We know you have lots of questions about SPS and what it will be like for your student. Here are some answers to the questions we get asked most often.

Preparing Your Child for Life at SPS

What should my child pack?

Each year the Dean of Students Office provides a recommended packing list.

For a description of the Student Dress Code, please refer to page 38 of the SPS Handbook. All students are encouraged to label their clothing.

What should my child leave at home?

For a list of what items students should bring, please refer to the recommended packing list provided by the Dean of Students Office. More information about the electrical/fixture restrictions and furniture/decorating restrictions can be found in the Room and House Guidelines section of the SPS Handbook on pages 40-41.

What furnishings are provided in the dorm rooms?

The School provides a bed (twin XL), a bureau with lockable drawer for small valuables, a desk, ceiling lights, and a chair. 

The student must bring their own twin XL sheets and blankets. Many students also bring a twin XL foam topper for the dorm beds. 

What kind of electronics should my child bring?

Most students bring laptops. The IT Department at SPS is a great resource for students and can help troubleshoot free of cost. Refer to the Information Technology Support Services sheet for more information.

It is also recommended that students bring cell phones. In the event your student does not own a personal cell phone, there are multiple public telephones available in each dorm’s common room and throughout the academic spaces.

Are there additional weather-related needs?

Students should bring rain boots, snow boots, a raincoat, winter jackets, and hats and gloves. Ice skates are great to have for pick-up games on Turkey pond!

Once Your Child is a Student

What’s the best way to keep in touch with my child?

How often you speak to your child varies greatly from family to family. We suggest talking with your child to find a mutually beneficial time and method.

How can I send a care package?

Many parents use AMAZON Pantry to send essentials. All packages should be addressed to the School at 56 Dunbarton Road, Concord, N.H. and then picked up at the School’s package center by your child.

Can my child leave campus on the weekends?

There are several opportunities for students to leave campus during the weekends. SPS provides shuttle transportation to downtown Concord and the Heights.

As far as leaving campus overnight is concerned, there are closed weekends listed in the Academic Calendar. Depending on your child’s form, the opportunity to leave campus varies. The list of weekend privileges by form can be found on page 33-34 of the SPS Handbook.

Please refer to pages 33-35 of the SPS Handbook for more information on leaving school grounds.

How can I stay in touch with what’s happening on the SPS grounds?

There are various ways to stay abreast of what is happening on campus.

  1. We suggest you check back regularly on the SPS website (www.sps.edu) and login to the parent resource board for event listings and news.

  2. We also suggest you follow us on social media at www.facebook.com/StPaulsSchoolNH or www.instagram.com/StPaulsSchoolNH

  3. You will receive a weekly Parent Update via e-mail with information on upcoming events, etc.

  4. Feel free to contact Jennifer Fithian at jfithian@sps.edu or 603-229-4703 with questions at any time.

Student Life

What’s my child’s daily schedule like?

The daily schedule is rigorous and follows a basic formula of Chapel, classes, athletics, meals, activities, study, and sleep – six days a week.
Click here to view a sample schedule.

Will my child need cash? How will they get it?

Students should not need more than $25 in cash. There is an ATM machine in the Community Center.

You will have the opportunity to open a local checking account during Opening Days.

What if my child gets sick?

Our on-campus health center is staffed 24 hours a day by registered nurses.

Does my child have to play a sport?

A pre-determined amount of athletic credits are required depending on form year. There are alternatives to organized team sports every season.

Refer to the Graduation Requirements page on the website for credits required.

Can my child switch sports or change courses?

Students may switch sports before the season begins. Every trimester has a drop/add deadline for switching courses.

what are the academic requirements, by form, for graduation?

The requirements are listed on the Graduation Requirements page on the website.

When and where will my child eat?

The SPS dining hall provides three meals a day with options for every palette.

Additionally, the Kwok Café in the Community Center offers grilled-to-order breakfast and other items Tuesday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. until check-in time.

The Grab ’n Go Deli Bar lunch offers a quick, convenient alternative to cafeteria lunch and is available in the Community Center Monday through Friday (except School holidays) from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where will my child do their laundry?

All residential houses have laundry facilities available for students to use free of charge. Students will need to bring their own detergent and dryer sheets. 

