Category Archives: Boarding Schools

Boot Camp Accreditation

What is Boot Camp Accreditation?

Some people wonder if there are any boot camps that are accredited? In order to answer the question, it is important to define what accreditation really means. What people may really be asking is how they can verify the validity and safety of a boot camp. The term accreditation is typically associated with the academic credentials of the boot camp or program. If a parent were to call a program and ask if they were accredited, they could say yes, if they had accredited school work. A better line of questioning could be associated with any legal problems the boot camp may have had.

Allegations of Boot Camp Abuse

To fully understand the problems some boot camps and boarding schools have, it is important to understand some basic terminology. If a boot camp or boarding school has had “allegations” of abuse, that may or may not be a serious problem. The reason for this is, any student can make allegations against any program or staff member. The allegations may or may not be true. The difficulty lies in the credibility of the accuser. Many teens in boot camps and boarding schools have made false allegations against their parents prior to being placed in a program. Some students are actually placed in a boot camp because of the false allegations they have made against their parents. In summary, just because a boot camp may have had allegations against it, does not necessarily mean it is bad. The best way to determine if a program is good or not, is to visit the program. Parents can also speak with local law enforcement officials to see if the program has actually been convicted of anything illegal.

What is Your Motivation?

Another important factor to take into consideration is the motivation behind the person being questioned. Some programs and boot camps are targeted by the state they are in, because they create extra work for the state employees that oversee them. A government employee makes the same amount of money if they oversee 20 programs as they do if they oversee 18 programs. They really have no incentive to assist a program or boot camp, in fact, the opposite may be true. The same principle applies to police and other law enforcement agencies. If they are asked to help look for a run away teen from a program or investigate a fight at a program, they can soon develop a negative opinion for the program or boot camp. Their motivation may be similar to other government employees, if the boot camp creates more work for them they may say that it is not a good program.

Summary

In summary it is unfair to say that all government employees are self serving and lazy.  It is also unfair to say that all boot camps and programs are bad. There are some great government employees that are sincerely interested in the youth they are responsible for. There are also some very good programs that are sincerely interested in the youth they care for. The difficulty a parents faces is, trying to find a quality program and a safe environment for their child. We are happy to help, give us a call.

College Prep Schools

College Prep Schools

Another name for College prep schools is just prep school. Many of the prep schools are private, and independent of the national education association. There are typically fees and tuition associated with these types of schools. They can be a little pricey and some of these institutions also receive donations from outside sources that allow them to offer a very quality education for their students. Some college prep schools are single sex meaning that they only accept boys or girls. Some people believe that students do better academically if they are not distracted by the opposite sex. The other side of the argument leans more toward the thought that students will not learn proper social skills if they are not exposed to the opposite sex. Parents and students should decide which option will best meet their needs. There are prep schools that are only for students to attend during the day known as day schools, and some that offer living arrangements known as boarding schools

Select Carefully

Some prep schools are very competitive and difficult to gain admission into. This makes preparation for these types of school an important factor. Students should work to get the best GPA possible so they will not be denied admittance because of low grades. If the selection process comes down to two students with everything else being equal, the student with the highest GPA may win the spot. Entrance into a higher level or more prestigious prep school may also assist the teen when seeking admittance into the University of their choice. It is important to note that the more prestigious universities will usually have a more prestigious or (expensive) tuition rate. There may some limited scholarship funds available. It is important that a teen not be put into an institution of higher learning they are not qualified to enter. This situation will only create feelings of inadequacy and an overwhelmed unhappy student. If the student gets poor grades in the university they are not prepared to attend, it may create more problems than benefits for them in their academic future.

Benefits of a Prep School

One large benefit of the prep school may be the low student to teacher ratio. This may be due to the ability of the children to grasp things academically. It is also helpful if a teen has a question and needs some additional help. Many prep schools offer an more extensive list of AP or advanced placement courses. A lot of the top prep schools have strong athletic programs also. In addition they typically offer courses in the arts in the way of musicals and plays. It is not unusual for the prep schools to offer other social opportunities with clubs and other social organizations. These will assist the student as they prepare to transition into their college or university life. With the prep school being privately funded they have the ability to hire the brightest and best teachers. This benefit alone could make enrollment in a prep school a great value. When coupled with all of the other benefits we have discussed a prep school is definitely the way to go for someone interested in a top quality education.

