The Putney School

Putney, Vermont, USA view map
Co-Ed, No Religious Affiliation

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The Putney School is designed for independent, motivated, and capable students seeking intellectual freedom, responsibility and opportunities for competence in a variety of fields. The school's 500-acre campus is situated on a working Vermont dairy farm that supports a rich curriculum in sustainability. Putney’s vigorous liberal arts program prepares students for top colleges and the real world.

418 Houghton Brook Road, Putney, Vermont, USA 05346

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Director of Admission: Rick Cowan
Admissions Phone:802-387-6219Fax:802-387-6278
Email: Website:

  • Application Deadline: January 15
  • Application Fee: $50
  • International Application Fee: $50
  • Accept TABS Admission Application: No
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school news

Robert Baskett's "Blue Magic" Wins National Award

Posted on June 2, 2012
This is the perfect story for demonstrating the relationship of the arts to The Putney School. Although we have a formidibable visual and performing arts department, we are not an "art school." We are a progressive school that embraces the arts because, among many reasons, you really can't learn to

Students and Faculty Conquer the Tough Mudder

Posted on May 6, 2012
Faculty and students teamed up to conquer ten miles of obstacles and all the personal fears that go along with finishing a Tough Mudder competition this morning at Mount Snow (procedes benefit the Wounded Warrior Project). Over 15,000 people tried their best on this beast of a course this weekend. T

  • Founded: 1935
  • Campus Size: 500 acres
  • Grades Offered: 9th-12th
  • Accredited by: NEASC
Student Body
Grades 9th-12th
Grades 9th-12th
Girls     95 25 120
Boys     76 18 94
Total     171 43 214

Tuition and Financial Aid
  • 7-Day Boarding: $48,800
  • 5-Day Boarding: N/A
  • Day Tuition Fee: $30,800
  • Payment Plans: Offered
  • Need-Based Aid: Offered
  • Students Receiving Aid: 43.00%
  • Average Awarded: $27,000
School Finances
  • Merit Scholarships: Not Offered
  • Students Receiving Merit Scholarships: 0.00%
  • Average Merit Scholarship: $0
  • Current Endowment: $18,000,000
  • Per Student Endowment: $61,947

Summary: Putney today offers a liberal arts program that provides a strong background in English, History, the social sciences, foreign languages, Mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, and the studio and performing arts. The education is as rigorous as it is broad. Academic learning happens in seminars and formal labs, but it is also integrated with all aspects of life. Students use their constant interaction with our farm, our woods, our kitchen, and indeed each other to construct inquiries, collect data, and pursue answers.

Department Director: Ann-Marie White

Average Class Size: 12

Full Time Teachers: 35

Teachers Holding Advanced Degrees: 73.00%

Student/Teacher Ratio: 6:1

Saturday Classes: Yes

Summer Programs Offered: Offered

Advanced/Enrichment Programs
  • 5-Day Boarding
  • Post Graduate Year
Support Programs
  • ADD/ADHD Support
  • College Counseling
  • ESL: Intermediate
  • ESL: Advanced
  • Evening Study Assistance
  • Learning Center
  • Learning Differences Support
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Study Skills Assistance
  • Subject Tutoring
  • Technology Center
  • Classics
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Classical History
  • European History
  • Medieval History
  • United States History
  • World History
Foreign Languages:
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • World Religions
Humanities/Social Sciences:
  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Anatomy
  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Genetics
  • Geology
  • Physical Science
  • Physics
  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Functions
  • Geometry
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry
Computer Studies:
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Multimedia
  • Web Design
  • Band
  • Choral Music
  • Composition
  • Electronic Music
  • History of Jazz
  • History of Music
  • Individual Instructions
  • Music Appreciation
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Orchestra
  • Principles of Arranging
  • Recording
  • Songwriting
  • Voice
Performing/Visual Arts:
  • 3-D Design
  • Acting
  • Animation
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Ballet
  • Ceramics
  • Choreography
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • Design
  • Directing
  • Drama
  • Drawing
  • Fashion Design
  • Fiber Arts
  • Film and Video
  • Graphic Design
  • History of Theater
  • Lighting Design
  • Metal
  • Modern Dance
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Portfolio
  • Pottery
  • Printmaking
  • Production
  • Public Speaking
  • Publications
  • Screen-printing
  • Screenwriting
  • Sculpture
  • Silkscreen
  • Stagecraft
  • Studio Art
  • Textiles
  • Theater Arts
  • Theater Design
  • Weaving
  • Woodworking
Special Programs:
  • Community Service
  • Exchange Programs
  • Independent Study
  • Internships
  • Leadership
  • Outdoor Education
  • Semester/Year Off-Campus
Distinctive or New Programs:
  • N/A
AP Courses Available:

