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The Boarding School Option: Fair on Tuesday in Stamford

Representatives from nearly 100 board schools are expected at Tuesday's boarding school fair at Chelsea Piers in Stamford.

By Greenwich Education Group and Sue Moretti Rogers

Glenn Close, Bette Davis, John Kerry, Jodie Foster, Malcolm Forbes, Cole Porter, George Steinbrenner; all successful in different ways with one key similarity – they each attended boarding school.

The Advantages

According to The Association of Boarding Schools, there are compelling advantages to attending a boarding school. The depth and breadth of the academic courses in most schools is remarkable.

Combine that with a heightened interaction between students and teachers in a small class setting and this creates an unequaled educational environment.

The facilities, from athletics to arts to media and technology, are state of the art. The opportunity of creating a home away from home also offers students personal growth and an appropriate level of independence.

This in turn also gives boarding school students a preview of college  life by preparing them for both the academic rigor and social challenges that universities present.

Neither Holden Or Harry

Many parents may not consider sending their child “away” to school,  fearing that boarding schools are havens for children of privilege or refuges for troubled teens.  This is far from the truth.

In reality,  there are many choices with very different environments and programs that provide both the parent and the child options that meet their needs and wants.

While the teen years can be difficult, most students neither suffer the deep angst of Holden Caulfield nor do they have to deal with the dark side of Lord Voldemort. 

Although you may find a school that has a Quidditch team! What they have is the opportunity to obtain an outstanding education in a very supportive, highly structured environment that will act as a springboard toward adulthood.

Parents & Students See Benefits

Boarding schools students are surrounded 24-7 by a faculty whose sole purpose is not only to educate them but also to help them navigate and manage the difficult teen years and develop into responsible young adults.

Many parents feel that their relationships with their children are strengthened by the carefully supervised independence that boarding schools provide. 

There are also many reasons why students find the boarding school experience so rewarding: the feel of the school community, the friendships created and, most importantly, the unique educational experiences offered by boarding schools.

Right Fit

Selecting the right boarding school can seem like a daunting prospect, but there are a variety of ways to get assistance in the process. 

The Association of Boarding Schools website provides not only overviews of the boarding school experience for students and parents, but also has a search tool which can help narrow down the choices.

Once the parents and children decide that boarding school is an option to pursue, they need to develop a sense of what they are looking for in a school.  Considerations such as location, size, academic focus and co-ed or single sex must all be considered.  

When a list of possible schools has been pulled together, it is important to try to get on campus.

That is the best way to get a true sense of the individual personality of each school to help determine which one - or ones – the student could visualize as a comfortable fit.Victoria Newman and Muffy Fox, Co-Directors of  Day and Boarding School Advisory Services at Greenwich Education Group, agree “choosing the right independent or boarding school for your child is a decision that carries lifelong implications." 

The difference at Greenwich Education Group is the "highly individualized consulting practice prepares and positions your child in the strongest possible light, " state Newman and Fox.

"We get to know your family and make it our mission to identify the 'best fit' schools that meet your expectations and then go to work advocating for your child. We understand that going through the admissions process can be stressful, and that for many students, getting accepted into a great school is only the beginning of the journey.”

Start Now for 2015

The time is now through August to start thinking about boarding schools! Appointments at the schools open up at the end of August.

If you are juggling a hectic sports schedule and heavy academic load, you need to space out the appointments so that you can keep to your regular schedule and not get overwhelmed with the process.

The early bird gets the worm, so the sooner you begin to make appointments in late August and early September, the better the chances of getting dates and times you want.

Greenwich Education Group will host its 5th annual Boarding School Fair at Chelsea Piers CT in Stamford from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20.

It is a free, informational evening with representatives from 99 boarding schools on hand to meet students and their families and answer questions about their prospective schools. 

It allows families an efficient way to learn about the myriad of wonderful yet different characteristics of a variety of boarding schools. It is also valuable for families who have never considered boarding school, as it offers them the chance to become acquainted with the wide range of excellent options that are available.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Editor's note: This article is copied entirely from a post from The Learning Curve blog by Greenwich Education Group and Sue Moretti Rogers.

John Bond June 10, 2014 at 03:16 PM
I'm considering sending my child to boarding school. It would be a good experience for her and I'd like to see good development. Hopefully it will boost her grades a lot. John Bond | http://www.westoverschool.org/page.cfm?p=230

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