Key characteristics of private boarding schools
Many best private boarding schools deliver an incredibly rigorous academic program. The student who thrives in this environment is intellectually capable, high energy, curious and bold. The ideal student for many top private boarding schools learns quickly, can assimilate quantities of new information and is a skilled self-advocate. This is the student’s natural and normal state. This is not an attitude or aptitude that a student “tries hard to be,” or with effort, “attempts to become.” Rather, many private boarding schools are designed for the truly exceptional student. This is the student who will get up early to row crew, take an additional world language just because it is “interesting,” attend a full day of classes, work in the organic garden after school and practice viola for two hours each day. This is not a forced exercise. This is the “normal” profile of a student who thrives at a top private boarding school.
Another key characteristic of independent boarding schools is the positive impact the overall student community will have on the individual student. Constantly in the company of other self-motivated and capable students who are avidly pursuing learning and personal growth, your student will benefit from interaction with like-minded classmates.
Best private boarding schools all provide talented educators who involve students in an exceptional educational experience which may be difficult to duplicate in a public or private day school. The overall game plan is similar among private boarding schools: give the brain and body a good workout with challenging academics and team sports and participation in the fine and performing arts.
Some independent boarding schools emphasize a particular mission statement or learning focus. Examples include Interlochen’s dedication to the performing arts, Stratton Mountain School is a ski and snowboarding school primarily, and the Hyde Schools focus on student character development rooted in strengthened family relationships.
Three things that parents should consider when thinking about top private boarding schools
- Living away from home is not always the “solution” when it comes to challenging teenagers. Some teens have issues that are better addressed in a therapeutic boarding school.
- Would your child truly be well-served in the highly-demanding and extremely rigorous academic community that characterizes the experience in best private boarding schools? Does your student need this environment in order to thrive?
- Remember that a private boarding school does not supplant your parental role. Boarding schools are very happy to dismiss students who are unwilling to abide by the rules.