FAQs for Students & Families

This collection of frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be updated throughout the 2024–2025 school year. Additional questions may be submitted via email.

Arrival & Registration

What is my student’s arrival day?

The dates and times students should arrive to campus and register are listed below. Students are expected to arrive on their scheduled registration date. Students may not arrive prior to their scheduled registration date and are not allowed to move into their dorm until they have registered.

If students have questions regarding their arrival, they should contact the appropriate person, such as the coach, club advisor, international student coordinator, or Dean of Students Office.

  • New Student Registration is Wednesday, September 4, 8:30–11:30 a.m.—register at Snyder Center
  • Returning Student Registration is Thursday, September 5, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.— direct to dorms for boarders that are clear to register. Students not cleared proceed to the Snyder Center.

Early Arrivals: If your student has been notified to register earlier, here are the details:

  • Friday, August 30, 9 a.m.–noon—register at Dean of Studies Office:  Student leaders, including proctors, prefects, day student mentors, EBI seniors, and school and cluster co-presidents, cluster reps
  • Saturday, August 31, 8:30 a.m.–noon—register at Snyder Center:
    • Athletes: Fall varsity athletics candidates by coach invitation only for cross country, field hockey, football, soccer, girls’ volleyball, and boys’ water polo. Note: The majority of new students interested in fall interscholastic teams will take part in Junior Varsity tryouts, which begin on Friday, September 6.
    • Student Leaders: World partners, CAMD power players
  • Tuesday, September 3, 9 a.m.–noon—register at Snyder Center:  New international students, Blue Key heads, Blue Keys, theater and dance leaders, and ACE students.

For nearby parking, refer to the campus map.

What happens after we register?

After completing registration, families of boarders can proceed to their student’s dorm. Please consult the Andover Event Guides app for program schedule, which commences in the afternoon on Tuesday, September 3, for new international families and students, and on Wednesday, September 4, for all new families and students. Families are expected to depart following the conclusion of orientation on Wednesday, September 4.

What is the Andover Event Guide App?

The Andover Event Guides App is our primary platform for sharing important details with families about key campus events, such as the Opening of School in September and Family Weekend in October. This app offers schedules, maps, and real-time notifications to support families during these special occasions. Please make sure to “enable notifications” to receive timely updates, particularly regarding venue changes. 

Note: Opening of School schedule will be available later this summer.

To download the Andover Event Guides App:

  1. Go to the Apple App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android) and search for Andover Event Guides (not “Events Guide”). 
  2. Enter passphrase Andover24 (no space). 
  3. Download guide and OPEN.
Event Guides Screen Shot

Closed Campus: From Arrival–Sunday, September 8

Please note that the first week of the 2024–2025 school year is a “closed campus.” That means no day excuses, car permissions, or overnight excuses will be granted from a students arrival date through Sunday, September 8. During this time, students will engage in community-building activities to promote social connections and set the tone for the new school year. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Please email the Dean of Students Office with questions or for further information.

      Residential Life

      When will my child receive their cluster assignment and housing assignment?

      An email will be sent in late August to all students (copied to parents/guardians) with their cluster assignments; boarders will also receive housing information.

      What is provided in dorms?

      Each student is provided an extra-long twin bed, desk, chair, and dresser. If you are considering bringing additional furniture or a rug, we recommend you wait until you see the space to determine what is appropriate and to coordinate with your student’s roommate. For details on room configurations, you can reach out to your student’s point person once housing assignments have been released.

      What should my student bring to campus?

      Please review our list ofWhat to Bring to Campus and What NOT to Bring to Campus.

      Can my student bring an area rug?

      Please hold off on bringing an area rug—the room may already have carpet in place, and we cannot give you the dimensions of your child’s particular room ahead of time. Once you know your child’s space you can consider an area rug, but please do so in consultation with your child’s roommate to be sure there are no allergies or other concerns.

      What can I bring/hang on my walls?

      Bring items that are familiar, comfortable, and important to you—stuffed animals, pictures, posters, etc. We ask that all decorations be appropriate in content and messaging. If you are unsure, please consult with your house counselor before displaying the item (or leave the item at home). Please refer to the list of what to bring and what not to bring to campus.

      Can I bring a refrigerator?

      Boarders cannot have refrigerators in their rooms. All dorms have a common kitchen area that includes a refrigerator, microwave, and sink.

      Exceptions are made if a refrigerator is needed for medical or religious reasons. Parents/guardians should complete a reasonable accommodation request form through the Medical Health Portal. If approved, the refrigerator cannot exceed 1.7 cubic feet or 40 pounds.

