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 June 08, 2016 |
Traits of the Best Schools
What makes some schools really better than others? What makes them the best schools?
As you begin to think about sending your child off to boarding school, you will find yourself asking precisely why you wish to do so. Invariably you will circle back to the main reason why you feel that your child deserves to go to private school. The main reason has everything to do with your wanting her to go to the best school she can get into. You feel that she deserves the best possible education which you can find for her.
 
What makes some schools really better than others? What makes them the best schools? Let's examine traits of the best schools.
 
Great teachers
 
This trait is at the top of my list. The best schools have amazing teachers. Their credentials are awesome. They are passionate about the subjects which they teach. They are highly qualified to teach their subjects. Explore the faculty lists on school websites. See for yourself where your child's future teachers went to college. Note how many of them have masters and doctoral degrees.

Todd Orminston, the Director of Admissions of Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine answers the question "Why should I go to boarding school?"
These great teachers know how to open new worlds for their students. Dialogue and positive reinforcement are givens with these teachers. They don't lecture and pour knowledge into your child's mind. They teach. And they teach brilliantly. Not only that but they don't just put in their hours and leave the premises. Boarding school teachers coach
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Updated January 16, 2018 |
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 April 10, 2018 |
eBooks about Boarding School
Many of the more popular books about boarding school are now available in eReader format. Here's a selection of non-fiction and fiction for your reading pleasure.
 An eReader makes reading a very convenient pastime because you can take dozens of books with you just about anywhere you go. Most of these titles can also be downloaded from your local library in eReader format. Happy reading!

Non-fiction

The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at an American Boarding School by Ruben A. Gaztambide-Fernandez
This is a serious book written by a Harvard education student who spent 2 years embedded in an American boarding school.

Black Ice by Lorene Cary
Lorene Cary recounts her experiences as the first African-American female student at prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire.

Perfectly Prep: Gender Extremes at a New England Prep School by Sarah A. Chase
The author is a professional anthropologist who examines gender in all its manifestations in boarding school.

Pipestone: My Life in an Indian Boarding School by Adam Fortunate Eagle
The author attended an Indian boarding school run by the Federal Government back in the '30s.

Preparing For Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools  by Peter W. Cookson Jr, Caroline Hodges Persell
The authors are New York University sociologists. As a result Preparing for Power offers a documented, well-research look at private schools and the how's and why's of their success in positioning leaders of business, the professionals and government.

Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School by Shamus Rahman Khan
The author attended St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire. His book offers a window into the school's community which
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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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Recent Articles
The Secret To Getting Into Boarding School
April 20, 2018
Actually, there is no secret to getting your child into boarding school. Just a lot of hard work and a heavy commitment of time.
What's Wrong With The Boys?
March 22, 2018
Some cynics think single-sex education is old-fashioned. The Kiski School shows how educating boys in a single-sex school is successful.
Only In Boarding Schools
March 08, 2018
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.