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
Curious about boarding schools for younger students, i.e., students in middle school, as opposed to high-school-aged children? Then, explore the possibilities which junior boarding schools offer. Junior boarding schools come in two flavors: schools that have no upper or high school and those which provide both an upper school and a residential component for students in the middle school years.
Wondering whether a junior boarding school right for your child? Honestly, it probably is. But you will never know until you explore the idea thoroughly. Tune out the negative things you have read about boarding schools. After all, the media tends to focus on sensational stories that hardly show boarding schools as they really are. Go and see for yourself. A quick call or an email is all it takes to make an appointment for a visit.
In this video, Kim Loughlin, Bement School admission director, explores the reasons that a family might consider a junior boarding school for their child.
When we started thinking about sending our eldest daughter to boarding school, we really had no idea what a boarding school was. Yes, we understand the concept, but neither of us had been to boarding school ourselves. We had no clue about curriculum, sports, extracurricular activities, dorm life, or anything else, for that matter. We did know that boarding school was expensive, but we figured it was worth it.
In any case, the following nineteen articles are the distillation of our experiences with boarding school. The best advice I can give you is: "Don't be intimidated by boarding schools." Most of what you have heard, read, or seen about them in the media is probably a lot of "fake news."
Visit schools online and see what they offer. Spend time exploring the academics which most of us parents consider the most important part of high school anyway. Familiarize yourself with the athletics and extracurricular activities that boarding schools offer. Then, and this is so important, visit schools which seem to meet your needs and requirements. Yes, you really must set foot on the campuses to see if the school community