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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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

This is the full-length 1994 biography of Bette Davis which aired on A&E.

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

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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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Recent Articles
A junior boarding school offers certain distinct advantages for the middle school aged student. Here are five reasons why you should consider choosing this option for your child.
The wide range of fine academic, athletic, and other facilities found in boarding schools underscores the determination of schools to provide the very best for their students.
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.
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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