FAQs

Please contact Susan Long, assistant director of advancement for parent relations, with any additional questions at (908) 362-6121, ext. 5705, or send her an e-mail at longs@blair.edu.


 

Q

How does my child get to and from the airport/bus station/train station?

A

All transportation to airports, train stations and bus stops is arranged through the Student Life Office. Blair uses State Shuttle, a 24-hour service that will take students almost anywhere they need to go.

Q

What addresses do I use for mailing and shipping?

A

For student mail, the address is: Student Name, Blair Academy, PO Box 900, Blairstown, NJ 07825.

For mail to business or academic offices, the address is: Blair Academy, PO Box 600, Blairstown, NJ 07825.

When using UPS, FedEx and other shipping companies, the address is: Student Name, Blair Academy, 2 Park Street, Blairstown, NJ 07825.

Q

What happens if my child becomes sick while at school?

A

If your child becomes sick, he or she should go to the on-campus J. Brooks Hoffman '36 Health Center. There are beds available if a child needs to stay over. Blair also uses the services of Dr. Jeffrey Merkle, a local physician who comes to Blair for appointments. Blair refers emergency cases to Newton Memorial Hospital in Newton, N.J., approximately 10 miles away.

Q

What is a Community Weekend?

A

During Community Weekends, boarding students are required to remain on campus. Day students are welcome and encouraged to be on campus, but are not required to do so. There are generally extra activities planned for the students on these weekends, which are designed to promote bonding time among the student body or to encourage studying during exams periods. There are typically two Community Weekends in September and one in May. Special requests for exceptions should be addressed to Carm Mazza, dean of students.

Q

What is the dress code?

A

DRESS CODE
The Blair Academy Dress Code reflects the School’s belief that personal appearance affects manners, morale, attitude and general conduct in any community. We expect standards of dress and appearance that are conducive to, and supportive of, successful performance and that reflect the appropriate tone for various aspects of School life. At all times, student attire should evidence self-respect and respect for the School; it should not be provocative, disruptive or detrimental to the tone of this educational community. Students are expected to understand and abide by the dress code … and to understand that faculty members have the ultimate say about what is appropriate and what is not.

CLASS-DAY ATTIRE is most analogous to the “business casual” style in the work world … neat, clean and modest. Students are expected to wear class-day attire from breakfast through the end of the class day each day of the week. Also, whenever they are representing the School in any official capacity – be it on or off-campus – students should wear class-day attire, unless formal attire has been specified. No hats, bandanas, hoods, visors, etc. (during inclement winter weather, winter knit hats may be worn outside).

Various particulars:
• Neat and properly fitted solid color slacks (khakis or corduroys … all appropriately hemmed).
• Dresses and skirts of respectable, modest length … must be fingertip length or longer.
• Appropriate shirts and tops include collared shirts, tailored blouses, turtlenecks, and sweaters. Tailored t-shirts are permitted if accompanied by a sweater or skirt. Both shoulders must be covered during the school day.
• Sweaters, fleeces and sweatshirts may be worn if accompanied by a collar and/or have their own collar (ex: quarter zip).
• Neat and clean denim jackets, blouses, and dresses may be worn.
• Socks and shoes in good condition (leather shoes preferred … clean, neat athletic shoes allowed).

FORMAL ATTIRE is worn to family-style dinners and various other formal school functions. It includes coat and tie (and appropriate shirt and pants); skirts, dresses or dress slacks. Students will be asked to change if their formal attire is not appropriate. After the class day and on weekends, students may dress as they choose as long as they are within the limits of good taste and decency.

Various particulars:
• Pants that meet the class day requirement.
• Button down shirt and tie.
• Leather dress shoes and socks when appropriate.
• Blazer or sport coat.
• Skirts, dresses (with shoulders covered) or dress slacks
• Dress shirts or blouses that fit neatly, are appropriately buttoned, and cover both shoulders

The following items are never permitted in class-day or formal attire:
• Plain or imprinted T-shirts, spaghetti straps, tank tops, halter tops, or tube tops
• Athletic gear including exercise pants, mesh shorts, sweatshirts, and team jerseys
• Any clothing that is ripped, torn, or frayed
• Clothing which exposes the midriff, bares the back, or has a plunging or low-cut neckline. Anything “see-through” or that reveals undergarments
• Oversized, baggy, or low-hanging pants
• Hoods except on outerwear. Sweatshirts do not constitute outerwear.
• Denim pants or skirts
• Casual sandals, shower/sport sandals, flip flops, etc. (casual sandals will be allowed during “shorts season”).
• Leggings are not a substitute for pants. They must be worn covered by an appropriate top, dress or skirt that is fingertip length or longer.
• Hats, bandannas, etc., may not be worn during the academic day. (During the winter term, woolen knit hats may be worn outside for warmth.) They may not be worn at ANY TIME in the Dining Room.

