In exchange for funding, Principal Jackie Hudson agreed to implement the government's experimental Nutritional Alternative Paste Program (NAPP) at the school. Participation required limiting food consumption within the school to a food paste developed by Vault-Tec and the United States government.[Non-game 1] This decision was apparently made without the consent of faculty, students, or parents.
Per Principal Hudson's announcements, the NAPP was launched on October 18 and any outside food was to be confiscated. These announcements can be heard on three holotapes found throughout the school. According to a letter drafted on Mr. Davidson's terminal, both faculty and students were unhappy with the NAPP. The draft indicates that a week of paste consumption seemingly resulted in an increase in problematic student behavior and "pinker" complexions in everyone.
The school grounds are inhabited by pink feral ghouls. Two main floor entrances are available, including the southwest front door and the southeast back door. Just outside the school, at the northeast corner, is a water pump. To the south of the school is the Murkwater construction site, which is home to a mirelurk queen.
The interior is also inhabited by pink feral ghouls, including a glowing one in the upstairs library. A chemistry station is upstairs in the lab classroom to the west, and a cooking stove is behind a Novice-locked door adjacent to the stage in the cafeteria.
The building consists of three levels, including the first floor, second floor, and basement. Upon entry through the front door, the reception office and adjoined principal's office are on the right, and a hole in the wall on the left leads to a restroom. In the center is a collapsed stairway to the second floor, with a hallway on either side. The hallway to the left leads to the restrooms and a series of classrooms, and the hallway to the right leads to the cafeteria, the entrance to which is initially chained from the opposite side.
The collapsed staircase can be used to reach the second floor by jumping from the railing or topmost step. The second floor can also be accessed using an intact back staircase via the working elevator that runs between the basement and first floor. Due to rubble blocking direct access to the staircase, this method requires one to traverse through the classrooms off the first floor's left hallway, and then through the basement via the hole in the cafeteria floor. In the basement, behind a door opened from an Expert-locked terminal, a mattress can be found.
- 16 samples of food paste - Scattered throughout the school.
- 12 Vault-Tec lunchboxes - In classrooms, on desks, on the floor, or in lockers. Eight can be found on the first floor, and four can be found on the second floor.
- Five overdue books:
- One on the first floor, on the counter outside the principal's office next to a broken terminal.
- One on the first floor, on a student desk in a room behind a large Novice-locked door off the cafeteria.
- One on the second floor, on a table behind an Expert-locked door.
- One on the second floor, in the library next to the dead body in a pink dress. The library also features a book return terminal.
- One in the basement, behind the security door and next to the Stealth Boy.
- Three school announcements holotapes by Principal Hudson regarding the school's participation in and adherence to the NAPP:
- The first is for the 18th of October, and is on the first floor in the principal's office, on the desk.
- The second is for the 20th of October, and is on the first floor in the cafeteria, on the podium.
- The third is for the 22nd of October, and is on the second floor in the library, on the desk next to the Unstoppables magazine.
- Unstoppables issue #4 - On the second floor in the library, on the desk.
- Note - On the second floor, on a teacher's desk in a classroom behind a Novice-locked door in the southwest corner.
- Stealth Boy - In the basement, behind a door secured with an Expert-locked terminal.
- Fusion core - In the basement, inside the farthest generator.
- Cleansing the Commonwealth: Knight Rhys gives the Sole Survivor an assignment to clear the location of what he calls "abominations" to further the aims of the Brotherhood of Steel.
- Ghoul Problem: Settlers have asked the player character for help in taking care of some feral ghouls that have been terrorizing a nearby location.
- Leading by Example: Lancer Captain Kells requests the Sole Survivor's help in training a Brotherhood squire by allowing him to accompany them on a mission.
- Quartermastery: Scribe Haylen has identified the location of a piece of technology she wishes to retrieve and catalog. She asks the Sole Survivor for help in bringing back the technology in one piece.
- Pest Control: Dr. Binet of the Institute's Robotics division asks the Sole Survivor to eliminate some feral ghouls that are causing problems for a synth scavenger team.
- Randolph Safehouse: The Railroad agent Mister Tims will leave dead drops in the form of six holotapes for the Sole Survivor, containing information about possible hazards to the Railroad's escort and escape of synths out of the Commonwealth. They can assist in these efforts by clearing out the location of hostiles.
- In the hallway with the chained library door on the second floor, there is a hole in the wall next to the door. If the Sole Survivor looks through the hole, they can activate a book return terminal. This will teleport the Sole Survivor into the room.
- There is a terminal outside the principal's office that does not seem to do anything. It boots up to a screen, but does not offer any interactive options.
- The location itself will reset, but the pink ghouls will not respawn, as they are unique, meaning on a second visit one will only have to deal with the final leveled ghoul and two radroaches.
- Although labeled as "Mr. Davidson's Terminal," the logged-in user is Henry Smith. Moreover, Mr. Davidson's terminal is situated in Vault-Tec Regional HQ on the third floor.
- To the south-southwest of the school are three concrete structures. Opening the door on the middle structure spawns a leveled sentry bot and reveals a fake wall with some graffiti that reads "YOU LOOK NICE TODAY!" This is reminiscent of the graffiti behind another fake door in Fallout 3, which reads "FUCK YOU."
- Just west of the school, about halfway to Gunners plaza, a leveled super mutant behemoth spawns.
- Curie is aware of the Suffolk County Charter School experiment, commenting on the pink ghouls: "Monsieur Platt predicted this condition, it seems he was correct."
Behind the scenes
- Suffolk County Charter School was created by level designer Justin Schram.
- The 200-year-old message on the board at the front of the school is "Education is what survives when what has been learnt is forgotten." This is a quote from B. F. Skinner, famous for describing the psychological concept of operant conditioning.
- The pink food paste is a reference to The Stuff, a 1985 horror movie in which a popular gooey dessert food turns people into mindless killer zombies. English teacher Smith even refers to the pink paste as "the stuff" in his draft letter of complaint. The pink food paste may also allude to pink slime, more commonly known as lean finely textured beef or LFTB, usually used in fast food.
- Curie: "Monsieur Platt predicted this condition, it seems he was correct."
- Alumni Guest: Justin Schram From Bethesda Game Studios (reference starts at 13:19)
Justin Schram: "So, in Fallout, you would have, like... I had Suffolk Charter School, which is this elementary school on the southern end of the map. And so, you sort of know what a school should look like on the inside and on the outside. And we build that, and then you sort of have to match the inside to that. So when you're designing a level, you have to remember this has to look on the inside what it should look like on the outside. So that's something you have to keep in mind."
- Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 384: "The student base of this school consisted mostly of lower-income and disadvantaged students. These children were lucky enough to be chosen for trials of a new food substitute paste developed by Vault-Tec in conjunction with the U.S. government. The paste was intended to provide all necessary nutrition and have a shelf life of over 100 years. Despite some minor side effects, the paste is both nutritious and delicious. Why not try some yourself? You’ll be in the pink!"
(Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)