Student Home Life
Student Home Life is at the core of the Milton Hershey School student experience. All children, from age 4 through 12th grade, live at school in a family-like atmosphere in a student home or Transitional Living apartment (12th grade).
Student Home Life at MHS
On-campus housing provides stability and safety for MHS students. It is available year-round and supports the whole child. Houseparents coordinate all parts of the student experience beyond the classroom and ensure children have what they need to be healthy and thrive.
Student Homes (Pre-K through 11th Grade)
Milton Hershey School operates more than 180 student homes on campus. Each home houses up to 12 students from the same division. Students live, learn, share, and grow with their housemates and houseparents. Many times, the children come to view each other as members of an extended family.
- Each home is managed by a married houseparent couple who have child-care experience
- Eight to 12 students of the same gender and same approximate age live together
- Two to three students occupy each bedroom
- Each student has their own twin bed, desk, and closet
- Large bathrooms accommodate the residents of the student home. Individual shower and toilet stalls provide privacy.
- Each home includes a computer room where students can use computers and printers for study hours
- Students are responsible for chores. They help with vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen, mowing the grass, doing laundry, and helping with cooking.
- A large living room provides seating for watching television, reading, or relaxing
- Each student home has a recreation room or playroom for students. These rooms vary from home to home and include age-appropriate games and toys.
Transitional Living (12th Grade)
Transitional Living, or “TL,” is a program designed to grow skills for leading successful lives post-graduation. Seniors live independently in apartment-style residences and receive support from staff members. Here, they learn and enhance budgeting skills, time management skills, and more.
Explore a Senior Apartment
Drag to see a 360-degree view of a Milton Hershey School Transitional Living student apartment. Then, click to engage with interactive content.
Explore a Student Home
Drag to see a 360-degree view of a Milton Hershey School student home. Then, click to engage with interactive content.
The Role of Houseparents
Student homes provide a real family setting. Houseparent couples run each student home and care for the children who live there. Houseparents provide day-to-day guidance, support, and discipline to the children in their care. They take an active, nurturing interest in their students. While no one can replace a student’s primary caregiver, houseparents ensure students have full support while at school and actively partner with each parent/sponsor.
Families can expect a lot out of their child’s houseparents, including:
Houseparents support students by:
- Teaching children important life values, such as responsibilities within the home
- Providing structure and guidance in each child’s daily activities
- Listening to student concerns
- Being on-hand to support and encourage achievement
- Offering guidance or advice when problems occur
- Giving reassurance when a student needs it most
- Keeping with the MHS Judeo-Christian heritage and helping them explore faith, align it to their character, and live by the Sacred Values.
Houseparents, teachers, and staff work together to keep parents/sponsors informed about and in touch with their child. Houseparents serve as the primary contact with parents/sponsors. Parents do maintain active contact with their children, through phone calls, emails, and visits.
Supporting an MHS student is a team effort, and both parents/sponsors and houseparents play key roles in their success.
A staff of Home Life directors and administrators support houseparents. They ensure houseparents have access to the training, development, and support to care for students consistently and effectively.
A Day in the Life
Learn what a typical student’s day looks like at MHS, from morning preparations to after-school activities. Our students stay busy—and fully explore their interests!
Milton Hershey School’s campus is open even when classes aren’t in session. Some students return home over breaks and during the summer months. Many choose to stay at MHS and participate in the Year-Round Experiences program.