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Philosophy

As a leader in sustainability among independent secondary schools, Hotchkiss aims to incorporate environmental stewardship into every aspect of School life and model what we teach through our institutional practices — like serving our own farm-grown food in the dining hall, choosing renewable energy sources, and making a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. We try to relate complex environmental issues to students’ everyday lives, using the school’s natural landscape as a real-world laboratory in which students can study everything from limnology to the effects of climate change on native plant species. Students graduate from Hotchkiss with the tools they need to take responsibility for our collective ecological future.

Teaching and Learning

Hotchkiss strives to instill in students a multi-faceted understanding of the environment — through the sciences, arts, and humanities — and the School’s natural surroundings shape how students learn. Environmental science classes can conduct field research and use their findings to support land conservation practices on campus. At Fairfield Farm, art classes can practice plein air painting, poetry classes can find inspiration, environmental science classes can explore rare grassland bird habitats, and American history classes can reflect on the land’s connection to early colonial history. Through Fairfield Farm Ecosystems and Adventure Team (FFEAT), students can also gain hands-on experience at the farm — and learn about the complexities of sustainable agriculture.