      When can I begin shipping items to campus?

      You can ship items for your student starting on Monday, August 19. Please do not ship items before this date. Remember, the mailroom will not accept any item or package that weighs more than 40 pounds.

      How do I mail items to my student?

      Please review our Mail Services Mailroom Policies to see where and when to ship items—and what items cannot be accepted.

      What is the shipping address?

      Please use our 180 Main Street address (see below) when shipping items to your student, not the street address of their dorm. Please use your student’s full formal name, no nicknames!

      STUDENT FULL NAME
      PHILLIPS ACADEMY
      180 MAIN STREET
      ANDOVER, MA 01810

      When ordering online and using your information for billing purposes, avoid processing delays by making sure the shipping information has the student’s full name, not a parent’s or other individual’s name.

      Can I ship beverages to my student?

      No. Beverages cannot be shipped to students. These packages are very heavy; the mailroom is unable to deliver them and no items may be delivered directly to dorms. Filtered water is available in every dorm and throughout campus. Having students refill a reusable water bottle is a sustainable option creating much less plastic waste. For athletes, please ship your child powdered sport drinks.

      If your child requires a beverage for medical reasons, please email the Sykes Wellness Center team.

      What two options does my student have for doing laundry?

      1) Your student can use the card-operated washers and dryers located in most dorms*. Students can purchase laundry cards ($5) and add funds to the card from card dispensers located on the lower levels of George Washington Hall and Paresky Commons. Important:

      • Laundry card dispensers accept CASH ONLY.
      • A $5 bill is the smallest bill accepted (no $1 bills!).
      • Laundry card dispensers do not make change.
      • Your student should be sure to wait and follow the prompts. Cards can be deactivated or money lost if the directions are not followed correctly.
      • Funds on the card cannot be refunded, so we recommend adding no more than $20 at a time.

      2) Your student can sign up for the E&R laundry service, which returns cleaned, pressed, and folded clothes to students once a week. Learn more about E&R laundry here.

      *A few very small dorms do not have their own washer and dryer. Students in these dorms are given access to an adjacent dorm’s laundry room.

      Day Student

      When will my child receive their cluster assignment?

      An email will be sent in late August to all students (copied to parents/guardians) with their cluster assignments.

      May day students drive to school?

      Licensed day students may drive to school with parental permission. Day students who drive themselves to school MUST register all vehicles that will be driven to campus with Phillips Academy Campus Safety and display the blue student registration sticker on each vehicle’s driver’s side, back seat window. Students who do not register their vehicle(s) or park in non-student areas will be issued a parking ticket and a $25 fine. If parked in certain restricted areas, such as a fire lane, handicapped space without a placard, or blocking a driveway, the vehicle will be towed.

      Students may park only in these student-designated parking areas:

      • West bank of spaces in the Graves Hall parking lot (once it is reopened)
      • The head-in gravel spaces at the Rabbit Pond Circle (Pine Knoll Cluster)
      • The bank of spaces facing Highland Road in the E.H. Stuart House lot
      • The gravel lot on Field House Road—all spaces

      Day students who have completed their Junior Operators License and can drive other students must get permission from their parents. Parents/guardians can give this permission on the Travel Authorization form found under the “Required for Registration” tasks in The Hive. This covers Day Students driving BOARDING students—and both students must have parent/guardian permission. Students must get faculty approval EACH time.

      Where can day students keep their belongings?

      There is a day student locker area located on the ground level of George Washington Hall. Each student is assigned a locker where they can keep their belongings.

      Can day students eat all their meals on campus?

      Yes. Day students are welcome to eat all meals in Paresky Commons, even on weekends.

      Where are day students dropped off and picked up?

      There is central and convenient day student drop-off at the circle on Salem Street across from the Shuman Admission Center and another drop-off location on Chapel Avenue just beyond George Washington Hall.

      My Student's Team

      Point Person 

      Each student, boarding and day, has a single adult serve as their point person for the entire year. The point person is the family’s main contact at school.  

      • For boarding students: a house counselor serves as point person 
      • For day students: the day student advisor serves as both point person AND advisor 

      Families should always reach out to their student’s point person with questions and concerns. The point person coordinates communication among the various adults on a student’s core team (see below).   

      Advisors (for boarding students)

      The advisor supports a student’s navigation of the program, ensuring the completion of diploma requirements, guiding choices around electives and extracurricular opportunities, and helping students develop the skills needed for success. Advisors oversee a student’s course selection and multiyear planning. Each advisee meets regularly with their advisor (weekly meetings, individually or in a group setting). The advisor will serve in this role for the duration of the student’s time at Phillips Academy and, in addition to the house counselor/point person, is another adult who will support and guide your student.

