Two off-campus semester programs have each agreed to fund part of the financial aid packages offered to Andover students who participate. The Island School and the Mountain School—located in the Bahamas and Vermont, respectively—will each pay 75 percent of the cost of hosting Andover students who are on financial aid, with Andover funding the remaining 25 percent.
The Island School and the Mountain School both offer term-long programs for high school students focused on environmental awareness. Although previously well-attended by Andover students, both programs have seen a significant decline in attendance in recent years. Andover ceased partnerships with both programs after financial struggles in 2002, said Peter Merrill, Coordinator of Andover’s Global Perspectives Group.
Now with both the Mountain School and the Island School agreeing to cover three-fourths of the financial aid costs, Merrill hopes that these programs will regain popularity amongst Andover students.
“The reason we are sort of coming back and trying again with the Mountain School and the Island School is because they won’t be as expensive for us to run… We are sort of putting our toe back in the water of these programs,” said Merrill. “They’re both programs that are heavily driven by values.”
“Both the Mountain School and the Island School were pleased with the idea that Andover will provide assistance to students on financial aid who are admitted to their programs,” said Jill Thompson, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. “We are excited that both programs would partner with Andover to offer support as needed.”
At the Mountain School, 45 students from high schools across the country live together for a semester on a small, rural campus in Vershire, Vermont. The school hopes to spark an appreciation for food, fuel and labor in students by requiring them to help harvest produce and tend animals.
The Island School in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas, provides its students with the opportunity to explore the natural world of ocean and local wildlife. Students become part of the island’s community and discuss sustainably issues, according to the school’s website.
Promoting the development of a connection to the environment, both schools limit their students’ use of technology. With their cell phones confiscated upon arrival on campus, students can only use a landline phone to call their parents. Internet access is also limited to the academic buildings.
On the Friday of Family Weekend, the Peabody Museum will hold an information session led by Andover students who have participated in off-campus programs organized by the school. There will also be a reception with students who have participated in programs separate from Andover, such as the Mountain and Island School programs.