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.
- Room to Grow
- A Commitment to Core Values
- Engagement of the Whole Boy
- A Structured Environment
- Skills for Life
- A Community that Cares
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Capitalize on student strengths
- Instill good study habits
- Provide positive reinforcement
- Are dedicated to middle-level education
- Collaborate with parents
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.
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.