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.
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What's It Like At Boarding School?
Inevitably at some point while you are looking at boarding schools, your child will ask what it's like living at boarding school. Here are some answers to those questions.

At some point in your boarding school search process, your daughter is going to start asking questions about life at her new school. After all, she has her routine at home and in her current school. But when she goes to her new boarding school, that familiar routine will disappear and be replaced by a new one. Naturally, she will have concerns and questions. Here are some general answers to many of the questions which she will have. Always ask the admissions office at her new school for authoritative answers to your and her specific questions.

Using smartphones

May I use my smartphone at school? McCallie gives a typical answer in its handbook: "Students are encouraged to use both common courtesy and common sense in the use of technology. " And, by the way, the school handbook is your guide for 95% of your daughter's questions. The rules and regulations contained in the school handbook will be explained thoroughly during orientation. Mailing or receiving calls, texting and sending emails are generally not permitted in classrooms, dining rooms, and other public places.

Using laptops and tablets

Boarding schools have Acceptable Use Policies which govern the use of computers at school. These policies will be explained during orientation. Discuss them with your child so that he knows the consequences of not following these policies.

May I bring my gerbils?

Very few schools will allow you to bring your pets to school. You will, however, discover that the faculty and staff often have dogs and cats in their

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A Guide To Using Social Media In Boarding Schools
Social media is an essential part of a boarding school's marketing strategy

Why is social media a critical part of any boarding school's marketing program? The simple answer is that you need to expose your fine school to as many potential new clients as you possibly can. You know what your school offers and you are very proud of it. Unfortunately, families with boarding school-age children living a few hours away downstate or in another part of the country will never even hear about your school unless you make sure it is very visible. Not just visible. Very visible. While the following video is entitled 13 Proven Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs, Brian's information is relevant to administrators of boarding schools. After all, your boarding school is a business. Even if you have non-profit status, your school is still a business.

Thirty or forty years ago all a boarding school had to do to get the word out about its programs and desirability was to procure a listing in a boarding school directory and correspond with a group of educational consultants you knew could send potential clients your way. The boarding school directories are now all online. This site is a good example of the sort of online resources which 21st-century parents have. And those educational consultants? Well, bless them. They operate at warp speed with text and Skype communications. 

So, what more does a boarding school possibly need to get the word out? Social media. Well-organized and beautifully executed social media! Why?

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5 Challenges Facing Boarding Schools
American boarding schools face many challenges in the 21st century. We look at five of these and offer advice.

A day school is not an easy enterprise to run because, for one thing, it is dependent on the local economy and demographics. The closing of a major employer or the departure of young families from the area can challenge the existence of even the best-run private day school. In addition to those local conditions a boarding or residential school is also subject to national and global economic trends. Many American boarding schools have 10-20% of their students drawn from outside the United States. An economic downturn or civil strife can choke off the number of applicants coming from abroad. A weak national economy here at home can make it more difficult for parents to afford a boarding school education for their children. With these considerations in mind let's look at five challenges facing American boarding schools and some common sense solutions to those challenges.

1. The natural resistance to sending children to a residential school.

It is hard enough for most American parents to send their children away to college, much less boarding school. The idea of sending a fifteen-year old away to a residential high school meets with serious resistance from most parents. There are many reasons for this reluctance, but the primary ones are the high cost of boarding school and the feeling that the local public high school or private schools can do just as good a job of preparing their children for college. There's also a nagging concern that perhaps their son or daughter is not

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A Year At A Swiss Boarding School
In 1957-58 Peter Denis attended a boarding school in Switzerland. In this article he recounts his experiences for us.

Editor's note: In 1957-58 my cousin Peter Denis attended a boarding school in Switzerland. I posed a series of questions when I asked him to recount his experiences for us. ~Rob

What prompted your parents to send you to boarding school overseas? Which school did they send you to? How did you get there?

My parents wanted me to improve my French. So they sent me for one year after high school and before university to Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Chailly sur Lausanne, Switzerland. I was the third in a series of five people who had followed such a plan. The idea was to live in the boarding school together with the students doing regular studies. I was enrolled to learn French which I had already been exposed to over eight years growing up in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec. This Swiss school had a French second language program with dedicated teachers to accommodate students from around the world. The 18 students in my class came from the US, Norway, Sweden, Iran, Germany, to name just a couple of the countries. 

There was no penalty for speaking English, but if you were going to survive, you had to learn French. Once your French was at an acceptable level, you were placed in the regular classes. 

I traveled to Le Havre, France via a Cunard steamship from Montreal. Then I spent five days in Paris with cousins. This was before travel by jet. 

Which grades did

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Schools in the NEPSAC Founders League
The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942. It has grown from eleven schools to over one hundred sixty schools. More about NEPSAC and private school sports here.

The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942 as an informal association of prep school athletic directors in New England. What is very gratifying to see after over 70 years is the growth of the organization from the original eleven schools to a membership currently in the 160 range. That growth is proof of the importance which private schools attach to their athletic programs. 

As I have stated many times, sports programs are not an optional extra in private schools. Sports programs are integrated fully into the education of young people in private schools which take the saying of the first century Roman poet Juvenal seriously. "Mens sana in corpore sano" which means a healthy mind in a healthy body. Private schools adopted this approach from the beginning. As a result, you won't find many private schools where sports are not compulsory. Sports are an integral component of most private school programs. Most schools set aside a weekday afternoon when the entire school engages in a variety of athletic activities. As you scan private school websites, explore the athletic offerings. One of them is sure to appeal to your youngster. Moreover, as she settles into her new school, you will soon discover that she is trying out several different sports, including some which you never thought she would try. The final point which I must make about private school sports is that they teach young people to integrate exercise into their daily lives. And that is a

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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