      House Counselors (for boarding students)

      The primary adults responsible for the students living in their dormitories. Resident house counselors live within the dormitory buildings, while complementary house counselors are assigned to be on duty in dorms on certain nights and weekends, but do not live in the building.    

      Day Student Advisor (for day students)

      The day student advisor is both the point person AND advisor for day students and will serve in this role for the duration of the student’s time at Phillips Academy. The day student advisor supports a student’s navigation of the program, ensuring the completion of diploma requirements, guiding choices around electives and extracurricular opportunities, and helping students develop the skills needed for success. The day student advisor oversees a student’s course selection and multiyear planning. Each advisee meets regularly with their advisor (weekly meetings, individually or in a group setting).   

      Cluster Dean 

      Each student, day or boarding, is assigned to one of our five “clusters” of dormitories in the same neighborhood: Abbot Cluster, Flagstaff Cluster, Pine Knoll Cluster, West Quad North Cluster, and West Quad South Cluster each comprise about 230 students (including day and boarding students) as well as a cluster dean (residential dean) and a group of faculty members, many of whom are house counselors and advisors for students in the cluster.   

      Core Team for a Boarding Student: 

      The house counselor/point person, advisor, and cluster dean form the student’s core team. These three adults provide steady support and guidance—both personal and academic—and a consistent connection throughout the entire year. 

      Core Team for a Day Student: 

      The day student advisor/point person and cluster dean form the student’s core team. These two adults provide steady support and guidance—both personal and academic—and a consistent connection throughout the entire year. 

      Academics

      When will I be assigned an advisor, and when will I receive my class schedule?

      • Late August: Students will be notified of their 2024–2025 advisor via email.
      • Thursday, September 5: Fall course lists will be released to new students.
      • Thursday, September 5:  New students will meet with their advisor to review their course list. Students can ask questions at that time, make certain changes, and prepare any requests they would like to make during the “Add-Drop period” at the start of the term.
      • Friday, September 6:  Fall class schedules will be released to all students by 6 p.m.

      How/when can I change my class schedule?

      Students may discuss course selection with their advisor and make final requests during the Add-Drop period at the start of the term.

      Not all add-drop requests can be accommodated, due to limited openings and the need to balance section sizes. Students may not request particular periods or teachers. Advisors will instruct students on the process for requesting changes. Two “Advising periods” have been scheduled during the first week of classes for students to meet with their advisor.

      What is the weekly class schedule?

      To view the weekly class schedule, click here.

      How will I get my textbooks?

      The Academy currently purchases course materials in bulk for all classes. These materials -physical books, information for access to electronic resources, or information on availability of books at the library will be provided by teachers on the first day of classes.

      To cover the cost of the books and other course materials, the Academy will include a Course Materials Charge of $900 on the first student tuition invoice. This yearly $900 charge will be placed in a separate Course Materials Account; the account will also be used to cover art fees, PSATs, and Advanced Placement Exams. Any balance in a student’s Course Materials Account will be refunded upon the student's departure from the Academy. Questions? Please email Cindy Stewart.

      When do I learn about my placement in math, science, languages, and music?

      New students will receive their course lists (including placements in math, science, languages, and music) from their advisors during their initial advising meeting when they arrive on campus—and they will have an opportunity to ask questions of department chairs during orientation.

      The Academy does not allow students to retake a placement test over the summer or at the start of school. In mathematics, the department does not offer credit or advancement for any work done over the summer; summer work should be taken for enrichment rather than acceleration. Students should expect to take the math course they are placed in. In world languages, students can discuss their language placement with their teacher during the first week of classes. Students wishing to change their world language selection in September may be asked to take a placement test in that new language.

      Are there online resources that tie in with my courses?

      Yes. Canvas is our learning management platform. Course information will be provided to you and updated regularly on Canvas by your course instructor.

      What kind of laptop or tablet should I bring?

      All students are required to have a portable electronic device—either a laptop or a tablet—for class activities and assignments. Recognizing that students have varied preferences, PA leaves the choice of device to the students and their families. Some students have Windows laptops and some have Macs. Additionally, some students utilize iPad with a stylus for note-taking and annotating.

      Each student is provided with a subscription to Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Outlook is used for email. Questions? Please email the Technology Help Desk or call 978-749-4357.

