When Natalie Goodwin-Cantwell first visited The Village School, she was amazed. Located in Houston’s prestigious Energy Corridor, the campus encompasses 28 acres and over 200,000 square feet of technologically advanced facilities that are some of the best in the world.
Coming from a low-tech school, Goodwin-Cantwell found the incredibly modern buildings, well-maintained facilities, and cleanliness refreshing. “Village students have everything they need right at their fingertips,” she says.
Village Residential Life students reap the full benefits of attending a boarding school: focus on academics, greater involvement in on-campus activities, independence and responsibility, and access to teachers and resources.
Each stage in Residential Life students’ education at Village, from middle school through high school, is as inspiring, exciting and challenging as the last. Each curriculum is versatile and enriching. The aim is to always nurture students to excel in learning critical thinking, complex problem solving, and higher-order reasoning – the skills to prepare them for a future of unprecedented change.
Fine arts and athletics further support the ambitious goals of Village students. They can join Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts – all of which help stimulate academic and social growth, higher academic achievement, cohort and Project Based Learning, as well as helping students uncover new passions.
Opportunities on the field, court or arena are just as enriching. Village offers are more than 10 different sports options played over three different athletic seasons: fall, winter and spring. Students in the sixth grade and above can compete on a sports team. Students have access to collegiate-level athletic facilities, including a newly turfed field with stadium-style bleachers and a press box, six tennis courts, an eight-lane track that circles our turfed field, and a 1,000-seat indoor gymnasium and 25-metre indoor aquatic center.
Village Residential Life students thrive academically and emotionally thanks to their teachers and residential life staff. Not only are they passionate about knowledge and critical thinking, they make sure students feel engaged, safe and healthy. “We have many academically-driven students at Village; and our academic program is very challenging, which is what attracts so many strong students to our school,” says Randy Noll, Director of Residential Life at The Village School.
“Our Residential Life students have a plethora of opportunities and experiences both on and off campus. We also emphasize the building of relationships and engaging students so that we can learn about their interests and hobbies, as well as to encourage them to learn about and to try new things,” he continues.
The Village School Residential Life team monitors and interacts with students regularly and communicates any issues or concerns with each other. By establishing strong relationships with the students in the boarding program, the Residential Life staff at Village are also able to share more critical issues of concern with Village’s medical and counselling staff when needed. Staff members also periodically provide workshops and programming for Residential Life students to help them learn more about themselves and mental health issues.
“We engage our student leadership in a partnership of communication about the things they observe from a student perspective. We have a Well-Being Student Leadership committee that meets regularly to discuss important issues and the culture of the dorm. The school also has written and practiced protocols for dealing with all emergency health considerations,” continues Noll.
Village offers five- and seven-day boarding options to students in 7th through 12th grade. More than 150 students from across 20+ countries are part of the current Residential Life program. As part of Village’s global, diverse community, each Residential Life students keeps their individual and cultural beliefs, yet can thrive in a challenging academic environment and nurturing community.
This includes the weekends. There are many scheduled and spur-of-the-moment options for students to enjoy their after-school/weekend time in Houston. The Residential Life Activities Coordinator plans major events well in advance and works with the Student Leadership Activities committee to assure the events are both diverse and in alignment with the Residential Life student community’s interests.
“Students are free to use the many on-campus amenities at their leisure and simply need to let staff know where they are,” says Noll. “All off-campus activities are supervised by our staff. There are generally three or four formal activities offered each weekend, in addition to shuttle-run opportunities to local shopping establishments each day.”
Pair this rich schedule with rigorous academics and keen support, and Village students are set to achieve intellectual, emotional, and social growth. “The big concerns I get [from parents] are about self-regulation and self-control. How are we helping students to make the right choices?” says Cantwell, who has been the Boarding Admissions Manager since 2021.
“We have a dedicated staff who works to monitor the progress of each student. They talk the students through challenging times and celebrate happy times with them as well. We also care for the students when they are sick or need additional support.”
The goal is to provide support and opportunities in all areas of school life to see students grow and mature. “Boarding life is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn early many fundamental life skills that other students may not experience until college,” says Noll.