What are boarding high schools?
High school boarding schools are schools where pupils live where they are attending classes. Boarding high schools serve students in US grades 9-12. This corresponds to pupils ages 14-18. Students are provided with food and lodging alongside their education. Traditionally, best boarding high schools provide an education based on small class sizes, high standards of academic excellence and cultural diversity. Some schools also offer a specialized environment. For instance, Thomas Jefferson Academy in St. Louis offers a classical education. Andrews Osborne Academy in Ohio has a world-class equestrian center. There are also boarding high schools that offer therapeutic programs or Catholic education or military formation.
The US has a long tradition of boarding high schools which predates the public school movement by 100 years. Because of sparse and largely rural population, students in the mid-1700s boarded with townspeople or teachers in order to attend school. They became “surrogate parents,” much as faculty are for boarding school students today. Later, the movement to educate children away from industrialized cities in a more bucolic environment led to the founding of a second generation of boarding high schools around 1900.
Benefits of top boarding high schools
Today boarding high school students enjoy many opportunities. Smaller class sizes permit individual attention, mentoring and academic coaching. Teachers and staff are accessible and motivated to engage with students inside and outside of the classroom. This facilitates holistic development of each student as care is taken to nurture intellect, emotions and bodies. Students who attend best boarding high schools participate in more sports, arts and extra-curricular activities than those enrolled in standard public schools. Finally, the controlled environment enables students to exercise a great deal of personal independence. They make choices about classes, time management and peer relationships. This is a great confidence-builder and excellent preparation for university.
Taking the next step. Applying to high school boarding schools
In the US, over 30,000 students attend boarding high schools. There is a boarding high school that fits every student. They key is to carefully consider your student’s learner profile and attributes. Then search high and low for schools eager to include just such a student in their learner community. Understanding who your student is, her aptitudes and proclivities is your most powerful tool. This is fundamental in the successful application process. Not all boarding schools look like their websites. Do your homework. Visit a few campuses. Ask questions. Word of mouth is important, but the boarding high school your friend’s son attends may not be the right one for your student. Finally, be sure to investigate all costs associated with attending each boarding school and compare them accordingly. Top boarding high schools require a significant financial commitment. However, many families agree that the benefits far outweigh the costs.