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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Updated February 05, 2018 |
What Happens When.....
Here are some answers to the more common concerns we parents have when our child goes off to boarding school.
This article offers answers to some of the more common concerns we parents have when our child goes off to boarding school. Most, but not all, of these questions and their answers come from my own personal experience.
 
1. Your child is expelled?
 
Expulsion is a big deal. You will have a lot of explaining to do when you apply to another private school.  It may just be that you will have to send your child to public school for the rest of the academic year while you try to find a new school willing to take her. I have always taken the view that it is how we handle failure which is the true measure of our character. Shall we learn from our mistakes and be the success we know we can be? Or do we blame others and retreat from reality. I suspect that some counselling for both you and your child might also be helpful.
 
2. Your child is asked not to return?
 
Your child attends a boarding school on a year by year basis. You and the school sign a new contract every year in April or thereabouts. You will have already had a couple of meetings with the school before being informed that the school has decided that they do not wish to have your child back. Read the warning signs carefully and act accordingly. 
 
3. Your contract is not renewed?
 
I slipped this question and its answer in with boarding school teachers in mind. Your contract is most likely
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Updated May 10, 2018 |
What's Your Marketing Team Doing This Summer?
The ideas and suggestions offered here are aimed at the small to medium-sized schools which have limited marketing resources.
 
Summer is often an ideal time for administrators in a private school to take stock of what worked and what didn't work in the year just finished. It makes sense for the marketing team to step back and spend a few hours reviewing their campaigns. Because marketing sometimes feels more like an art than a science, it is even more important to examine the tools which your school is using. This is what prompted me to ask what your marketing team is doing this summer. 
 
In particular, the ideas and suggestions which I offer here are aimed at the small to medium-sized schools which have limited marketing resources. My long years of observing and writing about private schools have taught me that these small to medium-sized schools are hidden gems. Their messages deserve to be heard and seen. Hopefully using social media effectively will make that a reality.
 
Boarding schools offer unique marketing challenges.
 
Whether yours is a small or large school, you have to get your message out. Getting your school's message out is made tougher by the mere fact that yours is a residential school. There aren't many boarding schools in the United States anyway and they tend to be misunderstood by most people especially the media. Ask about boarding school outside your circle of friends and acquaintances. The answers you will get are precisely the challenges which you as the marketing professional must overcome. "Those schools are just for rich kids." "That's where you send a kid who doesn't
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Updated January 16, 2018 |
Is Your School on Brand?
A boarding school is a business. Is your business on brand?
Boarding schools must never forget that they are businesses. Private schools must continually attract new students to stay in business. Public schools have a steady supply of students. That supply is more or less guaranteed by the fact that public schools must take every child living within their jurisdiction. Private schools do not have a built-in supply of new students. They have to go out and find those students the old-fashioned way, by selling the school and its attributes to every family they can. 

In several ways, boarding schools are a tougher product to sell than private day schools. As much as a boarding school makes great sense regarding the complete package it offers, many parents find it difficult to send their children off to a residential school in 9th or 10th grade. Parents may be aware of a couple of boarding schools which family and friends attended. On the other hand, most parents do not know much about individual boarding school programs. 

I have written this article with boarding schools which do not have a full-time marketing department in mind. These schools have talented admissions and administrative staff who have to wear many hats, often all at once. So, I hope that my suggestions and advice will help them stay on brand. You see, a boarding school has to market its story and make its case to a customer base which consists of families with children in 6th through 9th grades. Reaching these families is the key to full enrollment
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Updated February 19, 2018 |
Corporal Punishment is Still Legal in Many States
As amazing as it sounds, corporal punishment is still legal in over 20 states. Fortunately private schools banned the practice many decades ago.
Do you realize that there still are nineteen states in which corporal punishment of students is still allowed? Merriam-Webster defines corporal punishment as "punishment that involves hitting someone :  physical punishment." Yes, it is legal to discipline students by hitting them in states in the South, the Southwest, and Midwest including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. It is legal to paddle students with a wooden paddle, While it was much worse ten or twenty years ago, it is appalling that in the 21st century the richest nation in the world still has nineteen states which permit a child to be spanked by an adult in a classroom. Corporal punishment has no place in schools.

Fortunately, I know of no boarding school anywhere in North America which permits hitting students. Period. Technically, the only states where corporate punishment is forbidden in private schools are New Jersey and Iowa. But our boarding schools, indeed our private schools as a whole, are enlightened exemplars of all that is good in education. Our private school Codes of Discipline and Conduct do not allow any form of physical abuse. For all kinds of good reasons. But most importantly our boarding schools understand what is required to create a better world, a world where children can mature into productive adults fully capable and confident of achieving whatever their dreams are. Corporal punishment is
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Updated February 02, 2017 |
What Is Your Child Doing This Summer?
Summer can be a time for growth and enrichment. Summer schools and summer camps provide a wide variety of options from which to choose.
When I was a youngster, some time around Victoria Day weekend my parents moved the family  out to a cottage near the village of Chateauguay on the banks of Lac St. Louis. We were there until Labor Day. (In those days school opened after Labor Day.) My brothers and sister and I enjoyed swimming and sailing lessons, the occasional dance as we got older and the usual organized summer activities. Dad worked in Montreal and came out to the cottage in the evenings. Mother stayed at home and supervised us.

When we were bringing up our daughters, it was a bit trickier. We both worked. We had to find things for them to do, both to keep them occupied and to keep them from getting into mischief. A trip, a keyboarding course and even some tutoring, helped make those long summer days in Connecticut move along at a good clip.

Nowadays depending on where you live and the plans you have for your child's education, you will have a variety of options to choose from. Let's look at some of them.

Day Camp
Basically the idea behind a day camp is that you drop your children off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. The routine is similar to what you had when school was in session. The advantage to day camp is that it is usually a local operation. If you are lucky enough to have an established day camp in your
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Recent Articles
Looking For Some Great Summer Programs?
July 04, 2018
The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.
Spotlight on Sports
July 04, 2018
Explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. Athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit.
How Do Girls Benefit From Single-Sex Education?
July 04, 2018
Role models, knowing how girls learn and constant encouragement are just some of the ways girls' schools work their magic with your daughter.
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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