Visiting

There’s only one way to truly understand what makes Thacher one of a kind: Come for a visit.

Requesting and reading our viewbook, exploring our website, watching student videos—these are all great ways to get a preliminary feel for our School’s philosophy, culture, programs, and setting. But a deeper appreciation for what makes Thacher Thacher truly comes into focus when prospective students and their families experience it for themselves. Stepping onto our campus, you’ll see firsthand the beautiful foothills and trails that serve as both a source of outdoor adventure and a lab for student learning; our happy, welcoming, and tightly connected community; and so much more.

Arrange Your Visit

There are two easy ways to schedule your official visit to campus:

  1. Call our office at 805-640-3210
  2. Email us at admission@thacher.org
 
We offer campus visits/interviews on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from September 5February 1. (We are closed November 1923 and December 15January 4.)  Visits last approximately three hours.
 
Many days will fill up completely because of the high demand for visit slots; we encourage you to visit soon. Once you’ve scheduled your visit, read on to learn about the five essential components of a Thacher visit.

What to Expect

List of 5 items.

  • Admission Welcome

    A member of our admission team will greet you when you arrive on campus, explain the schedule for the day, and be available to answer your questions about the tour, the interview, the application process, life at Thacher, and anything else that might come up.
  • The Interview

    It’s our job as interviewers to help prospective students show us their best selves. We want each student to have a good interview, so we’re in their corner from the start. The student spends about 15-20 minutes with a member of our staff, and then the parent(s) have about 10 minutes with that same interviewer. Prospective families walk away with a friend in the Admission Office who will be there to answer questions and offer advice. 

    Thacher's interview process is unlike any other I experienced. By making the interview feel more like a conversation than an interrogation and taking time to thoroughly answer all my questions, the incredible admission staff immediately put my mind at ease. By the end of the interview, I realized that not only had I been nervous for nothing but that Thacher was the school for me!”—Isabel, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • The Tour

    Visiting families tour our campus with a student guide who will introduce them to the classrooms, athletic facilities, dorm rooms, arts studios, barns, and orange groves that we call home. This is also a great chance for students and families to ask the questions that really matter to them, as our student tour guides are the real Thacher experts: they did an extensive school search, they chose Thacher, and now they’re living it every day.
  • Assembly

    This is it: the uncut, unrehearsed version of The Thacher School. In some ways, there’s no telling what might happen at Assembly: a presentation by a faculty member, a performance by the Thacher choir, an address from a visiting scholar, a sports update. But there are a few things that a visitor can count on. There will be students who are happy and healthy, who feel known and cared for by their teachers, and there will be faculty members who go the extra mile to make sure each student feels at home here at Thacher.
  • Presentation on Philosophy & Program

    What does the research tell us about how we can most effectively help teenagers thrive, succeed on their own terms, and ultimately become their best selves? And how do Thacher’s one-of-a-kind program, culture, and community create the conditions for that kind of growth? A member of our admission team will break down how we integrate positive risk-taking, a supportive peer culture, relationship-centered learning, the balance of happiness and high-achievement, and much more to create a rich environment in which high schoolers flourish. Afterward, there will be plenty of time for additional questions and answers—so fire away!

– Jenn

Places start to blur together on the boarding school tour circuit, but visiting Thacher is dramatically different. We learned about the latest research in teen development and how Thacher’s programs are purposefully designed to build a healthy, happy, and capable young person — all amidst a rigorous college-prep curriculum. And the spectacular campus setting and family atmosphere make for something truly special. You really can’t get what Thacher has anywhere else.” 

parent from Chicago, Illinois