Students may also subscribe to a laundry service plan offered by E&R Laundry and Dry Cleaners of Manchester, N.H. Students are encouraged to label all clothing with first and last name. E&R Cleaners provides a laundry bag and offers six different levels of service for the academic year. Parents receive a mailing directly from E&R during the summer.

Clark House Health Center

How do I reach the health center?

Clark House is open 24 hours a day, 7 day a week, while School is in session and has a staff of nurses present during these times. The contact number is (603) 229-4850 and the e-mail is anurse@sps.edu. The medical director or his coverage is in the office most days and is available for emergencies 24/7.

What services are available?

Dr. John Bassi, M.D., the medical director, has been working in the Concord area caring for adolescents for almost 20 years. He is a graduate of Brown University School of Medicine and a board-certified family physician with several years of surgical training and a strong interest in sports medicine.

Dr. Tom Peters, the director of counseling services, oversees three full-time counselors and one part-time counselor who are available for scheduled appointments or for urgent/emergent needs 24/7.

In addition to counseling services, psychiatric consultation is available on a regular basis at Clark House. All referrals to the psychiatrist must go through Clark House counselors or the medical director.

A part-time consulting nutritionist is available for students seeking help in the areas of healthy eating, weight management, sports nutrition, and/or eating disorders.

How does my child make an appointment?

Simply call, stop by, or e-mail anurse@sps.edu to schedule an appointment with any of the professionals.

What does my child do with their medications?

Please refer to the Student Handbook regarding management of student medications. If your student is taking a stimulant (ADHD medication), psychotropic (anti-depressant, anti-anxiety medications, etc.), or an opiate, it is our policy that the medication be stored at Clark House and administered on a dose-by-dose basis. To access the medication, the student will come by the health center, check-in, and go to the medication window where a nurse will administer a dose of the medication as prescribed. When medication is dropped off at Clark House it must be in a bubble or “blister” pack so please ask your local pharmacy to package it this way and provide a travel bottle (an empty labeled bottle) for each of your child’s medications. Other medication such as acne creams and antibiotics, can be stored in the student’s room where the student will be responsible for self-administering.

My child is sick and needs to miss classes. What is the protocol?

Throughout the year, the health center promotes ways to reduce illness and injury, namely handwashing, hand sanitizing, not sharing water bottles, coughing into one’s elbow, wearing helmets, and using bug spray and sun screen during times of prolonged sun exposure. If your child is injured or sick and is unable to attend classes, he or she will come to the health center where a medical evaluation will be conducted and if warranted, will be admitted to aid in recovery. You will be notified if your child is spending the night at the health center or if a medication is prescribed. Once your child has improved, there may or may not be some restrictions, and they will be allowed to return to School life. If their illness or injury requires more attention than we can provide at Clark House, your child will be taken to the Concord Hospital Emergency Room (a half-mile down the road), referred to a consultant in the local community, or taken to an urgent care clinic. You will be notified if your child requires care beyond what we can provide. If you live locally and desire to have your child at home during recovery, the health center will coordinate arrangements with you.

What if my child gets injured during a game or worse, breaks a bone?

SPS has had an excellent relationship with Concord Orthopaedics Professional Associates (COPA) for many years. They are located less than a half-mile down the road, across the street from Concord Hospital. Our athletic trainers take injured students to “ortho clinic” twice weekly. For more acute situations there are several urgent care facilities in the area, including the Acute Injury Clinic through COPA which is open most evenings.

When might students be sent home for medical reasons?

Students who are ill usually recover quickly and are back to routine in a relatively short time. On occasion, a student’s illness or mental health situation may require a leave of absence from the School. In a situation where a student requires care beyond what we can provide at the health center or if recovery from an acute situation will take longer than a few days, a short term health leave may be in order. Leaving the School for a short duration for medical or mental health illness will be discussed and coordinated with parents. In the event that the School is faced with outbreaks of contagious illnesses such as the flu or Norovirus, we may encounter situations where the health center exceeds its capacity. In such cases, we would ask parents who live within a three-hour drive of the School to take their ill child home.

What if my child needs to be admitted to the hospital?

