Choosing a School

You’ve decided boarding school may be the best option for your child’s education. Now it’s time to find a school that meets the needs of your family. Determine when your child is ready to attend boarding school, learn why students can benefit from a single-sex education, and get tips on finding data and comparing schools. Discover the benefits of education consultants, explore Quaker schools, and find get expert advice on making an informed decision.
View the most popular articles in Choosing a School:
Updated   June 08, 2016 |
What About Canadian Schools?
Canadian boarding schools have a lot going for them. Great value, location in a foreign but friendly neighboring country, English speaking, fine academics, all kinds of sporting activities besides hockey and skiing and much more.
Most American families thinking about boarding school tend to stick to schools located within the United states. But, depending on your circumstances and inclinations, you might want to think about Canadian boarding schools. Here are five reasons why.
 
1. The foreign factor
 
Canada is not the U.S. It is a sovereign nation with a multi-ethnic population of just over 33 million. Most of the population resides along the U.S.-Canadian border. The three principal cities are Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Each has its own particular characteristics and attributes which you can discover as your explore their websites.
 
Canada is close to the U.S. Major Canadian cities are short flights from most American cities. So you don't have to fret about getting there quickly if something happens to your child.
 
Canadians and Americans share much in common. The shops and restaurants are similar to what you would find stateside. While you will encounter a lot of French in French-speaking Quebec, the rest of the country uses English. The climate is northern with a short summer, fall and spring and a long cold winter. Vancouver and Halifax, being on the water, have much more temperate weather though it can get pretty cold there too.
 
2. A different twist to your child's college application
 
Think about it. Your child's application to a competitive college is sitting there along with 100 virtually identical applications. Same SAT scores, same excellent grades on the transcript, a great essay and glowing recommendations. But your kid's
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Updated   January 12, 2017 |
I Can't Find Any Rankings!
This cry is heard throughout the land as parents try desperately to compare one boarding school against another.

"I can't find any rankings!" "Which is the best boarding school in Massachusetts?" Hardly a day goes by without somebody asking about rankings of boarding schools. I know that you are trying to figure out how one boarding school compares with another so that you can choose the one which is best for your child. You probably even have tried looking for a site which ranks schools. Well, good luck! If you find one, let me know. There is no ranking system for boarding schools that I know of. 

Try it yourself. Google "boarding school rankings" or "ranking boarding schools" and review the results. Yes, you will find several lists of "the best schools." However, what are the criteria used to select those schools? Maybe some of them are a good fit for your requirements. Maybe not. So, let's look at the reasons why this is the case.

1. Boarding schools are unique

This is the main reason why it is impossible to rank boarding schools. Each school is unique. Each school does its own thing.  Schools are overseen and managed by trustees and faculty who have a particular point of view. For example, a Jesuit boarding school such as Georgetown Prep has a quite different approach to curriculum and teaching than The Putney School does. Yes, as you look at schools, you can compare basic criteria such as the number of students, what they teacher and the sports programs which they offer.

The broad strokes of the program

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Updated   July 26, 2017 |
When Should I Go Off to Boarding School?
When should you go off to boarding school? It depends. Most students enter prep school in 10th grade. But you have choices.
Does it matter when you go off to boarding school? What is the most common point of entry? Are there any advantages to entering in 9th grade versus entering in 10th grade? What about attending boarding school just for 11th grade or 12th grade? Does that make sense? Is it even possible? The answers to these questions depend on you and your circumstances.
 
10th Grade Entry and Academics
 
The most common entry point for American college prep boarding schools is 10th grade. That makes sense for many students because college preparatory studies usually cover a three year cycle. Most schools follow the Advanced Placement or AP program. This begins in 10th grade, as a rule, and ends in May of the senior year when students take the national AP examinations. The AP courses offered vary from school to school, so be certain to scrutinize the academic curricula carefully as you search for the right boarding school for your child. WHile most boarding schools will offer ten to fifteen AP subjects, many of them frequently offer highly specialized AP courses such as Mandarin and Japanese. These AP courses are difficult to find in many private schools. They also are not commonly found in public schools.
 
10th grade is also a sensible entry point at boarding schools which offer the IB or International Baccalaureate programme. The IB programme has many programme specific features which are best started at
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Updated   August 29, 2017 |
5 Reasons To Choose a Girls' School
There is a body of research which suggests that girls do learn differently from boys. So, if that is the case, maybe you should consider a girls' school for your daughter instead of sending her off to a coed school. Here are some points to ponder.
There is a body of research which suggests that girls do learn differently from boys. So, if that is the case, maybe you should consider a girls school for your daughter instead of sending her off to a coed school. Here are some points to ponder.

1. She will have fewer distractions.

The social static and inherent distractions which occur when you mix adolescent boys and girls together in a coeducational school just do not happen in a girls' school. The social expectations and stereotypes can be broken down. There will be time enough later for the distractions which members of the opposite sex provide. Fewer distractions mean a girl can focus on being herself, finding out who she is, exploring new worlds, lines of thinking and so much more. She can think outside the box with relative impunity. And that is a good thing.

2. She will benefit from teachers who are trained to teach girls.

Teachers in a girls' school are hired because they believe in this kind of education. They understand how girls learn. They provide the kind of nurturing and encouragement a girl needs in order to become all that she can and wants to be. They provide and cite role models which appeal to and encourage girls.

3. She will benefit from a focussed educational and community environment.

When a school does not have to accommodate both sexes, it simplifies the running and organization of the school. The only focus is
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Updated   April 10, 2015 |
5 Reasons to Choose a Boys' School
We have been hearing a lot about the benefits of single sex education recently. Here are five reasons why you should consider choosing a boys' school for your son.
Single sex education has a long and distinctive history in the annals of western education. It also has its dark side when you consider that only children of the upper classes were taught how to read and write. When the founders of this country began to grapple with the realities of building and advancing a nation built on democratic principles, they soon realized that education was one of the keys to future success.
 
The Phillips family, for example, invested substantial amounts of money to establish the now famous schools - Andover and Exeter - which bear their name. There were many other visionaries who did the same thing or followed their example as you can see from this list of schools established in the 1700's. Those first schools were single sex schools. Boys' schools. Girls didn't matter back then apparently. 
 
So exactly why would you consider a boys' school for your son in the 21st century?
 
1. Boys learn differently from girls.
 
There is now a recognized body of research which posits that boys do learn differently from girls. Read books like Boys and Girls Learn Differently! by Michael Gurian to understand that line of thinking. Teachers in a boys' school understand how a boy learns and as a result are quite successful in implementing the special teaching techniques required to achieve optimal results.
 
2.
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Choosing a School

Getting Started

This section covers the basics of choosing a boarding school. Learn more about educational consultants, explore the dos and don’ts of making the right choice, and learn why you should trust your instincts. When is the right time to attend boarding school? What is a post-graduate year? How can an educational consultant help? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.

Narrowing Your List

You’ll find helpful tools and resources to aid in narrowing your list down to the best schools that meet your requirements. Determine the benefits of Quaker education, learn how girls benefit from single sex education and get 5 reasons to start your search early.

Evaluating Schools

Here we’ll provide you with information on evaluating boarding schools. From comparing schools to identifying language and sports programs, our articles will help you make an informed decision. Learn the best approach to compare schools, get tips on creating a spreadsheet, and determine where to find the data.