US boarding schools
Source: Delphian School

When parents choose to send their children to boarding schools, they’re choosing to send them to the most selective, competitive, and influential schools in the country. These are the schools that open Ivy League doors — the grounds on which lucrative social networks are built.

An estimated 91 percent of students who attend boarding schools report challenging academics. More than three-fourths (77 percent) said their education provided further opportunities for them down the road, versus 70 percent of private school students, and 50 percent of public school students. 

Boarding students are also typically immersed in a culturally diverse environment, forming new and valuable bonds with mentors and peers from around the world. Dorms often resemble mini United Nations assemblies. With the opportunity for academic excellence, enriched character development, increased self-discipline, and encouraged critical and independent thought, it’s easy to see why students are happy to leave home to attend boarding school each year. Here are four well-rounded boarding schools in the US to choose from:

Delphian School

At Delphian School, the focus is on preparing young people for an enriching life beyond graduation. Here, teachers act as supervisors, guiding pupils to independently gain the knowledge, skills and experience to become adults with integrity and judgment in the pursuit of their goals and dreams.

Located on a hilltop campus fifty miles south of Portland, Oregon — with 720 acres of rolling hills, meadows, forest and farmlands — this K-12 school is a member of the Oregon Federation of Independent Schools, an accredited member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), the Western Boarding Schools Association (WBSA), and an accredited member school of Cognia.

US boarding schools

Source: Delphian School

While the above is a testament of Delphian’s exacting standards, the pedagogy here is far from rigid. In a break from tradition, the school has moved away from age-based, grade level education and the many downfalls that have been associated with it—from educators having to “teach to the middle” to the hindering of progress of millions of K-12 students in the US.

Students are unique, and every individual will have subjects they find easier or more challenging. The Delphian School understands this. Here, pupils personalise their curriculum and learning pace according to their strengths, weaknesses and interests. Teamwork and leadership skills are bolstered through a wide variety of project opportunities, student government and interscholastic sports including soccer, volleyball, basketball, competitive cheer, tennis, and track and field. In final exams, pupils have to prove they’re proficient in a subject. Proficiency based education allows students to go at their own optimum pace through each subject.

“The school encourages us to do many things we are afraid of so we can leave our comfort zone and grow,” Class of 2020 graduate Roni Akilov says. “They put so much trust in us because they know that we will make the right choices, and if we don’t, they know that we will learn from them.” To learn more about this premier school’s unique academic programme, schedule a virtual visit here.

The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss School is an independent boarding school located in Lakeville, Connecticut. Founded in 1891, the school provides a quality education to 600 students in grades nine to 12. Students at Hotchkiss come from across the United States and 34 countries. 

US boarding schools

Source: The Hotchkiss School

It offers more than  200 courses in seven departments (Classical & Modern Languages, English, Human Development, Humanities & Social Sciences, Mathematics & Computer Science, Science, and Visual & Performing Arts). With an incredible 60 student clubs and organisations on offer, the pupils at Hotchkiss can explore a diverse range of interests beyond the classroom. This includes clubs in Art, Dance and Music; Publications and Media; Affinity, Cultural and International; Campus Spirit and School Service; and Political and Social Awareness. 

The school provides ample academic support in the form of time management, study skills, reading comprehension and writing. All of this takes place in state-of-the-art facilities, such as The Hotchkiss Observatory, as well as performing arts and technology-learning courses in which students can participate.

“We are an intentionally diverse, inclusive learning community, and we believe in the profound learning that occurs in a residential school whose members have been carefully selected for their individual gifts and potential,” says Head of School Craig W. Bradley.

Lyndon Institute

Established in 1867, Lyndon Institute is a comprehensive independent boarding school located in northeastern Vermont. The school’s diverse student population consists of around 425 students from over 20 countries, who live in a small, close-knit American campus community. 

US boarding schools

Source: Lyndon Institute

Lyndon is an independent and comprehensive high school for grades nine to 12, offering a 150-course curriculum specialising in fine and performing arts and technical career programmes; Flexible Lyndon Institute Pathways (FLIP); English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) under the International Student Programme; Lyndon Learning Collaborative; and Ecology Summer Semester. Students enjoy personal attention from an accomplished and devoted faculty, a truly inclusive environment and outstanding preparation for their choice of university or career. 

The Institute hosts lectures and talks in order to engage students with industry experts and professionals, aiming to help students develop a more in-depth understanding of the Institute’s principles. Students are encouraged to develop their skills and personal strengths through the school’s diverse arts and athletic activities.

“We provide our students with a learning environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, inquiry, and reflection, allowing them to find their passion in a caring and supportive environment. It is our purpose to help all students reach their intellectual, creative, and physical potential,” says Head of School, Twiladawn Perry said: .

Riverside Military Academy

Distinctive military structure. Rigorous academic programmes. Competitive athletic curriculums. Exceptional leadership development. 500 cadets from 30 nations and 30 states. All of this enhances the overall educational experience of young men in grades seven to 12 at Riverside Military Academy (RMA). At this elite college-preparatory academy, students prepare for success in university and beyond. All graduates progress to college and become well-rounded global citizens.

US boarding schools

Source: Riverside Military Academy

Here, learning is guided by a history of exemplary academics, competitive athletics, and adherence to the honour code. As part of RMA’s rigorous college-prep curriculum, general level, honors, and AP classes are offered. Students are encouraged to make the most of downtime through various sports and club opportunities. Athletic teams and events provide out-of-class stimulation, including soccer, basketball, tennis, the aviation programme, honor societies, and more.

Speaking about the RMA impact on his son, one parent said: “He has matured so much this past year, and in ways that could not have happened anywhere else. We will be forever thankful for this experience.” 

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