Boarding Schools come in all different shapes, sizes and flavors. Bluntly speaking, if you're interested in boarding school, there's probably one for you. As a parent or student researching schools, school catalogs all look great; every school asserts its great work with students. How, then, does a parent distinguish and choose between schools?

We've written previously about how to read a school catalog along with the terms and buzzwords of the day and what they mean. Here we present a simple straightforward list of the kinds of boarding schools available and the terms used to define and describe each.

Small Boarding Schools
A boarding school designed with a full-year academic program (opposed to transitional short-term structure) with a student body totaling near or fewer than 200 students. View AQ's directory of small boarding schools.

Five (5) Day Boarding Schools
A boarding school that uses a five day school and athletic week allowing students a longer weekend and students with nearby family to be off-campus during the weekend. View AQ's directory of 5-day boarding schools.

Seven (7) Day Boarding Schools
A boarding school requiring a seven day commitment of its students. These schools usually use a six (6) day academic week with classes on Saturday and athletic and extra-curricular events on Saturday afternoons and nights. Students tend to stay on-campus for the duration of the term/semester in these schools. View AQ's directory of boarding schools sorted by state.

Learning Differences Program
A program (usually inside and part of a traditional school) that supports and guides LD students through a traditional, college preparatory curriculum. These programs work with students capable of college preparatory level work who need strategies and tactics to help them work successfully. Often these programs define and know the kinds of students and learning differences with which they successfully work. View AQ's directory of boarding schools with learning difference programs.

Learning Differences Boarding Schools
School designed to support and work with LD students from the ground-up. These schools may have special schedules, special curricula and clinical input in their work with students. Some but not all students may be college-bound.

Pre-professional Arts Boarding Schools
A small group of arts boarding schools prepare talented students for professional arts pursuits. These schools provide the structures, rigorous training, performance opportunities and accomplished faculty necessary to demand the utmost in seriousness from students. A portfolio and/or audition is part and parcel of the admission process into these schools. View AQ's directory of pre-professional arts boarding schools.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Boarding Schools
IB boarding schools participate in and are accredited by International Baccalaureate. IB Schools teach and assess through the IB curriculum, which encourages wide perspectives, rigorous achievement and assessment and worldwide recognition of achievement. View AQ's directory of International Baccalaureate (IB) boarding schools.

Military Schools
A school that uses one of the uniformed service branches as its organizing principle or philosophy. Boarding schools based on the army, navy, air force and marines provide traditional college-preparatory education and training. While these schools operate on the tenets of a particular service, the services do not directly operate any of these schools. View AQ's directory of military schools.

Boarding Schools with Religious Affiliation
Schools either directly operated by or with a formal connection to particular religious practice. These schools almost always include some pieces of religious practice such as chapel services into their schedules and often include faculty members with formal religious training. Examples include both lay and church catholic school, Episcopal Schools, and Evangelical Christian schools. View AQ's directory of boarding schools with religious affilitation.

Therapeutic Schools
Schools with either a clinical foundation to their work or that make a clinical work and practice a primary part of a student's experience and growth. These include therapeutic schools, residential treatment programs, wilderness programs, outdoor therapeutic programs, young adult programs and home-based residential programs.

Junior Boarding Schools
Boarding schools educating students in grades 5-9. Junior boarding schools come in boys, girls and coed forms. All junior schools have high-quality, very involved faculty. These faculty members drive the tenor of junior schools. They shape all elements of student daily life and provide the adult reinforcement and structure necessary to a successful middle school. Junior boarding schools often emphasize supportive community, self-esteem, self-confidence, mutual respect, compassion and teamwork. View AQ's directory of junior boarding schools.

Boys Boarding Schools & Girls Boarding Schools
Boys and girls schools. These schools are often traditional schools that understand the unique developmental trajectory of each gender. They know the benefits of single gender education and the types of students who do well in their schools. Most are very dedicated to their perspective as are their alumni. View AQ's directories of boys boarding schools & girls boarding schools.

Pre-Professional Sports Boarding Schools
Schools dedicated to the pre-professional pursuit of a particular sport. Athletic training is scientific and dedication to sport is tantamount.