For Students

Here you’ll gain knowledge about student life at boarding school. User our glossary of terms to learn boarding school jargon, discover the importance of a partnership between school, parent and child, and find great gift ideas for the boarding school graduate.

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Wait A Year Before Going to College

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Wait A Year Before Going to College
Taking a year off or staying in high school for another academic year is something that many more students are considering in this post-pandemic world. We offer some reasons why and look at your options following graduation.
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The pandemic has forced many students to reconsider their plans for going off to college. That's because of concerns about safety and COVID protocols on college campuses. The other factor is whether learning will be in person or online. After all, a college education is costly. So, spending a fortune on online classes does not sit well with most parents who usually pay those hefty college fees.

 

But I am already at a residential school. Isn't it the same as being at college? Since you are attending a boarding school, you understand the need for strict safety protocols. Vaccinations, temperature taking, hand washing, masking, and social distancing are norms you have become accustomed to while at school. Furthermore, everybody in the school community abides by those protocols or risks being asked to leave. However, your school is tiny compared with most colleges. Now, that's only one factor that makes attending college riskier than being at your small boarding school. 

 

The other consideration is that most college campuses tend to be open and insecure. Anybody can gain access whether or not they are authorized. Contrast that with your school's campus with

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What Alums Have To Say About Their Schools

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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.

As you work your way through the school search process, you will do your due diligence carefully. A school's website and social media pages are helpful. Visiting schools in which you are interested is very important. Hearing the positive things men and women have to say about the schools which they attended is also instructive.

Here are comments which alumni left on our Facebook page. I have edited them very slightly for capitalization and punctuation. Some alums attended boarding school in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Others are more recent graduates. Some mention the school they attended. Some do not. No negative reviews? Sure. But you can read those elsewhere on social media.

In their own words.

Best thing is if you want to go. I pressed my parents to send me. They didn’t want me to leave home. We loved each other, and I was an only child. But I wanted to go into the Navy and learn about naval school; so they let me go...Ben

I went for 9th-12th grades. At first, I struggled, but by 12th grade, it was like home to me...Nancy

Outstanding school, wonderful experience. The only regret is I was only able to spend my senior year there...Curt

A wonderful education and, although the boarding rules were strict, I made lifelong friendships!...John

Men of Integrity are hard to find these days - but there were many at Choate - I graduated in 1959....Tim

My opinion is that it is the best school in the world, the best organization of living in

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What's It Like At Boarding School?

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What's It Like At Boarding School?
Inevitably at some point while you are looking at boarding schools, your child will ask what it's like living at boarding school. Here are some answers to those questions.

At some point in your boarding school search process, your daughter is going to start asking questions about life at her new school. After all, she has her routine at home and in her current school. But when she goes to her new boarding school, that familiar routine will disappear and be replaced by a new one. Naturally, she will have concerns and questions. Here are some general answers to many of the questions which she will have. Always ask the admissions office at her new school for authoritative answers to your and her specific questions.

This video tells you what one student brought to her boarding school.

Can I use my smartphones?

May I use my smartphone at school? McCallie gives a typical answer in its handbook: "Students are encouraged to use both common courtesy and common sense in the use of technology. " And, by the way, the school handbook is your guide for 95% of your daughter's questions. The rules and regulations contained in the school handbook will be explained thoroughly during orientation. Mailing or receiving calls, texting and sending emails are generally not permitted in classrooms, dining rooms, and other public places.

Can I use my own laptop and tablet?

Boarding schools have Acceptable Use Policies which govern the use of computers at school. These policies will be explained during orientation. Discuss them with your child so that he knows the consequences of not following these policies.

May I bring my gerbils?

Very few schools will allow

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A Year At A Swiss Boarding School

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A Year At A Swiss Boarding School
In 1957-58 Montrealer Peter Denis attended a boarding school in Switzerland. In this article he recounts his experiences for us.

Editor's note: In 1957-58 my cousin Peter Denis attended a boarding school in Switzerland. He very kindly answered my questions about his time abroad at school. ~Rob

What prompted your parents to send you to boarding school overseas? Which school did they send you to? How did you get there?

My parents wanted me to improve my French. So they sent me for one year after high school and before university to Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Chailly sur Lausanne, Switzerland. I was the third in a series of five people who had followed such a plan. The idea was to live in the boarding school together with the students doing regular studies. I was enrolled to learn French which I had already been exposed to over eight years growing up in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec. This Swiss school had a French second language program with dedicated teachers to accommodate students from around the world. The 18 students in my class came from the US, Norway, Sweden, Iran, Germany, to name just a couple of the countries. 

There was no penalty for speaking English, but if you were going to survive, you had to learn French. Once your French was at an acceptable level, you were placed in the regular classes. 

I traveled to Le Havre, France via a Cunard steamship from Montreal. Then I spent five days in Paris with cousins. This was before travel by jet. 

Which grades did you attend? What courses

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Spotlight on Sports

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Spotlight on Sports
Explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. Athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit.

 I have assembled this spotlight on sports in boarding schools so that parents and prospective students can explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. As I have pointed out many times, athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit. What do you do if your child is not athletically inclined? Don't worry. Schools are accustomed to students with just about every background you can think of. Your child will surprise you after a few weeks at school by exclaiming "Mommy! I love sprinting!" If you live within driving distance of her school, even better. You can attend games. We used to enjoy driving up to the old girls' campus of Kent School on Skiff Mountain to watch our daughter play field hockey. The toughest issue with boarding school athletics which she will encounter is which ones to select.

Crew

69 schools offer crew. Most schools assume that their students have never rowed before. As a result, they offer a solid grounding in the sport combined with all the ergnometrics required.

Groton School, Groton, MA 
"Since Groton’s founding in 1884, rowing has been a prominent sport. Girls began to row as soon as the school became coed in 1976. Groton rows in 4 person shells with a coxswain to steer the boat and give commands. We generally have eight boats of girls for a team

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Recent Articles

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Want To Teach In A Boarding School?
Teaching in a boarding school is the same as teaching in a public school, right? Not exactly. Some explanations here.
Academics: Advanced Placement
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.
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
Are You Looking At The Wrong Schools?
By "wrong schools", I mean schools that don't fit your needs and requirements. Finding the "right school' implies that the school meets 99% of what you require. More here.

School Life