“My roommate is my family. … It makes it feel like home.” From Saturday night pizza feeds to the diversity within dorms, hear from students on what makes their house special.
St. Paul’s School is one of a very few schools in the United States where all faculty and students live together on campus. The “fully residential” nature of our community is a key element of our program and part of what makes St. Paul’s so special.
In addition, St. Paul’s uses a “house system” in which students of all ages and backgrounds share the same living spaces, providing you and your dorm mates with unique opportunities to connect, support, and learn from each other. SPS alumni often say the strongest friendships they have forged are the ones made in their houses. Right next door, in apartments attached to each house, are faculty families — sources of support and connection. Your adviser will be connected to your house, providing you both with opportunities to get to know one another.
Your house truly is a home away from home, and your SPS community quickly becomes like an extended family.
What's Dorm Life Like?
Whether it is to laugh over something funny or listen with empathy, the people you live with are critical sources of support for when you need it — along every point of your SPS journey.
Your adviser, a faculty member who is affiliated with your house, will advise only a handful of students. Advisers are never far away when you need them, maintaining an awareness of what is happening in their advisees’ lives. They are the first point of contact between parents and the School, and they are often the first adult to whom you will turn for help with any part of your life at school. This type of community is a key aspect of our fully residential experience.
The Prefect Program provides a link between students and faculty within student houses. Prefects provide a first, warm welcome for new students and look after the well-being of all students in their houses. They are Sixth Form residential leaders who are trained and selected for their role. Their goal as leaders is to make your life at School welcome, comfortable, and enjoyable by setting positive examples for all who live and work in the house.
It’s not always easy to navigate a new school and a new environment away from home. Each new student is assigned a returning student Big Sibling to help with the transition to residential school life. Big siblings are usually Sixth Formers, and their responsibility is to provide guidance to the new student with whom they have been paired — everything from where to find one’s Chapel seat to how to retrieve mail at the SPS Post Office.
Each house has its own character, and rooms are singles, doubles or triples depending on the layout. Every dorm also features a large common room, which adjoins the resident faculty apartment. The common rooms are comfortably furnished, provide kitchen facilities, and often have fireplaces. Students and the faculty resident together organize life in their own houses, planning everything from daily chores to fun activities. When students check into their houses at night, a faculty adviser or the head of house often welcomes them and asks about their day.
SPS Living Spaces
Get a glimpse inside student housing, including our newly renovated common rooms and kitchens. Then, imagine yourself here!