The All-Boys Advantage
At Avon Old Farms, our goal is to be the best school for boys. Every aspect of our school program is engineered to enable boys to be successful, and since 1927, we have been providing young men with the tools necessary to achieve in their scholastic, athletic, and artistic endeavors. Everything that takes place on campus – in the classroom, in the dormitories, on the athletic fields – is specifically designed with the educational and developmental needs of boys in mind.
We prepare our boys to be valued citizens who know how to set and attain high personal and professional goals. At Avon, we understand boys. We appreciate their sense of humor, their energy, and their unique learning styles, and we believe that our dedicated, focused approach is critical to helping boys realize their full potential. Avon Old Farms is a place where boys become men.
When Avon was founded in 1927, it was very much the rule for boarding schools to be single-sex. While single-sex education has become more an exception than the rule, we at Avon are convinced that this educational approach makes more sense now than ever. Current research indicates that coeducational classrooms can actually reinforce gender stereotypes, and that many boys are significantly lagging behind girls in terms of high school and college graduation rates.
Single-sex classrooms serve to break down stereotypes. It has been shown that in a single-sex environment, girls are more likely to take classes in math, science, and information technology, while boys are more likely to pursue interests in art, music, drama, and foreign languages. As any teacher will tell you, boys and girls at this age have very different needs, learning styles, and approaches to life. A single-sex setting, free of the distraction of social pressures and anxieties, allows boys to stretch themselves, try new things, and make important strides toward a strong and secure manhood. Here at Avon we hold onto our all-boys tradition not as a nod to the past, but as a way of bringing sense and order to the challenging times in which we live.
Ask any Avon student what he values most about our school, and the answer is typically the feeling of community we have created here. Students, faculty, and staff know each other well, they respect the diversity of origins that characterize us, and they enjoy spending time together. At Avon, a boy’s friends are not limited to just the students in his grade. Our vertical housing system in the dormitories integrates freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and post-graduates together, facilitating connections between students of all ages. Furthermore, the entire school meets together twice on a daily basis – early in the day at Morning Meeting, and again later in the Refectory for lunch. This regular, school-wide interaction fosters the sense of brotherhood that all Avonians feel, and eliminates the sometimes rigid distinctions between older students and younger students that can be prevalent at other schools.
Simply put, Avon boys like being here. They like it because they are in an environment where people clearly care about them. They like it because they are free to be themselves, unencumbered by the fear of embarrassment or compulsion to show off in front of the opposite sex. They like it because every boy here is truly a member of the community. Men of Avon forge relationships that last a lifetime with their classmates as well as faculty members. The frequent visits to campus by alumni as well as high turnouts at class reunions are telling of the memorable and meaningful experience that boys have here.
Additionally, Avon Old Farms is conveniently positioned between two all-girls schools (Miss Porter’s School in Farmington and The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury), making young women a regular presence on our campus on weekends. We also host dances and other social events, and send busses off to a wide variety of social activities on Friday and Saturday nights. In short, a boy need not worry about interacting with girls at Avon, as the opportunities to do so are plentiful.