10 Characteristics All Great Boarding Schools Have In Common

5 May 2018

It can be daunting trying to whittle down your “short list” of great boarding schools for your child to attend.

After all, so many boarding schools have strong curriculums dedicated to preparing students for college life, have exceptional teachers and staff on hand to guide your child through their academic career (which often takes place far away from you), and give students access to the best technology and resources available.

That said, no matter if you have three schools you’re considering on your list, or 20, there are some things that all great boarding schools have in common that may help you weed out the okay options, and leave you with nothing but the best to choose from.

That way, no matter which decision you make, you can rest assured that it was a good one.

You can expect all great boarding schools to…

  1. Hire only teachers that have advanced degrees in their subject are passionate about teaching, want to be available at all times for their boarding school students, and believe in the philosophy that boarding schools are the best option for students looking to achieve future success.
  2. Remain dedicated to strengthening the entire character of the student, not just the academic part, regarding mind body and soul, not only during school hours but in the evenings and weekends as well.
  3. Build strong facilities designed to last a lifetime – complete with state-of-the-art technology, resources for all students, and a sense of community built right in.
  4. Assume the parental role while students attend, serving as mentor, advocate, and friend in a way that whenever the student needs guidance, encouragement, or discipline, the boarding school staff is on hand to handle it all.
  5. Encourage development of skills beyond that of college prep by offering robust athletic programs, as well as good performing arts programs to foster the needs and likes of the versatile student body.
  6. Have a commitment and openness to diversity so that students may learn from each other, and about different cultures, in a safe and comfortable environment.
  7. Understand that producing academically successful students is more about developing well-rounded personalities equipped to handle all things in life, not just academics, is the key to university success and fulfilling lifelong career dreams.
  8. Ensure that all learning opportunities have the dual function of instilling pride, confidence, and knowledge within a student, while at the same time challenging them in ways they have never been challenged to encourage them to grow and learn to handle the difficulties university, and life, will bring.
  9. Focus on forging deep alumni connections, so those past students still feel as though a part of something important, and new students have mentors to look to for help, and feel as though a part of something bigger than themselves.
  10. Believe in the growth mindset, meaning anytime something starts to hinder a student’s growth, another approach is not only recommended but also encouraged, as there are many ways to complete one task and no two students are the same.

As you can see, many factors play into whether a boarding school can be labeled as “good or great.”  However, all great boarding schools have the same baseline characteristics.

You should aim to enroll your child in a boarding school that not only focuses on college preparation and academic training but also on the formation of good character habits that will lead your child into adulthood prepared to handle all diversity.

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