Cardigan Mountain School

Boarding Schools  Cardigan Mountain School

Cardigan Mountain School

Cardigan Mountain School

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location type grades students board int’l. s-f ratio class SSAT TOEFL
Canaan, NH Boys 6-9 233 89% 40% 4:1 12 Yes Yes

Cardigan Mountain School offers a close-knit community that prepares middle school boys – in mind, body, and spirit – for responsible and meaningful lives in a global society.

The Cardigan seal was designed as part of the School’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1995. The shield’s shape pays tribute to the style of Ivy League shields. The chevron represents the mountain, a symbol of enduring strength and noble pursuit. The cougar is Cardigan’s mascot, a wild cat of keen instinct that gives us the courage to defend our territory with pride. The green conifer tree in the upper left quadrant stands for our close connection with Dartmouth—it is also Cardigan’s color. The open book to the east is a classic symbol of academia and the Latin text se in viam dare means “to start on one’s way.”


Cardigan’s curriculum is designed to support and challenge each student as the School prepares him for the demanding academic programs characteristic of the independent schools most graduates attend. Mastery of fundamental skills and exploration of content is emphasized in all disciplines.

The curriculum provides each student with instruction in all the core courses and exposure to a number of other complementary subject areas. Cardigan requires all students to take yearlong courses in English, history, mathematics, and science. In addition, a world language (French, Latin, or Spanish) is required of boys not enrolled in Building Confidence in English (BCE) in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades.

Beyond the core courses, the School also requires each boy to broaden his horizons and strengthen his scholastic preparation through additional course work in life skills, leadership, music, and art or woodworking. Sixth and seventh grade students are also required to participate in the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition. Cardigan also offers a course to all students called Personalized Education for the Acquisition of Knowledge & Skills® (PEAKS), which helps students become better learners and self-advocates.

 Special Highlights

Invention & Innovation Competition. The Charles C. Gates Invention & Innovation Competition is an academic and afternoon program offering at Cardigan. Beginning each fall and concluding with Competition Presentations in the spring, each student or student team designs and builds an invention that must perform a practical function, make life easier or safer, entertain, or solve an everyday problem.

The CORE Summer Program. Using the natural world as our classroom, the purpose of CORE is to instill in boys a lifelong passion for the outdoors while developing the necessary skills to fully pursue this passion for a lifetime. CORE seeks to challenge boys to reach deep within themselves to discover who they are and how they relate to the natural world.

 Top high schools attended by students

Avon Old Farms, Brooks, Deerfield, Holderness, Hotchkiss, Lawrence, Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, Pomfret, Salisbury, St. Mark’s, St. Paul’s, Tabor, Taft, Westminster School

 What the school looks for in students…

“Cardigan Mountain emphasizes solid academic preparation, respect and responsibility, healthy activity, and an excellent work ethic.”