Academic achievement is important in preparing a high school graduate to pursue a higher education. However, getting top grades in rigorous courses by itself doesn’t fully equip a young person to succeed later.
A growing number of parents are realizing the need for their children to develop self-reliance, time management and other life skills well in advance of when they graduate from high school. Boarding schools help young people do so by providing the away-from-home living environment where they can develop the personal independence skills they’ll need for college later.
A few basic facts about why boarding schools make sense…
- About 99 percent of the 300 or so boarding schools in the U.S. meet — or exceed – the curriculum content standards mandated by the state where the school is located.
- U.S. boarding schools welcome international students. The opportunity for their children to learn English as a second language and to be immersed in the American culture is a huge draw for many overseas families. The opportunity for U.S. students to live on campus with their peers from other countries develops those students to function in a global environment.
- Boarding school students are enrolled in academically challenging courses that have ultra-low student-to-teacher ratios. A typical example is the Army and Navy Academy, a college preparatory boarding school for 7th- to 12th-grade boys in Carlsbad, Calif. The school’s ratio of one teacher per 15 students ensures that the Academy’s cadets have access to personalized attention from their teachers during and after school hours.
- Living away from home requires boarding school students to learn to make decisions about time management, organization, and social activities at an earlier age than having to wait until college where living environments are less nurturing. Boarding school graduates therefore are prepared to make the transition to college more easily.
A recent study said that 90 percent of boarding school students reported having “great, high-quality teachers,” compared to 62 percent and 51 percent of private- and public-school students, respectively, who said likewise. The survey reported 87 percent of graduating boarding school students said they were “very well prepared” for college academically while 78 percent of the students said they were very well prepared socially. Only 39 percent of the public-school students surveyed who said they were very well prepared academically and socially.