All students at Andover--boarders and day students—are assigned to one of the school's five "clusters," each of which functions as a small neighborhood within the academy. Dormitories are assigned to clusters according to their geographic location; each cluster includes girls' and boys' dorms, about 225 students from all classes (both boarding and day), with the exception of one of the clusters, and approximately 35 - 40 faculty and their families. The cluster system brings the advantages of a small school to an institution that already has the advantages of size.
The dean of students oversees the five clusters, each of which is supervised by a cluster dean. The job of the cluster dean includes:
- knowing all of the students in the cluster
- working closely with the team of house counselors and day student advisors to ensure the safety and general well-being of students within the cluster
- working with student leaders to organize and orchestrate social activities for the cluster and to address issues pertaining to the cluster
- overseeing academic issues of students in the cluster
- overseeing discipline and chairing the discipline committee
- serving as the point person for special permissions
- being available to students and parents for information and advice
Each cluster has its own student officers, informal social activities, unique cluster apparel and/or paraphernalia and traditions. Each cluster has a weekly cluster munch (social time where food is provided), sponsors a school-wide charity event, hosts a school-wide dinner, and each cluster gathers together for a formal meeting each term.
Abbot Cluster – Theodore Parker, Dean
Unique attributes: The location of Abbot Cluster encompasses part of what was formerly Abbot Academy (the sister school to Phillips Academy). The close proximity to downtown and the smaller house dorms are popular draws for this cluster.
Dormitories & Day Students: 11 small dorms (between 5-11 residents), 2 mid-size dorms (between 14-17 residents) and 1 large dormitory (38 residents). 48 Day Students.
Traditions include: Abbot Cabaret and the outdoor movie night
Flagstaff Cluster – Matthew Hession, Dean
Unique attributes: Flagstaff Cluster is located at the heart of campus nestled around the main academic buildings and dining hall.
Dormitories & Day Students: 3 small dorms (between 4-5 residents), 1 mid-size dorm (12 residents) and 4 large dorms (26-40 residents). 62 Day Students.
Traditions include: Co-hosting the annual Halloween Dance
Pine Knoll Cluster – David Gardner, Dean
Unique attributes: Pine Knoll Cluster is nestled among the pine trees and adjacent to Rabbit Pond and the Bird Sanctuary. It is home to the school’s beach volleyball court and is the only cluster with no small dormitories.
Dormitories & Day Students: 4 small dormitories (between 36-40 residents). 32 Day Students.
Traditions include: the PKN Volleyball Tournament, the PKN Block Party, and co-hosting the annual Halloween Dance
West Quad North Cluster – Martha Fenton, Dean
Unique attributes: West Quad North Cluster shares a dormitory and the “Quad” with neighboring West Quad South Cluster. Together these clusters are referred to as “The Quads”.
Dormitories & Day Students: 2 small dorms (between 8-9 residents), 1 mid-size dorm (between 10-16 residents) and 3 large dorms (29-40 residents) – the largest of which is shared with West Quad South Cluster. 42 Day Students.
Traditions include: The WQN Fashion Show and co-hosting Quad Day
West Quad South Cluster – Kate Dolan, Dean
Unique attributes: West Quad South Cluster shares a dormitory and the “Quad” with neighboring West Quad North Cluster. Together these clusters are referred to as “The Quads”.
Dormitories & Day Students: 3 small dorms (between 4-8 residents) and 4 large dorms (33-40 residents) – the largest of which is shared with West Quad South Cluster. 62 Day Students.
Traditions include: The WQS Casino Night and co-hosting Quad Day