Why Boarding School

The decision to attend boarding school is not an easy one. While the quality of resources, activities, and academics offered by boarding schools may be found in local schooling options, boarding schools offer a unique set of benefits and experiences. Our informative articles cover the history of boarding schools in the US, explore the varied types of schools, and provide an overview on why boarding school can be an excellent educational option for your child. Learn more about issues affecting international students, identify some of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in the US, and review expert advice on making the right choice.
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As you begin to think about sending your child off to boarding school, you will find yourself asking precisely why you wish to do so. Invariably you will circle back to the main reason why you feel that your child deserves to go to private school. The main reason has everything to do with your wanting her to go to the best school she can get into. You feel that she deserves the best possible education which you can find for her.
 
What makes some schools really better than others? What makes them the best schools? Let's examine traits of the best schools.
 
Great teachers
 
This trait is at the top of my list. The best schools have amazing teachers. Their credentials are awesome. They are passionate about the subjects which they teach. They are highly qualified to teach their subjects. Explore the faculty lists on school websites. See for yourself where your child's future teachers went to college. Note how many of them have masters and doctoral degrees.

Todd Orminston, the Director of Admissions of Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine answers the question "Why should I go to boarding school?"
 

 

These great teachers know how to open new worlds for their students. Dialogue and positive reinforcement are givens with these teachers. They don't lecture and pour knowledge into your child's mind. They teach. And they teach brilliantly. Not only that but they don't just put in their hours and leave the premises. Boarding school teachers coach . . . read more
What makes a boarding school special? I know some of you reading this will say "the cost". No, what I have in mind are the characteristics of a boarding school which set it apart from private day schools and public schools. Back to cost, however. Let's get that out of the way. Most boarding schools have incredibly generous financial aid programs. No deserving applicant will be turned away because his family cannot afford the tuition and fees. On the other hand if $60,000 or more is a tariff which you can handle using your own resources, then the cost is not an impediment.
 
It's an adventure.
 
I happen to think that The Association for Boarding Schools got it right when it describes boarding school as an adventure. You and I as parents know that it will be an adventure in learning. At least that was always our intent when our daughters went off to boarding school. It's the new friends your child will make which are part of the adventure. These are friends who will be with her 24/7 for weeks at a time during school. These are classmates she will bring home for a weekend. I still remember as though it were yesterday when my eldest daughter arrived home for an afternoon with one of her new friends. We lived about 10 miles from the school. Her classmate was from out of state. While their laundry was in the washer and dryer, the two girls were sharing . . . read more
You may think it is a waste of time even thinking about going away to boarding school. Before you go down that road, start with these reasons why boarding school may be a more viable option than you ever thought it could be. 
 
Your school is out there.
Boarding school is not like just any school. You get to pick and choose the school you want to attend. Yes, you'll have to make new friends. They will be brand new friends who will accept you just as you are. Right now.
 
The teachers are going to be different from any you have probably ever experienced up to this point. Why? Because they really care about you. They want you to learn. They want you to be the best you can be. And, no, they won't yell at you and make you feel horrible when you don't get it. Boarding school teachers are real pros who will figure out how to show you how something works. The process. The steps. The strategies. That's what boarding school teachers love to do.  That's why they teach in a school where everybody lives at the school. There's no escaping at 3 o'clock. There's no hiding in the back of the classroom and hoping the teacher won't notice you. She will.
 
Your school is out there and it wants you. It will care for you. It will show you the way. It will help you become all you can be.

They'll give you money to attend.
"But I have 3 . . . read more
There is, of course, no such school as St. Grottlesex. The name is a conflation of the names of five prestigious private schools four of which are affiliated with the Episcopal Church.  Middlesex is non-denominational. While these schools were founded more than 100 years ago, they have all moved with the times. Generous financial aid and a commitment to diversity are hallmarks of the 21st century release of St. Grottlesex. First-rate academics, superb athletic facilities and programs and an abundance of extracurricular activities complete the picture. 

 
"St. Paul's School is committed to educating the whole person and preparing students to make contributions to a changing and challenging world. The philosophy of St. Paul's School defines education as all of the structured experiences in which students participate: course work, athletics, activities, and our life together as a fully residential school. These opportunities involve valuable interaction between faculty, students, and staff."
 
Founded: 1856
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
Head of School: Michael Hirschfeld
Endowment: $433 million
Grades: 9-12
School Type: Coed
Number of Students: 536
Number of AP Courses: 12
Percentage of Students of Color: 39%

 
"St. Mark's School educates young people for lives of leadership and service. Founded in 1865 as an intentionally small residential community, the School challenges its students to develop their particular analytic and creative capabilities by both inspiring their academic and spiritual curiosity and kindling their passion for discovery. We value cooperation over self-interest, and we encourage each person to explore his or her place in . . . read more
It may seem odd that with so many quality boarding schools in the USA that any American high school student would look north of the border to enhance their education.  What could possibly motivate young Americans to venture to Canada for high school?  Well, the many brave souls who have begun this voyage of discovery have quickly realized the merits of such an option.  Consider some of these points that our current American families know, and prospective families might want to consider, about a Canadian boarding education:
 
You are not alone. There are many Americans in Canadian boarding schools (for instance, nearly 10% of the entire boarding population at my school, Brentwood College School, are from the USA!).
 
Rolling Admissions
 
For the most part, there are no specific application deadlines in Canada. You can pretty much visit any school at any time of the year and, if you are a good candidate and there are still spaces available, you could be offered a place without waiting until March or April. Most schools will even allow you to wait until you find out if you are accepted to some American schools in the spring to make a decision.  It does take the pressure off families that simply want to know if they are accepted.
 

No SAT?
 
Americans may also be interested in knowing that increasingly US colleges and universities waive the SAT exam for international students (this applies to Americans studying in Canada as they are deemed ‘international’).
 
Away from the ‘madness’.
 
Our . . . read more
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Why Boarding School

About Boarding Schools

Here you’ll find basic information on boarding schools and why they may be the best choice for your child. Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, dispel boarding school myths, and learn what separates a boarding school from other private school options.

History

This section provides a comprehensive look at the history of boarding schools in the US. We’ll cover the evolution of private schools, as learn the importance of school mottoes and explore the history of 15 schools and their founders.

International Students

US Boarding schools attract students from all over the world. International students often face a unique set of challenges. This section will cover topics relevant to global students. From English immersion to preparing for entry into a US college or university, we’ll provide helpful tips and resources to help international students make informed decisions.

Kinds of Schools

There are several types of boarding schools, each offering a unique set of experiences. The articles in this section will provide more information on college preparatory, junior and therapeutic boarding schools. Here you will explore the pros and cons of single sex education, learn the truth about military schools and identify schools with programs for learning disabled students.