Feeling At Home
What’s it like to live at Groton?
If you could see check-in—the nightly gathering in every dorm—you’d have a good idea.
Check-in is relaxed and casual—all dorm residents gather in their common room with the faculty member on duty. Dormmates lounge around, sharing stories, news, and ups and downs of the day. If there’s a problem to discuss, check-in provides a warm environment, like a family meeting, to hash things out. Often, the faculty member or dorm head provides a snack, which Groton calls “a feed.” A birthday might be celebrated, or an upcoming event planned. All Sixth Formers are dorm prefects and run their dorms’ check-ins.
Check-in ends with a handshaking line. The faculty member and Sixth Formers line up and shake hands (or hug) each dorm member as they say “good night.” This tradition dates back to the school’s founder, Endicott Peabody; more than a century later, the day at Groton still ends with each student shaking the hand of the adult who is supervising. Handshaking encourages eye contact and familiarity; this simple tradition builds a sense of community, just as it did in 1884.
Check-in will be one-on-one or in small groups, with masks and social distancing and without contact, including handshaking, during the COVID-19 pandemic.