CASUAL ATTIRE may be worn after the academic day and on weekends. During these times, students may dress as they choose as long as they are within the limits of good taste and decency. Evening and weekend buffet meals allow for casual attire, but clothing should be clean and unoffensive at all times. Shoes are required in the dining room at all times; no hats, bandannas, etc. are to be worn in the dining room at any time.
Additional Guidelines…
• No extreme haircuts or unnatural hair colors.
• No visible piercings other than in ears (a single, modest nose stud permitted). No tongue studs or eye brow piercing.
• Hair should be neat and clean. All students are to be clean-shaven each day… no mustaches, beards or goatees. Sideburns should not extend below the ear.
Repeated infractions of the Dress Code could lead to a disciplinary response (School Rules: Level III, #10)

Q

How does the Blair banking/debit card work?

A

Parents may put money in a student’s account by contacting Lori Rybicki in the Business Office at (908) 362-6121, ext. 5709. Cash and checks made payable to Blair Academy are accepted. Students use their ID card, which doubles as a debit card for purchases in the School Store and The Black Canteen. Students may also use this card to withdraw cash from the Student Bank (located in the School Store). Parents can limit how much a student may spend per week, month or term in any particular area.

Q

What do I do if my child becomes homesick?

A

Some children do experience homesickness, especially in the first few weeks of school. If this happens, encourage your child to get involved! You should also encourage him/her to speak with their prefect, housemaster, advisor or monitor. You may contact the housemaster or advisor as well. These people often have a more realistic sense of how your child is doing than he/she does. Support your child, but remember, many phones calls and visits home will usually prolong the homesickness.

Q

What activities are available on the weekends?

A

Weekend activities range from trips into New York City, to fast food runs and trips to the mall. There are also various planned activities on campus.

Q

Is there a place to store luggage or belongings during the school year? Over the winter?

A

There is room in most dorms to store luggage during the school year, either in an attic or a basement. There is also limited space to leave a few larger belongings over the summer.

Q

Does my student need to have his/her own computer?

A

While not required, it is strongly recommended that students to bring their own computer to Blair. Either a laptop or a desktop computer is permitted, although many students choose laptops due to limited dorm space and flexibility. Both PC’s and Macs are suitable choices. There are computers in many of the buildings on campus including the library, computer lab and common rooms in dorms which students may also use. For more information, please contact the Technology Office at (908) 362-6121 ext. 5763.

Q

What is the difference between a monitor and the advisor?

A

Each student is assigned a monitor who oversees his or her academic progress. Faculty advisors are chosen by the student (within the first five weeks of the school year) and serve as his or her advocate and mentor.

Q

What is a Prefect?

A

A Prefect is a senior leader who helps the housemasters run the dorms. Prefects act as liaisons between students and faculty.

Q

What happens if my child has problems with a roommate or in the dorm?

A

Every effort is made to place students with a compatible roommate. However, roommate issues still arise. Remind your child that good communication is very important, as is respect for each other’s space. If there are still issues, a student or parent can contact the housemaster for further help and guidance on how to deal with problems.

Q

What should my child bring with him/her to school?

A

Remember that your child will be sharing a relatively small room with another student, so space is limited. For a list of what to bring (and not to bring) please click here.

Q

How does my child do laundry? Is there a service?

A

There are laundry machines in every dorm and there is no charge for their use. All Prep Laundry Service is an outside service that offers wash and fold, as well as dry cleaning. Pick-up and drop-off days are Mondays and Thursdays. Service can be arranged through the Business Office.

Q

Are cell phones permitted?

A

Cell phones are permitted; however, students are asked to confine their use to in or just outside the dorms. Students are not permitted to text or talk on the phone while walking around campus.

Q

Is driver’s education offered at Blair?

A

A driver’s education classroom course is offered in the fall semester at Blair by an outside organization. Behind-the-wheel training can be scheduled independently after successfully completing the classroom course.

For more information, contact Jo Ellen Van Vliet in the Student Life Office.

Q

What is the process for getting working papers for my child if he/she wants to get a summer job?

A

Working papers are not issued through Blair. Students must obtain a work permit through their home public school district, then bring them to Blair for signatures. Ryan Pagotto, associate head of school, and Carm Mazza, dean of students, are authorized to sign working papers.

Q

When does my child find out who his/her roommate is?

A

New students receive their roommate assignments when they arrive on campus for registration in September. Room assignments are not finalized until just prior to the opening of school. Students who knew each other before coming to Blair are generally not placed together because the experience of learning to live with someone new is both enjoyable and valuable. After their first year, students may choose their roommate for subsequent years.

Q

Can I take my child off campus for dinner?

A

Yes, as long as the student has no other obligations that he or she will be missing. Students must, of course, let their housemaster know that they are leaving campus. Parents are asked to avoid taking children off campus during formal dinners.

Q

Who decides what classes my child will take?

A

As a new student, your child’s course load will be determined by the dean of academics based on grades and classes taken at his or her previous school. You and your child will be asked to decide if and what language and art classes he or she would like to take. After the first year, the student will work with his or her monitor, with guidance from teacher recommendations, to choose classes.

Q

Does my child have to be involved in sports or an after school activity?

A

Blair does not have a typical physical education program during the class day; instead, all students are required to be physically active during the afternoon sports period. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors are required to participate in a team sport, drama or "outdoor skills" minimally two out of the three seasons. They may opt for a physical activity offering (weight training, yoga, etc.) one season per year. Seniors have no team sport requirement. All freshmen—as well as sophomores new to the school—are required to participate in a team sport during the fall season; experience has taught us that such involvement helps significantly with the adjustment to a new community.

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