We all have blind spots.  One of mine is about boarding schools.   When we were looking at high schools for our son, we stalwartly ignored several suggestions that we look at a few: were certainly weren’t ready for him to be off on his own, and honestly I don’t think he was either.

But as an educational consultant, this is a bad blind spot to have: there are wonderful boarding schools within a few hours’ drive of Boston.  I decided I needed to know more about New England’s boarding schools, and to think more expansively about boarding school in general.  Why would a family choose boarding school for high school, or even for junior high?  Would there be situations in which I would recommend boarding schools for a particular student?

In search of answers to those questions last week I joined a group of IECA members in touring six terrific boarding schools.  The schools in question were: Brooks School, Hillside School, Cushing Academy, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Concord Academy, and St. Mark’s School.   The experience was revelatory.  Each of these institutions does a superb job, they all have stunningly beautiful campuses, exciting curricula, and a range of academic, athletic, and arts offerings  – and they’re all different.

Now you’ll note that none of these programs has the word “gifted” anywhere in their names or mission statements.  Does that mean they’re not appropriate for a talented, motivated learner?  Of course not!  There simply is no one-size-fits-all solution to educating gifted kids.  The good news is, if you’re willing to shake up your assumptions and if you have the resources to consider a wide range of locations and alternatives, we here in New England are sitting in an astonishing cluster of educational opportunity.

In short: I could absolutely imagine recommending any of those boarding schools to the right student, under the right circumstance.

I look forward to visiting more boarding schools and to continuing to raise my consciousness.  But don’t worry: I still know that day school was the right decision for our family, and it may well be for yours, too.

 


Comments


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply