Why are boarding schools more popular than ever? Why are families giving boarding schools across the globe serious consideration? Families are looking for educational learnership that is willing to think beyond the typical classroom and do what is necessary to educate all types of learners and do so, in-person.
Samantha Hughes, Stuart Hall’s Director of Enrollment shares, “Thanks to their closed environments, most boarding schools were able to provide a safe, structured “normal” for the 2020-21 school year. Building on that success, many schools feel confident to be able to provide the types of high school activities students and families are searching for – sports, theatre, arts, and other community building activities”.
The pandemic did not avoid boarding schools, however, teachers were able to create environments that were accessible because boarding schools were able to create a sort of bubble. Everything a student needed was right on campus. Boarding schools became creative in all aspects of daily life: academically, athletically, artistically, and residentially. Some of what was changed and was created may continue as the world slowly returns to normal. However, being involved in campus life never changed. Students will continue to be challenged, nurtured, and educated in these amazing residential communities.
Eric Long has been at Tabor Academy for over 10 years. He is not only the Director of Admissions but also the Girls Varsity Ice Hockey coach. “Giving your child a chance to attend boarding school exposes them to people, cultures, ideas, and thoughts that will be different and new. They will make friends from countries they haven’t heard of and meet people who think about the same issues in completely different ways. Students never forget what their parents instilled in them, but begin to build the layers that create a sophisticated and nuanced worldview. This is invaluable.” “The educational opportunities at boarding schools are unparalleled. The small classes and the quality of instruction is one thing, but equally important are the opportunities children have to acquire the independence, time management, and self-awareness skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. A school like Stanstead – where 75% of the student body is full time, seven-day boarders – is an environment where students can set goals and reach their potential in a small, safe, and nurturing community”, states Stanstead College’s Director of Admissions, Patrick Fraser.
“Our students have relished the safe, in person experience of living where they learn while making life-long friendships, pursuing their passions, and preparing for top universities” says Ann Pickrell, Assistant Head of School, Williston Northampton. Williston, like many other boarding schools, had an unprecedented enrollment yield following a successful in person 2020-21 academic year. Families recognized the immeasurable lengths the School took to insure a safe and inclusive campus for all our students. Julia Fellows, Assistant Director of Admission at Foxcroft School, an all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, shares, “Schools which are predominantly or fully boarding offer a true residential experience. Not only does this true residential experience prepare students for life beyond high school – preparatory – but also, it fosters authentic community that bolsters the holistic wellbeing of the student body.”
Tory Dodge, Schools to Know Founder and Educational Consultant, has worked with families for over 30 years. Every child is unique as are boarding schools, and her message to families is “to act like a consumer, do your homework, consider the advantages that you see including your student’s opinion about how comfortable they would be in the boarding school environment. Finding the right school requires parents to see what is out there, to listen to the students’ insights and to devote time for all to really talk it over”.
Kelly Sheehan, Pomfret School’s Senior Associate Director of Admissions, looks forward to meeting families in-person this fall and hopes families will join the terrific schools for the Schools to Know International Boarding School Fair on September 14th and 15th at the Hamilton Princess Hotel. To register or for more information, please visit www.schoolstoknow.com