Evaluating Schools

Here we’ll provide you with information on evaluating boarding schools. From comparing schools to identifying language and sports programs, our articles will help you make an informed decision. Learn the best approach to compare schools, get tips on creating a spreadsheet, and determine where to find the data.

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The Gifted Student

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The Gifted Student
Your child is gifted. Congratulations! It's an awesome responsibility to parent a gifted child. So, what about high school? Check out boarding schools. They offer a rich array of resources and experience for teaching gifted children.

Oxford Languages defines gifted as "having exceptional talent or natural ability." You've been aware for a long time that your child is gifted. She reads several grade levels above her grade and is passionate about robotics. She socializes well, and is liked by her teachers and classmates. The problem is that your local public school doesn't have the resources to stretch her and allow her to achieve her full potential. So, you are looking at boarding schools as an option for expanding her intellectual horizons.

 

Signs of Giftedness in Children Include:

 

  • an extreme need for constant mental stimulation
  • an ability to learn and process complex information rapidly
  • a need to explore subjects in surprising depth
  • an insatiable curiosity, as demonstrated by
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Academics: Advanced Placement

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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.
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At some point in your evaluation of boarding schools, you will examine the academics. That bucket covers a lot of ground. Academics broadly include teaching style and philosophy, the number and depth of subjects offered, and curriculum. In another article, we'll look at the first two items in our academic bucket. But, first, let's discuss curriculum and specifically one of the most commonly used, the Advanced Placement or AP as it is known colloquially.

 

What is AP?

 

AP or Advanced Placement Program is a three-year sequence of high school coursework offered by the College Board in over 34 subject areas. AP courses provide college-bound high school seniors with a level academic playing field. It doesn't matter whether you are a high school student in Dubuque, Iowa, or Darien, Connecticut, because AP courses and their end-of-course examinations are the same regardless of where they are offered. The course content is the same. The teaching objectives are the same. The preparation for the final examinations is the same.

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Take The IB Quiz

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Take The IB Quiz
The International Baccalaureate® Diploma Programme offers a rigorous, disciplined approach to college preparation studies. We answer common questions about the IB.

Will your child be going to high school in a few years? Are you looking at the academic options available in your local public and private schools? If so, then I recommend that you take this IB quiz. It will help you decide which is the best college prep approach for your child. 

 

In education, one size does not fit all because children learn differently. Some children do well in a school offering a curriculum centered around Advanced Placement courses and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) preparation. Others thrive in the non-traditional educational experience which progressive schools offer. Some children find that the substantial academic experience which the International Baccalaureate program offers is the right option for them. Your answers to the following questions will help you make the right decisions about your child's academic future and preparation for college.

 

Why should I consider a boarding school which offers the International Baccalaureate® Diploma Programme?

 

There are several reasons why you should consider sending your child to a boarding school

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Frank Bruni: Why Fit Matters Most

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Frank Bruni: Why Fit Matters Most
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has written a very useful book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Obviously, as you can see from the title, Bruni's audience is parents, and possibly students, who are thinking about and applying to college. Yet as I read the book, I began to see many similarities between the private K-12 school admissions process and the college admissions process. I suggest that you read this book which will clarify your thinking as you go through the process of selecting a private school for your child. Bruni's insights will also prepare you for the months and years ahead when you and your child will be dealing with the mysteries of college admissions. In the meantime let's look at some of the things about college admissions which Frank Bruni points out which are remarkably similar to what we will find in private school admissions.
 
Treatment of legacies
 
Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions by Richard D. Kahlenberg and The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden are two additional books which you should read about legacy admissions. These authors go into great detail and cite many sources to support their arguments.
 
What is a legacy? A legacy is an applicant to a school who has a relative or relatives who attended the same school. You will find legacies in both private K-12 schools as well as at the college
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Have You Checked All the Boxes?

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 Have You Checked All the Boxes?
Use this checklist to keep you on track as you choose a boarding school for your child.
As you work your way through the process of choosing the right boarding school for your child, you will find it very easy to get side-tracked. Nothing wrong with getting side-tracked. Just make sure that you get yourself back on track. There are three to five schools for you to visit. Lots of observations, evaluations, assessments, and questions. Make sure that you have checked all the boxes.
 
___1. Location
 
The location of the boarding schools on your list is important simply because travel these days is never easy. Review the logistics involved carefully. Ideally, you don't want to be more than a couple of hours from the school.  That may seem unrealistic but practically speaking it is not. For example, there are dozens of schools within an hour of Boston's Logan Airport. From there you can get to many major metropolitan areas within two hours. Incidentally, those New England boarding schools are old hands at transferring students from campus to airport. Those are precision operations honed over many years so that just about every travel eventuality is thought of. Naturally, cellphones make communications with you waiting anxiously on the other end much easier than they were back when my daughters went to boarding school. So draw a circle 60-120 miles out from any major airport. If boarding schools fall within the circle, you should be all set.
 
___2. Academics
 
Once you have more or less decided where you are looking for schools, then you can begin to get granular with that very important
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Want a change of pace? Fristrated and overwhelmed by your present teaching position? How about teaching in a boarding school? We answer some of your questions here.
The Gifted Student
October 08, 2022
The Gifted Student
Your child is gifted. Congratulations! It's an awesome responsibility to parent a gifted child. So, what about high school? Check out boarding schools. They offer a rich array of resources and experience for teaching gifted children.

Choosing a School