• Cushing
Community Expectations

Dress Code Policy

Students are to dress at all times in a way that is consistent with the Academy’s values as expressed in our expectations. During the academic day, students are to dress in a way that respects the atmosphere of learning and sets a proper tone for the primary purpose of school. Cushing recognizes that an individual’s manner of dress is an expression of personal style as well as a practical necessity. While the importance of personal style and all it represents should be honored, living and working within a learning community requires that all community members balance personal expression and comfort with respect for the learning environment and the comfort of other members of the community.
  • Clothing should promote a positive, focused learning environment
  • Clothing should promote a safe, inclusive community
  • Clothing should align with all other standards and rules of the Academy
  • Clothing should permit students to participate fully in all school activities
  • Clothing should be clean, neat and in good repair
A student should expect and anticipate that faculty members will address the student’s choice of dress if the faculty member believes that the student’s clothing may not be consistent with the expectations above. The Dress Code is meant to encourage students to consider how and why they choose to dress as they do. Therefore, interactions between students and faculty regarding student dress should always be framed as a constructive and positive conversation.
Meets Dress Code
  • Blouses, dress shirts, collared shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, t-shirts (see Does not Meet Dress Code section) and Cushing sweatshirts
  • Dress pants, dresses, skirts, trousers/slacks, khakis, corduroys, cargo pants, leggings, jeans (including blue), and non-athletic shorts
Does not Meet Dress Code
  • Clothing with political messages, pictures, graphics, illegal substances, large writing and/or writing on sleeves, print or graphics, offensive language, or images or language that is not in good taste
  • Athletic wear, athletic t-shirts, plain white t-shirts and undershirts
  • Clothing that is patched, torn, or in disrepair
  • Non-Cushing sweatshirts
  • Hats inside any building (except Watkins Field House, Heslin Gym, Iorio Arena, and dorms)
  • Shorts, dresses or skirts that are shorter than mid-thigh in length
  • Tulip shorts, pajama bottoms, and sweatpants
  • See-through clothing, exposed midriffs, shoulders or chests (including shirtless), spaghetti-strapped tank tops
  • Visible underwear (including wearing underwear as outerwear)
  • Shower shoes or shower sandals  
Sunbathing is allowed on campus; however, all students must wear shorts at all times. Students must put a shirt on if they are up and active (playing games, etc.)
Dress Code Enforcement
The Dress Code will be consistently enforced through peer-to-peer interaction and influence, as well as the use of the conduct system by the faculty and staff. Disagreements over whether one’s academic-day attire is in keeping with the dress code will be settled by the Dean(s) of Student Life.

Special dress is required for special dinners and other special gatherings as announced. Students are expected to choose attire that shows respect for these events. As is the case for class dress, students are to dress in a way that respects the atmosphere of learning and sets a proper tone for the primary purpose of the Academy: attire for dances and parties is not in line with the spirit of special academic dress occasions. Note 1: Students are expected to change out of clothing, including team uniforms, worn during workouts, practice, or games before going to the dining hall. Note 2: An exception to Note 1 is made for teams returning from away games or from late practices.
Meets Dress Code for Special Academic Dress
  • Dress shirt with folded collar (e.g. button-down, point, spread) should be tucked in and should be accompanied by a sports jacket, tie and, dress pants or dress shorts
  • Dressy blouse or sweater paired with dressy pants or skirt (the length of which should be at least mid-thigh)
  • Dresses (the length of which should be at least mid-thigh)
  • Outfits representative of other cultures that are consistent with the formality of Special Academic Dress and are worn in an appropriately respectful manner
  • A sweater or jacket covering the shoulders of apparel that has shoulder straps less than 2 inches wide
  • Dress shoes or dress sandals in good repair
Does not Meet Dress Code for Special Academic Dress
  • Clothing that is patched, torn, or in disrepair
  • Cargo pants, army fatigues, and bib overalls
  • Hats unless worn for a religious purpose
  • Clothing that exposes the midriff, bares the back, has a plunging or low-cut neckline, is skin-tight, has spaghetti straps or is otherwise inappropriately revealing
  • Clothing that is sheer
  • Flip-flops, sneakers or construction boots
Casual Dress
Casual dress may be worn in the Dining Hall for evening meals and on weekends. Casual dress can include t-shirts, jeans, athletic attire if clean and in good repair. No clothing with inappropriate or offensive messages is ever allowed.
The fall and spring are changeable, with weather ranging from quite cool to comfortably warm with intermittent rain. Winter can be severe with sub-zero temperatures.  We suggest students bring:
  • Indoor lightweight clothing that meets the requirements of the dress code: slacks, collared shirts, skirts, khakis, sweaters
  • Fall/spring jackets: outer windbreaker or lightweight jacket
  • Rainwear: waterproof jacket or coat and an umbrella
  • Winter clothing: woolen or heavy sweaters and apparel; a well-insulated ski parka or other heavy coat for sub-zero weather conditions; gloves and hat
  • Footwear: casual shoes, one pair dress shoes, one pair heavy winter shoes or boots, and athletic shoes
Students should permanently label all clothing.

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.