Summary: The Putney School stands for a way of life. Putney is committed to developing each student's full intellectual, artistic and physical potential. Life at Putney is rich and stimulating, with days that seem full almost to bursting with activity and learning. In students' Afternoon Activities, students are required to participate in weekly physical activity—either work or sport. The Evening Arts program provides a chance to explore diverse performing, visual and literary arts and crafts. The evening classes meet once or twice a week. At the end of a long day, students need a place to retreat into, to relax, catch up on work and sleep, to feel safe, and at home. Each dorm is led by two to three faculty Dorm Heads, living in apartments attached to each dorm. Many dorm parents have children and pets, which gives dorms an "extended family" feeling, and regularly have their doors open for students to stop in for homework help or advice. Two to four student Dorm Heads also help coordinate many of the dorm activities, from nightly cleaning to weekly meetings and weekend events. Dorms and individual rooms at Putney are simple and small, yet very functional and comfortable.

Department Director: Ben Freeman

Dorm Life

Number of Dorms: 9

Average Students Per Dorm: 15

No. of Girls Dorms: 5

No. of Boys Dorms: 4

Dorm Amenities:
Laundry Facilities 
Wireless Internet 

Dress Code: Casual

Student Life


  • All-weather track
  • Basketball court(s)
  • Fitness Center
  • Technology Center
  • Indoor basketball court(s)
  • Indoor climbing wall
  • Athletic fields

Clubs and Organizations

  • Astronomy Club
  • Community Service
  • Computer Club
  • Drama Club
  • Fencing
  • Gardening
  • Horseback Riding
  • International Clubs
  • Literary Magazine
  • Newspaper
  • Outing Club
  • Peer Counseling
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Photography
  • Sexualities Club
  • Skateboarding Clubs
  • Snowboarding
  • Student Activities
  • Student Publications
  • Theater
  • Weightlifting
  • Woodworking Club
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga

Summary: Involvement in the arts is one of the central Putney experiences, and the academic arts program, encompassing a diverse range of disciplines in the visual and performing arts, forms the core of the arts program. Studio visual art courses seek to increase a student's awareness of the visual world, to support the controlled development of a student's unique imagination and emotion into visible form, and to promote an intellectual understanding of the basic formal elements and technical processes of a discipline. Music courses introduce students to the language and art of music, from both an academic and an aesthetic viewpoint. A full range of drama classes are offered during the academic day, as is a modern dance class with a focus on building both a technical and creative foundation from which to move. Competitive or recreational sports at Putney are valued for fostering individual skills and strengths. Sports do not conflict with art activities, so there is no need to choose between one or the other. The school's rural hilltop location provides superb outdoor recreational facilities. There are seven acres of playing fields, a new riding stable, ring and jumps, a swimming and skating pond, a serious weight-training and exercise facility, 25 kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, and even more kilometers of the Connecticut River for crew.

