“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
The decision to send a child to boarding school is not one that should be taken lightly, especially when that boarding school is situated on the opposite side of the world. But with so many faith, state, private and day schools scattered across the globe, why should you consider sending your child to boarding school in the U.S.?
Here are some of the key benefits:
Image courtesy of Ojai Valley School
Generally, class sizes at boarding schools are a lot smaller and more inclusive than those at your average day school. This means that boarding school faculty can get to know their students on a personal level, guiding them through what is perhaps their first real experience away from home – which can be daunting, even as an adult – and using this time for individualised attention to encourage every child to challenge themselves and be the best they can be.
It’s common knowledge that boarding schools come at a price, but one thing you know that price tag buys is high-quality teaching staff. The fact that these schools charge a fee means teachers receive a more generous salary, and the institutions themselves can afford to employ the most highly-qualified staff. These teachers often boast the most expertise in their field, meaning students are granted the best chance for both personal and academic development.
Image courtesy of Lyndon Institute
Much like with the staff, the price of a comprehensive boarding education means these schools can afford the most current and advanced facilities. From up-to-date technology to outdoor sport and recreation facilities, from outstanding workshop spaces to state-of-the-art study spaces, boarding school students reap the benefits of them all. The rich spectrum of resources available to these students means they can develop a specialised talent or hobby alongside their education, inspiring them to evolve into the best possible version of themselves.
The very nature of the boarding school, where children live and study in an environment away from home, encourages children to develop independence and maturity in a way that simply can’t be replicated at your average day school. Students are away from the comforts of home life, especially if they are enrolled at an institution overseas, and are forced to make their own decisions and follow through with the consequences – whether positive or negative. Learning to take responsibility for their own actions is an incredibly important life lesson, and one that remains with boarding school students through their entire education, and throughout their life.
Image courtesy of Indian Mountain School
Boarders come from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds, instilling each young student with an international perspective that’s invaluable in an increasingly globalised world. The boarding environment gives children the chance not only to learn, but to live, alongside like-minded peers. The intimacy of living together from such a young age means students forge friendships that last a lifetime.
24/7 Pastoral Care
The boarding school setting means expertly trained members of staff are on hand round the clock, any time of day. Children benefit from interacting with staff outside of the learning environment, whether that be on the playing field, in the library, in extracurricular activities or any other pastoral situation. School advisors and providers of academic assistance can answer any questions, regarding school or otherwise, and are also able to provide help with homework and other school projects – something the children may not have access to at home.
Every aspect of the U.S. boarding school environment is specially designed to ensure a comprehensive, holistic and well-rounded education for each individual student, and the return your child will see on that throughout their life is definitely worth your investment.
Image courtesy of Ojai Valley School
Read on to learn more about the leading boarding schools in the U.S. providing a well-rounded education…
OJAI VALLEY SCHOOL, CALIFORNIA
Ojai Valley School (OVS) is a truly global school, providing an outstanding and holistic education for children from all four corners of the globe. With a diverse boarding community for students Grade 3 through 12, it has two beautiful settings (the Upper and Lower Campuses) that support to provide a vibrant community of motivated students who develop friendships that last a lifetime.
As a college-prep school, the academic program at OVS is designed to challenge, led by dedicated teachers who inspire critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, creativity and collaboration. Students across all grade levels are encouraged to engage in class discussions, share ideas and unleash their full potential, while a unique and comprehensive curriculum that includes athletics, equestrian, fine and performing arts instils in the students a wealth of valuable skills, with each year presenting new challenges and opportunities for growth.
Ojai Valley School believes in the balance of a well-rounded education, and strives to develop the intellectual and personal growth of all students – and Outdoor Education is a core part of that experience. The Outdoor Education program on both campuses introduces students to the stunning mountains, canyons, deserts and beaches of the West, while teaching students how to respect and care for an increasingly fragile environment.
All OVS residents live on-campus in school dormitories. They generally share a room with one other student and spend time in common areas with peers for studying, meal times and recreational periods. The Lower Campus, located near downtown Ojai, can house up to 65 boarding students in Grades 3-8. The Upper Campus, located seven miles to the east on a stunning 195-acre hilltop campus, can accommodate up to 92 boarding students in Grades 9-12. The school also enrols day students from the surrounding community in grades PK-12.
THE HOTCHKISS SCHOOL, CONNECTICUT
The Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut. Founded in 1891, the school provides an education of unsurpassed quality to 600 students in Grades 9 through 12, and to a small number of postgraduates. Students at Hotchkiss come from across the United States and 34 countries. Graduates have been known to attend many of the most reputed universities and colleges in both the U.S., and the world.
With more than 240 courses in seven departments, Hotchkiss’s academic program offers a breadth and depth most students will not experience until they reach university. The core curriculum covers English, the arts, foreign language, history, mathematics, and science. All departments offer electives, independent studies, and advanced courses at the AP level and beyond. Whether you want to write and direct your own theater production, carry out environmental research in the surrounding wetlands, or explore a new learning environment with one of the school’s affiliated off-campus programs, Hotchkiss can help you pursue your talents and interests as far as you want to go.
INDIAN MOUNTAIN SCHOOL, CONNECTICUT
At Indian Mountain School (IMS), students find a community joyfully engaged in learning and teaching. Its faculty work as teachers, coaches, advisors, dorm parents, and mentors, taking time to fully understand the importance of a well-rounded child. These excellent teachers delight in developing their students’ curiosity and creativity, encouraging them to experiment and innovate, and they also recognize the developmental value of imagination and play.
In addition to providing an excellent foundation for high school coursework, IMS also teaches students the skills necessary to live and work alongside others. The school firmly believes in the importance of developing empathy in order to communicate and collaborate in an increasingly diverse and inter-connected world. At IMS, students find their voice, develop leadership skills, celebrate diversity, and discover their unique talents and strengths.
LYNDON INSTITUTE, VERMONT
The Lyndon Institute (LI) is an independent boarding and day school for Grades 9 to 12. Since its founding in 1867, Lyndon has supported and encouraged students as part of its unique educational experience which continues to promote good citizenship.
The school offers its students a 200-course curriculum specializing in core and honors academics, fine and performing arts, and technical and career- focused programs. At Lyndon each child is treated as an individual, benefiting from the school’s 130-acre campus. Located in the scenic and historic Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Lyndon remains a key educational and cultural resource for the entire community. LI students enjoy personal attention from an accomplished and devoted faculty, genuine respect for their individuality, a truly inclusive environment and outstanding preparation for their choice of university or career.
DANA HALL SCHOOL, MASSACHUSETTS
Founded in 1881, Dana Hall School is an independent boarding and day school for girls in Grades 5-12. Placing emphasis upon sound academic education and the preparation of each individual for university and for life, the school balances exposure to new ideas and the challenge of analytic and creative thinking with concentration on the development of self-esteem, leadership, and respect for others.
Dana girls make deep connections across grades, backgrounds, cultures and interests. Through clubs, athletics, traditions, boarding life and community service, girls build new, enduring friendships. Classmates and roommates are sometimes from the same hometown, but they’re more likely to be from across the globe. That diversity is intentional. These friends celebrate each others’ achievements and help each other through hard times, too. Dana Hall is a school, but it is also a family.