I Can't Find Any Rankings!

Updated February 19, 2018 |
I Can't Find Any Rankings!
This cry is heard throughout the land as parents try desperately to compare one boarding school against another.
"I can't find any rankings!" "Which is the best boarding school in Massachusetts?" Hardly a day goes by without somebody asking about rankings of boarding schools. I know that you are trying to figure out how one boarding school compares with another so that you can choose the one which is best for your child. You probably even have tried looking for a site which ranks schools. Well, good luck! If you find one, let me know. There is no ranking system for boarding schools that I know of. 

Try it yourself. Google "boarding school rankings" or "ranking boarding schools" and review the results. Yes, you will find several lists of "the best schools." However, what are the criteria used to select those schools? Maybe some of them are a good fit for your requirements. Maybe not. So, let's look at the reasons why this is the case.

1. Boarding schools are unique

This is the main reason why it is impossible to rank boarding schools. Each school is unique. Each school does its own thing.  Schools are overseen and managed by trustees and faculty who have a particular point of view. For example, a Jesuit boarding school such as Georgetown Prep has a quite different approach to curriculum and teaching than The Putney School does. Yes, as you look at schools, you can compare basic criteria such as the number of students, what they teacher and the sports programs which they offer.

The broad strokes of the program
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Updated July 26, 2017 |
When Should I Go Off to Boarding School?
When should you go off to boarding school? It depends. Most students enter prep school in 10th grade. But you have choices.
Does it matter when you go off to boarding school? What is the most common point of entry? Are there any advantages to entering in 9th grade versus entering in 10th grade? What about attending boarding school just for 11th grade or 12th grade? Does that make sense? Is it even possible? The answers to these questions depend on you and your circumstances.
10th Grade Entry and Academics
The most common entry point for American college prep boarding schools is 10th grade. That makes sense for many students because college preparatory studies usually cover a three year cycle. Most schools follow the Advanced Placement or AP program. This begins in 10th grade, as a rule, and ends in May of the senior year when students take the national AP examinations. The AP courses offered vary from school to school, so be certain to scrutinize the academic curricula carefully as you search for the right boarding school for your child. WHile most boarding schools will offer ten to fifteen AP subjects, many of them frequently offer highly specialized AP courses such as Mandarin and Japanese. These AP courses are difficult to find in many private schools. They also are not commonly found in public schools.
10th grade is also a sensible entry point at boarding schools which offer the IB or International Baccalaureate programme. The IB programme has many programme specific features which are best started at
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Updated June 06, 2016 |
How to Apply to Boarding School
There are several ways to apply to boarding school.
You have a couple of ways to apply to boarding school. Choose the method which is easiest for you.
Apply to the Individual Schools
You can always ask the schools to send you an applications package.  Many schools have a 'request information' link on their websites. This will explain the applications procedure for that specific school. You will receive all the applications materials on paper. Complete these by hand or use a typewriter if you still have one around (remember typewriters?). Then snail mail the completed applications to the school.
Most schools will also have online applications. Online application forms have the advantage of saving time for the school because the data gets loaded right into their admissions database.  The procedure varies from school to school but basically will have some sort of secure log in where you will find the  instructions on how to apply. You complete some forms on line. Others, like the teacher recommendation forms, you will download and print.
Use a Common Application
The SSAT has an applications service to which many schools subscribe. This greatly simplfies the applications process to schools which use it.
Stay Organized
Stay organized by using our Applications Calendar. There are many deadlines. And they won't all be the same at different schools. Always submit your application as soon as you can, in any event no later than 2 or 3 weeks before the dealine.
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Updated June 06, 2016 |
Dr. Hank Nuwer on Hazing
We asked Dr. Hank Nuwer,a nationally recognized authority on the subject of hazing, to weigh in with his views.
We parents always worry about what goes on when we are not around to supervise our children. We all know that getting into mischief is part of growing up. Inevitably, it is going to happen. But we also want to know that there are well-known limits and accepted standards of behavior especially when we send our children off to boarding school. With that premise in mind, you and I are going to take a look at an issue which was much more commonplace years ago than it is now. The following video outlines what hazing involves.
Hazing is a practice which used to be rampant in schools and organizations just about everywhere. It seemed to be part of our fraternal and educational culture. Fortunately, in these enlightened times in which blogging and instant messaging make it extremely difficult to keep bad news out of the public eye, hazing has all but disappeared in boarding schools. And that is a positive turn of events.
We asked Dr. Hank Nuwer, a nationally recognized authority on hazing, to weigh in on the subject. As Dr. Nuwer makes clear, boarding schools are indeed virtually free of hazing. That's because boarding schools insist on a high standard of supervision and community life designed to protect their students from any kind of harm. Most schools have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to hazing. It is one more reason why boarding schools are safe schools. They take
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Updated February 26, 2018 |
10 Top Reasons to Go to Boarding School
There are many reasons to go to boarding school. The academics, the athletics and the extracurricular activities are just a few considerations. Here are the 10 top reasons why you should go to boarding school.
Why should you consider sending your child to boarding school? Wouldn't she do just as well at day school? This is a common question for parents to ponder as they review their private school options. You have made the decision to send him to private school in principle. Now it is just a matter of working out the details.
There are many reasons to go to boarding school. The academics, the athletics and the extracurricular activities are just a few of the considerations. But there's more. Much more. Here are the 10 top reasons why you should go to boarding school.
10. You will get great teachers who love to teach.
Boarding schools traditionally hire teachers with degrees in their subjects. As well a large number of these experienced teachers have advanced degrees in their field. Typically all are passionate about their subject and love to teach it to young people. Because discipline is rarely a problem in boarding school, these talented teachers get to teach without having to be traffic cops or paper pushers like their public school counterparts.
9. You will have great sports and sports facilities.
Most boarding schools have amazing sports facilities. The range of sports and teams is mind-boggling. You will find everything from squash to crew, hockey to basketball. Natatoria are common. So are equestrian facilities. Many boarding school fitness facilities make commercial fitness establishments look tame. The varsity teams travel regionally and globally to compete. (Think Henley and Head of the Charles, for example, in crew.) Look
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