Why Boarding School

The decision to attend boarding school is not an easy one. While the quality of resources, activities, and academics offered by boarding schools may be found in local schooling options, boarding schools offer a unique set of benefits and experiences. Our informative articles cover the history of boarding schools in the US, explore the varied types of schools, and provide an overview on why boarding school can be an excellent educational option for your child. Learn more about issues affecting international students, identify some of the oldest and most prestigious boarding schools in the US, and review expert advice on making the right choice.

View the most popular articles in Why Boarding School:

Attending Boarding School: English as a 2nd Language

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Attending Boarding School: English as a 2nd Language
International parents and students have found American boarding schools an attractive educational option for many years. We look at some of the reasons why as well as some of the steps involved in gaining admission to a residential school in the United States.
Ottoblotto/iStock Photos

American boarding schools have been popular with families from countries outside the United States for many years. The International Education Specialists website lays out five reasons why this is so. Why Study In The USA? 5 Reasons and Benefits Make USA The Best discusses international students in American universities. But the same reasons apply to residential high schools here in the United States.

 

Canada, the United Kingdom, and several European countries also have residential high schools. They certainly offer families options. So, why then are American boarding schools so popular?

 

Learning the English Language

 

There's nothing like a language immersion program to develop a young person's fluency in English. And that's precisely what boarding schools in the United States offer. All classes except foreign language classes such as Spanish and French are taught in English. In addition, English is the language used in

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What's Wrong With The Boys?

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What's Wrong With The Boys?
Some cynics think single-sex education is old-fashioned. The Kiski School shows how educating boys in a single-sex school is successful.
Going to class at The Kiski School

I asked William Ellis, Associate Headmaster for Enrollment Management, Director of Admission, and Director of Financial Aid at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss educating boys. Bill very kindly offered the following essay in response to my request. ~Rob Kennedy.

Boys’ residential college preparatory schools are more important now than ever before. Statistics, surveys, and polls all show that boys’ achievement is not as strong in high school as their female counterparts. Women outnumber men in four-year colleges by a nearly three-to-two ratio that has been growing since the late 1970s. Some would say a boy crisis in education is brewing or already here. I was at my niece’s graduation from a large, highly competitive university where anecdotally the Chancellor was a woman, the keynote speaker was a woman, the president of the senior class was a woman, three of the four honorees were women and an amazing 65% of the graduates were women. Having been raised in a house of four strong sisters and a superb Mom (Dad and I were outvoted often), believe me, I am proud of all of the strides made by women since I was a boy, and I do not think their journey is complete by any means.

Having spent the first 25 years of my career at independent coed boarding schools, I have had a front-row seat to this phenomenon, of consistently outperforming the boys. My colleagues used to ask me “What’s wrong with the boys?”

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Only In Boarding Schools

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Only In Boarding Schools
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.

Something which intrigues most of us parents when we think about boarding school is the idea that the school provides everything in one very well-crafted package. The academics, the sports, the extracurriculars, and the supervision are all part of the deal. For parents whose careers involve a lot of traveling knowing that their child is fully occupied and properly supervised is reassuring. As you begin to dig deeper into boarding schools and what's involved, you begin to encounter concepts as well as tangible things which in many ways are unique to residential schools. These are what make a boarding school experience so special.

Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct in boarding schools have teeth. They mean what they say. They can and will be enforced. Yes, public schools have codes of conduct too; however, the enforcement process can be cumbersome and time-consuming because public school students have constitutional rights. Private school students have rights too. Those rights are spelled out in detail in the contract which you and the school signed. I mention this because you cannot assume anything with respect to the rights your child enjoys in a boarding school. Read the contract carefully. Have your attorney review it. Ask questions. Understand the terms of the contract as it applies to the code of conduct. Finally, explain the consequences of infractions of the school's code of conduct to your child. That said, codes of conduct are one of the reasons why your child will be safe in most

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From Public High School To Boarding School

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From Public High School To Boarding School
We explain how to make going off to boarding school your child's idea.

