About Our School

The Bolles Community strives to reflect in each of our lives respect for the individual. We embrace this philosophy and teach our students that a civilized culture (all that is truly great in human life – in art, in music, in literature, in science, and in technology) represents the achievements of honest, thoughtful, and often highly learned individuals. The sharing of ideas, ideals, and accomplishments with one another brings mutual respect and often mutual advantage. The success of such people develops highly desirable personal values such as generosity, honesty, hard work, sharing attitudes, high ethical standards, and pride in community.

These values reflect our philosophy of moral growth:
  • Respect for the property and opinions of others
  • Responsibility for our actions
  • Hard Work to achieve mental and physical excellence
  • Concern for Others, especially for those less fortunate
  • Pride in our community
THE BOLLES WAY: Pursuing excellence through courage, integrity, and compassion.

Whether we attend Bolles as students, or are employed by the School, there are reasonable expectations governing our conduct designed to help ensure that all in our community are treated with the respect mentioned prominently in our Values Statement, so that each student here is allowed the same opportunity to achieve success without bullying, insult, threat, or harassment. These expectations apply to all forms of conduct and communications, whether physical, verbal, written, or electronic that are consistent with the values set forth above and which go to the very core of this school. Only those students willing to show respect for their fellow members of our community belong at Bolles. Students who choose to ignore this policy can expect significant consequences, including the possibility of suspension or expulsion from the School for particularly serious or repeated disregard of this critically important principle.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS: The Bolles School admits students of any race, color, gender and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally available to students at the School. It does not discriminate in administering educational policies or other school programs. This School is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.


Honor Code
The Honor System is based upon, but not limited to, our Honor Code that states: “I will maintain my self-respect and respect others. I will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate anyone who does.” Violation of the Honor Code can be grounds for dismissal from the School.

All areas of student life and behavior are governed by the Honor System, whose purpose is to provide the growing, maturing student with on-going developmental experiences leading to and culminating in a firm, secure value system.

We want the Honor System, not just a Code, to become an integral part of the Bolles experience. Ideally, the System is a constant reminder of the highest aspirations of the Bolles School Mission Statement. We wish to foster in every student a deeply felt sense of self-worth based upon individual responsibility, a feeling of pride in one’s own achievements, a feeling of dignity for one’s self, and an abiding respect for one’s peers.

It must follow then that these philosophical tenets and aspirations culminate in the final dimension of college preparation: Character - which is the ultimate manifestation of the Bolles experience.

We assume that our students are honorable citizens who recognize the right (moral) course of action and follow it. However, we know that doubts, confusion, and pressures sometimes result in mistakes, and we wish to emphasize here that every student is expected to avoid the following:

1. LYING: Like cheating, lying, when it occurs, usually results from doubts, pressures, and confusion. If one exercises independently and responsibly his/her duty to know what is expected, when it is expected, where, and how, if applicable, and if he/she follows the course of action suggested by his/her conscience, lying is unnecessary and highly unlikely.

2. CHEATING: By (a) knowing the nature of the assignment, test, report, paper, or project, (b) planning his/her time and work so that the goals and objectives can be achieved independently without recourse to external, unauthorized help, (c) executing the assignment, test, or task to the best of his/her ability and accepting the consequences of his/her own shortcomings, (d) signing the Honor Pledge, “I pledge on my honor that I have neither given nor received aid on this work,” with a clear conscience, students will avoid cheating.

3. STEALING: Stealing is largely a matter of respect for property. If one respects one’s own property, he/she is likely to respect the property of others; hence, stealing will not occur. Once again, we return to the matter of personal responsibility, which is the key to the success of the HONOR SYSTEM.

Intensive orientation to the Honor System is an integral part of orientation each fall. It is the personal responsibility of each student to become fully aware of the system, in order to cooperate with it, not to be intimidated by it. As the student matures, he/she will grow into and become part of the System. When the student receives his/her diploma, he/she will reflect with confidence that he/she is truly prepared for college - that he/she has the strength of character to meet and cope successfully with the myriad challenges that lie ahead and that will test his/her strength of character every day of his/her life.

Because technology continues to have an impact on the educational community and the various media in which information is disseminated, students should pay particular attention to the following:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is easily accessible and reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for a conviction of an Honor Code violation.

What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is the act of knowingly using another’s writing or ideas and presenting them as one’s own.

