Several years ago television stations began running this public service announcement: “It’s 9 o’clock. Do you know where your kids are?”

At least one group of fathers and mothers—the parents of students at the Stony Brook School—not only know where their kids are at 9 P.M., they also know exactly what they are doing: hitting the books in their dorm rooms as part of the school’s mandatory two-hour evening study period. In fact, the parents of Stony Brook’s resident students pretty much know what their kids are doing from sunup until bedtime, because most of what the students do and when they do it is determined by school administrators. The holistic, Christ-centered, academically rigorous program is designed to help students develop spiritually, intellectually, aesthetically, and physically. A student’s day begins at 7 A.M. with breakfast, followed by chores—anything from washing dishes to sweeping classrooms. Chapel is at 8:10, followed by morning classes, lunch, afternoon classes and an arts-oriented activities period, athletics, dinner, and finally—more than 12 hours after the day began—the study period.

The regimen has worked since 1922, when the Stony Brook School welcomed an inaugural class of 27 boys. The staff that year consisted of the school’s founding headmaster, the late Frank E. Gaebelein, nine faculty members, a nurse, and a secretary. Guided by the belief that “all truth is God’s truth,” Gaebelein’s philosophy of education, written as an equation, would be: Christ + curriculum + committed Christian educators = well-educated, well-rounded young people who have been prepared not only for college but for life and ...

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