Considering a Junior Boarding School for Your Child?

Fessenden School

Fun with leaves at The Fessenden School

Yesterday, a mom called the office asking about junior boarding schools in the south- a quick straightforward question that quickly grew from the practical to philosophical.

The family was new to the notion of boarding school and, within that, working to come to terms with an eighth grade daughter who might be best served in a middle school boarding setting.

We talked about some of the concepts of junior boarding schools- why, who goes…concluding with my offer to put together some references that that would give her a place from which to begin reading and learning.

The proverbial “Ah, ha.” moment from a customer- why haven’t we written this before?

Here are some thoughts and references that can help a family begin researching of junior boarding schools:

Generally junior boarding schools serve grades 6-9. Some upper schools, have junior boarding programs that begin in about the 7th grade. Junior boarding schools can be coed or single gender.

If the student is an eighth or ninth grader, there are two ways you can go. You can consider schools that with a 7th through 12th grade program; or, you can consider schools with lower school programs where 8th and 9th graders are the oldest students. In this latter setting the student will be in a older leadership postion. The decision here lies mostly with the student/family goals and student’s maturity.

Photo credit: The Fessenden School

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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