West Coast Boarding Schools

The West Coast or Pacific Coast includes California, Oregon, and Washington, though Arizona and Nevada are sometimes included. West Coast boarding schools are schools with boarding programs in these states. This article summarizes the offerings available.

The West Coast Boarding Schools

Finding a definitive list of West Coast boarding schools is challenging. The Federal government site, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), has a listing of private schools, but they cannot be filtered by a boarding option. Another accrediting commission, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is similar in not providing a filter to separate boarding schools. So, by combining data from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), the Western Boarding School Association (WBSA), and the BoardingSchoolReview.com listings, we tried to come up with a reasonable list. Here are the results.

BoardingReviews.com—5 (3 same as WBSA)
Total: 14

BoardingReviews.com—24 (18 same as WBSA)
Total: 31

Total: 0

BoardingReviews.com—3 (1 same as WBSA)
Total: 13

BoardingReviews.com—1 (same as WBSA)
Total: 6

Therapeutic West Coast Boarding Schools

These schools include a wide range of types. The therapeutic boarding schools and programs include outdoor behavioral healthcare, residential treatment, therapeutic boarding schools, inpatient treatment, transitional independent living facilities, specialized boarding schools, emotional growth boarding schools, wilderness programs, and serve young people, teens, and young adults in facilities that may be boys only, girls only boarding schools or coeducational.

Military West Coast Boarding Schools

Army and Navy Academy and St. Catherine’s Academy, both in California, are both schools with a military tradition. St. Catherine’s is also Catholic. St. Catherine’s offers day school to grades K–8 and boarding to students in grades 4–8. It is considered a junior boarding school, and it only accepts boys. Army and Navy Academy offers grades 7–12, and ninety percent of students board. It, too, is an all-boys school. Both schools offer summer programs and support for students with ADD/ADHD, and  Army and Navy Academy offers support for students with learning differences. Both of these types of support are by no means standard in military-focused boarding schools.

Special Academic Focus West Coast Boarding Schools

Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, a coeducational, nondenominational school, provides specialized pre-professional training in arts along with a college preparatory program to students in grades 9–12, and sends a number of students to Juilliard, Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, and the Rhode Island School of Design, among other top art programs. Students can choose to major in creative writing, dance, interdisciplinary arts, moving pictures, theatre, or visual arts.

At Think GLOBAL school, based in San Francisco, is a coeducational, nondenominational high school started in 2008 with the goal of holding each trimester in a different international city, giving students an opportunity to live in 12 different countries by the time they graduate. As of December, 2010, school was operating in Stockholm.



Canada Boarding Schools

Canada boarding schools, like American boarding schools, have a variety of different characters, but there are fewer types. To learn more about Canada boarding schools, keep reading this article.

Canadian Boards Schools vs. American Boarding Schools

While boarding schools in the United States may be called academies, or schools, in Canada, they are often called colleges or schools.  As in the US, there are a large number that include the high school grades, but in Canada, most include at least one middle school grade as well. The schools tend to be in the warmer, more populated part of the country, that is, closer to the United States border than to the Arctic Circle.

The colleges that are listed are all of the type referred to in the United States as college preparatory or college prep schools. A number of the schools have a religious affiliation.

A Listing of Canada Boarding Schools

As with the United States, finding a comprehensive list of Canadian boarding schools is a challenge. SEA+L, Standards in Excellence and Learning, lists 27 boarding schools in its school directory. A number of these schools that are in British Columbia belong to the Western Boarding School Association (WBSA) as well. Some others are listed on the BoardingSchoolsInfo.com site.

(N = nursery school; JK = junior kindergarten; K = kindergarten; PreK = prekindergarten)

Canadian Boarding School Location Grades
Academie Ste. Cecile International School Ontario JK–12
Albert College Ontario PreK-12, PG
Appleby College Ontario 7-12
Ashbury College Ontario 7-12
Athol Murray College of Notre Dame Saskatchewan 8–12
Balmoral Hall School Manitoba K–12
Bishop’s College School Quebec 7–12
Branksome Hall Ontario K–12
Brentwood College School British Columbia 9–12
Bronte College of Canada Ontario 9–12
Columbia International College Ontario 7–12
Great Lakes Christian College Ontario N, JK, K, 9–12
Havergal College Ontario K–12
Imperial College of Toronto Ontario 11, 12
King’s Edgehill School Nova Scotia 7–12
Lakefield College School Ontario 7–12
Luther College High School Saskatchewan 9–12
Pickering College Ontario K–12
Queen Margaret’s School British Columbia K–12
Ridley College Ontario K-12, PG
Rosseau Lake College Ontario 7–12
Rothesay Netherwood School New Brunswick 6–12
Shawnigan Lake School British Columbia 8–12
St. Andrew’s College Ontario 6–12
St. George’s School British Columbia 1–12
St. John’s-Ravenscourt School Manitoba K–12
St. Margaret’s School British Columbia JK, 1–12
St. Michaels University School British Columbia K–12
Stanstead College Quebec 7–12
The Bishop Strachan School Ontario K–12
Trafalgar Castle School Ontario 5–12
Trinity College School Ontario 5–12
Upper Canada College Ontario K-12

Important Note About Schools

They say that there’s no such thing as removing information from the Internet, and two cases show this here. Grenville Christian College is still listed in various places, but it was closed in 2007 after abuse allegations. The Maxwell International Baha’I School also closed in 2007 because it had not become self-sustaining.