You Must Take My Teen

Teen Boarding Schools and Admission Process

There is an interesting article today in a Hershey Newspaper. A mother is suing the school for boys for not allowing her son to be enrolled there. The school was founded back in 1909 as the Hershey Industrial School, for orphaned boys. The boy is a not a troubled teen, as a matter of fact, he is doing very well academically, and is a great athlete as well. The boy has been diagnosed with HIV and the school indicated they would not accept him. This is unfortunate on several different levels. It is unfortunate that there is so much fear surrounding the dreaded positive HIV diagnosis and Aids disease in general. It is also unfortunate that the boy may not be allowed to participate in the Hershey School, and their sports program. As devastating as this news must be to the boy and his family the school is probably unhappy about the situation also. The school has to be cautious not to do something that may jeopardize the entire school population. While the HIV virus is not passed from casual contact the lack of knowledge about the disease is more than likely at the base of the dispute. The bigger topic to be discussed then would be centered around the rights a boarding school or orphanage has to decline students or youth. Both sides of the story are equally compelling, and have equal merit.

How Far can They Go?

With a teen being denied admission into Hershey School for being HIV positive the next question is what other diagnosis will be denied? Not only in Hershey but in boarding schools across the country. If a student has other sexually transmitted diseases will they be denied admission? Will students all need to take a battery of tests prior to admission into any boarding school? What would the penalty be for a student not reporting a sexually transmitted disease he failed to mention during application process? What if the disease is not diagnosed until after the student is enrolled? What if the diagnosis or test performed was not accurate? It seems like the controversy will generate many more questions and problems than just a few isolated cases. It would seem that if a boarding school is private they should be able to set the list of minimum criteria, (including health requirements) that are mandatory to be enrolled?

Legal Problems

This then opens another line of questions. Does the private school open themselves up to a lawsuit of discrimination if they fail to accept a student that doesn’t meet their minimum enrollment guidelines? A wise Attorney once said, “Anyone can sue anyone for any reason”. The sad but true comment means virtually what it says. If someone decides to sue someone, they can do so. It may not even require the plaintiff to have any money. If they are able to find a hungry new attorney wanting to make a name for himself, he may take the case for a piece of the settlement. There are many law suits filed each year that result in a pretrial settlement. Some companies would rather settle than fight a case they may win, but at a much higher cost given the expense of legal fees alone. This does not take into consideration the negative publicity the company may be exposed to. Again even if they have done nothing wrong their image in the public eye could be tarnished.  If the company being sued has done nothing wrong, they will be forced to spend money to defend themselves rather than admit guilt. The company will also have to pay the plaintiff even if they don’t have a legitimate claim. Either way the company being sued loses.

Being accepted by a boarding school – Admissions Process

Being accepted by a boarding school

If you are looking for a boarding school for your teenager you need to understand that applying and being accepted are two different things! Obviously you want to find the best boarding school for your son or daughter; but they also want to have the best teenagers in their school. This does not mean that your teenager needs to be a model student but it will depend on what you want from the school as to whether they are the best fit for your child.

The admissions procedures for boarding schools will vary, so before applying anywhere, check out what the boarding school requires you to do. The best boarding schools will be the most popular and may also have waiting lists. Some boarding schools are strictly academic and do not provide any therapy for their students, these are not boarding schools for troubled teens. Here the admissions criteria will be based upon academic performance and good references. It is also likely that they will only accept students at certain times of year and that you have to submit your application by a certain date.

Admissions process for private boarding schools

There will be a lot of forms to fill in but this is only half of the procedure you will need to complete. There will be an application form and the private boarding school will expect you to have evidence of your teenagers schooling to date. This will include any examination results, certificates of achievement and school reports. In addition it is good to include any extra-curricular activities your teenager has completed, and any other awards or certificates they have received. This is where you include their piano grades; their participation in sports teams, dance classes, charity fund raising activities.

Private boarding schools are looking for students that will raise their profile in a positive fashion, so they continue to maintain the reputation for being the best boarding school in their state! The second part of the admissions process is the interview with the school.

The Interview for boarding school admission

This interview is a two way process; you are interviewing the school and they are interviewing both you and your teenager. Some of the best boarding schools may seem so intimidating that parents forget to ask them questions as they are so keen to get their teenager a place at the school! It is important to remember that the best boarding school in Texas, for example, as voted by parents, may not be the best boarding school for your child. You should prepare your questions in advance and not feel that you cannot ask whatever you want to. This is your child’s well being at stake, so even if the interview makes you feel nervous, if you prepare beforehand you will be able to make an informed decision.

