Living at St. Andrew's
Boarding school life—living in residence with your teachers and your friends—is a unique, thrilling, and challenging experience. St. Andrew's is extra-unique, in that it is a 100% residential boarding school, and 95% of our faculty also live on campus or on dorm. Our students and alumni often note their most significant learning experiences occurred in informal conversations with friends and teachers on dorm, in the halls, or on the fields. We believe that the best education is that which involves not only learning in the classroom and from books, but also deep and meaningful relationships formed with peers and mentors within the school community. With this principle in mind, living and working at St. Andrew's becomes deeply rewarding, for both students and their teachers.
We ask much of our students, and give much in return to ensure their character development, intellectual growth, and overall well-being. We strive every day to be accepting and kind to one another. We celebrate goodwill, civility, empathy, and our common humanity. We have a sense of responsibility not only for ourselves, but for each other. We live and work together in a community that is genuinely cohesive.
- Dorm Life
- Mentor System
- Dining Together
- Campus Stewardship
- Wellness & Counseling
- Using Technology
- Clubs & Activities
St. Andrew's students live in one of six boys' dorms or eight girls' dorms. Third, IV, and V Form students live in dormitories by gender and by form. Each residence hall is supervised by one or more members of the faculty. These "dorm parents" have primary responsibility for the students who live with them. Their homes in the dorms are open to students, and they are available and prepared to help students through all the highs and lows of their St. Andrew's experience, and of adolescence in general. All faculty, even those who do not live on dorm, have dormitory responsibilities, and open their homes to students for advisee and class gatherings. Sixth Form students also act as residential leaders (RLs) on all corridors, and assist the dorm parents in all aspects of corridor life: hosting functions, holding meetings, supervising nightly check-ins, and so on.
Each dorm features a central common room with basic kitchen facilities. Dorm meetings and functions—such as birthday celebrations, dessert parties, group games and other activities—take place in the common room, which is generally located near the dorm parent apartment. Students live primarily in double rooms, with a few single and triple rooms located throughout campus.
Although our underformers learn a great deal from their corridor parents and seniors, they learn most about themselves and others by living with roommates and sharing a home with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our dormitories are remarkable classrooms where students learn the importance of trust, good communication, respect for others, and above all, strong friendships.
My experience on dorm has been amazing, both as an underformer and a senior leader. As an underformer, I looked up to the seniors and this helped me become the man I am today. As a senior leader and RL on a freshman boys' dorm, I was able to mentor these younger kids and give them advice as to how to have a great experience at SAS.
VI Form Student, 2015
For incoming students, St. Andrew's presents a new way of life, with new rituals and responsibilities, and new academic, artistic, athletic, and personal challenges. Our residential life program is structured to support younger students as they adjust to life at St. Andrew's, and to provide older students with opportunities for leadership as they move toward life after St. Andrew's. We pair new students with faculty and older student mentors, with the goal of helping students to develop habits that will lead to success at St. Andrew's and beyond. Mentoring a younger student is the most important responsibility of a senior at St. Andrew's.
The health of any community, large or small, rests on the mutual trust, respect and understanding that exist among its members. All members of the St. Andrew's community pledge to live by the following Honor Code:
We tell the truth at all times. We submit our own academic work. We do not steal.
Stealing, lying, or dishonesty of any kind violates the School’s Honor Code.
Academic honesty must be the foundation of any school or college. The goal of our academic program is to help students discover the joy of learning. Teachers develop assessments to evaluate the depth of student comprehension and understanding. Cheating distorts the portrait of student learning that essential to the teacher's appraisal of the student's development. Cheating disrupts the essential trust that must exist among students and between students and teachers.
Living by our Honor Code also means that, at St. Andrew's, any form of harassment, hazing, or intimidation is unacceptable.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
At St. Andrew's, student use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs is prohibited. Our alcohol and drug policy is as follows:
St. Andrew's students take ownership and responsibility for a countercultural community, one that rejects alcohol-drug use and embraces an approach to community life that is engaged, creative, disciplined, and generous.
We believe that students who abuse alcohol and drugs hurt themselves and those around them. We believe that alcohol and drug abuse threatens the fundamental processes of adolescent maturation and changes adolescents. It changes the way they think, the way they concentrate, the way they act, the way they treat others, and the way they confront, endure, and overcome adversity.
The Honor and Discipline Committees, each composed of students and faculty, review violations of the Honor Code and behavioral expectations, and recommend disciplinary action to the Headmaster.
St. Andrew's Dining Hall is considered by many to be the heart of campus and the center of our community, and our long-standing School tradition of family-style meal service is unique among boarding schools, and vital to the School's ethos.
At family-style meals, every table in the Dining Hall is "assigned" to two faculty members, and eight students, mixed by Form (typically two students per Form) are assigned to each table. (Student table assignments rotate every two to three weeks.) During meals, students take turns as waiters, and are responsible for setting the table, bringing food to the table from the servery, and clearing the table. At the end of the meal, the student body co-presidents leads our daily student and faculty announcements.
The table assignment system allow students from different Forms to get to know each other, and allow faculty to get to know students they haven't yet taught, coached, or advised. Family-style meals are thus a time when we try to momentarily slow the busy pace of our lives, and to connect and catch up with each other. Family-style meals take place during weekday lunches, and on Wednesday evenings before Chapel.
