About Boarding Schools

Here you’ll find basic information on boarding schools and why they may be the best choice for your child. Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, dispel boarding school myths, and learn what separates a boarding school from other private school options.

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A Conversation About Boarding Schools

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A Conversation About Boarding Schools
Explore the world of boarding schools through this insightful article, covering topics such as academic excellence, campus life, safety measures, specialized teaching for learning differences, and alumni experiences. Discover the advantages of boarding schools and gain valuable insights for choosing the right educational path for your child.
fizkes/iStockPhotos

Here is a compilation of the various concerns and questions I have fielded from readers. Don't hesitate to DM me on Facebook or Instagram with your questions. I will do my best to answer them.

Tell me about the advantages of sending my daughter to a boarding schools.

Your child will build a network of friends that she will have for life. The demands of rigorous academic studies combined with compulsory athletics and required extracurricular activities will stretch her ways you never thought possible. She will build confidence in her own abilities as she accomplishes things she probably didn't realize she could accomplish. You will know that your child is receiving a comprehensive and balanced education consisting of academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

How do I know which school is the best one?

You determine that by comparing schools. So, make lists of schools. Review their websites. Watch their videos. Check out their social media pages pages. Did you find any that offer the academic subjects, sports, and extracurricular activities you feel are essential for your child? Put those schools on another shorter list. Then visit those three or four schools. The visit and interview will reveal much about each school. Then apply to the schools with the best fit.

I want my daughter to have great teachers.

Teachers want to teach. They love their subject. They know it inside and out at the level at which they have been teaching. They know all the tricks and

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A To Z Of Boarding Schools

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A To Z Of Boarding Schools
Make choosing the right boarding school for your child easier with this A To Z list.

A - Applying to boarding school

Applying to most boarding schools has become easier in the last 10-15 years. That's because you can apply online at most schools. When schools don't have online applications, they usually have all the application forms and information you need online for you to download.

B - Be aware that diversity is part of boarding schools' DNA in the 21st century.

Yes, back in the 1950s and 1960s, you might have been able to say that boarding schools were elitist. At least, that was the general public's perception. Of course, the media reinforced this perception. However, in the 21st century, boarding schools have made diversity and tolerance the center of their mission and philosophy as most schools seek to prepare their students for life and work in a global community.

C - Competitive schools

Many parents have grand ideas about which boarding schools they want their children to attend. As a result, they focus on the top 10 schools, which receive ten times as many applicants for whom they have places. Having one very competitive school on your shortlist is wise only when you also have two relatively safe schools on that list. Just as with investing, t makes no sense to put all your eggs in one basket.

This brief video showcases Phillips Andover Academy.

D - Discipline is part of

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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

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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

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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

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Recent Articles

10 Things You Must Not Forget When Applying
10 Things You Must Not Forget When Applying
There's a lot involved in selecting the right boarding school. Don't forget these ten important things when you apply.
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established
5 More Founders and the Schools Their Gifts Established
Vision. Generosity. High-minded principles. These are the hallmarks of the benefactors of the five schools featured in this article.
5 More Schools and Their Founders
5 More Schools and Their Founders
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.

Why Boarding School