Community Building, Spirit Council

Living in Community

Besant Hill School of Happy Valley is a community that is not easily described.

As Aldous Huxley pointed out, essentially, teaching students how to think, not what to think is something that is not readily defined nor discussed. It is our ethos. Ultimately, it is teaching students to break free from the barriers placed on them by this world — as that is when true learning occurs.

How this is done, and the way it happens on our campus, is as unique as each member of our community.

Living and Learning Together

From the moment that students set foot on campus for the first time, they will find that living with classmates and among faculty members and their families provides endless opportunities to be in community.

Much of the magic of Besant Hill happens through the equally connected relationships of students and staff outside of the formal class setting. These close relationships are some of the richest rewards of boarding school life at Besant Hill. A student may have a teacher and coach who also lives in his or her dormitory, who has a family, perhaps a dog or two, and even the culinary talent of baking an evening snack to share! Relationships are at the heart of our community.

It’s the Little Things

When visitors come to campus they note that everyone smiles and says hello as they pass by, and how everybody is genuinely nice to one another. Happy Birthday is sung at all-school assemblies for students and staff, “Bad-Movie Night” is a tradition in the theater, and our dining services is always looking to hear from students on ideas to make their meal experience more enjoyable.

An outdoor lunch, sitting in silence to breathe and pause during the busy school day, a chance to be creative, Ojai’s famous “Pink Moment” at sunset, fresh and organic food, a ten-minute visit with a dog in the office, a kind gesture of support, or laughing out loud with your friends — these are the unique details that make a Besant Hill experience so special for everyone in the community.

Maya Angelou

A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.

Maya Angelou

Residential Life

While Besant Hill School has a number of day students, the majority of students live in our residence halls. Our residences feature comfortable, modern rooms that you will share with just one roommate, as well as lounge areas and a student center that lend themselves to plenty of relaxing.

Dining at BHS

Walk into the BHS Commons at lunchtime on any given day and, as you’re greeted by the aromas of grilled vegetables with rosemary and roasted garlic, home-baked bread that just came out of the oven, and the scent of the sweetest tomatoes wafting from the salad bar, you may question for a moment, whether you’re still on the school campus or you’ve just stepped into a gourmet restaurant.

A Day in the Life

BHS operates on a block system in which all courses are 65 minutes and meet three days a week. Twice weekly there are trips to Downtown Ojai. Weekend excursions, sporting events, and activities are offered each weekend.