Discover Doane Stuart
Working at an independent school, teachers are not required to teach to a test but may create dynamic and original lessons that enable students to go as deep and far into a subject as they wish. The goal at Doane Stuart is never a score, but for students to think critically, see how disciplines relate to and inform each other, and to discover the passion for education that will insure they become lifelong learners.
As a non-doctrinal institution, committed to globalism and plurality, Doane Stuart encourages students to embrace and understand the origins, traditions, and tenets of all major world religions. Academically, this pursuit connects spirituality to philosophy, history, and civics. Pragmatically, it insures students are citizens of the world who are able to adapt to new settings and to bridge cultural and social divides. Chapel talks and student led events reaffirm that every person’s voice is valued and heard in the larger dialogue.
With an 8:1 student to teacher ratio, teachers and students are able to collaborate and communicate in a way difficult in larger settings, personalizing the educational experience, promoting independent studies and conversations outside of class, and adapting to each child’s unique approach to learning. Also, students learn to learn from each other and view each other as an asset in their own education building unity.
In addition to in-school SAT prep, at no cost to families, visits to school from college representatives, and annual college tours, students work with a veteran and dedicated college counselor who designs a personalized college search and communicates with students and families at every step of the process to insure that students find the right fit for their undergraduate experience. Independent school counselors have unique rapport with college admission officers and are able to speak directly and persuasively about a student’s ability to be an engaged and positive presence on a college campus.
Athletics for Everyone:
The Doane Stuart Thunderchickens like to win. And they do, quite often. But athletics at Doane Stuart is about promoting a healthy lifestyle, sportsmanship, teamwork, and character. There are no cuts on Doane Stuart’s sports team. Everybody at any level is welcome and encouraged to be part of the team, as sports build friendships and school spirit and provide balance and stress relief in a student’s life.
Doane Stuart refers to its community as a family of families. Even the dining experience at Doane Stuart reaffirms this as the cafeteria isn’t run by a big corporate entity but by members of Casey’s, a family owned restaurant and Rensselaer institution that’s been a presence in the area for more than twenty years. Students and staff rave about the food prepared by Chef Dave and his team, who go to all manner of lengths to personalize the dining experience and work with all manner of students with dietary needs and restrictions.
Nothing sums up Doane Stuart student culture like the school’s mascot, the Thunderchicken. How did that come about? When The Doane Stuart School was created by the merger of two historic schools, the new institution lacked a mascot and so the students bound together to elect something they thought represented both the gravity and whimsy of Doane Stuart students. Their choice of the Thunderchicken was at first rejected by the school, but the students persisted and, representing how the school embraces student governance and the student voice, they eventually agreed and formally adopted TC as mascot.
The Green Roof:
Funded by a $1.4 million New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation grant, Doane Stuart’s Green Roof is the only one of its kind in the region, a 22,000 square foot outdoor meeting area and living laboratory with 60,000 plants from 70 different species. With panoramic views out over Albany and the surrounding area, the roof profoundly reduces storm water runoff and heating and cooling costs, and creates new habitats for insects and wildlife. More than anything it is a breathtaking space for students to rejuvenate and connect to nature.
By enrolling in Doane Stuart, students inherit over a century of history, with traditions that give shape and meaning to the academic calendar and that connect them to the seasons, the larger community, and to each other. Doane Stuart students discover something vital that extends far behind and far ahead, but also creates a bond and a belief in the Doane Stuart mission that insures Alumni support the school and serve as a resource for graduates.
From early childhood, students are taught to see how their education may be personally fulfilling but also how they may use their knowledge and creativity to benefit the common good. Service is built into the curriculum and several school traditions involve service, so that students will not observe their education in a vacuum but relate it to real world applications. Service occurs within Doane Stuart, as well, as upper school students serve as mentors and tutors for lower school students, providing academic benefits while strengthening and expanding all students’ sense of the school community.