      Where can I purchase school supplies or personal items?

      • The Elson Art Store, right on campus, offers a wide range of class supplies, fine art materials, and creative materials for all projects at a 30%–70% discount off retail prices. The store is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
      • A large CVS store and pharmacy in downtown Andover (10-minute walk) stocks a good selection of school supplies plus snacks and personal care products. (A Whole Foods Market (1.3-mile walk) and a Stop & Shop grocery store (1.5-mile walk) are also located in Andover.)

      What resources are provided to students at the Academic Skills Center (ASC)?

      What is the process for my student to request accommodations?

      Refer to the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) FAQ. You can also visit the Student Accessibility Services website or email SAS.

        Do I get an official Andover email account?

        Yes. Every student is assigned an Andover email account. Students are expected to check this account several times each day and to communicate with teachers, staff, administrators, etc., using their Andover email.

        Do parents/guardians get an Andover email account?

        Parents/guardians will receive credentials to The Hive, the parent/guardian portal. These credentials, for example [email protected], are simply a username. There is no Andover email associated with this account. The school will communicate with families using the email address you provide in your Family Profile on The Hive. Please ensure your contact information is accurate and updated for effective communication.

        How do I find out about private music lessons?

        You can submit a request for private music lessons when you meet with your advisor prior to the start of each trimester. New students will have an opportunity to request music lessons and rental instruments during their orientation.

        How do I change the sport I originally signed up for?

        To change a sport, students can visit the Athletics Office in Borden Gym.

        When will I meet my college counselor?

        Students are assigned a college counselor in January of their upper (11th-grade) year.

        Since each student will work with a college counselor, their advisor is not asked to be an expert on the entrance requirements of individual colleges and universities, programs within these schools, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The College Counseling Office is available to consult on such matters at any point in a student’s career.

        Does Andover have classes on Saturday?

        There are no classes on weekends, but students often have other obligations, such as performances, athletics, testing, and trips.

        Is there a summer reading list?

        No, there is no specific reading list, but we certainly encourage you to read over the summer. Some books recommended by our faculty and staff can be found here.

        Health and Wellness

        General information about the Rebecca M. Sykes Wellness Center

        There is at least one medical professional at the Wellness Center 24/7 and a physician and counselor on-call while students are on campus. The Wellness Center is open for routine care Monday—Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and after hours for urgent care. Call us at 978-749-4455.    

        What to do if your student is not feeling well? 

        For boarding students and day students on campus…

        Your student should go directly to the Wellness Center for evaluation and care by a member of the wellness team and, if necessary, to get excused from classes and/or co-curricular commitments.     

        For day students who are at home…

        A parent must call the Wellness Center as soon as they know their student will not be coming to school.    

        Will you tell me about my student’s visits to the wellness center? 

        The goal of the Wellness Center team is to ensure that students have growing autonomy and independence to be their own best health advocate while partnering with families. If a student comes to the Sykes Wellness Center for a routine cold, we are not likely to give a family a call for this type of visit. However, the Wellness Center will notify families under certain circumstances which include off campus care such as a specialist visit or emergency room evaluation, prescription medications, testing beyond routine testing (such as x-rays, labs involving an external lab), and if we are concerned and believe that a parent/guardian needs to be informed of our concern.    

        What do I do if my student has an upcoming health appointment or procedure?

        If your student has a health appointment/procedure that requires missing class time, please reach out to [email protected] or call 978-749-4455. If the appointment requires missing more than a day of classes, a request must be made to the Dean of Health and Wellness/Chief Medical Officer, and may require consideration from the Student Response Team (SRT).   

        Transportation Options

        What transportation options are available for my student?

        For transportation to Logan (Boston) and Manchester (N.H.) airports or Boston’s South Station, arrangements can be made with private taxi and limousine service providers for students traveling along. A list of service providers regularly used by members of the PA community including information on greeter services for unaccompanied minors is available here.

        Note regarding unaccompanied minors: Families are responsible for understanding the rules of various airlines regarding unaccompanied minors, knowing the age requirements, and making the necessary arrangements (departure and arrival points) if their child will be flying as an unaccompanied minor. Ages vary considerably from airline to airline.

        Does PA offer transportation services during school breaks?

        Phillips Academy will offer transportation during school breaks to and from New York City, with a stop in Darien, Connecticut. Students can sign up for one-way travel or round-trip. Details will be shared by the Dean of Students Office prior to each break.

        Family Weekend

        When is Family Weekend?

        Mark your calendars for Family Weekend, October 25–27. More information will be coming soon!