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.
View the most popular articles in About Boarding Schools:
Updated   May 26, 2016 |
What Makes Boarding School Special?
Several things make boarding school special. The learning, the community, the sports. All these and more.
What makes a boarding school special? I know some of you reading this will say "the cost". No, what I have in mind are the characteristics of a boarding school which set it apart from private day schools and public schools. Back to cost, however. Let's get that out of the way. Most boarding schools have incredibly generous financial aid programs. No deserving applicant will be turned away because his family cannot afford the tuition and fees. On the other hand if $60,000 or more is a tariff which you can handle using your own resources, then the cost is not an impediment.
 
It's an adventure.
 
I happen to think that The Association for Boarding Schools got it right when it describes boarding school as an adventure. You and I as parents know that it will be an adventure in learning. At least that was always our intent when our daughters went off to boarding school. It's the new friends your child will make which are part of the adventure. These are friends who will be with her 24/7 for weeks at a time during school. These are classmates she will bring home for a weekend. I still remember as though it were yesterday when my eldest daughter arrived home for an afternoon with one of her new friends. We lived about 10 miles from the school. Her classmate was from out of state. While their laundry was in the washer and dryer, the two girls were sharing
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Updated   October 14, 2016 |
Need Some More Reasons To Consider Boarding School?
"I'm wasting my time thinking about boarding school." No, you're not. Here's why.

I am writing this short article with your son or daughter in mind. Send them the link, print it out and leave it out where they might just find it and maybe even read it. I have drawn heavily on my own children's comments and opinions about going off to boarding school.

To you who are thinking about boarding school

You may think it is a waste of time even thinking about going away to boarding school. Your parents seem to like the idea.  But you are not so sure. I suggest that you start with these reasons why boarding school may be a more viable option than you ever thought it could be. 
 
There is a boarding school for you.
 
Boarding schools are not like other schools. You get to pick and choose the school you want to attend. Yes, you'll have to make new friends. They will be brand new friends who will accept you just as you are. Right now. You see, boarding schools don't have cliques like you will find in public school. You don't have to worry about being accepted socially. Once the school admits you, you are accepted socially. That's just the way a boarding school community works. Tolerance and diversity rule. Everybody pretty much dresses the same in boarding school, so nobody is going to tease you about what you are wearing. Bullying? Bullying will get you in major trouble, probably even expelled. This video from The Gow School gives you an

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Updated   June 08, 2016 |
Boarding Schools in a Minute
Boarding Schools in a Minute gives an overview of independent residential schools in North America.
Boarding Schools in a Minute gives an overview of independent residential schools in North America. There is much more to boarding schools than these brief headlines convey. Hopefully these bullets will encourage you to explore this very special education option in depth.
 
95% of these boarding schools are high schools serving grades 9 through 12 with many schools offering a Post-Graduate Year or Grade 13. A handful of junior boarding schools serve grades 6-9.
 
Most boarding schools operate within a traditional school year of September through May. A few schools begin their year in August. A couple end in June. One school only operates during the summer session.
 
In 2015 there were approximately 450 boarding schools. Tuition at these schools ranges from free to well over $50,000 per year. Boarding schools come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small with 125 or so students in grades 10 through 12. Others are large with over 1200 students in grades 9 through 12. Most fall into what is best described as a medium-sized school with a population of 350-450 students.
 
Many boarding schools are non-sectarian, i.e., they adhere to no particular religious denomination's teachings and views. What they offer instead is an amalgam of mainline religious thought and philosophy. Other schools follow the teachings and beliefs of a particular religion. For example, Jesuit boarding schools adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
 
Boarding schools offer a wide variety of programs. Most boarding schools are what are traditionally
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Updated   August 10, 2016 |
Why Boarding School? It's All About Standards
Teachers and parents are unanimous in wanting children to learn. Boarding schools make that learning possible.

I just read another one of those discouraging articles in the New York Times about the low esteem in which America holds its teachers in the 21st century. Author Sam Dillon is referring to public school teachers. This is a difficult time for most public school boards of education as they try to figure out what programs to reduce or eliminate to balance their budgets. Since local school districts are funded principally from taxes on real property, they cannot simply raise the mill rate. Historically, local residents will not pass budgets which have large tax increases. Inevitably, teaching positions are on the table. Teachers face salary and benefit cuts or, even worse, outright job losses. While I most certainly empathize with the teachers' predicament, I also know that private schools stand to reap the benefit of having some of these gifted professionals join their ranks. Besides being able to have a job in their chosen profession, why else would professional teachers want to teach in a boarding school? They would want to do so for many of the same reasons why you and I want our children to attend such residential schools. Let's look at some of the factors which might make an experienced public school teacher consider teaching in the private K-12 sector.
 
Academic Standards
 
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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Updated   August 05, 2017 |
5 Things You Didn't Know About Boarding Schools
Boarding schools are a subset of private schools which many people don't know much about. Here are five points to ponder as you research boarding schools.

1. There is a boarding school which will fit your requirements.

The United States and Canada have approximately 400-500 hundred boarding schools. The chances are that you will be able to find a school which will suit your requirements. Take time to determine what you are looking for in a boarding school with the person who will be attending the school, namely, your child. She needs to buy into the concept of going away to school. She also needs to understand the many benefits of a boarding school education, both in the short and in the long-term. Perhaps her first reactions will be negative because all she will see is that she is going to be losing all her friends and her family. In short, she will assume that going off to boarding school will separate her from everything she knows and loves. That's tough for a teenager to deal with.

If you plan your strategy carefully and discuss the matter with her rather than dictating what will happen, you will quickly build consensus. After all, you only have to point out to her how you wanted her in the first place and that you have nurtured her emotionally and in every other way since birth. Hopefully, then she will trust your judgment and good sense when you put it to her that way.

Once you have her attention, discuss what she needs to build a happy and successful three or four years away at high school. Most boarding schools will accept

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The St. Grottlesex Schools
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