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US boarding schools are respected for various reasons. Start with the variety on offer. There are over 250 to choose from and each comes with their own set of values and methods. Then, there’s their diversity. According to The Association Of Boarding Schools (TABS), international students make up about 15% of the population at their member schools.

While their methods may differ, many also offer rigorous academic programmes. These usually go hand-in-hand with compulsory athletic programmes and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Constant supervision is provided.

College preparation is another perk parents gravitate to. Alongside trained counsellors, these boarding schools also offer advanced placement courses or International Baccalaureate curricula. Classrooms are smaller too, which makes it easier for students to thrive with individualised support. 

These offerings and more make up a versatile education that prepares students for 21st century demands. Here are four schools with a proven track record in this:

South Kent School 

Well known for their contemporary expertise in male adolescent education, based on nearly 100 years of experience, South Kent School custom tailors an environment for each pupil where he can become a thriving young man. Personal by design, with 167 students, yet wonderfully diverse with 21 US states and 22 countries represented, this supportive community embraces the school’s mission to inspire students to explore opportunities that lead to success. Recent graduates of this school have enroled in prestigious universities and colleges such as MIT, Yale, Cornell, Dartmouth, UCLA, and many more . The School’s alumni boast members among the top leaders in all industries worldwide.

South Kent School

Source: South Kent School

Located in the beautiful hills of Connecticut, while still within driving distance of some of the US’s top cities, this school provides young men a safe and inspiring place to live and grow.  South Kent School knows how boys learn best and, with their “Seven Principles  of Learning,” they create a framework by which each student can be understood and guided as they work to prepare for college and beyond. Boys learn by doing, and South Kent’s academic, athletic, and community programme guides students in an adaptive and supportive environment to mature in mind, body, and spirit.

Perhaps of most interest and utility to international families may be South Kent School’s partnership with Syracuse University through their Project Advance (SUPA) programme. Through SUPA, students are enrolled in actual university courses taught on South Kent’s campus by accredited Syracuse University professors. Students taking these courses gain experience in college courses, earning transferable college credit they take with them when they graduate, and getting an academic head start on their peers from other schools. To learn more about how to be best prepared for college in the US – click here.

San Marcos Academy

Safe, holistic and inspiring — San Marcos Academy is all three and more. At this co-ed school in the beautiful Texas hill country, students follow a fully accredited college preparatory curriculum in a structured and safe environment. The best part? It has 113 years’ worth of experience, offering students the finest in American education.

 boarding schools

Source: San Marcos Academy

Curriculum at this Christian boarding and day school is designed to engage and inspire students, preparing them to succeed not only in college, but in life as well. The “Teaching for Transformation” curricular model — a framework for students to learn about God’s story while discovering their place within it — ensures this. It’s these authentic and transformational learning experiences that expose students of all grades to discipleship concepts such as worship, truth, justice, service and community — attributes that will serve them well long after they graduate.

These principles are embedded across all levels, culminating in SMA’s Upper School programme for grades nine through 12, which students for the rigours of college-level work, while also instilling character. In addition to the academic courses are multiple co-curricular opportunities such as fine arts, athletics, recreation and community service. The priority? Preparation. At SMA, the aim is always to develop well-rounded students who are physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally ready for the next steps of their lives. Support is widely available. SMA is where students form lifelong friendships and are guided by well-trained personnel.The Academy offers two boarding options. The first is a traditional seven-day boarding programme. The second is a shorter five-day programme, designed for families residing within a 70-mile radius of the campus. When students are on San Marcos Academy’s campus grounds, they benefit greatly from the nurturing, structured and comfortable environment that becomes their home away from home. Join the San Marcos family today — to learn more, click here.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School 

The girls of Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) come from over a dozen countries in the world. They join a community that inspires meaningful lives based on honour, respect and intellectual curiosity. Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, this private boarding school is testament to the benefits of a single-sex school, which has been proven by research to be effective. What is the main benefit? A culture that inspires achievement. 

boarding schools

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The SBS curriculum encourages young girls to develop today’s essential skills such as self-advocacy and leadership, both of which will enable them to thrive in their academic and professional careers. The first and only all-girls boarding school in New England to offer the IB Diploma Programme, SBS ensures learners will graduate with the ability to draw connections across disciplines as active and compassionate lifelong learners. 

When it comes to extracurricular activities, SBS is well-equipped with many diverse clubs and affinity groups. There are many perks to this. They engage students outside of the classroom. By taking on responsibilities like running clubs and raising funds, they take risks, learn new skills, and become leaders. One example is its Business Club, which provides early exposure to entrepreneurship, finance, investments, leadership, and potential careers in this field. Meanwhile, the Community Service Club is where pupils can gain awareness of local and global challenges, as well as the importance of assisting those in need. 

Oak Ridge Military Academy 

The Oak Ridge Military Academy experience begins with the introduction of mentorship in and out of the classroom. Established in 1852, the co-educational boarding school prioritises personal guidance to ensure every student feels cared for and supported throughout their studies. 

boarding schools

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The academy’s philosophy is to stress the importance of preparation for college and life in general. This is done by educating learners on the attitudes, information and skills they will need to meet the requirements of the college curriculums of their dreams. Personal and academic development is the goal, and it’s a comprehensive programme that helps them achieve it. 

The programme includes a challenging college preparatory academic curriculum, a leadership programme administered through the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Leadership, Education, and Training (LET) curriculum, physical education, and development of personal integrity through its honour system.Combined with a structured military environment, Oak Ridge Military Academy produces students who do not just achieve academic excellence, but also develop the traits of self-disciplined, natural-born leaders.

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