The Boarding Experience

Our boarding environment provides a unique experience for all students involved in the Shattuck-St. Mary’s community. Learning to live independently, to interact in a close-knit community, and to problem-solve with a roommate are all skills that students at SSM cultivate during their time on campus. Meeting and befriending students of different backgrounds and cultures, visiting with teachers and their families over dinner, enjoying the historic campus setting and four distinct seasons of Minnesota: all of these elements combine to create an unforgettable, character-building boarding experience.


The schedule is less complicated at a boarding school because our students have their classes and activities in one place, but this doesn’t mean the days are less busy. In fact, many students will say that they don’t have enough time to do everything they would like. Sound familiar? Here is a typical day…

6:00 am     There are many early risers on campus who have practice to start their day. They get moving, jump on the waiting SSM yellow bus which will transport them the short distance to the Sports Complex, grab a morning snack, greet their coaches with a big smile and begin their practice. The rest of the campus starts to hum around 7:00 am.

7-8 am     Breakfast! Everything from SSM’s very own homemade Bishop’s Bagels to fresh waffles and real fruit smoothies – students and staff stoke up for the day ahead.

8 am – 4 pm     The academic day is nine periods. Students are required to take core courses in science, math, history, a language and English. Many electives are also offered to round out a typical schedule. During free periods, students can spend time in the library (always a good idea!) or the student lounge which is more casual and offers a snack bar.

4 pm     Students change clothes, grab a snack and transition to afternoon athletic practice, club activities or rehearsals. All boarding students are required to participate in an afternoon activity. Each year, there are many clubs, activities and interscholastic sports offered to students with the idea of sparking interest in new and different things. Faculty and students get involved in making things happen and students can help organize new activities.

5:30-7 pm     Buffet dinner. Students and staff come and eat when they are free. Since most of our faculty live on campus, it’s common to see little children in the dining hall. The atmosphere is casual, warm and friendly.

7-8 pm     Time to kick back and relax a bit – maybe call or Skype home or send an e-mail.  During the warm months, the parade field is a popular gathering place for Frisbee, impromptu soccer or just hanging out with friends.

8-9:30 pm     Study Hall – Sunday through Thursday evenings. Study Hall is held in each dorm with students in their rooms with the doors open and working quietly. There is Evening Supervised Study Hall (ESSH) for students requiring a more structured environment and the library is also open for study.

9:30-10 pm     Snack – yes we know teenagers get hungry at night. So, snack is offered after study hall and typically consists of cereal, fresh fruit, bagels, peanut butter, etc.

10:15-11 pm     Lights out. Depending on the grade level, dorm parents encourage students to get to bed at a reasonable time. Our seniors are given more freedom to self-manage their sleep patterns as they prepare for the freedom of college life.

The TRUTH About Boarding School