Breakfasts and dinners (except for Wednesday night dinner) are relaxed, buffet-style meals that feature a variety of hot and cold dishes; vegetarian and vegan meals; gluten-free options; and a complete salad and dessert bar.
St. Andrew's provides its students with facilities, equipment, and other material resources to a degree equaled by few schools in the world, and its students take pride their responsibility for maintaining all that has been so freely given to them. Students do the bulk of daily work needed to care for the School's buildings, rooms, and equipment. Each student is assigned a daily job in a certain area of the School (the majority of which are on dorm). Each job takes five to ten minutes, and all are rotated regularly. Responsibilities include taking out dorm trash and recycling; vacuuming the halls; and cleaning common rooms and kitchen areas each morning.
All members of the School community are expected to participate in the ongoing care of buildings, common spaces, and grounds. To this end, students, faculty, and staff gather several times a year for major campus clean-up projects.
The School also expects each student to maintain his or her room in an orderly fashion; dorm faculty inspect rooms each morning.
St. Andrew's students can access health care and wellness resources at the School's Health Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day by Registered Nurses when School is in session. Visit our Health Center page for more information on its resources and policies.
St. Andrew's also employs two full-time on-campus counselors, whom students may see by appointment, as needed or on a regular basis. Students may also meet with an outside psychologist, based in Wilmington, who visits campus once a week and is available for sessions during that time.
During their IV Form year, students are required to take a yearlong Health & Wellness course; areas of focus include sex education, alcohol and drug awareness, mental health issues, and personal development.
Cell Phone Policy
We cultivate and protect our close-knit community by prioritizing genuine in-person interactions over digital communications. Our campus cell phone policy provides students and their parents with an adequate and reliable means of communication while also maintaining the unique culture of the St. Andrew’s community. We ask both parents and students to believe in and adhere to the spirit and specific regulations of the policy, which requires students to leave cell phones in their dormitory rooms at all times (unless the student is away from campus at an athletic competition or on an off-campus trip). Students may use their phones in their rooms before lights-out, but may not make phone calls during the academic day (8:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.). Our countercultural stance on cell phones is embraced by the entire community (not only students, but faculty and staff) and is often enforced by students.
Internet Usage Guidelines
Student use of the St. Andrew's network and wifi is also governed by our Honor Code. The Honor Code applies whether the student is using the network to conduct academic research, send emails, engaging with social media, or for any other purposes. We ask students to be thoughtful and careful in their use of social media and in their construction of an online identity. When using the internet, students must understand and follow these School expectations:
- Treat all people with honor and respect.
- Behave at all times in a manner consistent with our human rights policies, as well as all other aspects of our code of conduct.
- Adhere to the hours allowed for use of the internet or phones.
- Alert School administration of any concerns for safety or security of any student, faculty or staff member.
I love the cell phone policy and the important face-to-face relationships it has helped me form.
The phone policy must remain the way it exists.
I like the no phone policy. It really heightens the quality of the time I spend with my friends.
I am a huge advocate for the phone rule.
...I appreciate a community free of device-addiction...
I think if we continue to look at our technology in this way, not as a status symbol... but simply as an extension of our learning and teaching tools, we will continue to be a great community that utilizes technology without being consumed by it.
The technology [policy] was really helpful in creating the culture of the school, and to guide the school in directions of the things that really matter in life: the connections between people.
Opportunities to pursue personal passions and interests are almost unlimited at St. Andrew’s. Formal and informal student organizations and clubs abound. The clubs listed at right represent only a portion of the many organizations students can join and lead.
Affinity & Ally Groups
- Multi-Racial Affinity Group (MRAG)
- Girls Collaborative
- La Casa Latina
- The Cardinal, our newspaper
- The Andrean, our literary magazine
- The Griffin, our yearbook
- Diversity Stewards
- Environmental Stewards
- Mock Trial
- Model UN
- Robotics Club
- 5K Club
- Hip Hop Club
- Knitting Club
- Self-Defense Club (learn different forms of martial arts)
- Pub Club (practice public speaking)
- Polar Bear Club (take a monthly plunge into Noxontown Pond)
- Planking Club
- 60-Second Film Festival
- Open Mic Nights
- SAISL (St. Andrew's Indoor Soccer League)
Weekends are chockablock with on-campus leisure activities and off-campus excursions. Weekend activities are open to the entire School (including faculty and staff) and are organized by the St. Andrew’s Weekend Activities Group, which is led by students from each Form and a small group of faculty. Faculty also invite their advisories or classes to their homes for dinners, movie nights, bonfires, and other group activities.
Recent On-Campus Weekend Events
- Dance Under the Stars (held in SAS cornfields)
- A screening of Finding Nemo in the SAS pool
- Open-Mic Nights (watch past performances on our Livestream channel)
- 60 Second Film Festival (students compete to make a one-minute film)
- Fall Festival & Halloween Haunted House
- Color Run footrace
Recent Off-Campus Weekend Excursions
- Apple picking
- Local restaurants
- Various concerts in Wilmington & Philadelphia
- Hiking & Camping at Hawk Mountain
- Delaware Rock Gym (Bear, DE)
- Zahra International Market (Wilmington)
- The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia to seen Antigone and An Octoroon
- The Barnes Collection in Philadelphia
- Polar Bear Plunge in Rehoboth Beach, Del.