May 15, 2013
As your child enters middle school, you will probably begin to think more seriously about her high school and college plans. With that in mind let's take a look at some of the challenges we parents face. I admit that the whole subject is daunting, confusing and even intimidating. However, if you approach the project just like you do any other major project/decision, you will be able to stay out front. Playing catch up is never fun, so let's start our planning early so we understand what is involved.
Getting your child to buy into the idea
The first challenge is a basic one: you must get your child to buy into the idea of going away to school. Yes, you are her parent and you can make that decision yourself. Unfortunately making this kind of decision unilaterally will do more harm than good. The trick is to get her to think that going away to school is her idea.
How do you accomplish that? By starting early. Begin the process of shaping her decision at least 3 to 4 years beforehand. If a member of your family currently attends boarding school, schedule a visit to see that relative while he is in school. The more comfortable your child feels with the idea of going off to boarding school, the happier she will be.
As she progresses through grades 7 and 8, begin to discuss the academic game plan for high school and beyond. Sometimes special considerations will make your decision process easier....read more
April 13, 2013
It sounds too good to be true, right? But it really is true. I found twelve boarding schools when I searched Boarding School Review using the simple search string "least expensive schools" Our powerful search engine sorted the 315 boarding schools listed on our site by tuition. I then filtered out three schools, two were located in Canada and the other was a summer boarding school.
Here then are a dozen boarding schools which charge approximately $20,000 per year or less for tuition, room and board. What impressed me was to discover one school on the list offered 30 Advanced Placement courses and another offered the prestigious International Baccalaureate program. Explore these schools and determine whether perhaps one or more suit your requirements.
School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 40
International students: No
Academics: Bible, Math, Science, English, History, Computers, Physical Education, Journalism, Drama
AP courses: None.
In the school's words: "It is a unique educational institution because it serves as both a Christian high school for the community and as a qualified Christian boarding school."
School Type: Co-Ed
Grades offered: 9-12
Number of students: 620
International students: Yes
Academics: 15 IB courses. International Baccalaureate program.
In the school's words: "We strive for excellence in academic and co-curricular programs, we promote service to our local and global communities, and we foster the dedication and active support of the students, parents, faculty,staff, and alumni of the Mercyhurst community."
School Type:...read more
January 28, 2013
Recently I landed in Jakarta on a recruiting trip. Immediately upon exiting the terminal, as happens in many countries, a small crowd of entrepreneurial ‘taxi drivers’ surrounded me, all trying to grab my suitcase and waving their ‘Official Airport Taxi ID’ badge in my face. Had I not been a seasoned traveller, it would have been very difficult for me to determine which of them, if any, to believe? They all looked authentic and sounded sincere.
Like inexperienced travellers, most prospective families know very little about boarding schools when they first start looking. They need support in determining which school is right for them. They must rely on word of mouth, the research they can do themselves, and their own intuition. But this is easier said than done; if you visit enough schools (which you should), they all can begin to appear quite similar. So it can be a daunting task to determine which one is ‘right’ for your family.
If you read the mission statements, vision statements, school philosophies, tag lines, and Head’s Messages of all the boarding schools on their websites, they all pretty much say the same thing. They offer a well-rounded education, character development, top-level academics, small classroom sizes, modern facilities, great mentoring and a safe learning environment.
So what makes them different from one another?
This is where doing your homework is important. Each boarding school tends to have at least one differentiator; something that makes them stand out from the crowd. For instance, at...read more
January 13, 2013
As I read research and data in preparation for writing this article, I was struck by how much real progress has been made in girls' education versus boys' education over the last decade. I hope that you will read the resources listed at the end. They are just the tip of the iceberg but will get you started in your exploration and evaluation of girls' schools. Since the subject of single sex education seems to be gaining traction in the public school arena, I suspect that we shall continue to see some serious academic papers being written on the subject in the coming years.
Personally, having raised two daughters, I can speak with some experience on the subject of single sex education. No, both girls went to coeducational boarding schools. But the benefit of hindsight tells me that going to an all girls school would have been a better solution for both of them. Here are the reasons why I am a huge fan of girls schools.
Girls' schools provide relevant 21st century role models.
It is a fact that there are more visible, relevant role models for girls these days. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Harvard President Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, to name just three highly successful prominent executives, provide our daughters with the very best kind of role models. That's important. You can read about these leaders. You can hear them speak. You can read their speeches. They are real. They are 21st century. They...read more
December 17, 2012
I had taught in day schools and was a Deputy-Director of one of them. Yet we chose to send both daughters to boarding schools. Here are the reasons why. I hope that our experience will help to inform you as you make this critical decision about which kind of private school will be best for your child.
At the time we were considering sending our children to private school we were fortunate to be living in an area which had good schools. My late wife Nancy indeed had graduated from the local high school. In fact she was chair of the local school board when we decided to explore other options for our daughters' schooling. So it wasn't the schools per se which were the issue. There were four factors which shaped our decision and I lay these out below in greater detail.
The high school curriculum was solid. The teachers were experienced and competent. The school was small as high schools go with a student population of 400 students in grades 7 through 12. There was a football and basketball team, a highly-acclaimed marching band and a couple of clubs.
That, however was what made us want more for our daughters. We wanted them to read 5 Shakespeare plays a year. Not just the one a year taught in her current high school. Same thing with other academics. They met the minimum requirements. But we wanted more.
The sports and arts programs were wonderful but options were extremely limited. Same with extracurricular...read more
May 15, 2013
How to handle five basic challenges involved in choosing a boarding school.
Why Boarding School,
Choosing a School,