Editor's note: I asked Whitney Retzer, the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at St. Timothy's School, Stevenson, Maryland, to answer some questions which I know most parents have about boarding school. Here are her answers. ~Rob Kennedy
RK: 1. Can't my child get just as good an education in my local public school? Why should I go to all the expense and trouble of sending her to a boarding school?
WR: There are benefits to private boarding school that cannot be matched. Students are given more support, encouragement and differentiated instruction that is only possible is small classes and with greater access to teachers. St. Timothy’s school has a teacher to student ratio of 8:1 which means students can be in classrooms as small as six students and as large as twelve per teacher.
Also, the majority of St. Timothy’s faculty hold advanced degrees, and many live on campus and are therefore accessible and available to students outside the classroom. In this environment, students truly get the time and attention to flourish as 21st-century learners that are critical-thinking, curious and caring global ambassadors.
RK: 2. What advantages can a boarding school offer parents looking to send their son or daughter to a private school?
WR: Boarding schools offer students once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to study and collaborate with friends from all over the nation and world. St. Timothy’s has students from 20 different countries and 15 different states who are all living and studying together. Students change roommates twice a year and assigned lunch seating
The International Baccalaureate covers the entire K-12 spectrum with three distinct educational curricula. In this article, we focus on American private schools which offer the Diploma Programme. This rigorous course of studies targets high school students ages 16-19. Colleges and universities the world over recognize the IB Diploma. The International Baccalaureate organization must authorize schools before they can be designated an IB school. The adherence to a strict set of standards and protocols is essentially what makes the IB Diploma so valuable. Let's take a look at boarding schools which offer the IB Diploma Programme.
Annie Wright School, Tacoma, WA
Founded in 1884
Number of students: 192
Grades 9-12. Girls
Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational
Annie Wright School has a PK-8 division which is coeducational. The high school is for girls only. The campus is located on 10 acres in the north end of Tacoma. The school has been an IB school since 2009. For complete details regarding curriculum, sports, extracurricular activities, costs, and other information, see the Annie Wright Schools profile.
Cheshire Academy, Cheshire, CT
Founded in 1794
Number of students: 400
Grades 8-12. Coeducational
Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational
Cheshire Academy is situated on 102 acres in the historic Connecticut town of Cheshire. The school has been an IB school since 2011. For complete details regarding curriculum, sports, extracurricular activities, costs, and other information, see the Cheshire Academy profile.
EF Academy New York,
From time to time publications ask us why parents would consider sending their child to boarding school as opposed to leaving them in public school. What follows are my answers to some questions which were recently posed to me. I hope that you find my answers helpful as you weigh the pros and cons of sending your child to boarding school.
1. Why should you consider sending your child to a boarding school, instead of to one of the many private day schools and charter schools in the area?
In a perfect world, most of us parents would decide to send our children to schools which meet all or most of our requirements and needs. When you are fortunate enough to live in an area which has good public schools, then it makes sense to comparison shop carefully. Tune out any prejudices you may have about any kind of school, and try as much as possible to compare apples to apples.
For example, if your child has special needs, you need to look carefully at the quality of instruction which she will receive in order to continue enjoying learning. Boarding schools which offer programs for students with special needs tend to do a good job simply because they offer plenty of individual instruction. The other advantage they have is that most, if not all of their students have some special need of one kind or another. Boarding schools which specialize in learning disabilities such as dyslexia often called reading disorder; dyscalculia