Tag Archives: boarding schools

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.

How is That Working For You?

Parenting Skills

A phrase that Dr. Phil has recently made popular asks people that are in a predicament “so how is that working for you”? It can be humorous when asked to those discussing their problems on television.  It may be a good question for parents struggling with a defiant teen to consider. The struggle with an out of control teen can be very traumatic and disruptive for the entire family. Most parents are really not sure how to proceed, where to turn, or what to do. The common denominator among parents of troubled teens is a lack of knowledge of what to do next.  Most of these parent’s could also be asked the same question Dr. Phil asks. How are the parenting techniques some parents using working for them? Most people have heard the definition of insanity defined by by Albert Einstein as continuing to do the same things over and over expecting different results. If you keep doing the same things you always do you will keep getting the results you have always gotten. It is obvious that something needs to change, the question is what?

Defiant Teen Options

Once parents realize something needs to change they have several avenues they can explore. A common first step is taking the teen to a therapist. This is usually futile as the therapist is trained to help people that want to get helped. The majority of teens in this particular situation think the only problem they have is their parents. As educated and experienced as the therapist might be they will agree they can’t help someone unless they want to be helped. The human mind is a very complex thing, and there is really no way into it without the permission of the person that is in control of it.

Another common tactic for parents is attempting to control the teen with restriction’s like grounding, limitations on friends, or cutting communication lines with the outside world. The problem is the parents may be the ones that suffer the most these types of tactics. Another down side to these methods is that many teens will find a way around them. Sneaking out at night, failing to go to school, and continued association with negative friends will usually continue to take place.

Extreme Action May Be Required

When everything else fails parents may need to consider some “out of the box” techniques or actions. There are troubled teen boarding schools that specialize in dealing with teens like we are talking about. They can be a great option for a teen that does not respond to any other type of help parents have tried. Defiant teen programs are scattered across the country and range in price, success, and how they approach the negative youth. Some are patterned after the military using an in your face technique combined with peer pressure to get the teen to do as they are asked. Another method is to combine a highly structured daily schedule with a therapeutic component. As mentioned previously however, the therapy will only be helpful if the teen decides to take advantage of it. Some of the programs also add a Christian component to their approach. These types of placement are known as Christian Boarding Schools or Christian Boot Camps.  The religious aspect of the program can be very beneficial especially if the teen has had a religious upbringing. It can also chase a teen away from God if it is forced on them.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Teens

There are basically two types of boarding schools for troubled teens. Teen boarding schools that include therapy and those that do not. Schools that have therapy included in their structure are usually classified as a Residential Treatment Centers. This means that they have several professional staff members including Doctors, Nurses, and a Psychiatric component they are offering. This type of program is usually more expensive given the amount of professional staff employed. Insurance companies used to include some type of psychiatric benefit that would assist in a placement of this type. In recent years those types of benefits have virtually disappeared. This can make a Teen Residential Treatment Center financially out of reach for many families.

Non Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Teen Boarding Schools that do not have therapy may be classified and residential centers, or just boarding schools. They are not required to employ medical or psychiatric staff. The premise behind this type of school is centered on behavior modification, and some type of positive peer pressure component. Parents may be attracted to this style of program especially if they have had a negative experience with counseling and or therapy. Many of these types of programs may offer therapy for an additional charge for parents that would like to include it. The non therapeutic boarding schools have increased in popularity because of the lower price making it possible for more families to utilize this service. There are pro and con’s to everything especially this type of boarding option. Professionals say that it could not be beneficial without medical and psychiatric professional involvement. Troubled Teen Boarding Schools do offer some pretty impressive results.

