Fall Family Weekend

We are pleased to welcome parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends to enjoy the Cushing experience at Fall Family Weekend.

Fall Family Weekend 2023! 

Friday + Saturday
October 20-21, 2023

At the height of fall foliage, we invite parents and family of Cushing students to campus to get a first-hand sense of the Cushing experience at Fall Family Weekend. The weekend includes in-class visits, meetings with teachers and advisors, arts showcases, athletic events, and a parent reception with our Head of School. 




Weekend Highlights 

  • Class visits. Sit in on abbreviated versions of your student’s classes on Friday to get a sense of academic life at Cushing. 
  • Meetings with teachers and advisors. Schedule appointments with the people at Cushing who work with your student every day. (Appointments will open to registered families about two weeks prior to October 20. College Counseling appointments are for families of senior and PG students only.)
  • Enjoy meals with students and faculty in our bustling dining commons.
  • Head of School Reception. Meet fellow parents under the tent Friday evening for an adults-only gathering.
  • Athletics. Cheer the Penguins on at their home matches!
  • Performing Arts Showcase featuring student performers.
  • Open House at the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Visual Arts. Marvel at the talent of Cushing's student artists.




Schedule Your AppointmentScheduling Appointments with Teachers and Advisors

The Pick-A-Time reservation system opens at 9:00 am ET on Wednesday, October 4. Invitations to book appointments with teachers and advisors will be sent directly to registered families. Appointment slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend registering for Fall Family Weekend sooner rather than later, to make sure your family receives an early invitation. 

Once our reservation system is open, please follow the steps below for scheduling appointments with faculty, advisors, and college counselors during family weekends:

  1. First go to MyCushing and log in.
  2. Click on the image that looks like a sticky note that says "Schedule your appointment."
  3. Once there, select the date on which you'd like to schedule your appointment.
  4. You will see a color-coded schedule for your child's teachers. Select the colored box that corresponds to the time you'd like to schedule.
  5. On the next screen, select if you'd like to have a reminder sent to you and click "Create Appointment."
  6. You will get an email confirmation for your appointment.
  7. Follow this same procedure for each appointment you'd like to schedule.

Please note: To allow you to have travel time between buildings and rooms, you won't be able to schedule appointments back-to-back. We advise you to schedule appointments for math, science, and performing arts together, as they're generally located in the Joseph R. Curry Academic Center. Likewise, history and foreign language classes are in the Main Building, and Academic Support and English classes are typically located in the English Building next to the Main Building. Art classes are in the Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Visual Arts, which is next to the English Building.

If you have questions about scheduling, please contact us at [email protected] or (978) 827-7400.




Fall Family Weekend Schedule

Flickr album: 2022 Fall Family Weekend Portraits | Height: 400px | Theme: Nested | Skin: Default Skin

Friday, October 20, 2023

  • 8:30 - 10:00 am — Breakfast for Students (Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons)
  • 8:00 am - 4:00 pm — Registration (Tent outside Main Building)
    Continental breakfast and snacks will be available for parents in the Admissions Lounge
  • 8:30 am - 10:15 am — Teacher/Advisor Meetings (Various Classrooms)
    10-minute meetings scheduled in advance of Fall Family Weekend
  • 8:30 am - 4:00 pm — College Counseling Meetings (College Counseling Office, Main Building, 2nd Floor)
    Meeting times with College Counselors are reserved for Seniors and PGs only
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm — Family Portraits (Outside of Main Building)
  • 10:35 am - 3:30 pm — Class Visitation (Various classrooms)
    There will be a modified academic schedule on Friday so you can join your student and attend a session of all of your student's classes. (Don't be fooled: you are encouraged to join your child. Many parents report classroom visitation as one of their favorite events of the weekend.)
  • 11:00 am - 2:00 pm — Lunch (Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons)
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm — Black Student Union and BIPOC Group Gathering (Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons)
    Meet and greet for students and families with Eddie Buggie, Director of Inclusion and Community Life and George Thomas P'24 (Trustee).
  • 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm — Afternoon Activities/Athletic and Arts Practices (Various Locations)
  • 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm — Visual Arts Open Galleries and Student Works in Progress (Emily Fisher Landau Center for the Visual Arts/Maude Bowen Carter Gallery)
    Visit our visual arts department to see work in progress. 
  • 4:00 - 6:00 pm — Head of School Reception (Tent outside Main Building)
  • All parents are invited to a parent reception hosted by Dr. Randy Bertin
  • 5:00 - 7:00 pm — Dinner (Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons)

Athletic + Performing Arts Events

  • 5:00 pm — Boys' Thirds Soccer vs. Groton School (Girling Field)
  • 5:30 pm — Girls' Varsity Soccer vs. St. Paul's School (Quimby Field)
  • 7:00 pm — Performing Arts Showcase (Joseph R. Curry Academic Center, Bottom Floor)



Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • 8:00 am - 12:00 noon — Registration (Tent outside Main Building)
    Coffee and snacks will be available in the Admissions Lounge  
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm — Teacher/Advisor Meetings (Various Classrooms)
    10-minute meetings scheduled in advance of Fall Family Weekend
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm — College Counseling Meetings  (College Counseling Office, Main Building, 2nd Floor)
    Meeting times with College Counselors are reserved for Seniors and PGs only
  • 10:00 am - 1:00 pm — Brunch (Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons) 
  • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm — Teacher/Advisor Meetings (Various Classrooms)
    10-minute meetings scheduled in advance of Fall Family Weekend
  • 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm — College Counseling Meetings  (College Counseling Office, Main Building, 2nd Floor)
    Meeting times with College Counselors are reserved for Seniors and PGs only
  • 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm — Festive Fall Foods (The Raft food truck at the Main Building)

Athletic Events

  • 12:30 pm — Varsity Cross Country vs. Worcester Academy (Cushing Campus)
  • 3:00 pm — Girls' Varsity Field Hockey vs. St. Paul's School (Quimby Field)
  • 3:00 pm — Boys' JV Soccer vs. St. Paul's School (Adams Field)
  • 3:00 pm — Girls' JV Soccer vs. St. Paul's School (Martin Field)
  • 3:30 pm — Girls' Varsity Volleyball vs. Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Watkins Field House)
  • 3:30 pm — Girls' JV Volleyball vs. Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Heslin Gym)
  • 5:00 pm — Boys' Varsity Soccer vs. St. Paul's School (Quimby Field)




Please note: You may take your student off campus using our REACH system only after their last commitment (a game, practice, or activity) has concluded.

Monday October 23 and Tuesday, October 24 are “free” days with boarders returning by 7:30 pm Tuesday evening and practices for varsity athletes beginning at 2:00 pm on Tuesday.

On Friday of Fall Family Weekend (10/20), the earliest departure time from campus will be 5pm as students are expected to attend after-school activities. Students who have games or performances will need to set their departure for the conclusion of their event. We ask that students do not get plane tickets any earlier than 8pm on Friday. Students need to return on Tuesday (10/24) by 7:45pm check-in. There is no school transportation to/from airports around Fall Family Weekend. 

If you cannot make it for Fall Family Weekend and/or your student chooses to stay on campus we will be holding a full calendar of meals and events.




Making Plans

Lodging options in the area are extremely limited. We recommend that you book as soon as possible. Please see a list of options below as well as a list of places to eat in the area.


The Colonial Hotel
625 Betty Spring Road
Gardner, MA 01440
(6.5 miles)

Great Wolf Lodge
150 Great Wolf Drive
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(9 miles)

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
99 Erdman Way, 
Leominster, MA 01453
(14 miles)

Springhill Suites by Marriott – Devens Commons Center
27 Andrews Parkway
Devens, MA
(23 miles)

Inns and Bed and Breakfasts

The Maguire House
30 Cobb Rd.
Ashburnham, MA01430
(1.5 miles)

The Monadnock Inn
379 Main Street
Jaffrey, NH 03452
(20 miles)


The Tavern on Central
3 Central Street
Ashburnham, MA 
(.5 miles)

Village Pizza
65 Main Street
Ashburnham, MA 
(.25 miles)

Brothers Pizza
47 Main Street
Ashburnham, MA 
(.25 miles)

The Gardner Ale House
74 Parker St.
Gardner, MA
(6.5 miles)

Blueprint – American Bar & Grill
10 Village Square
Westminster, MA
(7 miles)

The 1761 Old Mill
69 State Road East
Westminster, MA
(7.5 miles)

Sawa Asian Bistro
360 Timpany Blvd
Gardner, MA
(10 miles)


Fall Family Weekend FAQs

Do I have to register to attend Fall Family Weekend?

Yes. If you are planning to attend Fall Family Weekend please register all family members that will attend so that we can provide name tags and plan for meals.

Can grandparents and siblings attend?

Absolutely!  All family members are welcome.

How do I make appointments with teachers and advisors?

You can schedule individual meetings with teachers and advisors. The system is called Pick-a-Time. To access Pick-a-Time please login to MyCushing and go to the RESOURCE board. When the Pick-a-Time is available (a few weeks before Fall Family Weekend), you will see a yellow post-it note icon. If you are unable to attend or fit an appointment into your schedule you may email a teacher for a phone call or Zoom appointment after the weekend.

Can I take my student off campus?

Yes. A student can leave campus (after checking out properly using the REACH system) after their last commitment for the weekend. Students will not be excused from an athletic game. It is a long weekend. Boarding students should return by Tuesday, October 24 by 7:30 pm. (Varsity practices begin at 2:00 pm on October 24, so varsity athletes should plan to be on campus earlier on the 24th.)

Can students stay on campus all weekend?

Yes. Not all students have family attending and will be on campus. Dorms are open and supervised and meals and activities are planned.

What is the dress code for Fall Family Weekend?

Fall Family Weekend is all about comfort and showing your Penguin spirit by wearing Cushing garb or purple and white if you have it!! The dress code is casual, even for the reception. You will do a lot of walking around campus so please wear comfortable footwear.

I'd like to make a gift to the Cushing Annual Fund. How do I do so?

You can make your gift online, by Venmo, or by sending a check payable to Cushing. Find additional information on our Giving Overview Page.