Arts Department Director: Kalya Yannatos

Athletics Department Director: Cara Stickney

  • A Cappella Group
  • Art Club
  • Chamber Ensemble
  • Choral Music
  • Dance
  • Drama Club
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Rock Band
  • String Ensemble
  • Tech Crew
  • Theater
Interscholastic Sports
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Nordic Ski Racing
  • Soccer
Recreational Sports
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Camping
  • Crew
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Dance
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nordic Ski Racing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Weight Lifting
  • Wilderness Skills; Ballet and Jazz Dance; Yoga

Summary: Putney prides itself on being far more than a college prep school. Nearly all Putney students, however, proceed to college--and an impressive percentage of them get accepted at highly selective colleges. Putney graduates thrive at intensely academic elite liberal arts colleges, research and technical universities, and prestigious art, music, and drama schools. Jennifer DesMaisons, Putney's Director of College Counseling, spent eleven years working on the college side of admissions, and she discourages students from thinking only about academic or artistic strengths, possible majors, and prestigious names when selecting colleges. She states, "Long before Putney students and I start discussing their application forms, we look at what the students, in their increasing maturity, know about themselves. We talk about what most inspires and motivates them, and I introduce them to information about the universe of colleges and about specific colleges within that universe. In many ways what I'm doing is helping them confidently take the reins of their own lives. There's a wonderful 'Aha!' moment that happens for many students as they progress from feeling fearful and overwhelmed by the college process to feeling excited and optimistic." Jennifer also helps parents understand the details of financial aid application.

Department Director: Jennifer DesMaisons

College Information

Percentage of Graduates Who Attend College: 90.00%

Colleges attended in the past 5 years by our graduates:

Smith College 11 graduates
Bard College 6 graduates
Barnard College 6 graduates
Bennington College 6 graduates
Earlham College 5 graduates
Marlboro College 5 graduates
Carnegie Mellon University 4 graduates
Dartmouth College 4 graduates
Mount Holyoke College 4 graduates
Columbia University 2 graduates
Yale University 1 graduates
Rhode Island School of Design 4 graduates

Middle Percentile of SAT Scores

25th percentile 75th percentile
Critical Reading 0 0
Mathematics 0 0
Writing 0 0

Notable Alumni

Caitlin Cohen (Class of 2003) co-founder, Mali Health Organizing Project

Kate Brown (Class of 1997) attorney, U.S. Army Advocate General’s Corps

Lee Hirsch (Class of 1990) director of Sundance Film Festival Award winner, Amadla

Tea Leoni (Class of 1984) actress (Spanglish, Fun with Dick and Jane)

Tim Daly (Class of 1974) film, television, and theater actor (Diner, Wings)

Nell Potts Newman (Class of 1978) founder, Newman's Own Organics

Carlton Cuse (Class of 1977) executive producer, Lost

Jeffrey Hollender (Class of 1973) CEO, Seventh Generation

Tim Weiner (Class of 1973) Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

Bill Koch (Class of 1973) Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Silver Medalist (1976)

Quotes from Alumni

"The sense community at Putney is just incredible. Sometimes I forgot that I was with students and teachers. I see them all as part of my family now."

-Lena Jorde, Class of 2010, enrolled at Columbia University


"Putney allowed me to grow and develop in the direction most natural—and thus most right—for me. It helped me to better know myself."

-Eli Lichtenstein, Class of 2009, enrolled at Dartmouth College


"I can best describe the academics at The Putney School as intimate. Having a familiar relationship in the class enables a sense of security and openness rarely found in high school or college."

-Anonymous, Class of 2005, enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College



Summary: Teen Summer Arts, Creative Writing and ESOL programs for high school students (ages 14 to 17) on a beautiful hilltop farm in Southern Vermont Arts workshops: Visual Arts - animation, ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, glass arts, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wearable arts, weaving Performing Arts - theater, modern dance, audio art, chamber music, music composition, songwriting, vocal ensemble Students work with professional artists, dancers, actors and musicians in intensive workshops and studios. Creative Writing workshops: Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, Playwriting, Writing Intensive Creative writing students work with authors to create, critique and publish poems, short stories and plays. English language classes: (ESOL) and cultural learning for non-native speakers. International students learn to speak, read and write English in accelerated classes and cultural field trips. Farm Program: Learn sustainable agriculture on The Putney School's working farm, with a dairy herd, small animals (pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens), vegetable gardens plus horsemanship.

Department Director: Tom Howe