Therapy for Troubled Teens

Teen therapy can be a controversial topic for some families. Many parents will try using therapy for their troubled teen when they begin acting out. This may be very helpful for some families. Other families may find it a terrible waste of time, money, and in some cases legal problems. If a therapist is not experienced working with a manipulative teen they may fall prey to the teen using them against their parents. There have been cases where a teen has convinced their therapist that they are being abused. This may not even be remotely true. The professional by law needs to notify the authorities that the child is accusing his or her parents of abuse. While it s never appropriate for a parents to abuse a child, it is unfortunate that the tables have turned to where the child soon begins to control things at home. What an unfortunate situation when the child can simply threaten their parents with a call to CPS or SRS and the parent is immediately forced to comply with the defiant child.

Boarding Schools Are Not For Everyone

Should I Go Or Not?

Many teens struggle over the decision to move away from home to attend a boarding school. Of course it is exciting to move away, make new friends, and focus more intensely on academics. It is partially up to the teen or preteen if they really want to go. Parents will need to be prepared to pay for the boarding option which may be a contributing factor for the student. Schools vary in how much they cost, and admissions criteria may also vary slightly. The more sought after boarding schools have a tendency to fill up more quickly so applications must be submitted as quickly as possible. The teen that struggles with home sickness needs to address these concerns prior to enrolling. Some schools may not refund tuition for a child that leaves early. While it may be a good experience for a child that suffers from home sickness, it can be miserable until they make the transition, and become used to living away from home. Home sick children will be in contact with parents many times a day initially, and then gradually tapering off until they are more settled in their new environment. Once the teen has beat their home sick blues, they will be prepared to finish their schooling, and will be much better equipped to move on to college.

Academic Focus

The advantage to boarding schools is a more focused approach to academics. When a student is living on campus it only seems logical that they have a tendency to do a better job on their homework. The ability to stay after class and receive additional tutoring is also an advantage. Parents may be able to log on and see the progress students are making on a weekly basis, and speak with teachers and counselors to determine what areas they need to encourage their youth to focus on. The social aspect of a boarding school is an advantage for children that may be lacking in social skills. They will need to to deal with having a room mate, and developing friends in their dorm. Some children will be eating together creating a situation where they will learn appropriate etiquette and manners. Some parents have busy schedules and are unable to give the appropriate amount of time and attention their children need. This creates and advantage for a the child being placed in a boarding school. They will receive more attention and supervision than they might receive at home. When children are left unsupervised they are much more likely to get into trouble, and fail to do their homework. Parents with the financial ability to send their child to a boarding school, but unable to give them time may decide the advantages of boarding school outweigh the child’s absence from the home.


Parents and children should work together to determine the best boarding school for their needs. Once the school has been decided upon parents should begin working on enrollment applications. Good boarding schools will fill up rather quickly. It may require some extra legwork obtaining letters of recommendation and completing necessary paperwork. Most schools have strict deadlines for applications.

At Risk Youth Warning Signs – Teen Help

At Risk Youth Warning signs

Parents struggling with an at risk youth are usually not concerned about the warning signs preceding this type of youth behavior. We will try to point out behaviors that usually accompany the beginning of a child heading down a negative path. If a parent can detour negative behavior early enough, they may be able to save themselves and their child from the consequences of their poor choices. We will list some key indicators that usually accompany a youth moving in the wrong direction.

Is your youth huffing?

Has your youth ever run away?

Does your youth disrespect those in positions of authority?

Has your child ever spoken about suicide?

Is your child sexually active?

Have you ever found drugs in your youth’s possession?

Has your youth ever come home intoxicated or high?

Is your child refusing to talk to one or both parents?

Has your youth changed friends?

Has your child’s grades recently dropped?

Does your child seem depressed?

Does your child have a hopeless attitude? (what’s the use?)

Does your child sleep excessively?

This list is not conclusive, and if your youth is displaying behaviors associated with depression, it is highly recommended that he or she be seen by a professional.

At Risk Youth Depression

Depression if not treated can lead to self mutilation and even suicide. If you suspect your child is depressed, get them into either your family Dr. or a mental health professional. There are few things less tragic than teen suicide. We are not qualified to give advice on this dangerous topic. The best course to take is to seek help immediately. It is always better to seek help early in cases of teen depression that could possible lead to suicide. Interwoven through our site is the importance of parental involvement.

