Boarding schools come in two flavors: boarding schools and junior boarding schools. Boarding schools usually offer 9th grade through 12th grade. Junior boarding schools are residential schools which offer 9th grade and lower. Most junior boarding schools cover 6th grade through 9th grade. A few schools take boarders beginning as early as the 3rd grade. The Junior Boarding School Association lists ten schools as members. Here are five reasons why you should consider choosing a junior boarding school.
They offer accelerated learning.
Probably the most compelling reason to send your child to a junior boarding school is to jump-start his academics. Having experienced, credentialled teachers in middle school is a huge plus for impressionable adolescents. If your son is passionate about math and science, he will have the opportunity to give wings to that passion. That's what a junior boarding school can do awfully well. Junior boarding school students discover that despite all the pressures of adolescence, it is cool to be smart. Learning is challenging and stimulating, and always full of discovery. Your son will have the satisfaction of accomplishing many things at a time when his friends in middle school are being distracted by all the things which distract young teenagers. As you and I well know, most of those distractions have little to do with learning.
A junior boarding school admissions director explains the benefits of sending your child to a junior boarding
Single sex schools were the only kind of school which existed for many years starting as far back as colonial times. But they were usually boys' schools as girls were still considered inferior and generally not worth educating. As the country grew and education matured with it, coeducational schools became the norm. The idea was to promote the equality of the sexes. Girls would be given the same opportunities as boys to learn and advance.
In theory coeducation is a good idea. But there were many subtle prejudices against girls which had to be overcome. Gender stereotypes, for example, held many girls back. Women could be telephone operators, nurses and teachers but not doctors, lawyers or business executives. And so on. These barriers for women were real in most of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Fortunately things began to change dramatically towards the end of the 20th century. As a result women can now be found in all kinds of jobs and situations which their mothers and grandmothers could only have dreamed of. With these changes came a realization that girls do indeed learn differently. Girls' schools
Parents consistently select progressive schools such as Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia for the pre-school and primary years. However, when it comes to middle and high school, they tend to feel that they have to follow a more traditional college preparatory model based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate curricula. Why? Most parents seem to think that test-oriented educational approach ensures their children a better chance of getting into a good college.
Standardized tests are a very common feature of American professional and academic life. It's been that way for the past forty or fifty years. But should children in K-12 schools be subject to standardized testing? You get the feeling that teachers have to teach to the test, as opposed to being able to teach their subjects. Now, most private schools have developed enriched curricula which far exceed the requirements put forth by most of the common high school standardized tests, e.g., SAT and ACT.
Is your child very intelligent? Is she gifted? Does she want to do things
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