Day Boarding School

“Day Boarding School” is a term used to describe a school that accepts both day students as well as boarding students who live at the school. Almost, but not all, day boarding schools are classified as private schools. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Day Boarding School?

Boarding schools are well known as both college preparatory schools and also therapeutic boarding schools. But while in the second case, the treatment protocols require that attendees be present 24/7 during their treatment, with college preparatory schools, it may be possible to be deeply involved in the school community, while either going home after afterschool activities are complete or on weekends. Just imagine the situation for the local student otherwise: he or she might live 2 blocks from the school, but be unable to go home! This would provide a challenge for local students not faced by, for example, international students, who—at the opposite end of things—would be more likely to suffer from homesickness because their homes are so far away.

So, boarding students stay at the school and day students return to their families when not in class or pursuing afterschool activities, which are often an important part of the boarding school life. But the percentages vary a lot. At the Grier School, an all girls’ school in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, for example, 92 percent of the students board.  At the Hawai’I Preparatory Academy in Kamuela, Hawaii, day and boarding students are split 50-50. Half of the 560 students are day students, attending grades K-12 and a post-graduate year. The other half are boarding students in grades 6–12 and a post-graduate year. At the Athenian School in Danville, California, on the other hand, only 14% of the students board, all of them being in grades 9–12, while the 86% of students who come and go each day are in grades 6–12.

Public Day Boarding Schools

While most schools that take boarding students are private schools, there are at least several schools that are public schools, but this is true only in exceptional situations. One such situation occurs in Vermont, where—in the towns of Lyndon Center, St. Johnsbury, Thetford Center, and Manchester—schools that were created as private schools (or independent schools, as they are referred to in Vermont) also function as the designated public school for the area.

Lyndon Institute, St. Johnsbury Academy, Thetford Academy, and Burr & Burton Academy all accept public school students from the designated “sending area, ” which consists of towns that do not operate a public high school and, instead, use one or more local independent schools to educate their high school students, paying the tuition for them. Burr and Burton Academy, for example, has eleven sending towns: Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Mt. Tabor, Peru, Stratton, Sunderland, Weston, and Winhall, Vermont. Even more unusually, Thetford Academy functions as the public high school not only for Thetford and Strafford, Vermont, but also for Lyme, New Hampshire!


Private Boarding Schools

Almost all boarding schools are privately run, but that doesn’t mean they’re all alike. There are many different types of private boarding schools, both in the United States and around the world. The article explores the range of private boarding schools.

Types of Private Boarding Schools

There are a number of ways to categorize private boarding schools. Let’s explore some of the main types.

Private Boarding Schools in the United States and Abroad

While there are thousands of private boarding schools to choose from in the United States, there are also many fine schools abroad, at many of which English is spoken. Out of the country but nearby are the private schools of Canada. There are schools nearby to the south as well, such as Robinson School in Puerto Rico and Country Day School, Costa Rica. While your child can’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, England is known for a number of its outstanding schools. For example, you may recognize the name of Harrow School, a boys’ boarding school in Middlesex, which draws 15% of its students from overseas. Many other countries in Europe and farther afield also have private boarding schools that accept American students.

• Private Boarding Schools that are Secular or Affiliated with a Denomination

While there are secular private boarding schools that focus on a wide range of outcomes, there are many examples of Christian boarding schools around the world, with a large number being Anglican, Catholic, Episcopal, or non-denominational. There are also religiously affiliated boarding schools that are not Christian. For example, Jewish boarding schools are available in the US, for example in Greensboro, North Carolina (American Hebrew Academy) and Riverdale, New York (Telshe Yeshiva), as well as elsewhere in the United States and beyond.

• Private Boarding Schools that Serve Different Populations

Private boarding schools have a wide range of missions. Some aim to prepare children for college by focusing on academics. Others combine academic preparation with elite sports training. Boarding schools for students with particular aptitudes may focus on the visual and performing arts or on science, math, and engineering. Therapeutic boarding schools provide treatment and a variety of therapeutic experiences and counseling along with an education. There are special boarding schools for students with specific disabilities, such as deafness/hardness of hearing and blindness/visual impairment, as well.

• Private Boarding Schools with Summer Programs

While the name private boarding school implies a typical school year program, many private boarding schools also offer summer programs. These may be designed to allow students to master an extra subject, do remedial work, prepare for the following year, get to know the school, participate in a summer sport, have a typical summer camp experience, or a combination of these.

Private Boarding Schools that Serve Different Age Groups

Private boarding schools may be thought of as primarily secondary schools, serving middle schoolers and high school students. But many of them offer a post-graduate year, and there are some that accept younger students.

• Private Boarding Schools with Different Boarding Plans

While many people think of private boarding school as a place away from home, some offer 5-day boarding plans with students returning home on the weekend. 


Therapeutic Boarding Schools

“Therapeutic” means “healing.” A therapeutic boarding school is a school at which students receive both academic training and treatment, therapies, or interventions. This article explains the types and purposes of therapeutic boarding schools.

What Is a Therapeutic Boarding School?

A therapeutic boarding school can be looked on as a particular type of boarding school. So let’s start by defining a boarding school. Boarding schools are schools offering an educational program and at which students stay during the school year, generally either for seven days of the week or for five days of the week, returning to their family home for the weekend.

Boarding schools with various specialty focuses can be found. There are boarding schools, known as prep schools, that focus on extremely high standards of academic achievement. Others focus on a special area of interest besides academics, such as a sport or some area of the fine arts. Military boarding schools focus on preparing students for leadership positions, both within our country’s armed forces as well as in civilian life. Therapeutic boarding schools are those at which academic achievement shares focus with other areas of the student’s life that are giving the student and/or the student’s family, school, or community concern.

Let it be clearly stated that, despite rumors to the contrary, military boarding schools are not the place for—and will not accept—students for whom truancy, lack of self-discipline, and problems with authority are an issue. These are among the issues better entrusted to a therapeutic boarding school.

What Are the Types and Purposes of Therapeutic Boarding Schools?

There are several ways to distinguish different types of boarding schools. One key one is those that are accredited and licensed vs. those that are not. Accredited therapeutic boarding schools may have licenses for their clinical staff and accreditation for their therapeutic practice, and their academic program, or both. Alternatively, a therapeutic boarding school may be accredited for its therapeutic practice and rely on another academically accredited organization to provide education for its boarders. In any and all cases, any services that a child receives through a therapeutic boarding school should be certified. One way to ensure this is to use the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) website to search for therapeutic boarding schools. Links from the NATSAP site take you to the schools’ own websites for more detailed information.

Therapeutic boarding schools can also be typed by their philosophy, which might be guided by 12-step, Bible-based, focus on creating a family-style experience, or tied to experiential learning, for example. Therapeutic boarding schools that focus on experiential learning include wilderness programs and outdoor therapeutic programs of various other types. Programs also differ in size, length, whether they are coeducational or single-gender, and the age of participants accepted.

Another distinction between different therapeutic boarding schools is the range of symptoms, issues, or problems that they are prepared to treat. At one end of the range are therapeutic boarding schools that focus exclusively on a single issue, such as programs designed for pregnant teens. Other programs are prepared to deal with a broader array of problems, which may include coming to terms with learning disabilities, addressing addiction, and taking on other issues ranging from violence to self-defeating behaviors and choices to resisting authority.