Solebury School

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Solebury School
Solebury Township
Type Independent
Established 1925
Head of school Tom Wilschutz
Grades 7 - 12
Enrollment 235 total
Campus Rural
Athletics conference Penn-Jersey Athletic Association

Solebury School is a co-educational private day and boarding school located on a 90-acre (36 ha) campus in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania (near New Hope, Pennsylvania). Solebury School’s academic program features a college-preparatory curriculum, with courses and electives in various subject, with a focus on interdisciplinary and experiential education models.


Solebury School was conceived by Laurie Erskine, Julian Lathrop, Robert Shaw and Arthur Washburn in the early 1920s. It opened in September 1925 in a rented quarters with four boys and four teachers. A year later, the founders purchased Michener Farm, which remains the institution's site today. In 1949 the school merged with another local school, the Holmquist School for Girls, which had a similar educational philosophy and often shared events and productions.[1] It became one of the first coeducational independent schools in the country.[citation needed]


Solebury's curriculum consists of Advanced Placement courses, Honors courses, and electives. A Learning Skills Program assists approximately 30 students who have learning differences in the basic language areas.

For international students, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are offered during the full year, and summer. ESL classes are small and concentrate on communication skills.


Solebury students are required to participate in a sport or activity every trimester. Fall sports include varsity soccer, cross country, and field hockey. Winter sports include boys and girls varsity and junior varsity basketball, and varsity wrestling. Spring sports include varsity baseball, softball, ultimate frisbee, track and field, lacrosse, tennis, and golf.

Student Leadership[edit]

Students may lead any campus clubs. They may also be elected by the faculty to serve on various groups:

  • Academic Committee -Student Academic Committee Representatives are an important part of the Academic Committee, which reviews the status of students on the Academic Warning lists, or students in other academic difficulties. In these meetings, the committee tries to help the struggling student (who attends with his or her advisor) by suggesting strategies or methods that might result in greater success.
  • Community Council— Community Council is an organization with representatives from each grade, a faculty advisor for each grade, and additional representatives from each dorm. It plans a host of events throughout the year – dances, the annual Halloween costume contest, the Valentine’s Day carnation sale, and others. The group is also the primary means for students to express their needs and concerns, and to see that action is taken.
  • Diversity Committee — The Diversity Committee consists of five faculty members and two student leaders. Its goals are to ensure that the school is striving for diversity and acceptance of diversity on all levels. Students and faculty should bring their concerns and ideas regarding diversity to the committee.
  • Judiciary Committee — The overall Judiciary Committee (JC) contains six students and three faculty members. Present at the JC meeting are no more than two students and two faculty members. Serious rule infractions are referred for JC’s review and the committee makes recommendations to the Head of School. Student JC representatives are, therefore, an integral part of the disciplinary decision-making process.
  • Mentors –Juniors and seniors can be selected to be mentors to our Middle School

students. By being a friendly, older face, attending some Middle School/Mentor events, and providing social or academic guidance when needed, mentors are intended to help Middle School students to be successful and happy.

  • Peer Leaders — Each year, a number of students are selected to become Peer Leaders. They receive special and extensive training on how to counsel their peers on the many different and complex issues that adolescents face. Peer Leaders meet as a group on Mondays and then with new student groups on Tuesdays during the fall trimester.
  • Peer Tutoring — The Peer Tutoring program has a number of student volunteers to tutor other students who are struggling in particular classes. Questions about or requests for this service should be directed to the Peer Tutoring Coordinator.
  • Proctors — Proctors are student leaders who oversee the daily routines and guidelines in the dormitories. The proctor’s position is a very important one; s/he is a leader in this community whom we think will work well with the teachers and the students. The proctoring role is one that may be difficult at times, and requires a great deal of responsibility.[2]

Campus Statistics[edit]

A majority of Solebury’s approximately 235 students come from Pennsylvania and New Jersey; in the past, students have come from at least 7 states and 8 foreign countries.[citation needed]

All school computers use the Windows 7 platform. In the library and computer room, there are 25 desktop computers with Internet T-1 hookups. A color printer, laser jet printer, and scanner are also available. All campus computers have Internet capabilities and are connected to the Solebury network. Both the Science and Math departments have a networked IBM-compatible system. The Science and Foreign Language departments each maintain a computerized laboratory containing 16 wireless laptops for use in classes, while the Math department has use of two laboratories containing a total of 39 computers. Computers for student use can also be found in the English as a Second Language Suite, Learning Skills, and the girls and boys dormitories.

Summary Statistics: Of the graduates in the past three years, 98% have gone to four-year colleges; the remaining 2% attend community colleges, pursue a post-graduate year of high school, or take a “gap” year.[citation needed]

Community service[edit]

Solebury high school students are required to complete 10 hours of community service per year. Middle School students are required to complete 5 hours of community service each year.


For the 2013-2014 school year, Solebury School tuition costs $49,900 for high school boarding students and $34,500 for high school day students, and $29,900 for Middle School students in grades 7 and 8. Approximately 30% of students receive some financial aid.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Chris Langhart - formerly head of the theatrical technical department at New York University, and served as Technical Director for the 1969 concert at Woodstock.[3] He is an integral part of Solebury's theater program, leading the theater tech crew in light, sound, and stage building. He teaches courses in Metalworking, Engineering (both mechanical and electrical), Acoustics, Scene and Computer-Aided Design.

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°22′49″N 74°59′21″W / 40.3802°N 74.9892°W / 40.3802; -74.9892


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  3. ^ Perone, James (2005). Woodstock: An Encyclopedia of the Music and Art Fair. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 132. ISBN 0-313-33057-3. 
  4. ^ "Peter Hobbs obituary". Los Angeles Times. 2011-01-15. Retrieved 2011-01-16.