Many parents choose boarding schools because of their proven track record of providing an excellent, well-rounded education that effortlessly leads to prestigious universities. However, equally significant to them is an education that prioritises character development and cultivates self-awareness in their children, empowering them to unlock their untapped potential.
Character traits such as integrity, resilience, compassion, and responsibility are emphasised at holistic schools, which attract learners from across the globe. By living and learning with individuals from all over the world, students learn the value of self-discipline, accountability, and ethical behaviour in an organised and disciplined setting. According to TABS, 70% of students credit their boarding school experience for enhancing their self-discipline, maturity, independence, and critical thinking skills.
For parents seeking character-building schools that can ensure their children’s development, consider these top picks:
Saint Stanislaus High School
If you’re looking for a school that helps students achieve academic success in college while simultaneously developing the faith and character needed to lead a good life, look no further than Saint Stanislaus High School — founded in 1854 by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
Located on the idyllic Mississippi Gulf Coast, Saint Stanislaus is a Catholic, all-boys boarding and day school serving young men in grades seven through 12. Home to resident students from Gulf Coast states and abroad, Saint Stanislaus boasts a disciplined and orderly environment that allows every student to work to his potential academically, physically, and spiritually.
Here, learning is founded on three core values that inspire and direct the school community of Saint Stanislaus — An Open Heart, Respect, Compassion and Trust. Throughout their journey at the school, students learn essential virtues such as love, forgiveness, honesty, respect, faithfulness, humility, compassion, unselfishness, confidence, self-discipline, and accountability. These qualities are instilled in every student, ensuring they leave not only academically prepared graduates but also as responsible, compassionate, and respectful individuals.
This transformation is made possible through personalised attention. Saint Stanislaus offers a challenging curriculum tailored to meet the unique needs of each student, helping them reach their full potential and master skills that will serve them well in college and beyond. With over 30 clubs, organisations, and sports, the students have ample opportunities to explore their interests and develop new talents in its beach-front campus. These activities not only enhance their academic journey but also provide them with the chance to grow, learn, and forge lasting friendships.
Graduating from Saint Stanislaus is more than just getting a diploma; it means having the foundation necessary to go on to become men of character who can positively impact the world. Click here to learn more about Saint Stanislaus High School.
Oregon Episcopal School
Oregon Episcopal School (OES) is a college preparatory, independent school in Portland, Oregon, serving nearly 880 students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, including approximately 60 boarding students from around the world in Grades 9-12.
Here, students are nurtured to be the next generation of global leaders with the skills needed to thrive in a changing world. The school does that by inspiring intellectual, physical, social, emotional, artistic, and spiritual growth so that students can realise their potential as citizens of local and world communities.
The school’s commitment to a true liberal arts curriculum is evident in its emphasis on experiential learning, fostering an environment where students thrive by actively engaging with their education. With small class sizes, OES provides an intimate educational setting where teachers impart knowledge, a passion for learning, and the excitement of exploration.
The school’s diverse student body, composed of individuals from across the US and around the world, brings a rich tapestry of cultures and perspectives to OES. Dorm parents play a crucial role in fostering an inclusive community, promoting communication, support, and understanding among students, and celebrating the value of diversity.
For boarding students, OES offers an opportunity for greater independence and personal growth. The programme fosters crucial life skills such as time management, organisation, and achieving a healthy work-life balance. It combines structured and unstructured time, along with community responsibilities, allowing students to participate actively and assume leadership roles within the community through evening jobs and various other responsibilities.
Established in 1894, Havergal College is a Canadian independent girls’ school dedicated to preparing young women to make a meaningful impact in an ever-changing world. Home to 50 boarders from grades nine to 12, Havergal’s students represent nearly 20 nationalities.
The school prides itself on its distinguished educational approach, characterised by enriched, comprehensive academic programmes, rigorous standards, and a nurturing and empowering learning atmosphere. Central to this ethos is a vibrant community that cultivates leadership and instils the values of Integrity, Inquiry, Compassion, and Courage. These pillars of excellence have prepared its graduates to be future leaders and placed Havergal at the forefront of women’s education for over 125 years.
Just ask the Principal, Dr. Katrina Samson. “Our faculty and community teach students to think critically, consider their role in the world and live lives of meaning and purpose,” she says. “We ensure our graduates have the skills, tools and knowledge to live in accordance with their values; to build positive, fulfilling relationships; and to prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow with confidence.”
Step onto the campus, and you’ll witness its mission in action while visiting the academic, athletic, art and innovation spaces. As you walk the halls, you’ll see that students aren’t waiting until they graduate to make positive changes in the world; they’re committed to making a difference here and now.
Nestled in the quaint town of New Milford, Connecticut, Canterbury School is a college preparatory, co-educational boarding and day school for students in grades nine to 12.
A set of Five Values — Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Spirituality, and Self-Reliance — inspires everything the Canterbury community does. Woven throughout every aspect of learning and living here, these values are key to the overall experience of personal growth that truly differentiates a Canterbury education. For example, it helps students grow in self-awareness, develop character, and recognise their ability to impact the world and the lives of others.
To that end, an extraordinary community of faculty — who also serve as coaches, dorm parents, and advisors — work tirelessly to know students and know them well. As a result, they foster an ever-welcoming and high-achieving environment of academic rigour and personal growth for its multinational student body. From the moment they arrive on campus, students are invited to be an active part of the school community and the world around them.
They start by leveraging the D’Amour Centre for Faith, Service, and Justice, where they explore community service, campus ministry, spirituality, social justice, and leadership programming. They dive deeper into their passions, discover their purpose, and immerse themselves in things that matter most to them.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International