Decision time

Not all boarding schools will be able to give you an answer at the time of interview. They may have a number of interviews to do, especially at the start of an academic year and they will want to discuss the admissions with their board of directors. You should ask for a timeframe for acceptance at the interview stage as you too will be making a selection to find the best boarding school for your teenager.

Christian Boarding Schools as an option for your teenager

Boarding School’s ethos

When considering a boarding school for your son or daughter it is important to understand the ethos of the schools on offer. Like people, boarding schools vary in character and you are looking for a fit between your child and the school. Christian boarding schools are an obvious category, but even within this classification there are differences.

Christian boarding school ideals

There are different approaches to Christian teaching. Some boarding schools will base most of their curriculum on the Bible and their aim will be to raise children based upon teaching Christian principles. There will be a religious act of worship each day and a chapel or church on site. There may be admission restrictions which are based on faith and you would be well advised to get a reference from your own pastor or minister to include in your application. Some Christian boarding schools may have quite a narrow view of faith which might be at odds with your own, so it is important to check this thoroughly.

Multi-denominational boarding schools

Other boarding schools may have a more general definition of Christian and accept students of many faiths but will base their pastoral approach on Christian ideals. Here you may feel that your son or daughter will benefit from schooling with teenagers from a variety of faiths and backgrounds. Daily acts of worship may be encouraged but not compulsory but biblical teaching will form part of the curriculum.

Moral principles and values

The ethos of a school is more than its faith. A good boarding school will have a very clear mission statement and a declared set of values. It is important that you feel comfortable with the aim of the boarding school for your teenager as it will form a significant part of their life. Do not be afraid to challenge a school’s stated aims, and ask them to explain their moral stance towards teenagers who may misbehave. You need to agree with their discipline structure and sanctions as they are responsible for your teenagers’ wellbeing in your absence.

Visit and take part

If you select a Christian boarding school, then when you visit, ask to take part in their scheduled acts of worship. You can tell a lot about a boarding school by participating in some of its regular daily activities. Ultimately you should visit a school you are considering for your teenager as you will get a proper feel for the ethos by being there! By looking at the students behavior around the teachers, and in their daily routines you will get a sense of the atmosphere which is worth more than a dozen brochures extolling the school’ virtues! The ethos of a school may be hard to understand at first, but it is important that your teenager is raised in the way you would want to raise them at home. Christian boarding schools vary enormously so ask many questions and visit before making your decision.

Why choose a single sex boarding school?

Why choose a single sex boarding school.

Many parents worry about how their teenager will respond to members of the opposite sex and there is much talk about academic performance being different between boys and girls. Single sex education certainly has its advantages for both boys and girls.

The positives of single sex schooling

The adolescent years can be troublesome and the distractions of the opposite sex can detract from achieving academic excellence. Generally speaking a single sex school can focus specifically on the needs of that gender and develop activities that are particularly suited to that gender’s learning styles. Clearly in a boarding school environment it is important to regulate adolescent behavior both in and out of lessons and mixed gender schools may experience some issues with relationships between the students. A single sex boarding school can develop a teenagers’ independence without the distraction of relationships, allowing focus on leadership skills, sports skills and academic skills.

A program can be tailored to meet boys’ more physical needs with a greater variety of competitive sports and team building exercises. Boys tend to thrive in a competitive environment and respond better to a more structured approach to learning with very clear boundaries. Differentiation can therefore be by ability as opposed to gender.

The negatives of single sex schooling

Some parents are concerned that their son or daughter will struggle to form good opposite sex relationships if they attend a single sex school. Generally speaking, a good single sex boarding school will ensure that there are activities with neighboring opposite sex schools to enable development of these social skills. It is common to find two single sex boarding schools within a reasonable distance of each other, sometimes run by the same institution, in order to facilitate this social development. Not all boys learn the same way, some gain a lot from working with girls and vice versa so they may miss out on certain styles of learning in a single sex school.

Boarding schools single sex benefits

Many educational experts recognize that while boys and girls may develop at a similar rate academically, they often develop differently emotionally. A troubled teen boy will benefit greatly from positive male role models and a supportive environment that responds to his social, academic and emotional needs without the added concerns of opposite sex relationships. These schools work closely with their students to foster team spirit and cooperation which create many long lasting friendships and positive bonding between the students. This has been shown to improve academic performance as a friendly rivalry is a good motivator to success.

Choosing a single sex school with your teenager

It is important that your son or daughter is involved in the decision as to which school they attend. They may have reservations about attending a single sex school so will need to visit any such school to see the facilities and experience the atmosphere. Obviously, you as a parent may have strong opinions and want your child to attend a single sex school, but it will be more successful a decision if your child agrees with the choice!

