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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Alumni Relations Apps
Your graduates can do everything on their smartphones with one click. An alumni relations app will allow them to click a gift to their alma mater. More here.

These days there's an app for everything. Apps have been around since Apple launched its App Store in 2008. Since then, Android's Play Store and Apple's App Store have grown to offer more than 4 million apps. Because apps reside on smartphones, they are always ready to use.  Apps are an efficient way to shop, do your banking, schedule an Uber, scan your boarding pass, listen to your favorite music and so much more. That's why your boarding school needs an app for its alumni. Because your graduates are spread far and wide geographically, your alumni app will keep them in the loop. That's important to them because they love the school which gave them such a great start in life. It's vital for your finances because easily accessible information and communications will lead to successful annual fund drives and major gifts.

This video illustrates what an alumni app can do.

Stay connected.

Obviously, your more recent graduates are an app-friendly lot. So, it just makes so much sense to keep in touch with them via the method which they use all the time. Snail-mail and even email will not get their attention the way your wonderful, informative app will. Snail-mail and email have their place. Your older alumni will probably appreciate your communicating with them that way. However, don't assume anything. Many 70 and 80-year-olds love using apps and their smartphones. They were ahead of the curve when they attended your school. After all, you taught

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What Alums Have To Say About Their Schools
Learning about a school from its website and social media pages is useful as you decide which school to choose. So is hearing what the school's alumni say about their alma mater.

As you work your way through the school search process, you will do your due diligence carefully. A school's website and social media pages are helpful. Visiting schools in which you are interested is very important. Hearing the positive things men and women have to say about the schools which they attended is also instructive.

Here are comments which alumni left on our Facebook page. I have edited them very slightly for capitalization and punctuation. Some alums attended boarding school in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Others are more recent graduates. Some mention the school they attended. Some do not. No negative reviews? Sure. But you can read those elsewhere on social media.

In their own words.

Best thing is if you want to go. I pressed my parents to send me. They didn’t want me to leave home. We loved each other, and I was an only child. But I wanted to go into the Navy and learn about naval school; so they let me go...Ben

I went for 9th-12th grades. At first, I struggled, but by 12th grade, it was like home to me...Nancy

Outstanding school, wonderful experience. The only regret is I was only able to spend my senior year there...Curt

A wonderful education and, although the boarding rules were strict, I made lifelong friendships!...John

Men of Integrity are hard to find these days - but there were many at Choate - I graduated in 1959....Tim

My opinion is that it is the best school in the world, the best organization of living in

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Summer Explorations 2019
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.

The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options. Attending a summer session at a college on your shortlist, for example, will accomplish two things: spending a couple of weeks on campus will give you a better idea of how the college fits in with your needs and requirements. It will also indicate to the college admissions staff that you are considering their institution seriously. Likewise, volunteering at home or abroad adds another positive dimension to your admissions profile. Working during the summer is another positive entry in your profile. Travel abroad with the specific purpose of learning about other cultures also builds your profile. With this in mind, let's look at five summer options for exploration.

Summer session on a college campus

A summer session at a college or university can be a motivating and inspiring experience for college-bound students. Here's what one participant had to say about the Summer College for High School Students at Duke University.

"The best summer I’ve had in my life. I wouldn’t trade anything for the amazing relationships I made with my peers and instructor and the experience of going to such a fantastic university."

– 2018 Summer College Student

This video gives us an overview of Duke's summer sessions for teens.

Besides the inspiration factor which attending a summer college session provides, many institutions also provide college credit and a letter of recommendation. These benefits will vary from college to

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5 Tips For Teen Travel
You and I have experienced all kinds of travel glitches. Discuss your child's upcoming travel plans thoroughly so that your child will be safe and in charge of her travel. The result will be peace of mind for you both.

Whether you are sending your child off to visit her grandparents or sending her back to school, you know how important it is for her to travel safely. After all, you have experienced just about every travel situation and glitch you can imagine. But remember that you were traveling as an adult. You had the financial resources to book a hotel room at the minute when faced with a canceled flight and your flight out was early the following morning. You knew what to do to satisfy the TSA staff as you made your way through airport security. Most importantly, you were street-smart and aware of your surroundings and had an exit path ready in case of some crisis. These are just a few of the things which you need to teach your children before they travel alone. Susie Kellogg offers 7 Expert Travel Tips for Solo Teen Travel which covers the main talking points.

Stay alert.

Given the frequency of terrorist and other attacks both in the U.S. and abroad, it is critical that you teach your child to monitor her surroundings constantly. You would think that would be a given, but teenagers can and do lose themselves in their own world on their smartphones. They put their earbuds on and tune everything else out. Teach her to be aware of what's going on around her by looking around every couple of minutes. Once she has boarded her plane, then she can listen to her music uninterrupted except for

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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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Recent Articles
Alumni Relations Apps
Your graduates can do everything on their smartphones with one click. An alumni relations app will allow them to click a gift to their alma mater. More here.
Summer Explorations 2019
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.
What Alums Have To Say About Their Schools
Learning about a school from its website and social media pages is useful as you decide which school to choose. So is hearing what the school's alumni say about their alma mater.
Featured Schools
Featured Schools
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