TODAY IS BOARDING SCHOOLS' WEEK
Today and tomorrow, I interview, by Zoom, a host of private boarding schools. There were a few pleasant surprises. With a Covid year, I had assumed that many would have suffered a major withdrawal in applications, thus a retraction on many things.
But the surprise was short-lived. As many boarding schools had seen an increase in applications.
Many had adapted to blended learning. International students went online. Domestic students went to their classes. Schools in remote areas were at the heights of safety as they were not in urban settings. So students were not caught up in crowds, a/c rooms or at risk for mass infections. In fact, the rural settings became an haven from the plague of Covid.
I also liked the fact that many had developed quarantine centers on campus, initiated tracing techniques, testing and once negative, re-introduction into the community.
In short, our kids are safe again. At least, when we send them off.
Here is a short analysis of some of the schools I spoke with today. What I liked and what students should see as a high mark.
Canada - St. Andrew's College
An all boys' school in Canada that has been hosting Jamaicans for quite some time. They have 260 students in total where 40% are boarders and 55% are domestic students. Yjeir marquis programs are: Business, AP courses, their soccer program (D-1) interest and their Science and Tech programs.
USA - Vermont Academy
Sited on 450 acres in the state of Vermont, should you hold an interest in cross country and Nordic skiing, this is your place. With 200 students> Robotics, Graphic Design, Playwriting (Play Festival) and a new Performing Arts Center...not bad...
USA - Wilbraham and Monson Academy
This school starts at 7th grade to 12th with some 400 students, of which 144 are international students...It is a tight-knit community whose most popular program is Business. Over 23 AP classes, stemming from Fashion Design to Stem classes, over 29 varsity sports and 30 clubs...ouch, nice!
USA - Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall
Let us just say, the structure of this school will allow the D student to learn and the A student to soar. One to watch. I was terribly impressed with the ability to track every learner.
USA - Stuart Hall
120 students in total. Another great program with strong college placements. Awed by their business lab, new Tech center and strong Art program.
USA - Hebron Academy
Strong program, good college placement, strong soccer program, state champions,
Canada -Bishop's College
Apart from knowing personally the Admissions officer, so always a pleasure chatting with him, this is one of the best endowed schools for student comfort factors. Dorms are at the luxury end. Many benefactors have donated millions to improve the school. It is also an IB enclave with excellent college placements. Another one to watch.
USA - Riverstone International
This is Idaho, but do not let the distance from Jamaica to Idaho deter you. We have had students study here. The rigor of their IB program bar none is phenomenal. It is also a safe zone against Covid and crime. Good place to study. With a new scholarship package for international students.
USA- The Brook Hill School
With average SAT scores of 1418, over 29 AP courses, class sizes of 9;1, do not underestimate this Texan Christian centered school. They show off excellent college acceptances and are strong in sports and academics.
This is an all girls school that is strong in the Sciences and Dance. The founder was the first woman to attend MIT. Her influence still pervades the school's ethic. I liked these words for girls: Coding, Architecture, Pre=Engineering. Also Investing, Stocks, Financial Literacy. Go Westover!
Tomorrow, I meet with other schools. Will report further next week.