Hampshire Country School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 42°44′28″N 71°56′24″W / 42.74111°N 71.94000°W / 42.74111; -71.94000 Hampshire Country School (HCS) is a private boarding school for gifted children in Rindge, New Hampshire, United States, started by Henry Curtis Patey and Adelaide Walker Patey in 1948. Formerly a co-educational school, it is designed now as a boarding school for boys between 8 and 17 years with high ability, naturally cheerful and good natured yet who have difficulty in other settings. The majority of the students are enrolled in grades 6 through 9.

Hampshire Country School is not a treatment facility and does not provide treatment for any condition.

While in the first 30 years of the school, Hampshire Country School provided residential treatment for children managing various emotional and environmental stresses, the school has never served one type of child, or specialized in any one particular diagnosis. Many of the children accepted in the early years of HCS Dr. Patey described as "the very bright, emotionally sensitive or fragile type of child". More recent challenges managed by some of the HCS children in the 1980s and 1990s could be associated with Asperger syndrome, nonverbal learning disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

For over 60 years, Hampshire Country School has been educating children of high intellectual ability who need a friendly environment and an unusual amount of adult attention. It is a family-style boarding school for 25 boys, mostly of middle school age, from all parts of the country. Classes are traditional but small (3 to 6 students). The 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) campus includes modest buildings, three lakes, and a small mountain. Daily life is very structured, with after-school and weekend activities plus time for organized outdoor and indoor play. It is here that many students find their first real friends and playmates.

In August 2009, Bernd Foecking became the school's fifth headmaster, following founders Henry and Adelaide Patey (1948-1981), Peter Ray (1981-1996), and William Dickerman (1996-2009). With the appointment of Mr. Foecking, the school continues its tradition of selecting headmasters with years of experience at the school and a full understanding of the school's mission and students. Mr. Dickerman continues at the school as admissions director and a faculty member.

The school has a five-week summer program for boys between 8 and 14 years of age.

The school operates a small farm as part of the academic and residential program.

The school has entered into an agreement with the Northeast Wilderness Trust[1] to protect the grounds in perpetuity. These grounds were originally a farm.[2] The Wapack Trail runs along the Stony Top mountain ridge on one portion of the grounds.[3]


Patey advocated the concept of milieu therapy, and in the 1970s the school published an in-house journal called the Journal of Residential Therapy.

In the 1970s the school had a co-ed student population. Students lived at the school year-round and stayed in tents in a summer camp called Camp Timbertop for most of the summer. Many of these students were supported by Massachusetts special education grants. Massachusetts funding for special education under Chapter 750[4] became more restricted in 1972 under Chapter 766,[5] and as a result the school elected to discontinue accepting children funded by special education funds and began limiting the student population. In 1996 the school population decreased to the current desired size of about 25 boys specifically selected for their intelligence, playfulness and good nature creating a healthy, tighter community for the students.

From the 1960s to her death in 2008, noted Hollywood actress and screenwriter Kay Linaker (who used her married name Kate Phillips as a screenwriter, notable for the cult movie hit The Blob (1958) and acting in many Hollywood screen movies in the 1930s and 1940s. She is credited with coining the name "The Blob" for the movie, which was originally titled "The Molten Meteor".) dedicated much of her time supporting the children at Hampshire Country School. Linaker volunteered countless hours over the many years as well as being the English teacher and drama coach at the school.

For a number of years in the 1970s, noted musician Theodore C. Pierce taught music appreciation and classical piano performance.

Animal scientist and author Temple Grandin (who dedicates a chapter to the school in her most recent[when?] book and refers to the school as "The Hampshire School for Wayward Wizards", a sort of Hogwarts for today) as well as comedian Noel Murphy are famous alumni.


External links[edit]