Tips on Choosing the Best Boarding School for Your Teen

Choosing the best boarding school

It may seem bewildering at first when you start looking for a boarding school for your teenager. You may want to employ a consultant to find the best boarding school but you should do some preparatory work yourself first. There are some basic questions you should ask yourself before deciding on the best boarding school for your child.

Before choosing a boarding school, you should decide on the following and then you can start to narrow down your choices.

  1. Single sex or co-ed school?

Will your teenager be distracted by the opposite sex or gain from working with them?

  1. Academic, sporting or performing arts?

Is your teenager less academic but motivated by team sports or music, drama, the arts?

  1. Single faith, multi faith, no faith?

As a family, do you have a strong faith and is this important to you?

  1. Pastoral care available

The school acts as a parent to your child, in your absence; the term for this is “in loco parentis” in place of the parent. Do they therefore have the right facilities to act not just as educators but as caring parents? Medical, emotional and social support facilities are important.

  1. Extra-curricular activities

Does the school provide a range of sporting, social, educational activities outside of the classroom or are they so focused on the academic that your child will not develop as a whole person?

  1. Tuition and accommodation fees

It is unrealistic not to consider cost, but this should not be the only deciding factor. However, it is important to know what is included and what is extra. You may find you can afford the basic fees but not all the add-ons and your child may be disadvantaged as a result.

  1. Location

While you are sending your teenager away from home, it should not be so far away that you cannot reach them in case of emergency, or simply to visit. Consider the additional travel costs of your teenager coming home for vacations.

  1. Class sizes

The smaller the class size, the more attention the child receives from the teacher, but generally this will mean that the fees will be higher too.

  1. Reputation

This can be difficult to find out, but it will help if you can read testimonials from other parents. A good boarding school will allow you to talk to other parents and students to find out how good they are!

  1. Personal style

Your teenager is an individual and you want the best boarding school for them. This is harder to define, but essentially you want a school that allows your child to grow up as an independent thinker and not a clone of every other child! You will get a feel for the style of the boarding school through reading their literature and this is where you need to trust your instincts; if something does not sound right to you, then do not choose that school.

Preparation beforehand will save you many a wasted trip to a school that does not suit your teenager. Think through what you want from the school; talk it over with your teenager, they may have different views. When you agree a compromise between what they want and what you feel is best, then you are ready to choose the best boarding school for your teenager.

Using an Educational Consultant – Boarding School Advice

Using an Educational Consultant

Some parents find the whole process of applying for a boarding school place for their child very daunting. It can seem like an awful lot of hard work and time and they may not have the resources to do this properly. An alternative approach is to use an educational consultant to find the best boarding school for your teenager.

Benefits of using an educational consultant

The main benefit of using an educational consultant is time; the time you save looking for the best boarding school for your teenager. Another benefit is the expertise of the consultant. If you have never done this before it makes sense to employ someone who does this for a living; they are more likely to know the procedure better than you do and know where to look to find a school that suits your teenager.

Drawbacks to using an educational consultant

There is obviously a cost associated to employing a professional consultant and this cost varies widely; some are more expensive than others. However, just because a consultant is charging a very high fee does not mean they are the best! The major drawback to using a consultant is that they do not know your teenager the way that you do. Unfortunately there are also charlatans in the educational consultancy field so it is important to check them out thoroughly, which takes time.

Choosing an educational consultant

The absolutely ideal way is to find a consultant recommended by somebody that you trust. Ask friends and family who have teenagers at boarding school which consultant they used. Be aware that although friends may recommend a school it may not suit your teenager. It is better to use a recommended consultant who has spent quality time with the youngster and their parents and then found a good school that suits them.

Interview the consultant before parting with a dime of your money! Do not accept a consultant who wants money upfront before doing any work as their motivation should be providing you with a good service, not simply taking a fee. Ask them how many different boarding schools they work with as some consultants work on a retainer basis for certain schools and effectively act as headhunters for the right students. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it just might mean that the range of school they recommend is too narrow for your teenager’s needs.

Understand your requirements

This may seem obvious, but you must be clear about the type of boarding school you want for your youngster before employing an educational consultant. Here it pays to do some research of your own; using the internet to find out the different types of boarding school available. So, read articles about boarding schools so that you have an idea of the style of boarding school that would be best for your teenager.