If you have begun to think about sending your son or daughter to boarding school, I offer the following suggestions and guidance from one parent to another. Transferring from a public high school to a boarding school is a big deal for us grownups. But it is an even bigger deal for your child. Why? Because you literally are uprooting her from those familiar surroundings and routines, she has known ever since birth. While I understand that every young person views change differently, the reality is that going off to boarding school is a very big change. With that in mind, let's you and I look at some of the things we can do to facilitate this change.

Familiarize your child with what's involved.

You can familiarize your child with boarding school by involving her in the process from the beginning. In other words, don't present the idea as though the deal is done. If your child thinks that going off to boarding school is her idea, then you are off to a great start. The important thing to understand is that your child's viewpoint will be different from yours. She will focus on the immediate change to her familiar routine. She will have strong feelings about leaving home and her family and friends. She won't be thinking long-term or about the benefits which a boarding school education can provide her. I advise you to engage an experienced educational consultant right from the beginning of your boarding school search process. The consultant's

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Answers To Your Questions About Boarding School

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Answers To Your Questions About Boarding School
Most of us parents have questions about boarding school. We know it is an option, but we tend put it lower down our list simply because we don't know much about schools and their programs. Some answers here.
St. Timothy

Editor's note: I asked Whitney Retzer, the Senior Associate Director of Admissions at St. Timothy's School, Stevenson, Maryland, to answer some questions which I know most parents have about boarding school. Here are her answers. ~Rob Kennedy

RK: 1. Can't my child get just as good an education in my local public school? Why should I go to all the expense and trouble of sending her to a boarding school?

WR: There are benefits to a private boarding school that cannot be matched. Students are given more support, encouragement, and differentiated instruction that is only possible in small classes and with greater access to teachers. St. Timothy’s school has a teacher-to-student ratio of 8:1 which means students can be in classrooms as small as six students and as large as twelve per teacher.

Also, the majority of St. Timothy’s faculty hold advanced degrees, and many live on campus and are therefore accessible and available to students outside the classroom. In this environment, students truly get the time and attention to flourish as 21st-century learners that are critical-thinking, curious, and caring global ambassadors.

RK: 2. What advantages can a boarding school offer parents looking to send their son or daughter to a private school?

WR: Boarding schools offer students once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to study and collaborate with friends from all over the nation and world. St. Timothy’s has students from 20 different countries and 15 different states who are all living and studying together. Students change roommates twice a year and assigned lunch seating changes

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Recent Articles

Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Teaching in a boarding school is the same as teaching in a public school, right? Not exactly. Some explanations here.
Academics: Advanced Placement
Academics: Advanced Placement
As part of your evaluation of boarding schools, you will examine the academics. We look at one aspect of what many schools teach, namely, Advanced Placement courses.
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
By "wrong schools", I mean schools that don't fit your needs and requirements. Finding the "right school' implies that the school meets 99% of what you require. More here.

Featured Schools

Featured Schools

Why Boarding School

KINDS OF SCHOOLS
There are several types of boarding schools, each offering a unique set of experiences. The articles in this section will provide more information on college preparatory, junior and therapeutic boarding schools. Here you will explore the pros and cons of single sex education, learn the truth about military schools and identify schools with programs for learning disabled students.
5 Common Myths About Military Schools
5 Common Myths About Military Schools
Boarding Schools with IB Programs
Boarding Schools with IB Programs
Schools for Students with Learning Disabilities
Schools for Students with Learning Disabilities
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
US Boarding schools attract students from all over the world. International students often face a unique set of challenges. This section will cover topics relevant to global students. From English immersion to preparing for entry into a US college or university, we’ll provide helpful tips and resources to help international students make informed decisions.
International Students: Boarding School Benefits
International Students: Boarding School Benefits
Attending Boarding School: English as a 2nd Language
Attending Boarding School: English as a 2nd Language
International Student's Guide to Boarding Schools
International Student's Guide to Boarding Schools
HISTORY
This section provides a comprehensive look at the history of boarding schools in the US. We’ll cover the evolution of private schools, as learn the importance of school mottoes and explore the history of 15 schools and their founders.
How Private Schools Evolved in the United States
How Private Schools Evolved in the United States
School Mottoes
School Mottoes
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established