Buxton School Takes Students into Urban Settings

Focused, tight community is a great quality of boarding school life that draws students from all over the world.  Sometimes, though, boarding school students need something to broaden their perspective–a reminder that their efforts inside the confines of a boarding school prime them for work and future contributions to society.

Buxton School is the first school that I’ve come across that makes a conscious effort to take the entire school beyond its campus and have every community member engage with an urban setting.  This is no small matter given that just above 80% of the US population lives in metropolitan areas.

Every year Buxton takes the entire school into a major North American city “for a week of exploring, learning, experiencing, investigating and understanding.”  Recent visits include New Orleans (see photo below), Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Puerto Rico and Havana.

Buxton School visits New Orleans

Before the trip, the entire school researches the topics that they will cover in the city– homelessness, public transportation, civil liberties, local politics–whatever the city has to offer.  Students do all of the planning.  They arrange project interviews; schedule all trip logistics and budget.

Each trip also includes performances of the All-School Play in which every student plays a role or performs a function.

Beyond their personal responsibilities, students get a feeling for the roles, contributions, and efforts that individuals must make in order to fully participate in an urban setting.

“The trip allows you to experience the real world in real ways, to have interactions that are unscripted and improvisational but also purposeful and enlightening…to explore fascinating, complicated and thorny issues firsthand.”  Students and faculty analyze and think about the issues that they’ve studied and seen through group presentations that are made upon returning from the trip.

What a tremendous way to broaden the frame of reference of students and expand the horizons of a tightly knit academic community.  It’s gratifying to see that the faculty at Buxton is teaching the connection to the larger world.

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  • Travis Tullis

    this is a pretty good school. but i was just wondering, how is your basketball team? i am in love with basketball and a good basketball team would be one of the things that would attract a top notch student like myself.

  • Peter Baron

    I recommend contacting the school for more information. You can submit a catalog request form or visit Buxton’s site. Either works. Let me know if you have any questions.
    Good luck!

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