Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9

Learning the Cardigan Way

Middle school boys are at an exciting, important stage in their lives: they seek to discover who they are, who they can become, and what they are capable of achieving. With more than 65 years of experience, we at Cardigan Mountain School truly understand and appreciate boys this age. Our comprehensive educational approach nurtures the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and ethical growth of each boy through positive relationships with faculty members and peers, and through learning experiences—in and out of the classroom, everywhere on campus, every single day—that propel boys toward self-knowledge and independence. We call this the Cardigan Way.

Head of School Chris Day describes the Cardigan Way

It is a way of life

Room to Grow

Boys feel comfortable, un-self-conscious, and safe enough to take healthy risks in a single-sex environment where expectations are clearly stated, where feedback and positive reinforcement are constant, and where relationships with adults are characterized by consistency and kindness.

A Commitment to Core Values

We all live by our Core Values: Compassion, Integrity, Respect, and Courage. Through discussion, class assignments, and community-building activities, students explore the meaning of each of these values. Modeled by adults in the community, the Core Values become the basis for personal decision making. Every day, the boys are expected to put the Core Values into action in every campus context. Our Heart of the Cougar awards regularly acknowledge random acts of kindness that reflect our commonly held values.

Engagement of the Whole Boy

The Cardigan Way is not just an academic curriculum. In addition to the academic program, every boy has the opportunity to participate in the arts, spiritual and ethical development, service, leadership activities, and athletics. Each boy has a chance to shine in areas of strength, to become more well-rounded, and to enjoy a variety of fulfilling experiences.

A Structured Environment

We provide the structure boys need to succeed. Daily life at Cardigan is characterized by predictable routines that keep students productively engaged from the day’s first class, through afternoon sports, at meals, and during the evening study hours. Boys know where they need to be, what they need to be doing, and, importantly, when and how to seek extra help.

Skills for Life

We purposefully develop the interpersonal and communication skills that make a student successful at Cardigan and beyond. The firm handshake and eye contact, along with the common courtesies, confidence, and respect fostered here—at Chapel programs, during school assemblies, at mealtimes, and in meetings with adults—serve our graduates well both at Cardigan and for the rest of their lives.

A Community that Cares

We show boys that we value what is important to them. Boys thrive at Cardigan because they feel a sense of fellowship and belonging as they work and play together under the supervision of adults who understand and appreciate them.

It is a way of teaching and learning

Capitalize on student strengths

We channel boys’ energy and enthusiasm into positive engagement. Varied, active, hands-on learning activities and the use of current educational technology generate interest and excitement.

Instill good study habits

We place special emphasis on organization, study skills, and time management. We don’t expect boys to arrive knowing how to use a planner, how to take great notes, or how to budget their time. We explicitly teach them how to do it.

Provide positive reinforcement

Frequent feedback from teachers, coaches, dorm parents, and advisors is important to motivating boys and keeping them on track. The honor roll, the effort honor roll, our Heart of the Cougar awards, our Dorm Citizenship Awards, our Leadership Development Awards, and our Student-Athlete-of-the-Week awards are among the formal ways by which we reward hard work and perseverance, as well as achievement and good citizenship.

Are dedicated to middle-level education

Cardigan teachers serve as role models who are committed to enhancing learning through developmentally responsive approaches. Cardigan’s “team teaching” model ensures that all the teachers of a particular grade communicate and collaborate to enhance curricular objectives and to monitor the progress of individual students.

Collaborate with parents

Positive parental involvement can only enhance educational outcomes. At Cardigan, students’ advisors are the primary contact for parents and communicate with them regularly and as needed.

Launching rockets in science class

How can we help you?


Our Admissions Team is ready to answer all of your questions!

Please call us at 603.523.3548 or send us an email by clicking the button below!

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