We believe that students are capable and trustworthy, and that big learning and big joy come from contributing to a community. From tending to animals to cooking food to making decisions about campus policies, students are vital to keeping the school running and growing. With over 50 leadership positions as well as a robust work program, there are many ways to practice leadership and learn through experience.
What I really value at The Putney School is how the students have a strong voice in the school community. For instance, we have opportunities to be a student trustee or be on the educational programs committee, and that’s something that is very unique.” — Lane ’22
The Work Program
The work program has been a part of Putney since its founding; it teaches leadership, teamwork, stewardship, and grit. Plus, it’s actually fun.
It’s designed to empower students through an understanding of the balance between work, home and community life through six different work requirements. From dinner waiting to barn crew, each of these jobs foster a sense of pride and dignity in students, instill a sense of caring for the environment, teach self discipline and responsibility, and provide practical job skills and life skills.
To believe in manual labor, be glad to do one’s share of it and proud of the skills learned in the doing.” — Fundamental Belief
An appreciation for meaningful work was one of the nine fundamental beliefs instilled in 1935 by The Putney School founder Carmelita Hinton. We honor this philosophy by taking a break from classes during Spring Work Day and Fall Work Day to do the sorts of chores that need annual maintenance and many hands.
One day each spring students also head off campus for Charitable Work Day to donate their labor towards a good cause, supporting organizations such as RAICES, a nonprofit that provides low-cost legal aid to immigrant children, families and refugees.