Darlington School Blog

Darlington School
Julie Lucas ’97
Chief Advancement Officer

Julie (’97) joined Darlington's Advancement Office in 2007 and was named chief advancement officer in 2016. As such, she oversees development, alumni relations and admissions. Previously, she has served as director of development, director of giving programs and campaign director for Darlington's Second Century Campaign. Julie holds a B.A. in Communication from Loyola University New Orleans. She and her husband, Sam (’97 LD '13), have two children, Wilson ('28) and Hudson.

Head of House Marcus Holmes and John Zazzaro celebrate Thornwood House's winning the Centennial Cup with the house's head prefects in 2016.

Prospective Boarding Parent FAQ #6: 'What is the Environment Like in Terms of Supervision?'

7/12/2017 10:00:00 AM, 381 views

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The sixth question I will tackle in my 10-part Prospective Boarding School Parent FAQ blog series is another common question we get in the Admission Office: 

"What is the environment like in terms of supervision? Do faculty live on campus?"

As a boarding student, I treasured my friends and the faculty and staff on campus. The support I received from them is something you can’t get at a traditional day school. Having faculty and staff in the classroom, at the dinner table, on the athletic fields, and in the dorms at night gave me the tools I needed to be the best I could be every part of the day.
At Darlington School, resident students live in one of six houses on campus, three for boys and three for girls, each managed by a full-time head of house and faculty members who live on campus. Our residential life staff, who is dedicated and attuned to the unique needs of young people, teaches students to balance structure and routine with opportunities for independence and leadership. With 40% of Darlington’s faculty and staff living on campus, there is never a shortage of helping hands when a student needs extra guidance on a homework assignment, advice about a friend, a shoulder to lean on, or someone to share in his or her successes.
Heads of house act as advocates, confidantes and stand-in parents for each student in their care. Each head of house also serves as an immediate point of contact for parents, building lifelong relationships with each student and his or her family. At the same time, they also focus on the little things that make the transition to boarding school easier, like creating a comfortable living space and even celebrating birthdays with cake, pizza and trips to Jandy's for frozen yogurt.
Below, five mothers of current or recently graduated boarding students share the parent perspective: 
"We have been very pleased with our son’s supervision both on campus, and when he has traveled away from school on overnight and day trips for sporting events. As a resident student, our son has had an amazing head of house who is loving but firm. Students respect her and she communicates with us through emails, texts, and on the Darlington website. She makes us feel included in his educational experiences by sending us photos of him at school with his friends participating in the many activities around campus." - Pam Doig of Gainesville, Ga., mother of Ben ('19) 
"Faculty live on campus in multiple ways. There are homes on campus for families, including the head of school, and there are apartments attached to the dorms for faculty families. In the first-year dorm, multiple families live in apartments and help the girls adjust to their new environment away from home. Students have check-in times every day, including the weekends, and different faculty members are on duty for study halls and weekends. Our daughter has become very close with two faculty families. They allow her to go to their apartments to watch football on Saturdays and provide a couch to nap on when she doesn't feel well. They take her to the doctor, take her to dinner, and bake cookies for her on exam days. The faculty are not just her teachers; they have become friends and family." - Merritt Fields of Cordele, Ga., mother of Aisling ('18)
"The kids are supervised but also given room to be themselves. For example, on weekends there are lots of off-campus trips that students can partake in. Students have the freedom to plan their weekends with the only requirement being that they stop and check in with the duty teacher at three designated times during each day. Faculty do live on campus: in apartments in the dorms and in houses, both directly on campus and in Faculty Circle just down the road. The majority of faculty who live on campus function as duty staff who oversee weekend checks and weeknight study halls." - Sheila Ebri of Brunswick, Ga., mother of Bernadette ('17)
"Supervision on campus is tight. The boarding students quickly become acclimated to the rules, policies and procedures for their dorm. There are consequences in place should a student not follow the rules. More than 40% of faculty do live on campus. Aside from the head of house who oversees day-to-day operations of the dorm, faculty share weeknight and weekend duty shifts. This is when community relationships with faculty/staff and students grow and develop. The communication between the head of house and you the parent is consistent and effective, which also lends itself to developing a great relationship. They are available via email, phone and/or text." - Elizabeth Bou of Marietta, Ga., mother of Madelyn ('18)
"Yes, most faculty live on campus. In terms of supervision, the school does a fantastic job of giving them just enough room to grow while still keeping a close eye on them. Children at Darlington know that there is an Honor Code that is enforced, so that they always have to behave in a way that is respectful and true to the school’s core values even when they aren’t on campus. Academically, their teachers are always watching; if they aren’t meeting their academic potential or their grades slip, this will be addressed in a timely manner." - Paula Bacardi of Nassau, Bahamas, mother of Alex ('18) and Ted ('19)

For more information about Darlington School's boarding program, feel free to contact me anytime or you can also request a campus visit by clicking here.

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