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Boarding Student Life

Residential Life at Stuart Hall School - A 24/7 Family

Neither teaching nor learning cease with the end of classes each day; they merely take on more subtle forms.

Ask a Stuart Hall graduate about life as a boarding student, and they’ll immediately start telling you about the unplanned moments. Whether it’s sharing a pizza late on a Saturday night, lingering after dinner to finish a conversation, or decorating a friend’s room for her birthday, these moments are when relationships are strengthened, memories are made, and we learn as much about ourselves as about those we’re with. The residential life program at Stuart Hall is designed to foster these moments.

We believe that the unplanned moments are the best part of boarding school.

Residential life at Stuart Hall is based on the value of living in a community of learners. Dorm parents look out for their students as if they were their own children, choosing to work with each student as an individual, rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Students feel safe to explore who they are and who they might become.

Students have a proctored, two-hour study hall every evening, during which dorm parents visit with students, help with homework, or become the sympathetic ear students sometimes need.

Further structure in the program includes a nightly, required lights-out time, room cleanliness checks, lessons on doing laundry, and regular meetings to discuss how things are going. Students are always engaged with the goal of building community.

This structure creates the opportunity for the unplanned moments to emerge.


Stuart Hall is a college-preparatory school, and our residential life program takes the student experience one step further by introducing young people to campus living. Our students enjoy the freedom of living in a safe, small town where local coffee shops, restaurants, stores, farmers' markets, and other points of interest are just blocks away from campus.

In-town boarding provides a venue like no other to learn valuable skills of personal initiative, community living, and respect for local culture. We encourage boarders to experience life beyond our campus boundaries as they also engage in the life of the School.

Find out why Smithsonian Magazine has ranked Staunton, Va., as one of the best small towns in America!

Dorm life

Most boarding students live with a roommate in double rooms. The dormitories are divided into halls, with each hall housing 6-14 students who share a bathroom and a common room. Laundry facilities in each dormitory are free for students to use.

Each dorm building and room is full of unique character and charm, reflecting our historic campus. Furnishings include beds (many of which can be bunked), desks, dressers, and closets. Students are encouraged to decorate their rooms to create a comfortable home away from home.

As students progress through grade levels, they earn dorm privileges that include single rooms for seniors, later lights-out times, a choice of activity during study hall, and downtown lunch opportunities.

Dorm Parents 

Dorm parents form the backbone of residential life. Our dorm parents live in apartments attached to every hall and are available to students any time, whether it’s because they woke up sick at 2 a.m., because they want to share a good grade on a test, or anything in between. They serve as resources and mentors who ensure students are safe, known, and cared for throughout the year.

Meet Our Dorm Parents
We're delighted to introduce you to these faculty members who care for your children in their home away from home.


Weekends at STU

A plethora of weekend activities are available for our boarding students! Fun with friends is the ultimate objective, and that means trying new things, exploring around Virginia, sharing cultures, and having time to unwind together. Day students can join for nearly every activity, further cementing the bonds of our community.

Most weekends also include a combination of open gym, open kitchen, or trips to Walmart or Target for boarding students. Seven-day boarding includes weekend meals in the dining hall.

A sample of weekend activities offered in 2023-24:


  • Average class size: <15
  • Student-teacher ratio of 10:1
  • 100% college acceptance 
  • Average collective merit scholarships earned by seniors: $3.8 million
  • Student representation from five continents
  • Day student and 5- or 7-day boarding options