UK Boarding Schools

Eton and Harrow are perhaps the most famous of the UK boarding schools, but there’s more, much more. Learn more about the boarding schools of the United Kingdom in this article.

Public and Private Schools in the UK

In the UK, there is an organization called The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Many of the leading independent day and boarding schools in the UK belong to this organization, as do some schools from the Commonwealth, for example, Australia and New Zealand, and beyond. Members of the conference, among others, have traditionally been referred to as public schools, said to be because there was an expectation that attendees would enter into public service or because they were open to any member of the public who could pay the fee (in contrast to schools with a religious affiliation, which were only available to members of that denomination. These schools correspond to what, in the United States, are referred to as college preparatory schoolsprivate boarding schools with strong academics, small class sizes, faculty with advanced degrees, well-appointed facilities, and broad extracurricular opportunities in sports and the arts.  Many are single-sex.

Private schools in the UK has traditionally referred to K–12 schools that are funded by the government—what we, in the United States would call public schools. Just as there are some public boarding schools in the US—mostly with a focus on a specific academic area or subject matter—there are some state boarding schools in the UK. In this case, the tuition bill is covered by the government, and the parent pays the room and board. Most of these are secondary schools, covering students from age 11 or 13 up. They are primarily coeducational.

Recently, perhaps aware that the terminology did not match up with other locales, some have taken to using the terminology used in the United States, so UK boarding schools may be called independent schools, public schools, or private schools. Searching for boarding schools will help cut through this thicket of vocabulary differences.

How to Search for UK Boarding Schools

There are several popular aides to finding an apt UK boarding school. Those with an online presence may have multiple levels of service, including a free web search tool, articles about UK schools, a subscription service that provides you with a larger amount of web content, printed guides for purchase, and educational consultants for hire. There may also be a way for registered users of the website to post comments about schools that may be useful to other users.

Perhaps the UK boarding school search site with the fullest array of services is Good Schools Guide http://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/ For UK boarding school seekers, you might begin by selecting ‘Choosing a School’ > ’Boarding Schools’ in the left frame menu to read articles about boarding schools. Going back to that left menu, you can then choose ‘Find a School’ and begin your search. Subscription services, print editions of the guide, and education consultants are all available. If you have a subscription, you can read the article “Notes for Foreign Parents” about having a child at a boarding school in a country other than the one in which you live. Other sites that may prove useful are Gabbitas Education http://www.gabbitas.co.uk/search/ and UK Boarding Schools http://www.ukboardingschools.com/

East Coast Boarding Schools

“East Coast” can either refer to the corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. or to the United States east of Detroit and North of Savannah, Georgia. In either case, there are plenty of East Coast boarding schools. This article tells more.

Two Definitions of East Coast

The first definition of East Coast covers a lesser area, including only Washington, D.C., and the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. In the second definition, it is necessary to add a portion of Georgia Maine, New Hampshire, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

For the purposes of this short article, let us follow the first definition for our assessment of East Coast boarding schools. State-by-state summaries are based on data at the boardingschoolreview.com, which seems to be the most reliable source, but is, unfortunately, not complete. The US government has a way to search for private schools at the National Center for Education Statistics site, but no filter to separate boarding schools from other private schools.

• Connecticut—Connecticut has at least 23 boarding schools, at least several of which are more than 150 years old. Most of them educate students in grades 9–12 with a post-graduate year available, and while many are coeducational, there are several all-girls and all-boys schools. There are two boarding schools in Kent, CT, Pomfret, CT, Simsbury, CT, and Washington, CT.

• Delaware—Several sites list St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware as the only boarding school in Delaware. It is a coeducational school that educates students in grades 9 through 12.  St. Andrew’s is an Episcopal school.

• Maryland—Six boarding schools are listed in Maryland, including the oldest boarding school in the boardingschoolreview.com database: West Nottingham Academy was founded in 1744, making it older than the United States itself! The schools are all offer either grades 8–12 or 9–12, with half offering a post-graduate year. There are 3 all-girls schools, 1 all-boys school, and 2 coeducational schools.

• Massachusetts—Thirty boarding schools are listed, 25 of which are coeducational, 3 all-girls, and 2 all-boys. Massachusetts is home of the second-oldest boarding school in the U.S., Linden Hall, founded in 1746. Three include elementary and middle school grades, and all the rest are high school, a few of which have grade 8 or grades 7 and 8 added.

• New Jersey—Six boarding schools are listed in New Jersey, four of them offering grades 9–12 and a post-graduate year, one having grades 9–12 only, and one offering 7–12. Except for the school offering 9–12, which is an all-girls school, all are coeducational.

• New York While 19 boarding schools are listed for New York, the list is obviously incomplete. First, not a single boarding school is listed in New York City. Second, none of the seven schools listed by Forbes in its 2010 ranking of the best 20 boarding schools is included:

Trinity School # 1

Horace Mann #2

The Brearley School #4

Collegiate School #7

The Spence School # 9

The Chapin School # 11

The Dalton School # 13

• Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania is listed as having 16 boarding schools, but after New York, I don’t trust the numbers. All schools listed include the high school grades, with some picking up grades from middle schools and/or a post-graduate year.

• Rhode Island—Four schools are listed for Rhode Island, all coeducational, three including high school grades, and the other Pre-K–2.