For Parents

This section covers issues and concerns for parents of boarding school students. Explore corporal punishment, get expert advice on preventing hazing, and read first-hand accounts from parents. Learn what to do if things go wrong, see what boarding school students do in the summer, and get words of wisdom from a reluctant parent.

View the most popular articles in For Parents:

The Importance of Strong Connections with Family & School

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The Importance of Strong Connections with Family & School
We look at the roles in the partnership of school, parent, and student. Understanding each partner's responsibilities is essential for a successful boarding school experience.

Ideally, a private school education is a partnership. The school, parents, and student comprise this partnership. What makes this partnership unique is that all partners must work together for the best interests of a young person. In addition, each partner has a specific role to play and items to take care of. So, let's examine the three partners and their roles and obligations implicit in this arrangement, which makes a private school education a good value.

This video discusses effective parent-teacher communication.

School

Motivation Obviously, the school wants the partnership to work for several reasons. First, successes enhance the school's reputation. The academic marketplace is always competitive unless, of course, the school happens to be located ten miles from the James Bay. Word of mouth within a community spreads word of both successes and failures. I realize that some will interpret word of mouth as gossip, but most parents do their own diligence. They can distinguish between those with an ax to grind and the truth. Furthermore, parents visit schools and see for themselves and ask questions.

Contractual The contractual agreement the school signs with parents spells out its obligations. Private schools are unique. So, the contract you signed at another school will be very different from the one your child's current school requires you to sign. Review it carefully, and, if warranted, have your legal advisor review it.

Academic Academics, the curriculum, and how

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Endow A Faculty Position! Please!

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Endow A Faculty Position! Please!
Thinking about making a major gift to your school? How about endowing a faculty chair? More here.

2020-2021 have been unusual, depressing years as we all coped with the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, notwithstanding all the gloom and doom, there was some good news in 2021. Several announcements of major gifts to private schools have lifted our spirits and given us, and the recipients, hope.

In October 2021, Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, announced that an alumnus had left a bequest to endow three faculty chairs. Also in October, the Frederick Gunn School in Washington, Connecticut, reported that a current trustee and his wife had endowed a faculty chair. The munificence of these donors supports the stated mission of these schools.

The Berkshire School's mission statement notes:

"Rooted in an inspiring natural setting, Berkshire School instills the highest standards of character and citizenship and a commitment to academic, artistic, and athletic excellence. Our community fosters diversity, a dedication to environmental stewardship, and an enduring love for learning."

This video offers an overview of Berkshire School.

In its mission statement, The Frederick Gunn School states:

"In 1850 Frederick Gunn established a school based on the belief that strength of character was the goal of education. Today, The Frederick Gunn School rests on the four cornerstones of character: scholarship, integrity, respect and responsibility. Character is forged in a cohesive, diverse community informed by a challenging college preparatory curriculum, a

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In The Pandemic: Parents' Concerns About Boarding School

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In The Pandemic: Parents' Concerns About Boarding School
Sending our children off to boarding school in the fall of 2020 raises questions about their safety and other corona virus issues. We address some of your concerns here.

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. I am a concerned parent and grandparent. This article draws attention to some of the questions I have about sending my grandchildren off to boarding school. ~Rob Kennedy

Getting your child ready for school in the summer of 2020 is a nerve-wracking experience for parents. We have always been concerned about our children's safety both at school and at home. We have taught safe behaviors since they were tiny tots. Sending them away from home to a residential school always posed issues of separation and homesickness that you and I were able to deal with more or less successfully. But sending them off to boarding school in the middle of a global pandemic? Well, that's something else again, isn't it?

Suddenly, all those familiar scenarios of dropping our children off at school seem so benign and distant. This COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything you and I have seen in our lifetimes. The virus seems to attack people of all ages. It seems to lurk in hosts and find new hosts via droplets that hang in the air. It lives on common surfaces such as doorknobs and stair railings. It spreads to its new host when he touches his face. Worst of all, there's no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. Scientists are scrambling to create vaccines, but it doesn't look as though anything will be available before early 2021.

I have listened to This Week In Virology podcasts for

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Dealing With The Pandemic: International Students

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Dealing With The Pandemic: International Students
The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges for international students planning to attend American boarding schools. We look at the situation as it stands in July 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned all of our lives upside down. This is especially true when it comes to international students planning to attend private school in the United States for academic year 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

What is different about obtaining student visas in 2020?

In normal times, the admissions process for international students contained many steps and was complicated by the additional requirement of obtaining a student visa. Here is what the Department of State has to say about student visas:

Student Acceptance at a SEVP Approved School

The first step is to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States. After the SEVP-approved school accepts your enrollment, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. The SEVP-approved school will issue you a Form I-20. After you receive the Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or M) visa. You must present the Form I-20 to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.

What about traveling to the United States?

What's causing problems for families planning for academic year 2020-2021 is travel. Depending on the country your child is coming from, he can expect to be quarantined, and possibly even denied admission. If I were a foreign national sending my child to the United States, I would not send him alone. I would

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Fall 2020: Plans To Reopen

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Fall 2020: Plans To Reopen
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed just about everything in our day-to-day lives. Here's a look at how the pandemic is impacting boarding schools.

When we sent our daughters off to boarding school in the 80s, our biggest concern was whether they would be homesick and unhappy. We had carefully chosen the schools that they attended. We were confident that they were well-run schools where our girls would be safe and receive an excellent education. Fast-forward to the summer of 2020. If I were sending my children off to boarding school during the COVID-19 pandemic, I would be asking many questions. So, let's you and I look at some of the issues that should concern us as parents during this dreadful pandemic. Because the pandemic is so dynamic, be prepared for frequent updates and last-minute changes to previously-announced protocols and instructions.

How will the school communicate with us?

If you paid your deposit in April and your child is scheduled to begin classes in September, expect the school to be sending you regular updates about its plans for reopening. Most schools will explain in great detail how they propose to reopen in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines and directives. You must understand that the situation is fluid. The school can only open when it complies with all the directives authorities have put in place. For example, if there is a surge in local infections, the opening of school may be postponed until the local infections subside to a safe level.

In addition to parents' emails, most schools will use their websites to describe the measures they are taking to

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Recent Articles

5 Founders and Their Boarding Schools
5 Founders and Their Boarding Schools
What prompts somebody to start a boarding school? The motives range from idealism to munificence right on through to capitalism. The common thread seems to be ample capital and a vision of what education can do.
A Guide To Using Social Media In Boarding Schools
A Guide To Using Social Media In Boarding Schools
Social media is an essential part of a boarding school's marketing strategy
International Students: Visas and More
March 25, 2024
International Students: Visas and More
In addition to the usual admissions requirements, international students must also obtain a student visa. Here are five tips to help you navigate the admissions process as an international student.

School Life