Being a Penguin

When you become a Cushing student (also known as a Penguin!), you join an exciting extended family where every student is known and valued. Our thriving campus in central Massachusetts, just an hour from Boston, is a home away from home, buzzing with opportunities.

Our college preparatory curriculum inspires academic excellence, led by dedicated faculty members who provide valuable mentoring and guidance. We also offer an Academic Support program to help students hone learning skills and build self-confidence.

We are home to exceptional academic programs: an integrated STEAM initiative (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), five language offerings, math, English and ESL, Visual and Performing Arts, computer science, and more. 

Cushing Academy was my second home. This place made me feel comfortable. It’s a school that motivates you every day, a school that wants the best for you and gets the best out of you. I found a family there.

Students participate in group activities outside the classroom by dorm, class, or advisor group throughout the academic year. Some activities are spirit-filled challenges (e.g., a goofy Olympics-style competition or trivia contests); others are STEAM-based activities (have you ever made a light-up greeting card?) or life skill sessions (e.g., basic cooking, how to change a car tire, or stress management techniques).

Fun is an essential part of life here. Students can be the DJ for a Friday night dance, go on a shopping trip in Boston, join a special-interest club, or enjoy additional time in the art studio. The rink is often open for free skate and the gym for pick-up basketball, or try your skills in a casual tournament—maybe video games, badminton, or spike ball. And if you have an idea for an activity, student and faculty leaders are always ready to hear suggestions.

Cushing provides a comprehensive web of support for every student. Alongside a faculty advisor to encourage students to reach their full potential, Penguins can count on the support of any staff member and any of their peers—particularly those in roles such as dorm proctors, student body leaders, and athletic team captains.

Here at Cushing, we prepare Penguins for life, not just college. We are a second home where students make lasting friendships and are part of an extended family. Sound like fun? Come and join us.

Community Gatherings

Community gatherings are woven into the weekly schedule to support our sense of unity and strengthen our campus family.


On Fridays, the entire Cushing community gathers in Cowell Chapel for an assembly. Here, students and faculty make announcements, from upcoming events to birthdays, accomplishments to fundraisers. There’s a traditional round of applause after each one! Assemblies also often include time for student performances or visits from outside speakers.

Community Lunch

We dedicate the midday hour on Tuesdays to a  family-style lunch for students and faculty in the Fisher-Watkins Dining Hall. A rotating seating arrangement brings people together to encourage interactions across all community members.

Formal Dinners

Cushing’s commitment to formal dinners dates back to 1865 and is an initiative we reintroduced in 2019. These dinners—in semi-formal attire and with festive decor in the dining hall—allow students and faculty from a range of backgrounds to connect and eat together in the atmosphere of a special event.

Dorm meetings

Our boarding students have occasional meetings in their dorm common rooms or in faculty apartments. These build connections between residents and allow faculty to make announcements and review rules. You won’t want to miss these meetings—they usually involve delicious food!

The Life of a Penguin

Beyond Classes

Students are encouraged to approach their teachers for additional support during Extra Help sessions built into the weekly schedule. Our schedule also provides time for club meetings and community events, such as all-school assemblies.

After the academic day ends, students attend their afternoon activities. From competitive and recreational athletics to creative options, community service, or independent study, there’s something for everyone!


Breakfast is served in the Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons from 7:15 am to 8:00 am, lunch from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm, and dinner from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Brunch is served on weekends, and the dining schedule may change for special events such as family days. Students are able to suggest menu options to the dining hall staff and discuss specific dietary needs.

In the Evening

Study hall lasts from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, providing two hours for students to study in their rooms or the Fisher-Watkins Library.

Students have from 10:00 pm to 10:30 pm to make phone calls and prepare for bed.

Lights-out is at 10:30 pm (11:00 pm for Seniors).

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