As part of our work, we try to get out and visit as many campuses as possible each year. Our time on campus let's us get a feel for the schools we work with and a certain level of first hand experience when we talk about them.
We also record video tours to include with our reference materials for family's considering boarding school.
Over the past year, I visited five boarding schools in the south - St. Bernard Preparatory School (AL), The Webb School (TN), St. Andrew's-Sewanee School (TN), McCallie School (TN), and Baylor School (TN).
The campus tours and visits were great and, importantly, eye opening. My personal experience is rooted New England boarding schools and their dense concentration. Admittedly, I have to make sure my experience doesn't become a myopia.
My eyes have been opened.
The south holds some great boarding schools that, like their counterparts in other regions, come in all styles- urban, rural, formal, less formal, and single gender. If you're from the south, or interested in going to a boarding school in the south, you can find a school that fits.
I know this list is incomplete. I still have other schools to visit but I think these five make a fine introduction to the variety of boarding school options available in the south.
Five video tours from my visits with a brief description from each school's web site:
Take a Tour of St. Andrew's-Sewanee School
St. Andrew's-Sewanee School is a private, coeducational, Episcopal, day and boarding college preparatory school serving 270 students in grades six through twelve. Located on a beautifully wooded and historic 550-acre campus high atop the Cumberland Plateau, St. Andrew's-Sewanee offers students an innovative curriculum presented by a creative and engaged faculty who are dedicated to cultivating well-rounded and thoughtful human beings. At St. Andrew's-Sewanee School students are encouraged to challenge themselves in and out of the classroom while participating in a close-knit and caring community. Students hailing from 16 states and 11 countries enjoy small classes, an award winning arts program, numerous sports and outdoor adventure opportunities, and access to the facilities and offerings of the nearby University of the South..."(SAS)
Take a Tour of The Webb School (TN)
Founded in 1870 by noted scholar William R. "Old Sawney" Webb, The Webb School is the South's oldest continuously operating boarding school. We offer a college-preparatory education for grades 6-12....
For 140 years, The Webb School has provided an educational home that expands minds, builds character and enriches lives.
Our unique campus, set on 145 acres in the bucolic town of Bell Buckle, Tenn., provides a scholarly environment that fosters connections with faculty and peers in a close-knit community. Our dedicated faculty and staff encourage independent thinking while offering the structure necessary to promote personal and academic success. Students' strong relationships with adults have been a hallmark of Webb for the entire history of the school.
Other independent schools talk about instilling honor and offering challenging curricula, the buzz words of the day, but at Webb these aren't just words. The traditions of our founder W.R. "Sawney" Webb are alive and well and they infuse our school, students and faculty with a drive to "Pedigree their ancestors," not simply ride on the successes of those that came before them.(TWS)
A Guided Tour of Baylor School
Baylor's mission is to foster in its students both the ability and the desire to make a positive difference in the world. Baylor fulfills its mission by providing:
a rich academic program that opens the minds of students, preparing them for college and for an ever-changing world;
-a school rooted in tradition yet receptive to change, staffed by talented adults who are devoted to teaching and who model for students a lifelong love of learning;
-a wide variety of co-curricular experiences that require active participation and personal commitment, extending learning beyond the lessons of the traditional classroom;
-a diverse academy having at its heart a vibrant resident community of faculty and students from around the world;
-a balance of emphases on activities of the mind, body, and spirit, encouraging students to grow into happy, caring, and honorable adults, ready and unafraid to be leaders for the public good.(BS)
Take a Tour of McCallie School!
"...Since 1905, McCallie has remained committed to providing an outstanding college preparatory program for boys. Our own experience, as well as inde- pendent research, has shown that secondary education within a single-sex environment offers fewer distractions, allows for a greater number of leadership opportunities and promotes a school culture where boys can achieve without reservation.
...McCallie School is dedicated to the academic, physical, spiritual, and emotional growth of boys as they prepare for college and life. The school seeks to inspire and motivate them to: strive for excellence in every endeavor; pursue intellectual and spiritual truth; lead lives of honor; act responsibly in personal, family, and community relationships; and demonstrate concern for the welfare of others." (MS)
A Guided Tour of Saint Bernard Preparatory School
"St. Bernard Prep is a co-ed Catholic boarding and day school for grades 7-12. For over a century St. Bernard has provided a quality education to generations of students. The success of the school operated by the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey is much more than the fine quality of classroom instruction.
The bonding between students and faculty, lasting friendships between classmates, extracurricular activities, and the lessons of life learned in a Christian setting, are an important part of the St. Bernard heritage.
...Students receive the values and training that will help them in their life choices. Once a part of this academic community, St. Bernard students and alumni take the experience and project it into lives of leadership, service and success.(SBP)