Why Thacher?

The Thacher School is anything but typical. Everything we do here is guided by a set of deeply held convictions that add up to the simple truth that high school can and should be a thrilling adventure.

The most enduring lessons of high school often take place outside of the classroom.

That’s why our Outdoor Program will take you on week-long backcountry trips in the Eastern Sierra and Channel Islands and why every student will find themselves taking up the reins and caring for a horse as part of our Horse Program. These programs ask students to do something really valuable: face real risks with the possibility of real failure. It’s how confidence is built, genuine fulfillment is attained, and students expand their understanding of themselves and their own abilities.

It’s in pursuit of these same transformative learning experiences that we encourage students to head out for meaningful Community Service projects in the community, as well as faculty-led immersion learning in places like China, Senegal, and Bolivia as part of our Global Studies Program.

Our own 427-acre campus, with its winding trails and expansive mountain views, also provides a powerful place to learn and explore. Fieldwork at local watershed sites brings subjects like biology and chemistry to life, while Environmental Sustainability initiatives on campus—from large-scale composting to a solar array field—provide environmental science students with subjects for hands-on study. Looking toward the community, our ethics and statistics classes recently joined forces to study homelessness in our region and a Spanish class curated an exhibit of immigration stories. The common thread: the recognition that learning is deeper and more enduring when students follow their genuine curiosity and engage with real problems. 

In this way, we provide learning spaces—wherever they may be—that facilitate the kind of growth and reflection needed to produce curious, compassionate, and resilient young people who are prepared to make a positive impact on today’s world.
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.