Hoosac School

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Hoosac School
14 Pine Valley Road
Hoosick, New York 12089
United States
School type Private
Established 1889
Headmaster Dean Foster (as of 2017)
Grades 8-12
Enrollment 125
Average class size 25 students
Campus size 350 acres (1.4 km2)
Campus type Rural
School colour(s) Episcopal Red and Purple          
Sports Hockey and others
Mascot An Owl
Team name The Hoosac Owls
Newspaper The Owlet
Yearbook The Owl

Coordinates: 42°51′26″N 73°20′39″W / 42.857131°N 73.344051°W / 42.857131; -73.344051

Hoosac School is a private co-educational Episcopal boarding school located in Hoosick, New York, in the United States.


Hoosac school was founded in 1889[1] by Dr. Edward Dudley Tibbits. Facilities are located on the Tibbits Estate which rests on 350 acres (1.4 km2) near the Vermont border.[2] The school hosts the yearly Boar's Head & Yule Log Festival which was an American first.[3] This production has since been copied many times after Dr. Tibbits published a book containing the basics for the festival. One of the most prominent members of the Hoosac School was Father Sill[4] who left the Hoosac School in 1906 to found the Kent School[5] which he based on Hoosac.


The average quantity of the student body on a yearly basis is 125 students, who occupy British style "forms" two thru five, roughly equivalent to grades 8 through 12, as well as postgraduate grade levels.[6] The school has a one-to-six faculty to student ratio, with nearly every teacher performing double duty as a teacher and something else (sports coach, nurse, admissions officer etc.) Class size varies, but ranges from three to 14 students. All dorms contain separated faculty apartments allowing the teachers to function as dorm parents to the adjoining dorm. The school has half-day Wednesday and Saturday classes which allow the school to operate using trimesters instead of semesters. A number of advanced-placement courses are available.[7] Students from non-English speaking countries have the option to take ESL courses.[8] The student body is governed by a series of prefects who are elected by the administration and the previous prefects. Hoosac School has a 100% college acceptance rate among graduating seniors.[9]

Student body[edit]

The large majority of the population is boarding students. Day students make up a very small but growing percentage of the overall enrollment. Normally, the male to female ratio is 3:1. Hoosac continues to draw a diverse student population with students currently attending from throughout North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and ESL classes are offered in all subjects as a result. Although the school itself is Episcopal the student body contains pupils of many diverse faiths, as well as atheists.

The students are divided into two houses the Antonians and the Graftonians, whose house colors are red and purple respectively. Students are sorted at random by pulling colored balls from an opaque container held above eye level, although legacy students are permitted to forgo this in order to choose the house that their family has traditionally been a part of if they so choose. In order to ensure the houses remain even in population the number of balls is exactly equal to the number of students to be sorted, and when a student selects legacy, a ball of the coordinating color is manually extracted to account for this. New faculty are likewise sorted, and if their children attend the school those children are allowed to legacy select their parents house if they desire. There is a friendly rivalry between houses in most things including academics, inter-mural sports, and even which house is better at singing the school song, in Latin.

Campus life[edit]

Classes run six days a week, Monday-Saturday. The dress code is semi-formal, males must wear suits or sport jackets; neckties are required with dress shirt. Females must wear appropriate garments which include dresses, dress shirts with skirts or slacks, or other formal wear, and as of 2016-2017 school year, a cardigan or blazer. Dresses are required for Friday night's formal dinner for young women, and young men must wear full suits. During class time on Wednesday and Saturday the students may dress business casual, and are not required to wear ties or jackets/sweaters, but are still not permitted to wear jeans or sneakers. When not in class or at a formal meal in the dining hall, students are permitted to wear what they please, within reasonable limits.

Optional breakfast is served on every school day including Saturdays, after which students are required to go to a chapel service in the morning before classes.[10] Classes are 50 minutes long, with 15 minutes passing time between them with schedules varying by day of the week. Period breaks are allowed, depending on the students' schedules, giving occasional downtime to those students who are able to schedule one. In the middle of the school day, or the end of the day if it is Wednesday or Saturday, lunch is served formal community style with assigned seating, each teacher heading up a separate table, and eating with their students. Every two weeks the seating chart is re-done so that students eventually eat with nearly all of one another, as well as the teachers. The head table seats the Headmaster, and any students or faculty he has invited to sit with him for that meal.

After classes end on full-class days, students have a period of time to return to their dorms and change before they are required to attend practice for their sports, which are not optional, unless they have been placed on a medical restriction due to injury or illness. On half days they may take this time to visit teachers at their home or office if they are in need of extra help, or they can use this time to study, relax, etc.

