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New Perspectives - Apr, 1993 Issue #21 

on Gardner Lake
Oakdale, Connecticut
Peter Wood,

Saint Thomas More School was founded in 1962 as a Catholic College Preparatory Boarding School for the boy who is an "...underachiever, a good boy without serious social, emotional or behavioral problems, who was simply 'lazy with the books.'" The school "...is based on the belief that teenage boys need structure, order, clear expectations, close personal attention, and consequences appropriate to their behavior, if they are to successfully and happily develop to their fullest potential." Part of Founder and Headmaster James F. Hanrahan's philosophy is "effective guidance must include giving direction and encouragement to young people throughout the day, every day.... [The Goal was and is] to develop a program that educates the whole man, with his social, physical, moral, and intellectual aspects."

Situated on a 100-acre lake, the school size is kept to 200 students with small classes, with the goal of keeping every student "special". Extra structure is available, and even mandated, for students doing poorly. Instructors teach both their subject and "...the Study Skills essential to mastering academic content." Extra Help is "a time when all teachers remain in their classrooms at the end of the day awaiting students" and students doing poorly are mandated to take advantage.

For students no up to expectations, there is the Academic Campus, which is a requirement to stay on campus for the weekend and attend a two-hour study session for the subject he is doing poorly at. Any student receiving more than one Warning Notice must participate in an additional 45 minutes of Supervised Study each day after school. When the needs are greater, there is a Peer Tutoring Program which enlists advanced upperclassmen to help, and private tutoring can be arranged.

There is an extensive Postgraduate Program for those students who "...have been graduated from high school without the opportunity to attend a good college with a reasonable expectation of success." 

Most students enroll for a September start, but the school can enroll students throughout the year if their is room available.

Copyright 1993, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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