Get admissions officer's Clayton Johnston's perspective on how to choose the best boarding school for you.
Recently I landed in Jakarta on a recruiting trip. Immediately upon exiting the terminal, as happens in many countries, a small crowd of entrepreneurial ‘taxi drivers’ surrounded me, all trying to grab my suitcase and waving their ‘Official Airport Taxi ID’ badge in my face. Had I not been a seasoned traveler, it would have been very difficult for me to determine which of them, if any, to believe? They all looked authentic and sounded sincere.
Like inexperienced travelers, most prospective families know very little about boarding schools when they first start looking. They need support in determining which school is right for them. They must rely on word of mouth, the research they can do themselves, and their own intuition. But this is easier said than done; if you visit enough schools (which you should), they all can begin to appear quite similar. So it can be a daunting task to determine which school is ‘right’ for your family.
If you read the mission statements, vision statements, school philosophies, tag lines, and Head’s Messages of all the boarding schools on their websites, they all pretty much say the same thing. They offer a well-rounded education, character development, top-level academics, small classroom sizes, modern facilities, great mentoring and a safe learning environment.
So what makes them different from one another?
This is where doing your homework is important. Each boarding school tends to have at least one differentiator; something that makes them stand out from the crowd. For instance, at my