The Boarding School Glossary

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The Boarding School Glossary
Boarding schools have their own jargon just like any activity or affinity group has.

Boarding schools have their own jargon just like any activity or affinity group has. Here are some of the more common terms and acronyms which you are likely to encounter as you explore boarding schools.

ADD/ADHD

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was previously known as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder. In all probability, you won't notice signs of ADHD until your child starts school. If he exhibits any symptoms of ADHD, the school will bring it to your attention. The next step is to him evaluated professionally. The syndrome is treatable.  There are hundreds of private schools which have the experienced, professional staff who can work effectively with children who learn differently.  Explore that option thoroughly.

This video shows Forman School's approach to teaching students with learning differences.

ACT

ACT is an acronym for American College Testing program. ACT and the SAT are the two most common college standardized tests of academic readiness for college-level studies. Most private schools offer test preparation for the SAT. If you prefer to have your child take the ACT, make sure that you advise the school as soon as you can.

Crew

Crew is the ancient sport of rowing. Rowing in shells is a popular sport in many boarding schools. Typically, crew is offered in the fall and spring. Schools participate in regional and international competitions called regattas. Events such as The Head of the Charles and Henley draw rowers from all over the world. In

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5 Steps for Choosing a Boarding School
Choosing a boarding school involves several steps. We guide you through the process and offer advice and help.

Choosing a boarding or private day school is a process involving several steps. Fortunately for you and me the Internet makes the first step a whole lot easier. Sites like Boarding School Review and Private School Review take the work out of finding schools. Use our Applications Calendar to keep you organized.

Step 1: Identify Schools

Let your imagination and wishes run wild at this stage. Look at any and every school which catches your fancy. Take time to really explore each school's web site. Many of them have excellent video tours. Read what the students have to say about their school. Both Boarding School Review and Private School Review have student comments. Many school web sites have comments as well, although you probably will find that those comments are pretty positive. Boarding School Review and Private School Review do not filter student comments.

Bookmark school web addresses or swipe and paste the URLs into a spreadsheet. That makes the next step in the process really easy. You should end up with a list of 15-20 schools, but don't worry if you have more than that.

And don't worry at this stage about which school is the best one for your child. More about how to deal with that question later.

Step 2: Narrow Your List

This is one of the more time consuming parts of the process of choosing a private school. Why? Because

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Using an Educational Consultant
An education consultant knows schools. Like any professional he has vast experience in and knowledge of his chosen field.
Parents considering private or independent schools for the first time can find the situation daunting. If completely new to independent education, one can expend much energy working to learn the vocabulary and ways of independent schools all before focusing on the most important piece of the equation, your student.
 
The school search is akin to a life-size jigsaw puzzle in which the objective is to find the best fit between school and student. No two are alike and dovetailing the talents of school and student is difficult even for the experienced parent.
 
The expertise and services of an educational consultant can help families find the best school for their student.
 
What An Educational Consultant Can Help With
 
Each family's unique setting and student determine the exact role that a consultant plays in the school search.
 
IECA educational consultants are credentialed professionals- members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)- who add expertise and independent judgment to a family's school search.
 
A consultant brings clear eyes to a school search. A consultant's perspective helps a family set aside biases and preconceived expectations and notions in favor of clear examination and what is best for the student.
 
 
Using his/her broad vision and expertise, a consultant may shape all or some of a family's school application plan. Most importantly, the consultant can see and think critically about the family, student and school choices, providing guidance driven and shaped by what's best for the student.
 
An educational consultant helps find the best fit of student and
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Summer Boarding School Programs
Learn several key reasons why a summer boarding school program can be beneficial for your child.
Boarding schools offer many benefits, but the decision to send your child to one can still be difficult. What if you know that a public school is no longer for you (or your child), but you’re not sure about sending him or her away to a boarding school? A summer program at a boarding school may serve a number of good purposes to help you with this decision. It can give you and your child a feel for the boarding school experience, as well as for a specific school itself.   
 
Living away from home
 
For many parents and children, boarding school represents a major shift in their relationship, and it indicates a growing maturity in the child. For the first time, the child may be living away from home when he or she enrolls in a boarding school. By enrolling in a boarding school with a summer program, you and your child have an opportunity to see whether living away from home is an environment he or she can handle. 
 
 
A summer program allows everyone to see if the child is mature enough for this transition. Many boarding schools recommend enrolling in a summer program for exactly this reason. For example, Episcopal High School in Virginia strongly encourages prospective students to visit over the summer not only to become familiar with the facility but to determine if they are ready to live on their own.
  
Academic challenges and considerations
 
Boarding schools pride themselves on their high standards. A high level of performance is expected from
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Understanding the Post-Graduate (PG) Year
Learn about the Post-Graduate(PG) Year, and how it can benefit certain students.
A post-graduate year is a year beyond high school graduation, spent at an independent school. Some students will consider doing an “extra” year of high school in order to better prepare themselves for college in a number of areas. Reasons for pursuing a post-graduate year vary as does the timing of this decision. Some students know early on that they would like to pursue a post-graduate year and don’t go through the college application process at all, while others decide to consider both options. Still others go through the college application process and then realize that they are not pleased with their college options and would like another year to strengthen their candidacy for colleges. 
 
 
In any of these cases, the post-graduate year is a worthwhile option to consider. This “extra” year allows a student to mature socially and/or academically, provides another year of academic preparedness and time to enhance study skills and time management, perhaps another year to strengthen athletic ability to pursue a sport in college. These are all valid reasons for pursuing a post-graduate year. 
 
Many independent schools offer this option, usually to a group of 10-20 students who are essentially members of the senior class. As post-graduates, these students will have already earned a high school diploma so will be making academic choices that will enhance their profile for college by maybe filling in gaps on their transcript or taking some more advanced courses. Some schools will have one or two required courses for their post-graduates as well.
 
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