GPA And Other Qualities

Get Good Grades

How many times have you encouraged your son or daughter to get good grades so they will be able to get into a good college? This principle also applies to gaining admission into a more prestigious boarding school. If a student develops good study habits in middle school and keeps their GPA up, they will have a better chance of gaining admission into a better boarding school. One of the advantages of being admitted to a better boarding school is the fact that many colleges and universities will take into consideration a potential students high school experience and success. If the education is from a better high school or boarding school it could make the difference in being accepted or not. With the competition at better universities getting tougher and tougher each year a student that has a desire to excel academically should begin concentrating on their collegiate goals in middle school. It may sound a little extreme, but let’s face it, without a college degree it is very difficult to succeed today. Students that learn to apply themselves early in life will more than likely continue the same course as they grow older. Usually a student that develops good study habits early in life will be a conscientious, sought after employee.

 

Develop A Positive Attitude

One attribute of many successful people is the ability to stay positive even in times of difficulty and stress. No one likes to be around a pessimist, a negative person can drag everyone around them down. A positive person, conversely, can lift others around them. This attribute may also play a part in the success of a student. In order to gain admission into a prestigious boarding school and eventually a quality institute of higher education, letters of recommendation will have to accompany the students application. A positive attitude is a great quality to go along with the ability to study and do well academically. A positive attitude will eventually accompany the student into the career of their choice. An employer would much rather have a positive person on board than a naysayer, negative wet blanket employee. Some employers will consider a persons attitude equal with their educational background. All of the knowledge in the world won’t make up for someone who is hard to work with.

Honesty

It may seem odd to include honesty in traits necessary to get into a good boarding school, but it can play am important part in the life of a young person. Consider again the letter of recommendation that needs to accompany a student to a boarding school and eventually a university. It is another positive attribute that may effect the decision of those considering a student’s background. If two students have the same GPA and one has letter’s of recommendation describing them as honest and positive, the board may lean toward the character traits as the deciding factor, or tie breaker. Some graduate schools put a great deal of weight and consideration into the interview portion of the entrance criteria. The student may have good grades but if they do not possess other qualities they may not be accepted.

Teen Anxiety

Teen Anxiety

There are many teens today suffering from anxiety. It may be hard to believe that the youth of today can become so obsessed with the issues of life that they may even need to be medicated. In reality there are teens on medication today to assist them with the anxiety they are suffering from. Times are different than when the parents of teens were growing up. There are more things for a teen to worry and concern themselves about. This increase in worry and fear can actually lead to the teen becoming anxious to the point of become physically ill. To an adult the worries and concerns of their child can seem trivial and unimportant, but to the youth they are very real. It is important for a parent to take an interest in the worries of their child. It may be possible to help the teen learn to relax and deal with the problem without medication. Parents should be cautious however that a teen doesn’t begin to self medicate to cope with their anxiety.

Teen Self Medication

If a teen begins to panic when confronted with the stresses of daily life they are going to want to find relief from this very real experience. If the teen is associating with the wrong type of friends they may introduce the anxious teen to some form of medication. Some teens begin using Marijuana as a form of stress relief. If the teen is high strung and is dealing with a serious case of anxiety disorder they may begin using the Marijuana more and more often to escape their stress. Marijuana is not the only way a teen may find relief. Some teens will begin looking around the house for ways to relieve their stress. If either of the parents have any anxiety medication around, the teen may begin using theirs without permission. This can obviously be a dangerous situation because most teens will not consider any other medications they may be taking that could interact with their parents medications. The teen may take more than the appropriate dose, and more frequently than the prescribed amount. Another danger is that the teen may think they are taking something for anxiety when in reality they are not. One of the major anti anxiety medications is Xanax. It can be purchased on the street, Xanax or the generic form Alprazolam are effective at treating anxiety, but they are very addictive, and should only be used under the care of a physician.

Parent Teen Relationship 

The relationship the parent has with the teen will be extremely important if the teen does indeed have anxiety. If the youth is left to get advice from their friends things may get out of control rapidly. If a teen is used to communicating with their parent, they will more than likely go to them for advice. If parents dismiss the issue and just tell the child to “deal with it”, the results could be catastrophic, even deadly. An open line of communication between parents and teens can prevent many of the problems teens will encounter. This relationship is difficult and time consuming, but so worth the effort. If a parent will communicate with their child, and sincerely listen to what they are “trying” to say, many problems will be averted. If a teen struggles to talk to their parents they will have a difficult time trying to explain what they are experiencing. Parents may have to read between the lines and fill in the blanks in many cases. Parents and teens considering a boarding school will want to make sure the anxiety is dealt with prior to the teen leaving for school.