So you are considering sending your daughter to a boarding school and don’t know where to start. Of course if there is a family tradition with the females in your family attending a certain school, then there is no problem – unless they were unhappy. But for those with no experience in choosing a boarding school, here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
There are government resources which provide a great deal of information and of course, there are the schools themselves.
Let’s start with the government resources. Your state’s Board of Education may have a wide range of documentation. Certainly the names and contact details of boarding schools but then too you could discover the results of any standardized testing. Knowing the grades achieved academically can be a valuable pointer but remember these are boarding schools and test results are only that. They don’t tell you if the students are in a friendly and challenging environment and whether or not they are happy at that particular boarding school.
Of course geography is not necessarily a simple matter. There might be an ideal school for your daughter which is not in your state. And travel may not be a problem if an excellent school is close by but in another state. Be prepared to cast your enquiry net beyond your own state boundaries.
Places like the Better Business Bureau may record complaints from parents and students about some aspects of a particular school. Beware that one angry parent may not speak for the majority of folk whose daughter attends that school. And if the school has any form of tradition there will most likely be an alumni with communication between former students. Social networking sites will often allow alumni members to keep in touch and you could well find valuable information about a prospective school by making contact through these sites.
Of course the most logical place to find information about a school is the school itself. Sure it will extol the virtues of the establishment but if good things are happening on this campus then why not tell the world about them. A prospectus can be sent to you from the school and you can go online to examine the program and facilities. There are often photos and testimonials and some even have videos with a mini tour of the school.
Remember too that the school needs to meet the requirements of your daughter. If your girl is academically bright and seeking a top university place, then consider schools which can offer that type and quality of education. If your daughter has emotional or physical problems which need therapy and treatment suited to her problems, look at those types of schools. It could be a military boarding school or an outdoor education based school or something else again.
First know the needs and goals of your daughter and then check out a number of schools which suit your teen. It may take a fair bit of work or you could get a terrific recommendation from a former student or parent of a former student. But by taking the time to find the right boarding school, you are giving your daughter a great start in life.