Dana Hall is the only boarding and day school for girls in grades 5-12 in the Boston area. Starting in 9th grade, the Upper School is 40% boarding and 60% students, a mix students see as a mutual benefit.
“With both day students and boarders from around the world, Dana Hall is a melting pot of cultures, perspectives and languages. For the boarders, Dana is home, and the Dana students are family. This makes the school feel like home for all of us—we are all sisters,” said V. Kuntz ‘18, a day student from Wellesley. “We eat together, study together, struggle together, and celebrate our triumphs together. As a part of this diverse family, I now have sisters from around the world, and I have had the opportunity to expand my opinions based on exposure to many cultures and perspectives, and to learn snippets of many languages. Not only will this help me in college and in life, but it has made my life richer.”
Day and boarding students are intentionally mixed in all aspects of the academic and extracurricular program, from classes and athletic teams, to advisor groups and class retreats. All opportunities are open to day and boarding students. Members of the Student Activities Club plan weekend activities, which consists of both structured and unstructured opportunities for students to mingle, relax, recharge and socialize. Recently activities have included a Halloween dance, a day trip to historic Lexington and Concord, lunch in Koreatown, and an adventure in a corn maze.
“As an international student, Dana Hall was a whole new world for me,” said R. Chandley ‘21, a boarding student from Kingston, Jamaica. “Once I got to know a lot of the day students I realized why I liked having them around. A friend, a day student who lives in Sudbury, took me apple picking. I had never been or heard of apple picking; we don't have it in Jamaica. It was a really cool experience to have and it gave me a glimpse into a new culture. Having day students as friends is nice because it gives you the chance to get away from school and experience new things.”
A school and a home
Because the campus is home to approximately 130 boarding students and 50 faculty members and their families, it never closes. Dana Hall is a 24/7 learning environment, and students can connect with teachers in evening Writing, Science and Math Labs to gain extra support. With this additional access to faculty members, students quickly discover that their teachers are human and have interesting lives. They develop meaningful relationships with adult mentors; studies show these relationships are critical to academic and developmental success.
All students have easy access to Wellesley and Boston, where they can engage with a sophisticated urban culture. Day students are welcome to stay in the dorm for a night, weekend, week or for a trimester. The Host Family Program connects international/boarding students with local day families and provides an opportunity to share their cultures.