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
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
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
Graduates of boarding schools end up doing all sorts of things. Many of them become distinguished leaders in their chosen fields. Almost all of the alumnae and alumni selected below have also chosen to return time, talent and treasure to the schools which gave such a solid start to their careers. They serve on boards of trustees, raise money for their schools and act as stalwart supporters of these institutions.
Arthur Bunn, Bunn-O-Matic Corp., The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ
Betsy Licht Turner, Northern Trust Investments, The Madeira School, McLean, VA
Bette Davis, Actress, Cushing Academy, Ashburnham, MA
Betty White, Actress, Horace Mann School, New York, NY
Chelsea Clinton, The Clinton Foundation, Sidwell Friends School, Washington, DC
Dan Brown, Writer, Phillips Exeter Academy,
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