Student Life

When you ask current students about their favorite time of the day on The Frederick Gunn School campus, they invariably talk about time spent with friends, whether they are hanging out in the dorm or creating their own fun outside. School days are busy. Students move from academic and co-curricular commitments to dinner and evening study hall. But there are opportunities for friends to gather throughout the day. It might be grabbing a table together for lunch in the dining hall, hosting a movie night in your dorm room, or meeting up for an impromptu baseball game on the Quad, spikeball on the turf, or sledding on the hill behind Teddy House in winter.

Weekend activities include Open Skate and Open Hockey times at Linen Rink, trips to the Danbury Fair Mall and other local shopping centers, movie theaters, and area restaurants as well as the ever-popular Arethusa Farm Dairy for ice cream. Sign-ups are available for excursions to try bowling or visit a trampoline park, and some weekends are just good for sleeping in and going to brunch in the dining hall, where chocolate chip waffles and a fruit and yogurt bar are usually on offer. Students can also take advantage of dances, the fitness center, open gym times, seasonal activities (carve your own pumpkin, anyone?), movie screenings and guest performances right on campus, and cheer their fellow Highlanders at home.

Student Life News

Joyce McFarland '20 painting in TPACC

Today marked the start of a new Co-Curricular Program for the Winter Term. Students are required to attend two, half-hour sessions each week with options that range from sports psychology, outdoor recreation and a Mind & Body Fitness Challenge to music, photography, Model United Nations (MUN), engineering and more.

Dayne Bolding

Two students in the Gunn Music Program, tenor Drew Sutherland ’21 and alto Yolanda Wang ’21, are performing this week in the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honors Choir, which represents the top vocalists in the country.

Home for the Holidays cover photo

The Frederick Gunn School presented “Home for the Holidays 2020: A Virtual Holiday Concert and Celebration” on December 17, featuring students in the school’s Vocal Ensemble, String Ensemble, and Jazz Combo, along with special guest musicians, directed by Ron Castonguay, Director of the Arts and Director of Music. It was the first remote broadcast of a holiday concert, and the first holiday concert at The Frederick Gunn School.

Students in a break-out session from Day 6 of Scientific Thinking in Real Life

Last summer, faculty members Amy Paulekas and Cassie Ruscz began thinking about how to design a new course focused on diversity, race, and identity for a new, online curriculum the school was developing called Winterim. Offered over a three-week period in December, Winterim is intended to give students an opportunity to break from the normal academic schedule to enroll in a class that is intensely focused on one big idea or question. Courses are designed by faculty and offered to students across grade levels, which means a freshman can just as easily enroll as a senior. Many Winterim courses are co-taught by teachers who are combining their expertise, and all culminate in a final project that allows students to put into practice what they learned over the term.

Closed for Business by Teper Mackenzie '21

Mackenzie Teper ’21 and Vivian Boucher ’23 have been selected to participate in ASAP’s 10th Annual Celebration of Young Photographers. More than 200 submissions from students representing 38 schools across the state were received this year. Teper and Boucher were among 60 finalists selected by a panel of professional photographers through a blind judging process. Their photographs will be featured in a unique, large scale professional art exhibition based on the 2020 theme, “Quarantined.”

Parents Weekend 2020 save the date

Although things looked a little different, the tradition of Parents Weekend was able to continue this fall, in the format of what is hoped to be the first and only virtual Parents Weekend in the school’s history. Head of School Peter Becker delivered the State of the School Address via Zoom on Friday, October 23, to parents, alumni, parents of alumni, and friends of the school.

Live Like Fred Community Weekend_Sunset at Beebe Boathouse

The second Community Weekend of the school year offered students the opportunity to participate in a range of outdoor activities based on the theme, “Live Like Fred.” From a star lecture on the Quad, led by science teacher Steve Bailey P’09, and fire pits on the Glade to night hikes at the Steep Rock and Macricostas preserves, water activities at Beebe Boathouse, low ropes and camping at South Street Fields, students were able to spend time together outside in the spirit of founder Frederick Gunn. 

student completing voter registration form

On the heels of the first presidential debate last week, and in anticipation of the November election, the newest members of the student-led Gray Party have planned a series of events and updates this fall, including an ongoing voter registration drive on campus.

Living with Friends

Getting Involved 

Weekend Activities

Health and Wellness

Dining at FGS

Community Traditions

For New Students