Who We Are

Nestled upon a hill among 550 acres of lush Connecticut countryside, South Kent School stands as a beacon, a place for boys to embark on their Hero’s Journey.

Three fundamental principles were established here on "The Hillside" by our first headmaster, Samuel S. Bartlett, in 1923, and remain foundational to the powerful, transformative South Kent experience today: Simplicity of Life, Self-Reliance, and Directness of Purpose.

"Experience here at South Kent has shown me that a boy will generally produce that which is expected of him. Expect him to be honest, fine and decent and nine times out of ten, HE WILL. "

- Samuel S. Bartlett, Founding Headmaster

The Hero’s Journey

South Kent students not only gain the tools to prepare them for the college that fits them, but also learn to embrace their path to maturity through the lens of the Hero’s Journey.

Inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell as well as concepts strongly held by former South Kent Headmaster George Bartlett, each South Kent boy is guided along his unique path, from finding a sense of place in the community, to a coming-of-age quest, to responsibility and commitment, to service and moving on. We do not believe that “one size fits all” and our qualified, caring faculty make it their mission to nurture each boy to his unique potential through hands-on, challenge-based educational experiences.

"Growing up at, attending, and then after college teaching at SKS, I have seen and experienced the story of transformation that all our graduates share – of leaving one's community of origin, arriving in a new place, adapting, determining who we are and what our skill set is, learning to thrive, then determining our next step and how we can give back. It’s a process of personal transformation that is essential to true happiness. South Kent helps guide our boys through this process while instilling in them the values of academic, athletic, and character excellence."

Lawrence A Smith '73

Head of School (Interim)


South Kent School is an independent, college prep school for boys in grades 9-12 and postgraduates, affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

The three defining principles of South Kent have been woven into the fabric of everyday life here.

  • Simplicity of Life: We offer, by living simply, an uncluttered environment for lively and rigorous learning.

  • Self-Reliance: We encourage our students to become self-reliant in order to develop competence and self-esteem.

  • Directness of Purpose: We value directness of purpose: we want each student to welcome the challenge to focus his energies, to set goals, and to work to meet them.

South Kent School fosters these principles in a community, small in numbers, that provides a safe and supportive family structure. We embrace diversity and cherish honesty, courtesy, and compassion. In this energizing atmosphere, we provide leadership opportunities that develop a student’s sense of responsibility and service. We nurture in our students, regardless of belief or religious affiliation, a thoughtful engagement with spirituality.

At South Kent, we’ve been educating boys since 1923. We develop young men who can evolve and adapt, be globally competitive and prepared to meet the challenges of our changing world as problem-solvers and innovators.

This all starts on campus with a series of factors that contribute to a healthy learning environment and community for boys:

  • A tribe – a “band of brothers”
  • Structure and discipline
  • Academic rigor
  • Meaningful work and spiritual life
  • Physical fitness and appropriate competition

South Kent boys are guided through their Hero’s Journey by caring faculty who are also versed in the latest research on boys’ education through our rigorous professional development programming. Graduates leave South Kent prepared for success at each point in their lives.

South Kent School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and holds memberships in the Cum Laude Society, the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Episcopal Schools, the Secondary School Admission Test Board, the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Basic Info

Head of School (Interim):
  • Lawrence A. Smith '73
  • headofschool@southkentschool.org
  • (860) 927-3539 ext: 224
  • BA Princeton University, MA University of New Hampshire
  • Appointed in 2018

  • School Name: South Kent School
  • School Type: College preparatory school
  • Founded: 1923
  • Student Description: Boys in grades 9 through 12 and Post Graduate
  • Enrollment: 177 students from 24 states and 18 countries
  • Boarding: 86%
  • Day: 14%
  • Religious Affiliation: Since its founding, SKS has maintained ties with the Episcopal Church
  • Motto: “Simplicity of life, self-reliance, and directness of purpose.”
  • Mascot: Cardinal
  • Colors: Cardinal and Black
  • Phone: (860) 927-3539
  • Fax: (888) 803-0040
  • Endowment: $13.5 Million


Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, China, Ghana, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Sweden, United States, Vietnam


Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island , Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin


  • Buildings: 30
  • Dormitories: 8 Bartlett, Bringhurst, Brown, Fieldhouse, Garfield, Gilder, McCoun, Woodward
  • Classroom Buildings: Schoolhouse, Science Building, Library, CFI, Bringhurst Theater & Music Rooms
  • Athletic Facilities: Alumni Boathouse, The Admiral James & Sybil Stockdale Arena, John and Sandy Farr Field (Turf), Brown Gymnasium, Fathers’ Field, Outdoor Tennis and Recreation Courts, Wister Fieldhouse
  • Address: 40 Bulls Bridge Rd.
  • Town, State & Zip: South Kent, CT 06785
  • Size: 550 Acres
  • Location: South Kent, CT: 45 miles west of Hartford, Connecticut; 90 miles northeast of New York City


South Kent School refers to grades 9th through 12th as “forms” third through sixth. This categorization is adopted from the British, who traditionally used this term in their boarding schools.


  • Courses Offered: 66
  • AP and SUPA Courses: 10
  • Courses with College Credit: 2
  • Average Class Size: 12
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 6:1
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Graduation Requirements: Minimum requirement of 18 credits
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SAT Score: 1100


  • Total: 31
  • With Advanced Degrees: 13


  • Total Teams: 18
  • Championships: 51
  • Sports are offered at the Prep, Varsity, Junior Varsity and non-competitive levels.


Recent graduates of South Kent are attending such colleges as: MIT, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown University, Boston College, Boston University, Trinity College, Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University, Colgate University Wesleyan University, Colby College and more.

For our full list of college acceptances visit our college counseling page.


  • Cum Laude Society
  • National Association of Independent Schools
  • National Association of Episcopal Schools
  • Secondary School Admission Test Board
  • Connecticut Association of Independent Schools
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling


Please see our Tuition page under the Admissions section of our site for this info.