When a parent is involved and has a good relationship with their youth, they will notice even gradual changes in attitudes and behaviors. When a teen begins flirting with negative behavior it is always better to get involved as soon as possible. It is sad when parents do not pay close enough attention and do not notice the gradual decent that leads to negative behavior.

Private Teen Schools – Teen Specialty Schools

Private Teen Schools

Parents select private schools for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a child has special needs. Other times, the child is gifted and the parents seek an accelerated academic environment. In many cases, the parents are simply looking for a more structured learning atmosphere with smaller classes and more careful supervision.

If you are new to an area, check the phone book. Make sure the school is accredited before going any further with your search. Ask your Realtor, and even your children’s pediatrician.

• What should I look for in a private school?

That answer depends on what you are looking for for your child’s education. Maybe you want a rigorous academic program, like a preparatory school. Or perhaps you would like a certain emphasis, like in the arts or music. Look at class size and compare with the public schools in your area. Maybe you want a nurturing, warm environment. Decide what you want and then seek it out.

• What should I expect from private school teachers?

Check out the credentials of the teachers. Do they have specialized degrees in their areas, such as math or chemistry? Or did they graduate with general degrees? How long have the teachers been on staff? Is turnover a problem? Are the teachers well paid?

If the teachers are experienced, and have a long-term history with the school, that will tell you that most likely they are happy there.

• How can I find out about the academic program?

When you visit the school, ask specific questions about the curriculum. What math book do they use? Ask to see it and page through it. What is their language arts curriculum? What books do they read, and what writing assignments do they have?

What is the school’s philosophy on homework? Is it given daily? During weekends? How many hours should it take, and what is the punishment if it is not turned in on time?

Do the children go on field trips? How do they travel, by bus, car, train or plane? Who supervises them on these trips?

Ask about grades. Is there grade inflation where everyone makes an “A.” Or are the grades distributed fairly. How many tests are there per week on the average? What is the test taking policy (in other words, can they make-up a test if their score is low?).

• How do I ask about discipline?

Be very direct, and ask how discipline is handled. Is it time out, visits to the Principal, or extra assignments? As you tour the school, look at the behavior in the classroom. Is it under control or out of hand? Do the students appear interested or bored? Be sure and ask to enter classrooms during your tour. Visualize your child in the room and ask yourself if that feels “right.”

Ask direct questions like, “What action has been taken in the past to handle those who cheat on tests?” “How are drug problems handled?” “Have you ever expelled a child, and for what reason?”

• What about extracurricular activities?

Ask if there are clubs to join, sports teams and enrichment classes. Request a list of opportunities for the child.

• Can parents be involved in the school?

Again, be sure to ask for the level of parental involvement. Is it hands-on in the classroom? Will you feel welcome at the school? Is there a parent-teacher organization, and what activities does the group perform?

• Who should I ask for references on a particular school?

It is advised to talk to parents of current students or recent graduates. Ask what the positives and negatives are. Remember that no school is perfect. It is your job as a parent to locate the school that comes closest to meeting your child’s educational needs.

Teen Boarding Schools

Troubled Teen Boarding Schools

Teen boarding schools are independent, college preparatory schools that provide housing facilities for students and faculty. Boarding schools are sometimes referred to as “intentional communities” because the faculty and staff at boarding schools work very hard to create an environment for students that is safe, academically challenging, active, and fun.

Teen Boarding Schools are well known for their academic excellence. With small class sizes, diverse curricula, and individual attention from teachers and advisors, the boarding school experience gives students many distinct advantages. Boarding school students acquire the abilities that help ensure success in college and in life.

During the academic year, boarding schools become extended families where teachers and students live and learn together. The 24-hour community of a boarding school environment allows the faculty to seize every teachable moment whether in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the dormitory.

