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The US boarding schools preparing students for success in uni and beyond

US boarding schools
Source: Army and Navy Academy

A successful future for your child starts with a good education that prepares them for the three important pillars of life: self, career and relationships. If shaped from young, a bright future awaits them — at distinguished boarding schools in the US, this is possible. 

Such institutions employ a holistic learning framework which aids in character development. This includes conducting various activities inside and outside the classroom which teach students the importance of responsibility, self-initiative, teamwork and even helps them to uncover their hidden talents. This way, the drive for intellectual curiosity and self-worth are leveraged, therefore satisfying the “self’’ component. 

What’s more, boarders get ample support. Personalised tutoring and college counselling give your child a competitive advantage when navigating the world upon graduation. 

Learning how to interact and form great relationships is essential for their future too. The best boarding schools take care of every student’s social and emotional needs, usually with a legion of trained academic staff and counsellors making the school a home away from home. 

If you envision a well-rounded foundation for future success for your child, here are three US boarding schools to consider:

Army and Navy Academy

US boarding schools

The Army and Navy Academy is ranked in the Top 5 Boarding Schools in California by World Scholarship Forum. Source: Army and Navy Academy

The Army and Navy Academy is a college preparatory, private, boarding school geared exclusively for boys in grades 7 to 12. Located in San Diego, California with the Pacific Ocean at its doorstep, this elite college preparatory school is ranked in the top five boarding schools in California.

What sets the academy apart is its boy-centric approach. Its curriculum is based on the University of California entry requirements for college and university, West Point-style leadership training, California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) athletics, dynamic clubs and extra-curricular activities.

It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as well as the California Association of Independent Schools. It is also a Gurian Model School. Its scientifically proven and evidence-based approach to single-gender learning focuses on how boys learn differently from girls. It gets boys motivated, doing hands-on projects, and igniting a real love for learning. It helps boys develop intellectual confidence, mental fitness, a growth mindset and core competencies.

The curriculum offers 15 AP courses and several honours courses. Students can join robust Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) activities, over 20 different on-campus clubs, as well as field trips both in the US and abroad.

As the University of California is regarded as the best public university system in the United States, many of its graduates have matriculated to top universities such as Georgetown, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, Brown, MIT, NYU, Cornell, Columbia, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, USC, Purdue, Parsons School of Design, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland and many other fine institutions.

Beyond the classroom, they get insight from mentors, take part in leadership programmes, and compete in CIF championships. Along the way, they gain a blueprint for life, balancing mental, physical, social, and spiritual activities and make use of their unparalleled access to all that California has to offer. To learn more about how the academy has been transforming lives since 1910, click here.

Brush Creek Academy

US boarding schools

At Brush Creek Academy, troubled teenage boys are taught life skills and work ethics which can help turn their life around in adulthood. Source: Brush Creek Academy

Brush Creek Academy is situated in the rural city of Jay, Oklahoma, within the Ozarks and one of the largest Cherokee nation reservations in the US. It is a lower-cost boarding school with strong Christian values to help teenage boys turn around their lives and carve a successful future for themselves. 

To achieve this, students undergo a 12 to 15 month residential programme accredited with Teen Challenge USA, aimed to foster growth among the students. A five-level therapeutic system is incorporated to teach the students appreciation, gratitude, responsibility, submission to authority, self-control, leadership, time management and a strong work ethic. 

As students improve and progress, they are rewarded with more privileges, freedom and responsibilities. At Brush Creek Academy, improvement is not only focused on the individual but on their environment too. 

The unique animal therapy programme offered at the facility helps students to learn responsibility, trust, leadership skills and accountability through caring for the animals.

The programmes on site teach boys about upholding personal responsibility, integrity, honesty and trustworthiness to build a strong foundation within the student to make positive changes for their future – to which they have. 

Students at Brush Creek Academy have participated in outreach programmes which go beyond the US borders through mission trips as well. Students have travelled to Swaziland, New York City, Los Angeles, Rwanda, Haiti, Burundi, and the Dominican Republic. Its current annual trips include a Teen Challenge in Costa Rica and Teen Challenge Rwanda in Kigali, Africa.

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

US boarding schools

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart has received the coveted award of being the #1 all-girls schools for three consecutive years, as well as the #1 best Catholic high school in Illinois. Source: Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart is a private girls school based on Roman Catholic values situated on a spacious and picturesque 41-acre campus in Lake Forest, Illinois. It serves girls from grades nine through 12, and has won the coveted award of being the #1 all-girls and catholic school in Illinois, and is listed as a National Blue Ribbon School. 

The success behind the awards and accolades that Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart has received can be attributed to the four-level system that the school incorporates. They include Advanced Placement, Honours, College Prep 1 and College Prep 2 classes. Placement within any of the classes is based on the students’ demonstrated skill development and intellectual maturity. 

The carefully-designed level system bears fruitful results for its graduates. For the class of 2017, 32% of graduates were named Illinois State Scholars.  

The high academic success rate among Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart  graduates is testament to the resourceful college counselling support that the school provides. Students undergo sessions with college counsellors to help make informed choices regarding their post-high school plans. These sessions include individual meetings, college skills classes, information sessions and workshops. 

Boarders gain more here. They live in a nurturing community that they can truly call “home,” form invaluable friendships, learn to be independent, co-exist with different personalities and undertake new responsibilities in group living — all of which set them for life beyond their high school years.

Cushing Academy

Located just 60 miles from Boston, students between grades nine and 12 have the opportunity to explore their way to academic success at Cushing Academy. The school’s 162-acre campus is home to students from over 30 countries and 30 US states. Here, students quench their intellectual thirst through a combination of outstanding academics while enjoying Cushing’s robust athletic, artistic, and cultural offerings.

The best part? Every international student that arrives here is ensured a seamless transition into their new life. A dedicated faculty offers day-to-day support to aid with cultural adjustment, homesickness, and academic planning. ESL classes are also available to non-native English speakers.

By opting to board, pupils enjoy this personalised guidance 24/7 — alongside 92% of Cushing’s student body who currently live and learn within an inclusive community. Together, they identify and explore their talents, abilities, and interests around campus.

Cushing offers extensive programmes in both visual and performing arts. Aspiring athletes are equally spoiled for choice with the school’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities. Meanwhile, those who love community involvement stay engaged through various activities, clubs, and organisations.

In the classroom, Cushing’s signature academic curriculum spans foundational courses, honours classes, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and independent study for a total of 210 minutes a week. Each student is assigned a faculty advisor throughout their schooling experience to ensure they remain on track.

Parents, both near and far, can reach out to these experts at any time to check up on their child’s progress and stay up-to-date on their achievements. To learn more about becoming a Penguin, click here.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International