School Life

For boarding school students, and many teachers, the campus is home. Explore dormitory living, get expert advice on learning and living away from home and learn more about what can be done to help your child transition to and succeed in boarding school. Find resources for parents, teachers and students. We’ll cover sustainability, boarding school jargon, and corporal punishment. Read first-hand accounts from parents of boarding school students, find graduation gift ideas, and learn why small classes are effective.
View the most popular articles in School Life:
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Endow A Faculty Position! Please!
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.
Credit: Jgroup on iStockPhotos

2020-2021 have been unusual, depressing years as we all coped with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, notwithstanding all the gloom and doom, there was some good news in 2021. Several announcements of major gifts to private schools have lifted our spirits and given us, and the recipients, hope.

 

In October 2021, Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, announced that an alumnus had left a bequest to endow three faculty chairs. Also in October, the Frederick Gunn School in Washington, Connecticut, reported that a current trustee and his wife had endowed a faculty chair. The munificence of these donors supports the stated mission of these schools. 

 

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Things That Keep Me Awake At Night
The pandemic has upended our lives in ways we never imagined. Heads of school also have been impacted as they try to plan for the future. Concerns about enrolment, community safety, and the school's finances are just a few of their worries.

2020 was a most unusual year. The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down and inside out. Nothing is normal. All of this has impacted boarding schools in ways they never expected. While most private school boards of trustees are smart enough to have a resumption of business plans in place and adequate insurance coverage for the school plant and the usual liability issues, very few school trustees ever expected to be dealing with so many challenges converging at the same time. Against that backdrop, I thought it would be helpful to conduct a fictional interview with a head of school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

 

Rob: What challenges at school in the fall of the next academic year keep you awake at night?

 

Head of school: Oh, Rob! Where do I begin? There are so many things demanding my attention. My workday starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. if I'm lucky. And I work every day to keep my head above water.

 

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COVID-19: A Head Of School's Worst Nightmares
This is a fictional interview with the head of a boarding school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

2020 has turned out to be a most unusual year. The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down and inside out. Nothing is normal. All of this has impacted boarding schools in ways they never expected. While most private school boards of trustees are smart enough to have resumption of business plans in place and adequate insurance coverage for the school plant and the usual liability issues, very few school trustees ever expected to be dealing with so many challenges converging at the same time. Against that backdrop, I thought it would be useful to conduct a fictional interview with the head of a boarding school. After all, her concerns are probably yours as well.

 

Rob: What challenges at school in the fall of 2020 keep you awake at night?

 

Head of school: Oh, Rob! Where do I begin? There are so many things demanding my attention. My workday starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. if I'm lucky. And I work every day just to keep my head above water.

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A Parent's Checklist For COVID-19
We parents have a multi-faceted role to play in protecting our school-age children during th pandemic.

As parents, the role we play in keeping our children safe during this dreadful pandemic is multi-faceted and often confusing. It's a multi-faceted role because we have to be teachers, facilitators, and monitors. I can hear you thinking that what I am saying sounds like what you do all the time. So, what's different when dealing with COVID-19? The most significant difference is that the coronavirus is invisible. Protecting your children by teaching them how to do everyday tasks involves dangers or risks which they can see. You taught your kids how to safely cross a road by showing how to do so, not once, not twice, but many times until you knew that your child understood what to do. You taught her how to swim, to travel alone on a bus or plane, to handle contact with strangers, and so much more. You protected her against diseases with vaccinations and regular medical checkups.

The problem with COVID-19 is that it is invisible. How do you teach a child to protect herself against something she cannot see? Children are logical. If it's raining, they understand the need to wear a raincoat and hat. If it's hot out, they know to drink plenty of water. And so on. But an invisible danger? That's not as easy to comprehend.

This video from New York University's Langone Health offers some expert help explaining the pandemic to your children.

Teach basic protection.

Teach your children how to protect themselves by wearing a

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In The Pandemic: Parents' Concerns About Boarding School
Sending our children off to boarding school in the fall of 2020 raises questions about their safety and other corona virus issues. We address some of your concerns here.

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. I am a concerned parent and grandparent. This article draws attention to some of the questions I have about sending my grandchildren off to boarding school. ~Rob Kennedy

 

Getting your child ready for school in the summer of 2020 is a nerve-wracking experience for parents. We have always been concerned about our children's safety both at school and at home. We have taught safe behaviors since they were tiny tots. Sending them away from home to a residential school always posed issues of separation and homesickness that you and I were able to deal with more or less successfully. But sending them off to boarding school in the middle of a global pandemic? Well, that's something else again, isn't it?

 

Suddenly, all those familiar scenarios of dropping our children off at school seem so benign and distant. This COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you and I have seen in our lifetimes. The virus seems to attack people of all ages. It seems to lurk in hosts and find new hosts via droplets that hang in the air. It lives on common surfaces such

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Recent Articles
October 14, 2021
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.
September 30, 2021
American boarding schools have always welcomed international students. Rigorous academic programs, extensive athletic programs, and a wide range of extracurricular activities attract students from all over the world.
September 27, 2021
Admissions to boarding school is a process with many components. The process can be confusing to parents dealing with boarding school admissions for the first time. We guide you through the process.
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School Life

For Parents

This section covers issues and concerns for parents of boarding school students. Explore corporal punishment, get expert advice on preventing hazing, and read first-hand accounts from parents. Learn what to do if things go wrong, see what boarding school students do in the summer, and get words of wisdom from a reluctant parent.

For Students

Here you’ll gain knowledge about student life at boarding school. User our glossary of terms to learn boarding school jargon, discover the importance of a partnership between school, parent and child, and find great gift ideas for the boarding school graduate.

For Teachers

The articles in this section are related to teaching at a boarding school. Learn more about what is being taught, why small class sizes work, and the impact of sustainability on boarding schools. You’ll find a list of eBooks about boarding schools, be able to view pictures of boarding school life, and explore course offerings.

For Administrators

Advice and strategies for running your school