Dinner is served at 6pm. On full school days, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, dinner is also semi-formal, with assigned seating, and the students will need to use part of their intervening free time to wash and change after sports back into their school wear, with the exception of Friday night dinner at which their school wear is insufficient, as it is Full Formal. Although teachers are present at the assigned tables on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, they are individually only required to be there on one of those nights, allowing them to eat at home or out on other nights. However, all teachers and all day students (who are otherwise free to depart after sports) must be present for Friday Formal dinner. On Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, dinner is casual buffet style with free choice of seating as these meals occur during student free time. They are still not optional for boarders however, a faculty member is always present for them to check in with at the door on their way in, and failure to do so may result in consequences.

At 7pm on school nights (all nights other than Saturday) boarders are expected back at their dorms for "study hall" from 7pm to 9pm, during which time the teacher they live with is available to them to assist with homework and enforce a general requirement of order and low volume, so that everyone can work. Students may study at a different dorm to their own, or in the Library with the permission of their dorm parent, (and in the case of another dorm, the other dorm parent.) Day students who are present at this time, must either depart or go to the library or day student lounge to study, lest their presence out of doors disrupt those who are not allowed out. Students on Honor Roll are allowed to depart Study Hall at 8pm, which is time they frequently use to go to the school sports center. On some Fridays the beginning of Study hall may be delayed, or the entirety of study hall replaced by an after dinner assembly with a special guest lecturer, which all students and faculty are expected to attend.

After Study Hall the Students are free to go back out to the sports center, other dorms or the "Squeelary" (the campus rec room below the Dining Hall.) During good weather they also congregate on the lawns, or make use of the firepits. Curfew is nightly at 9:45pm on school nights, and 10:30pm on Saturday nights, and lights out is at 11pm on school nights and Midnight on Saturday nights. Off-campus trips by school bus are available to students Saturdays between dinner and curfew, and Sunday throughout the day. Common destinations include Bennington, Vermont, to which there are several trips in a given weekend for different purposes (to see a movie as a group, to shop at Wal*Mart, to bowl, etc.) and Crossgates Mall trips which last several hours allowing students to select a movie of their own choosing, peruse the shops, and/or eat at the restaurant's within. On Sundays breakfast and lunch are replaces with a casual style brunch, which is fully optional to attend. Although Chapel is not held on Sunday, students wishing to attend Church are able to join buss trips for that purpose. Transport of individual boarders to off campus amenities like haircuts, dentists, the bank etc., tend to be arranged one to one between the student and their dorm parent.

Students have "work jobs" which are rotating per week; these include doing dishes and fixing meals in the dining hall or cleaning certain common areas. All students who share the same faculty advisor will also share the same work job assignment and that advisor will be the one to ensure that they have turned up to do what was assigned to them. These jobs take place at different times depending on what they are, for example if one is on dish duty, they will have work job immediately after dinner, but if they have mail room, they will need to be present between sports and dinner, when other students would be free to come retrieve their mail.

Students who skip their classes, shirk their work job, are habitually late for curfew, are disruptive in class, cheat, or commit other infractions face a disciplinary committee headed by the dean of students. The majority of the offenses result in a student receiving, in order of severity, detention served during what would be their evening free time, being "Campused" (i.e. grounded to campus,) or placed on "Category" where they are both campused and required to do labor jobs assigned by maintenance and housekeeping. More severe infractions can result in being suspended, which for a boarder means being sent home to their parents for the duration of their suspension.

Breaks are usually long to allow foreign students a chance to return home. A Christmas break of three to six weeks is normal.[11][12] There are smaller breaks at the midpoint of each semester, referred to as "long weekends" which last for 4 days, during which many students may remain on campus if their home is to far to reasonably travel to in this time. During this time, meals are served in the brunch/buffet dinner manner of Sundays, but there are no bus trips.


The large number of buildings on campus are of mixed use; most of the buildings (dorms not included) house classrooms. Tibbits Hall[13] has the widest use, containing a dormitory, classrooms, and the administrative offices. Wood Hall is a close second, split into a dorm, and the school library and computer lab, with classrooms above, but as there is no internal connection between the academic section and the dorm, it could be considered two buildings, and thus Tibbits retains it's title. The school has an astronomy dome in the science building which is permanently decommissioned, but has recently constructed a new one behind the Sports Center. The most recent addition is the wood shop which was built in the winter of 2009.[14]

Every meal on campus takes place in the dining hall. Awards are also given out at the dining hall during the school year, including the National Honor Society awards. The dais of the dining hall is also used as the stage for the Yule Log Festival. There are two classrooms in the same building as the dining hall as well as the school store. Below the dining hall is the "Squeelery," a rec room with table tennis, Foosball, and a small shop selling snacks. Sports facilities include a large multipurpose grassy field area, and tennis courts as well as the Harry Dickie Sports Complex gymnasium with a full-sized basketball court, fitness center, weight room and indoor swimming pool. Near the schools entrance is a large pond which has been used in the past for kayaking and canoeing in warmer weather, and is still used for impromptu recreational hockey and ice skating in winter. Currently, a fundraiser to build a proper ice rink is in place.[when?]

