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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Updated February 05, 2018 |
What Happens When.....
Here are some answers to the more common concerns we parents have when our child goes off to boarding school.
This article offers answers to some of the more common concerns we parents have when our child goes off to boarding school. Most, but not all, of these questions and their answers come from my own personal experience.
 
1. Your child is expelled?
 
Expulsion is a big deal. You will have a lot of explaining to do when you apply to another private school.  It may just be that you will have to send your child to public school for the rest of the academic year while you try to find a new school willing to take her. I have always taken the view that it is how we handle failure which is the true measure of our character. Shall we learn from our mistakes and be the success we know we can be? Or do we blame others and retreat from reality. I suspect that some counselling for both you and your child might also be helpful.
 
2. Your child is asked not to return?
 
Your child attends a boarding school on a year by year basis. You and the school sign a new contract every year in April or thereabouts. You will have already had a couple of meetings with the school before being informed that the school has decided that they do not wish to have your child back. Read the warning signs carefully and act accordingly. 
 
3. Your contract is not renewed?
 
I slipped this question and its answer in with boarding school teachers in mind. Your contract is most likely
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Updated February 19, 2018 |
Corporal Punishment is Still Legal in Many States
As amazing as it sounds, corporal punishment is still legal in over 20 states. Fortunately private schools banned the practice many decades ago.
Do you realize that there still are nineteen states in which corporal punishment of students is still allowed? Merriam-Webster defines corporal punishment as "punishment that involves hitting someone :  physical punishment." Yes, it is legal to discipline students by hitting them in states in the South, the Southwest, and Midwest including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. It is legal to paddle students with a wooden paddle, While it was much worse ten or twenty years ago, it is appalling that in the 21st century the richest nation in the world still has nineteen states which permit a child to be spanked by an adult in a classroom. Corporal punishment has no place in schools.

Fortunately, I know of no boarding school anywhere in North America which permits hitting students. Period. Technically, the only states where corporate punishment is forbidden in private schools are New Jersey and Iowa. But our boarding schools, indeed our private schools as a whole, are enlightened exemplars of all that is good in education. Our private school Codes of Discipline and Conduct do not allow any form of physical abuse. For all kinds of good reasons. But most importantly our boarding schools understand what is required to create a better world, a world where children can mature into productive adults fully capable and confident of achieving whatever their dreams are. Corporal punishment is
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Updated February 02, 2017 |
What Is Your Child Doing This Summer?
Summer can be a time for growth and enrichment. Summer schools and summer camps provide a wide variety of options from which to choose.
When I was a youngster, some time around Victoria Day weekend my parents moved the family  out to a cottage near the village of Chateauguay on the banks of Lac St. Louis. We were there until Labor Day. (In those days school opened after Labor Day.) My brothers and sister and I enjoyed swimming and sailing lessons, the occasional dance as we got older and the usual organized summer activities. Dad worked in Montreal and came out to the cottage in the evenings. Mother stayed at home and supervised us.

When we were bringing up our daughters, it was a bit trickier. We both worked. We had to find things for them to do, both to keep them occupied and to keep them from getting into mischief. A trip, a keyboarding course and even some tutoring, helped make those long summer days in Connecticut move along at a good clip.

Nowadays depending on where you live and the plans you have for your child's education, you will have a variety of options to choose from. Let's look at some of them.

Day Camp
Basically the idea behind a day camp is that you drop your children off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. The routine is similar to what you had when school was in session. The advantage to day camp is that it is usually a local operation. If you are lucky enough to have an established day camp in your
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Updated August 17, 2017 |
Parents' Biggest Worries About Boarding School
As you consider sending your child off to boarding school, you have concerns. Every parent does. We address some of those concerns for you.
One of our parental prerogatives is to worry about our children. That's probably because your child never came with an instruction manual and as a result, you have had to learn so many things about parenting simply by being a parent. No matter, worry is part of the parental landscape. Now, if you are thinking about sending your child off to boarding school, your worries will be quite specific. Probably along the lines of the follow questions.

Will my child be safe?

Boarding schools take your child's safety very seriously. Contractually a boarding school functions in loco parentis which is a legal way of stating that the school acts in the place of the parent when it comes to supervision of its students, your child included.
 
Here is an overview of Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut.
 


In many respects, your child is a whole lot safer at school where she cannot drive or go to somebody's house and get into who-knows-what. Drugs, drinking, and smoking are not permitted in a boarding school. Zero tolerance is the rule. Does it prevent teens from pushing the limits and experimenting? That's impossible, of course, as any parent knows. However, the limits are strictly proscribed and teens learn to respect those limits and rules or face the consequences. These are good lessons to learn.

Will she have time to herself?
 
Yes. Of course. Part of the structured life in a boarding school is downtime. Everybody needs
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Updated May 08, 2018 |
Reflections on Sending Our Daughter to Boarding School
Are you thinking about sending your daughter off to boarding school? Go for it!

We went our eldest daughter off to boarding school in 10th grade. That was back in the 80s. While the times were most certainly different from the 21st century, our motivation for making such a major decision would be the same today as it was back then. Let me tell the story which I hope will give you the courage to send your daughter (or son, for that matter) off to boarding school. It's well worth it.

Our Rationale

We were busy parents with careers and two children. The girls were five years apart. One in junior high. The other in elementary school. We lived in a little town in northwestern Connecticut. You had to drive ten miles to get to anything. Literally. While the regional high school was doing a good job, it was limited in the number of academic courses and extras which it could provide our daughter. Not only that, she had to be driven everywhere to participate in sports or extracurricular activities. With those factors looming large, we sat down one day with her and asked: "What do you think about going off to boarding school?" There was a rather enthusiastic acceptance of the idea. Probably because she realized that she would no longer be trapped in her circumstances. It would be a chance to see something different. To experience something new.

Our Boarding School Exploration Process

Looking back, I cannot honestly call it a school search process. There was no Internet via which to

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