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:
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Using an Educational Consultant
An education consultant knows schools. Like any professional he has vast experience in and knowledge of his chosen field.
Parents considering private or independent schools for the first time can find the situation daunting. If completely new to independent education, one can expend much energy working to learn the vocabulary and ways of independent schools all before focusing on the most important piece of the equation, your student.
 
The school search is akin to a life-size jigsaw puzzle in which the objective is to find the best fit between school and student. No two are alike and dovetailing the talents of school and student is difficult even for the experienced parent.
 
The expertise and services of an educational consultant can help families find the best school for their student.
 
What An Educational Consultant Can Help With
 
Each family's unique setting and student determine the exact role that a consultant plays in the school search.
 
IECA educational consultants are credentialed professionals- members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)- who add expertise and independent judgment to a family's school search.
 
A consultant brings clear eyes to a school search. A consultant's perspective helps a family set aside biases and preconceived expectations and notions in favor of clear examination and what is best for the student.
 
 
Using his/her broad vision and expertise, a consultant may shape all or some of a family's school application plan. Most importantly, the consultant can see and think critically about the family, student and school choices, providing guidance driven and shaped by what's best for the student.
 
An educational consultant helps find the best fit of student and
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Understanding the Post-Graduate (PG) Year
Learn about the Post-Graduate(PG) Year, and how it can benefit certain students.
A post-graduate year is a year beyond high school graduation, spent at an independent school. Some students will consider doing an “extra” year of high school in order to better prepare themselves for college in a number of areas. Reasons for pursuing a post-graduate year vary as does the timing of this decision. Some students know early on that they would like to pursue a post-graduate year and don’t go through the college application process at all, while others decide to consider both options. Still others go through the college application process and then realize that they are not pleased with their college options and would like another year to strengthen their candidacy for colleges. 
 
 
In any of these cases, the post-graduate year is a worthwhile option to consider. This “extra” year allows a student to mature socially and/or academically, provides another year of academic preparedness and time to enhance study skills and time management, perhaps another year to strengthen athletic ability to pursue a sport in college. These are all valid reasons for pursuing a post-graduate year. 
 
Many independent schools offer this option, usually to a group of 10-20 students who are essentially members of the senior class. As post-graduates, these students will have already earned a high school diploma so will be making academic choices that will enhance their profile for college by maybe filling in gaps on their transcript or taking some more advanced courses. Some schools will have one or two required courses for their post-graduates as well.
 
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Benefits of a Small Boarding School
Learn about the benefits of a small boarding school.
When choosing a boarding school, size can easily determine the ultimate experience your child will have, both educationally and socially. Small boarding schools provide both intimate learning environments and close bonds within the student body, and are a great choice to any student looking for personal attention in the classroom.
 
What is the Definition of a Small Boarding School?
 
While boarding schools are generally already small in comparison to public schools, small boarding schools typically have less than 200 students enrolled in the program, with some institutions boasting as small a roll call as 25 students. According to the Small Boarding School Association, they are characterized by their low student-teacher ratio and emphasis on individual learning.
 
Small boarding schools can also be highly specialized. For example, some schools within this category have programs designed for children with learning disabilities like Attention Deficit Disorder.
 
This video offers and overview of Asheville School.
 
 
What Kind of Advantages Do Small Boarding Schools Offer?
 
Small Class Sizes - For students who want more attention in the classroom, small boarding schools are a great option. Small classroom sizes help students find and build relationships with mentors. This opportunity for more personal contact and communication with teachers and counselors is unique to the small boarding school environment.
 
Accessibility of Teachers and Academic Help
 
Not only is close teacher-student interaction a priority, the depth of relationships in small boarding schools reaches far beyond the classroom as
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Quaker Education:  What’s Different about a Friends School?
Learn about the benefits of attending a Quaker boarding school.
Editor's note: Lynette Assarsson of the Westtown School wrote this article offering an overview of Quaker education.
 
While each Friends school has its own unique style and personality, they all have a common purpose: not only to provide a rich and challenging education but also to foster the ideals of community, spirituality, responsibility, and stewardship. A hallmark of the Quaker school experience is the basic belief that we are all teachers and learners and that each child has unique gifts and talents. Students are called upon to discover their own voices and interests within the framework of rigorous, college-preparatory academics.  The foundation of the educational experience is built upon the idea that students’ quality of character – what kind of people they are becoming – is as important to their lives and to the world as their intellectual growth and exploration.
 
Because Quaker education endeavors to be a socially responsible one, Friends schools’ curricula emphasize service, social action, and experiential learning. Can education be socially responsible and academically rigorous at the same time? Educators in Friends schools believe that one is not developed at the expense of the other; instead, they work in tandem to prepare students for college and for life. 
 
This video explains a Quaker education.
 
 
How do students learn community, responsibility, and stewardship?  By living it! The Quaker belief of the “Inner Light” or that of God in each of us creates an atmosphere of tolerance and openness. Students are led by example not only to respect the perspectives and talents of others in
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Looking at Schools
Do you like large schools or small schools? Are you most comfortable in a city, small town or countryside? Are you interested in attending a school that has a religious or military orientation? Would you like to attend a school that is only for boys or girls? These are some questions you must ask yourself before you begin your search for the right U.S. boarding school for you.
This article was written by the staff of Boarding Schools in the USA.
 
Do you like large schools or small schools? Are you most comfortable in a city, small town, or countryside? Are you interested in attending a school that has a religious or military orientation? Would you like to attend a school that is only for boys or girls? These are some questions you must ask yourself before you begin your search for the right U.S. boarding school for you. 
 
Single-Sex Schools
 
Single-sex schools, those for boys only or girls only, are some of the oldest boarding schools in the U.S.A. As a student at one of these schools, you will have the chance to study in a less socially distracting atmosphere. For girls, single-sex schools can often provide a greater opportunity to pursue leadership roles in both academic and extracurricular life.

Military Schools

Military secondary schools have the same advantages as other private schools but also instill the values and importance of teamwork, dedication, and discipline. Uniforms and drilling are often required.

Florida Air Academy, located near the Kennedy Space Center, uses modern airplanes and simulators as part of their flying programs, which begin as early as the seventh grade. Upon completion of flight training, students may obtain a private pilot's license and are eligible for entry into professional training programs. Not surprisingly, many Florida Air graduates pursue careers in military and commercial aviation. 

St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin is a private, all-male college preparatory and

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Recent Articles
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.
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A military high school might be an option for your son or daughter. We take a look at what these schools offer.
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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.