Hoosac School has a live in truant enforcer and live in maintenance man in addition to the teachers living in each dorm, and commuting daytime maintenance man. There is also a full custodial team who clean public areas of the school as well as dorm bathrooms, however they do not clean student bedrooms. There is a school nurse with a full dispensary available during school hours, as well as an on-call night nurse in the form of a live in teacher who is also an RN. Sick students are provided meals by the dining hall in bags which are delivered to them by one of their dorm-mates, usually the Prefect. They utilize visiting Chaplains for Chapel including both Episcopal and Catholic Priests. Students utilize a laundry service which picks up their garments for cleaning on Tuesdays and returns them Fridays.


Several dormitories are spread across the campus. A total of nine dorms ranging in size from four to 40 students are in use for either men or women; no co-educational dorms exist. Although the school utilizes a competitive "house" system, none of the dorms correlate to either of the two houses, and students of both houses live (and attend class) commingled.

The dormitories on campus are:

For men: Pitt-Mason Hall, Wood Hall, Lavino House, Dudley Cottage, and Whitcomb Hall.

For women: McCullough House, Tibbits Hall, and Cannon House.

The largest is the Pitt-Mason dorm for boys, holding the majority of the male student body. The remaining dorms are more fluid, changing genders based on the demographic of students in a given class and which teachers are currently living in the faculty apartments within each. The gender of the students and their house parent are generally matched, however in the very few dorms where the house parent has a spouse, a de facto second dorm parent, students of the spouse's gender may be housed instead,(although this is not presently the case for the 2016-2017 school year.)

The handful of students who already reside on campus in their parents faculty housing may continue to live in their parent's faculty apartment, or if rooms are available after admissions close, choose to move into dorms with their peers. Even is they remain in their parent's home outside those walls they are considered to be beholden to the same rules and schedules as boarders, and can be campused or put on conditions, unlike day students.

Lewisohn House is currently used only for faculty housing, though it has been a dorm in past years and may be again in the future.


Every student on campus is required to participate in a sports activity in the afternoons, every trimester.

Men's ice hockey at Hoosac School is the flagship sport for which the school actively recruits. This hockey program won the 2007 New England Prep School Division 2 championship.[15] In deference to the steadily increasing female student population, a Women's Hockey team was formed at the start of the 2016-2017 season, so that female students could also participate in the flagship sport.

Men's and women's basketball currently are athletic programs which have also enjoyed recent success. The men's basketball team, composed mostly of underclassmen, won the NEPSAC 2011-12 Class D Championship.[16]

Other sports offered include soccer, lacrosse, basketball, golf, volleyball, skiing, cross country, and flag football. During the winter trimester only, they also have skiing, which involves daily trips to Jiminy Peak. Also a private ski slope with a tow rope[17] is open the student body on the weekends regardless of if skiing is their sport. Lifeguard training is also available as a secondary course.

The two school houses participate in annual, Olympic style games decide which house has bragging rights for the given year.[18] Each team is coached by a group of randomly chosen staff member of the same house.

Colleges attended by graduates[edit]

Notable universities that Hoosac alumni have attended include:[6][19]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable commencement speakers[edit]

Cofer Black was the class of 2005 commencement speaker.


  1. ^ Keegan, T.E. (2007). Prep School Hockey Guide. Athletic Guide Pub. p. 200. ISBN 9781601791030. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  2. ^ "Google Maps". maps.google.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  3. ^ "Hoosac: History". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  4. ^ "Kent School Profile - Admissions Data and Profile for Kent School". privateschool.about.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  5. ^ "Education: At Kent School - TIME". time.com. 1927-06-13. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  6. ^ a b "Hoosac School Profile | Hoosick, New York (NY)". boardingschoolreview.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  7. ^ "Schools.com - Online Schools & Accredited Universities". schools.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  8. ^ "Hoosac: Tuition Information". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  9. ^ "Hoosac: College Counseling". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  10. ^ "Private Colleges - Learn all about private colleges and universities at Petersons.com". petersons.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  11. ^ "Hoosac: School Calendar". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  12. ^ "Hoosac: School Calendar". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  13. ^ "I Spy My Hometown - Hoosick Falls, NY - Tibbits' Mansion - Cheney Library". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  14. ^ "The Wood Shop" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  15. ^ http://www.hockeyjournal.com/Article.php?ArtID=1466
  16. ^ "NEPSAC Boys Basketball Finals results - Boston High School Blog - ESPN". espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  17. ^ "Hoosac School". nelsap.org. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  18. ^ "Hoosac: Antonian/Graftonian". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  19. ^ "Hoosac: College Acceptances". hoosac.com. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  20. ^ https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/kevin-mcguire-111371/#broadway

Further reading[edit]