons begin up at Cannon Mountain for the following 6 weeks- The whole school travels by bus to the mountain, where everyone participates in an experienced-based group lesson. There is then a few hours of time allotted to ‘free-skiing’, where you are welcome to do your own thing on the slopes.

Q:  What if I have never taken a skiing lesson in my life? I’ve never even lived in a place where it snows in the winter!

A:  Hey, that’s alright, don’t worry, especially as you are not alone in this. We have had many students who have never lived in snow, let alone skied before! The way the lessons are set up, complete beginners to experts are catered for and students are separated according to ability. The instructors at Cannon Mt are very helpful towards beginners and are more than willing to spend as much time with each person as need be. Some of out school staff also take part and are there as extra help and support to anyone who needs it. More times than not, the skiing lessons turn out to be a highlight of the winter at Oliverian and many beginners realize that skiing is something they look forward to each week and something they want to continue to pursue.