Boarding Schools in a Minute gives an overview of independent residential schools in North America. There is much more to boarding schools than these brief headlines convey. Hopefully, these bullets will encourage you to explore this very special education option in depth.
95% of these boarding schools are high schools serving grades 9 through 12 with many schools offering a Post-Graduate Year or Grade 13. A handful of junior boarding schools serve grades 6-9.
Most boarding schools operate within a traditional school year of September through May. A few schools begin their year in August. A couple end their school year in June. One school only operates during the summer session.
In 2018 there were approximately 450 boarding schools. Tuition at these schools ranges from free to well over $60,000 per year. Boarding schools come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small with 125 or so students in grades 10 through 12. Others are large with over 1200 students in grades 9 through 12. Most fall into what is best described as a medium-sized school with a population of 350-450 students.
Many boarding schools are non-sectarian, i.e., they adhere to no particular religious denomination's teachings and views. What they offer instead is an amalgam of mainline religious thought and philosophy. Other schools follow the teachings and beliefs of a particular religion. For example, Jesuit boarding schools adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
Boarding schools offer a wide variety of programs. Most boarding schools are what are traditionally referred to as college preparatory. They have developed curriculum and methods of teaching which are designed to prepare their graduates for the rigors of college-level academic work. You will find several different approaches to the college preparatory path. A handful of boarding schools use a progressive approach to preparing their students for college work. They avoid traditional grading and testing among other things.
Most college preparatory boarding school academic programs feature Advanced Placement courses expertly taught by experienced teachers many of whom are markers for AP exams. You will generally find anywhere from six to 26 AP courses offered depending on the school.
A handful of boarding schools use the International Baccalaureate Diploma course of study. The IB Diploma Programmme is an intensive college preparation course of studies widely recognized for its rigorous standards and high quality.
A dozen or so boarding schools offer programs for students with special needs. They have the expert, highly qualified faculty and staff to help re-mediate your son or daughter's learning disabilities such as dyslexia. They specialize in teaching young people with learning differences. Most of these schools achieve their success by scheduling plenty of 1 to 1 instruction. Individual attention is key to building confidence and a positive attitude towards the many challenges life brings.
Why Boarding School? offers a rationale for sending your child away to a residential school as opposed to living at home and attending a local day school. When you both have busy professional lives, sending your child off to boarding school makes great sense. Your child will be supervised 24/7. Things like riding around in a friend's car after school or spending the evening at a friend's home where the ground rules are not exactly the ones you had in mind become a distant worry. Your son will have so many things to do besides academics. Athletics and extracurricular activities will fill every day full of exciting new challenges and adventures. Boarding School Pictures allows you to experience schools through photos of schools. Mind you, be aware that those lovely photo galleries have been constructed in order to present the school in the best possible. And that is as it should be. Boarding schools have their own jargon and traditions too.
Boarding schools come in different sizes and flavors. Use Types of Boarding School to explore your options. What Is Being Taught? examines curriculum and other academic issues. As you peruse school academic catalogs, make sure that what is being offered and being taught jibes with your specific needs. If one school doesn't offer what you need, you will probably be able to find another one which does. The search engine on Boarding School Review offers you several different filters in order to help you refine your search.
Still have questions? Wondering if it's worth it? 10 Top Reasons to Go to Boarding School along with 5 Things You Didn't Know About Boarding Schools should help address your concerns. And be sure to read Shari Bunks Geller's article Parent Perspective: Words of Wisdom for the Reluctant Parent. Many parents have stood at the same fork in the road as you are standing in. Do you send your child away to boarding school or do you send her to the private day school in your area? Consider your options carefully. Usually, the deal-clincher will be whether or not you have time to supervise your teenager 24/7. Good parenting requires you to deal with that issue. If you don't, the results could be unpleasant.
Any independent school is A Partnership of Three. That's really what makes the independent school experience so special. The boarding school experience adds another dimension to the experience because it is a total experience involving your child 24/7 for weeks at a time. The academics, athletics and extracurricular activities are interwoven into your child's schedule in a remarkably balanced way. Even better, your child will have dozens of experienced faculty and staff keep their eyes on her 24/7. That has to be reassuring.
Whether you choose a coed school or a boys' school or girls' school, you will be able to find a boarding school which meets your requirements. Additionally, you will find boarding schools which offer military training, educate children with learning differences and special needs. 5 Steps for Choosing a Boarding School guides you through the process.
What about ranks? How will I know which school is the best one? Each boarding school is unique. Ranks don't matter. What matters is finding the school which is the best fit.
How to Apply to Boarding School covers the applications basics. If you live abroad The International Student's Guide to Boarding Schools will help you understand the extra steps you have to accomplish to attend a North American Boarding School. Don't forget that boarding schools offer Recruitment Fairs in various parts of the world. You don't have to come to the schools They will come to you.
Do you need financial aid? Understanding Financial Aid will explain how that works. Several boarding schools offer very generous financial aid packages.
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