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.
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Summer Explorations 2019
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.

The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options. Attending a summer session at a college on your shortlist, for example, will accomplish two things: spending a couple of weeks on campus will give you a better idea of how the college fits in with your needs and requirements. It will also indicate to the college admissions staff that you are considering their institution seriously. Likewise, volunteering at home or abroad adds another positive dimension to your admissions profile. Working during the summer is another positive entry in your profile. Travel abroad with the specific purpose of learning about other cultures also builds your profile. With this in mind, let's look at five summer options for exploration.

Summer session on a college campus

A summer session at a college or university can be a motivating and inspiring experience for college-bound students. Here's what one participant had to say about the Summer College for High School Students at Duke University.

"The best summer I’ve had in my life. I wouldn’t trade anything for the amazing relationships I made with my peers and instructor and the experience of going to such a fantastic university."

– 2018 Summer College Student

This video gives us an overview of Duke's summer sessions for teens.

Besides the inspiration factor which attending a summer college session provides, many institutions also provide college credit and a letter of recommendation. These benefits will vary from college to

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5 Tips For Teen Travel
You and I have experienced all kinds of travel glitches. Discuss your child's upcoming travel plans thoroughly so that your child will be safe and in charge of her travel. The result will be peace of mind for you both.

Whether you are sending your child off to visit her grandparents or sending her back to school, you know how important it is for her to travel safely. After all, you have experienced just about every travel situation and glitch you can imagine. But remember that you were traveling as an adult. You had the financial resources to book a hotel room at the minute when faced with a canceled flight and your flight out was early the following morning. You knew what to do to satisfy the TSA staff as you made your way through airport security. Most importantly, you were street-smart and aware of your surroundings and had an exit path ready in case of some crisis. These are just a few of the things which you need to teach your children before they travel alone. Susie Kellogg offers 7 Expert Travel Tips for Solo Teen Travel which covers the main talking points.

Stay alert.

Given the frequency of terrorist and other attacks both in the U.S. and abroad, it is critical that you teach your child to monitor her surroundings constantly. You would think that would be a given, but teenagers can and do lose themselves in their own world on their smartphones. They put their earbuds on and tune everything else out. Teach her to be aware of what's going on around her by looking around every couple of minutes. Once she has boarded her plane, then she can listen to her music uninterrupted except for

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Schools in the NEPSAC Founders League
The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942. It has grown from eleven schools to over one hundred sixty schools. More about NEPSAC and private school sports here.

The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942 as an informal association of prep school athletic directors in New England. What is very gratifying to see after over 70 years is the growth of the organization from the original eleven schools to a membership currently in the 160 range. That growth is proof of the importance which private schools attach to their athletic programs. 

As I have stated many times, sports programs are not an optional extra in private schools. Sports programs are integrated fully into the education of young people in private schools which take the saying of the first century Roman poet Juvenal seriously. "Mens sana in corpore sano" which means a healthy mind in a healthy body. Private schools adopted this approach from the beginning. As a result, you won't find many private schools where sports are not compulsory. Sports are an integral component of most private school programs. Most schools set aside a weekday afternoon when the entire school engages in a variety of athletic activities. As you scan private school websites, explore the athletic offerings. One of them is sure to appeal to your youngster. Moreover, as she settles into her new school, you will soon discover that she is trying out several different sports, including some which you never thought she would try. The final point which I must make about private school sports is that they teach young people to integrate exercise into their daily lives. And that is a

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To Harkness or Not To Harkness
Whether a school uses the Harkness Table™ or doesn't use the Harkness Table™ is a matter of teaching style worth exploring in some detail.
My apologies to Shakespeare! Whether a school uses the Harkness Table™ or doesn't use the Harkness Table™ is a matter of teaching style worth exploring in some detail. That is what you and I shall do in this little essay.
 
What's a Harkness Table™? Well, depending on how you look at it, it is a table. Some would say it is a method. We will look at Harkness™ from all angles so that you can understand it and decide whether sending your child to a school which uses Harkness Tables™ is something you value.
 
Background/history
 
First of all, the Harkness Table™ gets its name from a wealthy philanthropist by the name of Edward Harkness. He was a graduate of historic Saint Paul's School Concord, New Hampshire. In 1930 he gave $5,840,000 (approximately $60,000,000 in 2015 dollars) to Phillips Exeter Academy with the stated purpose, among other things, of changing the way students were taught. About one third of Edward Harkness' gift was used for the tables and necessary alterations to the classrooms in which they were installed. The rest was used for a host of other projects at Exeter including the addition of new teachers and halving the class size.
 
In Harkness' own words: “What I have in mind is (a classroom) where (students) could sit around a table with a teacher who would talk with them, and instruct them by a sort of tutorial or conference method, where (each student) would feel encouraged to speak up. This would be a real revolution in methods.” 
 
Interestingly enough,
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Packing for School
What are you allowed to bring to boarding school? What are you not allowed to bring to boarding school? Answers to those questions and more.
Here's what we are looking at. Your daughter heads off to boarding school in a two months. She's got a horse and a cello and a raft of sports equipment including skis and field hockey sticks. You're going to need a truck to get her to school, right? It all depends. Let's review the items and equipment schools will allow her to bring and things she should not bring. Bear in mind that every school has its own unique rules and regulations concerning what can be brought on campus and what cannot.
 
Incidentally I remember quite vividly load our Dodge Caravan full to the brim with what I can only call 'stuff'. I never knew one young lady would need so much 'stuff' when she went off to boarding school. But she and her mother had determined what she needed and what could be left at home for another trip. I was comforted to discover dozens of other over-loaded vehicles at the school when we arrived to move our daughter in. And most of the fathers looked just as bemused as I did.
 
Horses
 
Let's start with the horse. Riding is an integral part of many boarding school athletic programs. If riding is important to your child, investigate the equestrian programs offered by the schools which you are considering. Our daughter had ridden in seventh and eighth grades. Fortunately for us, her interest in that expensive pursuit had waned by the time she was ready to go off to boarding school.
 
The following
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What Alums Have To Say About Their Schools
Learning about a school from its website and social media pages is useful as you decide which school to choose. So is hearing what the school's alumni say about their alma mater.
Summer Explorations 2019
The typical three-month-long summer break gives juniors and seniors a great opportunity to explore a variety of situations and options.
Alumni Relations Apps
Your graduates can do everything on their smartphones with one click. An alumni relations app will allow them to click a gift to their alma mater. More here.