While boarding schools differ among these broad types, they also differ in their philosophy and mission. Because no two boarding schools are alike, matching a student with an appropriate boarding school is a big step toward ensuring future success. Teen Options can help guide you through this difficult process.

Specialty Teen Boarding Schools

There are many schools today that are labeled, “boarding schools for troubled teens.” They all have a little different twist on helping a teen that may be defiant, skipping school, or just failing in school due to a lack of effort or concern. Some are long term programs and some just 2 week programs. The shorter programs do not usually have an academic component to them. Some of these are punitive in nature and punish the child for not making an appropriate choice and some are very lenient. There are many in the middle with enough structure and discipline to accomplish the goal of getting the teen back on the right track. We have a Boarding School Directory of programs that we have found to be effective.

Christian Boarding Schools

Some schools are sponsored by or backed by a particular religious organization. Many of these schools will not take a teen if they are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or if the child is destructive, or angry. Many parents looking for placements have teens that are out of control and not fitting into a regular classroom. This being the case a school that won’t take defiant children, is probably not going to work. There are some Christian Boarding Schools that will take defiant teens however. We do work with a few that will. We do work with a Christian all girls boarding school, and it is very reasonably priced. They will take girls that don’t want to be there, or that are defiant. The curriculum is usually accredited, and acceptable when the teen returns home.

ADHD Boarding Schools – Teen Specialty Schools

ADHD Boarding Schools

Many students in today’s society must deal with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.  An estimated 8 to 10 percent of school-aged students live with the disorder.  These students struggle with the many side effects that the disorder brings, including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.  These side effects sometimes make learning and socializing difficult and frustrating not only for the student with ADHD, but for their parents, teachers, and peers.  Fortunately, there are alternative schools for these students, including ADHD boarding schools, which specialize in working with students that have ADHD.  ADHD boarding schools teach students all of the important school fundamentals, as well as valuable life lessons on dealing with their somewhat difficult disorder.  ADHD boarding schools also teach students how to be a successful, productive, and most importantly, happy individuals throughout their life.

What exactly are they?

ADHD boarding schools are facilities, located all throughout the United States, which are designed specifically for students who are struggling in the public education system, and also in their daily lives, because of their ADHD.  Not only do ADHD boarding schools give students an effective, valuable education, they also deal with the side effects that accompany students with ADHD.  Counseling, therapy, and family workshops are all part of the ADHD boarding school curriculum.  Activities that allow students to examine some of their behavioral problems, and work those behaviors out, are key components of an ADHD boarding school.  ADHD boarding schools are not a punishment for students with the disorder; rather, they offer a safe, caring place where students can reach their full potential by knowledgeable, compassionate educators, counselors, and other specialists.  It is extremely beneficial for ADHD students to be around other students with the same disorder.  These ADHD students can offer so much to each other, including ways that they deal with their own disorder on a daily basis.  Lifelong friendships and bonds between students and educators/counselors are made at ADHD boarding schools.
Because ADHD boarding schools are becoming more common and widespread, these facilities offer programs where the student can either stay for a long period of time, or return home on a daily basis.

Who should attend?

So which students would make good candidates to attend an ADHD boarding school? Parents, teachers, and caregivers should examine the checklist and decide if their student exhibits one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Student is failing in one or more subjects at school
  • Students struggles with friends, peers, teachers, and parents
  • Student begins to dread school or other social gatherings
  • Student shows signs of depression, sadness, or withdrawal because of school performance
  • Student begins to act out and does not care about those around them
  • Student participates in destructive, damaging behaviors

If a student displays one or more of the mentioned behaviors, they would most likely make an excellent candidate for attending an ADHD boarding school.
ADHD boarding schools are an excellent tool for students with ADHD to rediscover their self worth and confidence so that they can function normally and become successful individuals not only in the school setting, but forever in their lives.