Walnut Hill students typically carry four or five academic courses (two or three each semester) along with their arts classes, and may expect to have evening and weekend commitments for studio work, rehearsal, or required performances. In order to help students plan ahead and get all of their work completed on time and to the best of their ability, the School has several supports and structures in place.
All teachers are routinely available outside of class to assist students who would like to review key concepts or material in greater depth. Teachers and students all have common free time for one 35-minute period (X-Block) during each academic day expressly for the purpose of providing and receiving extra help. Appointments with teachers should be made directly by the student. Meeting with their teachers during X-Block time is usually the first and best way for students to get support.
Study Hour is supervised in the dormitories from 8:00pm to 9:30pm, Sunday through Thursday. During this time, students’ doors must be open, headphones must be used to listen to music, and television viewing is not allowed. Students who are granted “E-list” status (see Evening Schedule and “E-list”) are not required to be in the dorm until 10:00pm on school nights because of other obligations; on nights when they do not have other obligations, it is suggested (but not required) that they return to the dormitory for Study Hour.
The Director of Academic Support coordinates professional, fee-for-service tutoring for students who require additional support in meeting course requirements. Professional tutors are available to support academic coursework as well as to strengthen general reading, writing, and study skills. Fee-for-service tutoring supports the existing school curriculum. It cannot be used to substitute for existing school courses, nor is it possible to receive academic credit for tutoring.
Whether or not students come to Walnut Hill with educational testing, all students are able to enhance their academic skills through the use of strategy-based supports, either in a one-on-one setting or in small groups at the Skills Center. Students receive assistance with time management, executive functioning issues, memory retention, essay writing, work completion, and other academic issues that may create barriers to learning.
Walnut Hill currently maintains computers in various locations on campus that are available for student use. The Theater, Visual Art, and Writing, Film & Media Arts Departments also have computers available for program-specific use.
Many departments expect assignments to be typed rather than handwritten. As such, students may also wish to have personal computers in order to work at their own convenience. It is recommended that students with their own computers also have their own printers. Wireless Internet is available throughout the campus.
The Morse Institute Library
Founded in 1862, the Morse Institute Library in downtown Natick is now among the largest and most vibrant libraries in the MetroWest area. All Walnut Hill students receive a library card from the Morse and have full access to its spaces, collections, and services.