Private Boarding Schools

Almost all boarding schools are privately run, but that doesn’t mean they’re all alike. There are many different types of private boarding schools, both in the United States and around the world. The article explores the range of private boarding schools.

Types of Private Boarding Schools

There are a number of ways to categorize private boarding schools. Let’s explore some of the main types.

Private Boarding Schools in the United States and Abroad

While there are thousands of private boarding schools to choose from in the United States, there are also many fine schools abroad, at many of which English is spoken. Out of the country but nearby are the private schools of Canada. There are schools nearby to the south as well, such as Robinson School in Puerto Rico and Country Day School, Costa Rica. While your child can’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, England is known for a number of its outstanding schools. For example, you may recognize the name of Harrow School, a boys’ boarding school in Middlesex, which draws 15% of its students from overseas. Many other countries in Europe and farther afield also have private boarding schools that accept American students.

• Private Boarding Schools that are Secular or Affiliated with a Denomination

While there are secular private boarding schools that focus on a wide range of outcomes, there are many examples of Christian boarding schools around the world, with a large number being Anglican, Catholic, Episcopal, or non-denominational. There are also religiously affiliated boarding schools that are not Christian. For example, Jewish boarding schools are available in the US, for example in Greensboro, North Carolina (American Hebrew Academy) and Riverdale, New York (Telshe Yeshiva), as well as elsewhere in the United States and beyond.

• Private Boarding Schools that Serve Different Populations

Private boarding schools have a wide range of missions. Some aim to prepare children for college by focusing on academics. Others combine academic preparation with elite sports training. Boarding schools for students with particular aptitudes may focus on the visual and performing arts or on science, math, and engineering. Therapeutic boarding schools provide treatment and a variety of therapeutic experiences and counseling along with an education. There are special boarding schools for students with specific disabilities, such as deafness/hardness of hearing and blindness/visual impairment, as well.

• Private Boarding Schools with Summer Programs

While the name private boarding school implies a typical school year program, many private boarding schools also offer summer programs. These may be designed to allow students to master an extra subject, do remedial work, prepare for the following year, get to know the school, participate in a summer sport, have a typical summer camp experience, or a combination of these.

Private Boarding Schools that Serve Different Age Groups

Private boarding schools may be thought of as primarily secondary schools, serving middle schoolers and high school students. But many of them offer a post-graduate year, and there are some that accept younger students.

• Private Boarding Schools with Different Boarding Plans

While many people think of private boarding school as a place away from home, some offer 5-day boarding plans with students returning home on the weekend.