To be successful, every independent school needs and expects the cooperation of its parents, who must understand and embrace the school’s mission, share its core values, and fully support its curriculum, faculty and staff. When joined by a common set of beliefs and purposes, the independent school and its parents form a powerful team with far-reaching positive effects on children and the entire school community.

Working together, parents and school professionals exert a strong influence on children to become better educated; they also help them to mature by modeling adult working relationships based upon civility, honesty, and respect. (Source: The Association of Independent Maryland Schools)

In most independent schools, decision-making authority at the highest level resides in a volunteer Board of Trustees whose membership often includes current parents. The Board focuses on three areas critical to the success of any independent school: it selects, evaluates, and supports the head of school, to whom it delegates authority to manage the school; it develops broad institutional policies that guide the head in running the school; and it is accountable for the financial well-being of the school. In the conduct of its official business, the Board acts only as a whole; individual trustees, including the Board chair, have no authority to act unless specifically authorized to do so by the Board acting as a whole.

Parents with concerns about the school or with decisions made by the administration or faculty are encouraged to inquire about and follow the school’s review process. Trustees often interact with others within the school community but do not get involved in the daily operation of the school. As a matter of good practice, parents should report concerns to the appropriate teacher or administrator.

Parents play an essential and positive role in the life of an independent school. Not only are parents advocates for their children, they also support the faculty and administration through extensive volunteer activities and events.

The relationship between parents and the faculty and administration is formally governed by the school’s written enrollment contract and handbook, in which its procedures are spelled out. When parents choose to enroll their child in an independent school, they agree to subscribe to its mission, follow its rules, and abide by its decisions. Trust and mutual respect are the most essential underpinnings of effective working relationships between parents and school employees.

Inherent in the Bolles Mission Statement is that all members of the community live by the Honor Code and Values Statement: students, faculty, staff, and parents.

Parents’ best support a school climate of trust and respect by communicating concerns openly and constructively to the teacher or administrator closest to the problem. Efforts by parents to lobby other parents have often proven to be counterproductive.

The Bolles School emphasizes high academic achievement, good study skills and positive character development. We set high standards for each child with whom we work, and then give support to enable him/her to meet these expectations. We expect our students throughout their years here to achieve success in becoming self-motivated and in assuming responsibility for their actions.

At The Bolles School, we value an atmosphere of genuine respect and courtesy between student and student, adult and student and adult and adult.

Parents need to understand that tuition only covers 80% of the School’s operating cost, which means that the School needs to exercise tight fiscal responsibility including running a balanced budget, collecting tuition payments in a timely fashion, and asking for annual and capital donations as well as volunteer efforts.

In partnership, we mutually agree to:
1. Promote The Bolles School mission as an inclusive, diverse community of learners and educators.
2. Treat all members of The Bolles School with respect and civility.
3. Help support a home environment that encourages the development of positive learning attitudes and habits including, among other things, consistent, on-time drop-off, regular sleeping routines, and disciplined access to electronic media.
4. Create a culture of mutual respect and high social and academic expectations.
5. Resolve conflicts and questions in the spirit of partnership and objectivity and assume that there are at least two sides to every disagreement.
6. Respect the school’s responsibilities to do what is best for the entire community and for the promulgation of itself as an educational institution.
7. Respect the confidentiality of all aspects of the children’s experience, including grades, assessments and the experiences of his or her peers.
8. Communicate effectively, efficiently and truthfully with each other about all aspects of the child’s’ experience.
9. Nurture all children towards an evolving and developmentally appropriate independence.

BOLLES, beloved Alma Mater, Tower high thy mighty walls. Mem'ries of our days here linger; Learned we in thy hallowed halls. Closely bonded by our friendship, Proud we stand with voices raised; Youthful days of Bolles we treasure — Knowledge, strength, tradition praised. As the river flows before us, We move forward to succeed. Called to seek our lives victorious, Words of noble tutors heed. Ever fondly we remember; Days spent here are now our gain. Led to learn for sake of wisdom — Cherished, Bolles, you will remain.
Lyrics by Julie Cheves Babcock
Music by William Schirmer

On, on Bolles School We are right, For the fight, to-night Get that ball, and hit that line, Every bulldog star will shine, We'll ere be true, To the orange and blue. As we roll, to that goal, var-sa-tee, We will kick, pass, and run, Til the battle is won, And bring home the victory.
Words and music by permission of The University of Kentucky Adapted by J. Frank Callihan

Copyright The Bolles School 2015

Co-ed Day and Boarding College Preparatory School from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12

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