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.

Using 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.

Using laptops and tablets

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 you to bring your pets to school. You will, however, discover that the faculty and staff often have dogs and cats in their

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Looking For Some Great Summer Programs?
The quality of a summer camp depends very much on the quality and experience of the folks running it. When you select a summer program run by a boarding school, you are getting a program with experienced, well-organized professionals at the helm. More here.
Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bellevue, Washington

We parents have many reasons for wanting to send our children off to a summer program at a boarding school. Whether you are looking to remediate a learning deficiency or improve an athletic skill, you will be able to find a summer program at a boarding school which meets your requirements. It didn't take me very long to find summer programs devoted to riding, figure skating, STEM, ESL, and dozens of other activities.

Searching for summer programs is easy on Boarding School Review. From our home page click on Find Schools. Then click on Advanced Search. Select the region and check the box at the bottom left of the screen for Summer Program.

Underlying all these activities is the high quality of supervision and program management you find in boarding schools. Boarding schools know how to look after young people. After all, they do it 24/7 during the school year. It's just part of their DNA. And that is reassuring to us parents. We most certainly want our children to be safe and happy, and not slip through the cracks.

What follows is a sampling of programs in the six regions of the United States to give you an overview of the wide range of activities available. I have included brief descriptions from the schools' websites, as well as links so that you can explore their summer programs easily. On some

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What's Wrong With The Boys?
Some cynics think single-sex education is old-fashioned. The Kiski School shows how educating boys in a single-sex school is successful.
Going to class at The Kiski School

I asked William Ellis, Associate Headmaster for Enrollment Management, Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss educating boys. Bill very kindly offered the following essay in response to my request. ~Rob Kennedy.

 

Boys’ residential college preparatory schools are more important now than ever before. Statistics, surveys, and polls all show that boys’ achievement is not as strong in high school as their female counterparts. Women outnumber men in four-year colleges by a nearly three-to-two ratio that has been growing since the late 1970s. Some would say a boy crisis in education is brewing or already here. I was at my niece’s graduation from a large, highly competitive university where anecdotally the Chancellor was a woman, the keynote speaker was a woman, the president of the senior class was a woman, three of the four honorees were women and an amazing 65% of the graduates were women. Having been raised in a house of four strong sisters and a superb Mom (Dad and I were outvoted often), believe me, I am proud of all of the strides made by women since I was a boy, and I do not think their journey is complete by any means.

 

Having spent the first 25 years of my career at independent coed boarding schools, I have had a front row seat to this phenomenon, of the consistently outperforming the boys. My colleagues used to ask

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Only In Boarding Schools
The wide range of fine academic, athletic, and other facilities found in boarding schools underscores the determination of schools to provide the very best for their students.

Something which intrigues most of us parents when we think about boarding school is the idea that the school provides everything in one very well-crafted package. The academics, the sports, the extracurriculars, and the supervision are all part of the deal. For parents whose careers involve a lot of traveling knowing that their child is fully occupied and properly supervised is reassuring. As you begin to dig deeper into boarding schools and what's involved, you begin to encounter concepts as well as tangible things which in many ways are unique to residential schools. These are what make a boarding school experience so special.

Codes of Conduct

Codes of Conduct in boarding schools have teeth. They mean what they say. They can and will be enforced. Yes, public schools have codes of conduct too; however, the enforcement process can be cumbersome and time-consuming because public school students have constitutional rights. Private school students have rights too. Those rights are spelled out in detail in the contract which you and the school signed. I mention this because you cannot assume anything with respect to the rights your child enjoys in a boarding school. Read the contract carefully. Have your attorney review it. Ask questions. Understand the terms of the contract as it applies to the code of conduct. Finally, explain the consequences of infractions of the school's code of conduct to your child. That said, codes of conduct are one of the reasons why your child will be safe in most

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Admissions: What Do Schools Want?

What do boarding schools look for as they review your child's application for admission? Everything. Well, probably not everything. But the more items on a school's admissions' checklist which you can cross off, the better. Since your child will most likely be heading off to boarding school in 10th grade, start thinking about the things boarding schools look for by the time your child is in 6th grade. Back to everything. Truthfully, acceptance at a boarding school is not based on any one thing. The school looks at each applicant's profile in depth. Decisions to admit students are made by a committee. That means your child's profile must impress several people with their varying perspectives.

Now, let's get one very common sentiment out of the way before we proceed much further. Many parents want their child to go to Exeter or Andover. Those are great schools, but they are extremely competitive, with acceptance rates of 17% and 14% respectively. Indeed, approximately 30 boarding schools have acceptance rates less than 30%. So, apply to an extremely competitive boarding school if you must. Just take the precaution of applying to several much less competitive schools. You can choose from over three hundred boarding schools with excellent programs, amenities, and reputations.  

Incidentally, compare that choice of schools with the educational opportunities available in your town or city. The best thing about boarding school is that you can match your needs and requirements for your child's education very closely.

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