Every parent wants the best for their child, which explains why many decide to invest in an all-American education. After all, the nation has pioneered and effortlessly maintained a robust system that serves every academic need at an unrivalled level of quality.
A US boarding school experience takes things up a notch. These safe spaces develop well-rounded learners brimming with character, grit, cultural perspectives, and independence. Academically, they thrive. While a robust curriculum prepares them for university, an extensive lineup of extracurricular activities prepares them for life.
With much to explore, students in US schools are still hardly ever overwhelmed — especially thanks to the fact that well-being and quality pastoral services are becoming just as important as scholastic excellence. Freedom to explore and unwavering support result in students being confident enough to not only achieve their aspirations but succeed on a global scale as well. Approach a learner from one of these schools and they’ll prove the combination’s effectiveness:
Annie Wright Schools
In the beautiful North End neighbourhood of Tacoma, Washington lies Annie Wright Schools — an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School that is as welcoming as can be. Its thoughtfulness is evident through its array of internationally-recognised programmes, curated to cater to students of all age groups. In the Lower School, students undergo the IB’s Primary Years Programme. Once they progress to the Middle School, they take on the IB Middle Years Programme.
During their next — and final — step at Annie Wright, the journey becomes more individualised. The Upper School curriculum was designed to challenge the most motivated of students in a distraction-free environment — hence a single-gender model that enables teachers to truly zone in on particular passions.
Both the Upper School for Girls and Upper School for Boys offer the rigorous IB Diploma Programme, which is considered the gold standard in international education — particularly for its ability to accommodate various learning styles while comprehensively broadening horizons to our rapidly-changing, complex and culturally-diverse world.
At Annie Wright, life outside the classroom is equally enriching. Every age group is welcome to relish in the arts through comprehensive lessons in visual arts and music. Performance opportunities abound as well. Athleticism is encouraged through soccer, cross country, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, swimming, golf, volleyball, and more. Of course, travel and leadership opportunities are frequently presented as well, further exemplifying the school’s emphasis on interdisciplinary engagement. With every student here boasting numerous competencies with pride — well before graduating — it’s little wonder why each achieves the acceptance letter of their dreams. Click here to learn how your child can accomplish the same.
If you want to experience the power of an all-girls education, then the Buffalo Seminary (SEM) is the school for you. SEM’s cozy campus is located in the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo. Students benefit from the school’s easy access to museums and libraries for research, world-class art galleries, music, theatre, and internships. Here, you will learn and grow alongside 172 students from eight different countries including Australia, China, South Korea and Vietnam.
At SEM, you can expect standards but not standardisation. Students learn through the Harkness Discussion method — a teaching and learning method involving students seated in a large group, to discuss ideas in an encouraging, open-minded environment. Each student is also required to complete a Capstone Project. This project includes original research, community service, performance, studio production, or entrepreneurship.
Every girl is provided with a comprehensive programme that prepares her well for both college and lifelong endeavours. Students are offered honours and AP classes as well as the chance to explore over 68 diverse electives from astronomy to financial algebra, computer science to Mandarin. “The intimacy of the classroom and one-on-one opportunities to build relationships with teachers and faculty encouraged me to cultivate my own voice and find my niche,” says alumna Elizabeth Lewin.
At the heart of the SEM athletics experience is inclusivity. With over 30 student-run clubs and 17 athletic teams, SEM provides students with the opportunities to participate in physical exercise no matter what their athletic interests.
Lake Forest Academy
Just 30 miles north of Chicago is the beautiful Lake Forest Academy (LFA). A boarding school for children in grades nine through 12, LFA guides young adults through a well-rounded, student-centric education that extends beyond the classroom curriculum, centering around rigorous academics, a global outlook and Midwestern values.
LFA’s curriculum is individualised, and tailored to each of its students to create a safe, challenging and inspiring learning experience. LFA believes that students own their education. As such, each is given a multitude of choices, from classrooms to sporting spaces, co-curricular lineups and more. As students progress, they expand their horizons with lessons in Biochemistry Research, Web Development, and Human Rights while completing a four-year programme designed to prepare them for college and beyond.
The school wishes for its students to leave the campus as inspired, global citizens who will delve into an area of study and flourish. This is done by cultivating a deeper sense of global awareness and understanding. Students are always encouraged to explore beyond campus — be it virtually, physically or philosophically.
Artistic aspirants have a place here too thanks to an Arts Concentration in Music, Theatre or Visual Arts. They master their craft through after-school lessons, programmes, and practice time — all of which are in-depth, and often delivered through one-to-one instruction.
With pupils from over 30 nations, Wasatch is home to approximately 203 boarders and day students, providing a diverse international environment. The school seeks to push pupils out of their comfort zones and inspire their future ambitions. As such, it runs a range of outdoor and athletic programmes designed to improve confidence and leadership expertise while promoting a sense of adventure.
The school employs a personally-tailored education system: the individualised project-based teaching approach. This means that teachers observe how every child learns before adjusting teaching methods to reflect the individual.
The school advances skills like resilience and self-sufficiency, which are paramount to success in the competitive college admission season and job markets. Above all else, pupils are encouraged to aim high and explore the world wider than their formative years at Wasatch.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International