There are occasions when a student’s health needs fall beyond what we can provide at the School. In an acute, potentially life threatening situation, 911 will be called and the student will be transported to Concord Hospital Emergency Department, during which time the health center staff and/or Dr. Bassi will communicate with parents. In other circumstances when it is determined by Dr. Bassi that a student needs treatment for a nonlife-threatening illness, the student may be transported to Concord Hospital Emergency Department in an ambulance or by Dr. Bassi, a faculty member, or an SPS safety officer. Concord Hospital is a half-mile down the road. If the Emergency Room determines that the student needs to be hospitalized, a pediatric hospitalist will admit your child. Dr. Bassi will follow the hospitalized student. Parents will be notified throughout the entire process, speaking with a nurse, Dr. Bassi, the hospital Emergency Room physician and/or the admitting physician. Coordination of care and updates on progress are of the highest importance during these urgent times, and we make it our priority to communicate with you as your child is taken through the hospital system.

Download a PDF of the Health Center FAQs

Opportunities to Visit

How often are parents invited to campus?

Family Weekend occurs in October. Parents are invited to learn about the School on Friday and Saturday, and then may take their child for a long weekend Saturday evening through Tuesday evening. Please check the current year calendar card for dates. Siblings and other family members are all welcome to attend Family Weekend.

Parents are always welcome to attend their child’s sporting, theatrical, musical, or other events.

Parents often visit to take their child to dinner provided it doesn’t interfere with any school commitments.

Where should we stay when visiting?

There are several options in and around Concord that can be found on the Visitors page of our website.

Time Away From SPS

Can my child leave campus for a long weekend?

There are three designated weekend recesses a year: Family Weekend, Mid-Winter Weekend, and Spring Recess. Please refer to the calendar card for dates.

When are vacations and for how long?

There are three school vacations per year: Thanksgiving Recess (one week), Christmas Vacation (three weeks), and Spring Vacation (three weeks). Refer to the calendar card for specific dates.

Does SPS provide any transportation during the weekend recesses and vacations?

Yes. Buses provide transportation to many places in New England, including major airports. Information on bus travel is provided prior to each recess. Click here to view a sample schedule.

Other Questions

Do we have to bring all of my child’s belongings home every summer?

No. SPS uses Able Moving and Storage to store student belongings over the summer months. Contact Sharon Zayas at sharonz@able-moving.com or 603-882-2340.

Are there any ways in which I can get involved with SPS?

The SPS Parents Association offers ways for parents to get involved. Please contact Jennifer Fithian, director of parent engagement, at 603-229-4703 or jfithian@sps.edu for more information about the program.

Emergency Preparedness

What has SPS done to prepare for emergencies?

St. Paul’s School is deeply committed to the health, safety, and welfare of every member of the community. The School conducts schoolwide drills and planning exercises for emergency preparedness on a regular basis. St. Paul’s evaluates its safety policies and practices with its Crisis Management Team and conducts regular tabletop exercises and post-incident reviews.

In the event of an emergency the School may:

  • Sound an outside warning siren and public address system

  • Activate Connect 5, the SPS computerized emergency communication system to send initial warnings via e-mail, phone/text.

  • The Communications Department will post messages on sps.edu and social media channels

How can parents and guardians reach the School in an emergency?

  • While the School maintains an answering service that may be activated in the event of an emergency, the School will contact families as soon as credible, accurate information is available and can be shared. This will help to keep phone lines free for vital communications with fire, police, and ambulance services.

  • Using the St. Paul’s School Emergency Alert System, the School will provide timely emergency alerts and updates to the SPS Community via cell phone text messaging and/or e-mail. You should confirm that the School has your most current emergency contact information and that you have set your e-mail to accept messages from sps.edu addresses.

  • Follow Facebook and Twitter for updates and instructions.

How long can the School house/feed students if necessary?

Without any deliveries to campus, the School would be able to keep the community fed for up to two weeks. All dormitories are equipped with emergency generators to provide electricity throughout the dorm during a power outage.

How do you handle medical situations?

Clark House, a 14-bed medical center that functions much like a family practice, is open 24/7 when School is in session. Dr. John Bassi, a board certified family practitioner, a staff of caring nurses, four counselors, and two athletic trainers provide care for the School. Concord Regional Hospital and a multi-specialty orthopedic group are less than a mile away. Clark House phone is 603-229-4850.

What would happen if the School had to be evacuated?

Each year, at the opening of School, the Safety Department requests that families living beyond a five-hour travel radius by car will have designated a friend or relative who can be relied upon to pick up their child in the event of an emergency. Families living within the five-hour travel radius should anticipate the need to pick up their child. Please contact Tim McGinley at tmcginley@sps.edu to confirm that the information you have provided is still current.