The greater Baltimore region is home to an outstanding selection of independent schools but often a child can benefit from the boarding school experience—here or elsewhere. As the fall open house season continues let’s examine the life changing possibilities of a boarding school for your son or daughter.
As you consider the option of a boarding vs. day school, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) has a wonderful website, www.boardingschools.com with a wealth of information that can provide the first glimpse into this unique educational opportunity.
“It is often said that at boarding schools, students “live to learn” since they spend large parts of their day engaged in learning activities. But they also “learn to live” by shouldering the greater responsibility that comes with greater independence. Without question, boarding schools shape lives for the better.” TABS website, 10/13
When our children graduate from college they will be thrust into an ever changing world and a highly complex global economy. A successful boarding school education not only instills a strong sense of self confidence but also provides an opportunity for multi-cultural collaboration and teaches the next generation of leaders a profound sense of respect for others. What more could we wish for our children?
The best boarding schools offer a supportive community that not only encourages academic success, but provides a diverse residential program that engages students in a variety of social and cultural activities. Students have to learn how to communicate with roommates, do their own laundry and peacefully co-exist with fellow students from diverse backgrounds. Many boarding schools offer an international boarding component which adds to the cultural diversity and the richness of the experience.
Another key distinction in boarding schools today is the five day (Monday-Friday) regional boarding program, in which your child comes home for the weekend. The more “traditional” boarding school experience offers full time (seven day a week) boarding, with your child coming home for holidays and school vacations. Both programs have a great deal to offer and are supported by on campus faculty and family residential teams that live in dorms and in on-campus housing.
As you take a deeper look into the boarding school experience you and your family will need to consider several key factors as part of your decision making process.
1. Do you want a traditional, seven day a week program or a five day, regional boarding program?
2. Will your choice be based on location, fit, academic rigor, athletics, the arts, etc?
3. Will your child be better served in a single sex education or co-ed school?
4. Should the school have a religious component to it?
5. Is cost an issue? If so, you will need to consider the financial aid options that are available to you and your family.
Take the time this fall to seriously consider providing your child with an amazing gift, a boarding school education. It might be the most important investment you will ever make.
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), www.boardingschools.com
Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools (AIMS), www.aimsmddc.org
The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), www.nais.org
Jonathan Oleisky is President of Kalix Communications