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A school that puts students first — that’s a vital characteristic that describes Solebury School. Located in the quaint town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Solebury offers what many others do not: a holistic experience of what school should be, rather than how it is conventionally understood and presented. 

At the heart of this is a supportive community that champions the complete development of the self. Solebury is kept intentionally small, with only 255 students enrolled on its 140-acre verdant campus, which is located just 75 minutes from New York and 50 minutes from Philadelphia. They enjoy the wide expanse of Pennsylvania countryside afforded to them, living and learning in a day and boarding environment and fostering meaningful relationships with teachers and peers alike. 

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Classes strike a balance of challenge and support. Students have plenty of time to catch up on their rest and truly absorb the content they learn, with only three academic classes per day. Over 30 AP and honours classes are offered alongside more than 50 arts electives, opening many opportunities to delve deeper into the topics that really matter to them. 

The result? Graduates with the focus, time management skills and passion for lifelong learning — the kind of talent that gets into top colleges and universities around the country, from University of Pennsylvania to Berklee College of Music to Dartmouth College. There is no one-size-fits-all for a Solebury student, but there’s one guarantee: that they go on to pursue anything and everything they set their minds to. 

Unlock your potential at Solebury School

A day in the life of a Solebury student

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With 33 AP and honours classes on offer, every Solebury student is given the chance to get ahead of the curve before starting college. In AP Physics, you’ll work on your Calder Model Project. Small group sizes allow you to know your course materials deeply and why it matters in the world. Each class lasts 80 minutes, allowing more time for hands-on work in classes, instead of sitting behind a desk and listening to your teacher talk.

8:30 am – Classes begin

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Every trimester, Solebury sets aside a block in the day for electives in the various arts. Whether it’s music, theatre, visual arts, film or dance, each is a chance to explore your creative side without any other conflicts in your schedule. You work on different songs for upcoming school concerts during Rock Band class. You play with a group of musicians who are quickly becoming close friends, united through a love for music.

11:25 aM – Arts Block

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Lunch promises an array of delights. From homemade soup to taco day, students are treated to a satisfying meal. A pleasant day makes it a plus point — giving you the chance to sit outside on the patio while you eat.

12:45 pm – Lunch time

A set amount of time is set aside every day for students to catch up on their work and get help from teachers if they so need it. Students can see their advisor, assigned as soon as they arrive at Solebury, during this time as well. As mentor, advocate and guide, they can help you develop the skills needed to achieve your potential and become college-ready.

3 Pm – Conference Period

More fun awaits just before dinner. Proctors at Solebury often organise activity nights, where students get to bond through a shared game or short task. As students themselves, they’re perfectly positioned to support you as you settle in and provide advice as the school year goes on. 

6.30 pm – Activity night

Homework is completely manageable with only three academic classes today. This helps you put your best work out there without having to stay up all night.

8 pM – Study Hall

You munch on some freshly-baked cookies prepared by your dorm parent as you catch up with your dormmates in the lounge. It’s a perfect time to unwind just before lights go off at 11 pm. 

10 pm – Hang out with dormmates

The day hardly ends once classes do. From cross-country and rock climbing to rehearsing for the new school play, there are many after-school activities to test, challenge and enrich Solebury students. 

3:30 pm – After-school activities begin

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Solebury prioritises the individual and not just the student. This means creating an environment that is designed for a growing mind — and utilising time in the best way to guarantee well-being, good health, as well as academic success. For Solebury, this has manifested in a college-like schedule — teaching them important skills like deep learning, community involvement and time management from an early age. 

For example, taking many different subjects within a short span of time makes it harder to process and learn content. To counter this, each academic class at Solebury meets every other day for 80 minutes and students never have more than three a day. It’s a huge change from most other schools, where students manage six to seven classes a day as well as their after-school activities and homework — which can easily cause exhaustion and prevent information from being truly internalised. 

Many studies show that teenagers need more sleep than younger children — which is why Solebury has created a schedule that allows for exactly that. Classes start at 8.30 a.m. four days a week and at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays, so students can sleep in every once in a while. 

Solebury consciously builds free time each day. This means that students learn from the get-go how to make decisions about how to spend it — when to work, when to socialise, and more. They work with their Advisors on this should they need the support, learning how to control their time, to see hours and days ahead, and to understand what they need to do and by when. 

A schedule that reflects school values

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Community is at the heart of life at Solebury School. All School Meetings happen three times a week, which brings everyone together for announcements, good news and awareness about events happening over the week. Evening and weekend programmes meet and satisfy many different needs and interests. 

A natural result is a body of students who feel valued as individuals and connected as a community. They’re a tight-knit bunch, where every achievement is recognised and celebrated — allowing them to shine for who they truly are. 

Here are some of the many smiling students at Solebury. 

Meet the students

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