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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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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Dealing With The Pandemic: International Students
The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges for international students planning to attend American boarding schools. We look at the situation as it stands in July 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down. This is especially true when it comes to international students planning to attend private school in the United States for academic year 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. 

 

What is different about obtaining student visas in 2020?

 

In normal times, the admissions process for international students contained many steps and was complicated by the additional requirement of obtaining a student visa. Here is what the Department of State has to say about student visas:

 

Student Acceptance at a SEVP Approved School

The first step is to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States. After the SEVP-approved school accepts your enrollment, you will be registered for the 

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Fall 2020: Plans To Reopen
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything in our day-to-day lives. Here's a look at how the pandemic is impacting boarding schools.

When we sent our daughters off to boarding school in the 80s, our biggest concern was whether they would be homesick and unhappy. We had carefully chosen the schools that they attended. We were confident that they were well-run schools where our girls would be safe and receive an excellent education. Fast-forward to the summer of 2020. If I were sending my children off to boarding school during the COVID-19 pandemic, I would be asking many questions. So, let's you and I look at some of the issues that should concern us as parents during this dreadful pandemic. Because the pandemic is so dynamic, be prepared for frequent updates and last-minute changes to previously-announced protocols and instructions.

 

How will the school communicate with us?

 

If you paid your deposit in April and your child is scheduled to begin classes in September, expect the school to be sending you regular updates about its plans for reopening. Most schools will explain in great detail how they propose to reopen in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines and directives. You must understand that the situation is fluid. The school can only open

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A Survival Guide For Boarding School Teachers
Teaching in a residential school brings its own challenges as well as some very powerful advantages. Here's how to survive your stint as a teacher in a boarding school.
Perhaps you are thinking about teaching in a boarding school in the future or maybe you just started teaching in a boarding school during the current academic year. If you are coming from a public school, you will find several differences between teaching in public school and teaching in a boarding school. If you are a new teacher, then we will raise several points and issues for you to consider.
 
Students who want to be there
 
Teachers want to teach. We love our subject. We want to share it with our students. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to teach when you are more concerned about maintaining order in your classroom than you are with actually teaching. When you have a large class of, say, 30 or 40 students, maintaining order is an ever-present issue. On the other hand, teaching a small class of, say, 12-15 students, allows you to engage your students more or less constantly. It is very difficult for students not to be engaged when the size of the class is small. There really is no place for them to hide.
 
This video illustrates teaching at Lawrenceville School using Harkness tables.

Students attend boarding school for many reasons. Most of all, their parents want them to get a first-rate education in a well-supervised environment.  Often the parents have demanding careers which do not permit them to be available when their high school-age children are not in school. It's a parent's biggest worry, after all. Who is
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Famous Boarding School Graduates
Graduates of boarding schools end up doing all sorts of things. Many of them become distinguished leaders in their chosen fields.
St. Paul

Graduates of boarding schools end up doing all sorts of things. Many of them become distinguished leaders in their chosen fields. Almost all of the alumnae and alumni selected below have also chosen to return time, talent and treasure to the schools which gave such a solid start to their careers. They serve on boards of trustees, raise money for their schools and act as stalwart supporters of these institutions.

That's really the point of this little piece: dream of being something when you are a young person. Attend a school which will help you realize those dreams by giving you the skills, the confidence and the belief that you can accomplish whatever you set out to do. That is the essence of a boarding school education.
 
Now I can hear you thinking that all the people on this list are or were fabulously rich. Indeed some are. But many were not quite so well off when they were just starting out. All of these graduates share one thing in common. They had families which valued the sound, balanced approach to education which the schools they attended afforded them.
 
Audrey McNiff, Goldman Sachs (retired), Lawrence Academy, Groton, MA

Arthur Bunn, Bunn-O-Matic Corp., The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ

Betsy Licht Turner, Northern Trust Investments, The Madeira School, McLean, VA

Bette Davis, Actress, Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, MA

Betty White, Actress, Horace Mann School, New York, NY

Chelsea Clinton, The Clinton Foundation, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC

Dan Brown, Writer, Phillips Exeter Academy,

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Recent Articles
Several things make boarding school special. The learning, the community, the sports. All these and more.
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
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.
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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