Junior Boarding Schools – Adolescence to Adulthood

Junior Boarding Schools are located throughout the United States and Canada. To date, there are approximately 117 accredited junior boarding schools with more schools to open soon. Junior boarding schools cater to younger adolescents typically from grades 6th thru 9th grade with some schools admitting much younger students starting at 3rd grade. Junior boarding schools offer a very wide and unique program of benefits and experiences focusing on the education and well-being of each individual student. It should be noted that some of junior boarding schools focus entirely on junior academics with advanced placement classes, while other schools specialize in both junior and college-preparation grades.

Junior Boarding Students on an average are leaving home for the first time, away from parents, friends and an environment that they have been familiar with for many years. As the name implies, students attending a Junior Boarding School are housed in dorms, with as many as three per room, similar to a college environment. Leaving a life with reassurance, security and parental guidance can be a life altering change for many students requiring additional support and guidance from classmates and administrative staff, allowing an extended period of adjustment to   their new surroundings. Young adolescences without proper guidance for many years may find the transition increasingly difficult at times and may require individual effort to sustain their individual enrollment.

Junior Boarding School students’ average age is 15. As a young adolescent, students of this age are undergoing many different stages of personal development typically without much motive or enthusiasm in looking forward to the future. Junior Boarding Schools offer 24/7 supervision by a trained instructor readily available to answer any and all questions providing individual guidance regardless of the time of day. With caring guidance and directional development, even the most independent of students begin to make the change to confident, self-reliant young adults.

Junior Boarding Schools become a students’ extended family. Average size of junior boarding schools remains relatively small with 125-250 students living on campus, with class sizes from 10-15 students at any given time, allowing more one-on-one time with instructors. Where character building and mentoring is an integral part of all those attending a junior boarding schools, time spent with a student on an individual basis will be remembered for a lifetime.

Junior Boarding Schools have a student population that comprises 10-20% of students from outside the United States. With English as a first or second language, Junior Boarding Schools offer these students additional time to perfect their English skills, verbally and written. Adjustment to a different country, thousands of miles from home, requires enormous effort on the students’ part with cooperation from the school administrative staff. With proficiency and many years of experience in helping foreign students make radical changes to their once former lives, transition to the American way of life often goes smoothly.

Junior Boarding Schools are more than a form of obtaining a formal education. These schools are the stepping stone to building a life for the future; a future that holds excitement and challenges yet to be discovered.


Ada C. McKinzie

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