卢米斯查菲学校：在这里，我们会比较喜欢探索和深度挖掘比较小的历史时刻。我们会选择四个更加细小的时刻，来探索美国的军事、经济、文化、风俗，而不是上完整本美国历史。 我们有一堂课程汽车模型课，叫Model T，它的历史跟福特车一样，我们在课上不仅研究当时的经济，也会让同学们自己组装这个汽车模型。
Tabor: You know your children and you now the environment they need to study well in; if you have a quieter student, then you may not want to send them to a large school of 1000 students. You may want to look at smaller schools in the 300-400 student range. Size can be very important.
Berkshire: I’d like to speak to this question from a computer science perspective; our world is getting smaller and we are putting a lot of emphasis on our website and what we show online. We try to put our best foot forward online and this is very important for us. You can really see our school and our community on our website and what we actually stand for – pictures of activities and things currently going on.
Miss Porters: There is always a network of alumni from these schools in Asia. This gives a good perspective of what it was really like to study there. You can even ask the school to connect you to the alumni.
Loomis: it’s important for you to know that there is no elixir in finding out about a school. At Loomis, we are now 70% boarding and 30% day, but before when we were 60% boarding and 40% day we didn’t show up on the boarding school rankings. It’s important that you connect to alums and ask them about what classes were challenging, how were their support systems, where did they go to college afterwards etc.
Blair: I’ll walk you through a typical 9th grader’s life at Blair. We did some research at Blair a few years ago and decided to start classes at 0830, which is much better for student focus and performance than our former start time of 0800. 9th graders need to sign in at 0800 at breakfast to ensure they eat breakfast and then they start classes. Classes end at 1515. We have chapel or assemblies 3 days a week. About 75% of students pursue a sport while the others pursue drama, publications or other clubs. These run until 1745. At 1800, we have dinner. Study hall runs from 2000-2200 and then in theory students are to be asleep by 2230.
NMH: Our days are similar. We start our classes at 0800 and end at 1510. We have three classes every day at 1 hour and 20 minutes each. Students have about 3 hours worth of homework each night. We have a 2-hour study hall, which means that students need to find time throughout the day to get the work done. It’s about teaching time management. We turn the lights out and turn off Internet at certain times. Students on average get between 8 and 8.5 hours of sleep per night.
Loomis: As students get older, our goal is to ultimately transition them to a college where there isn’t anyone there to hold their hand. Freshman must check in for breakfast; seniors do not. Freshman must keep door open; lights on; at desks; no headphones or music during study hall. For seniors, it is up to them how they get their homework done. it is disciplining yourself so that no one else has to discipline you. If they are academically struggling, we will go back and hold their hand a bit.
Miss Porter’s: The relationship piece between new incoming students and current students is very important. The first person that a student meets on campus is their senior ‘old-girl’ and this girl walks the freshman through every tradition and every big milestone throughout the year. Building community is a big piece and it is the very first thing they experience when they come to Miss Porters through this senior-freshman partnership.
Berkshire: Our school colors are green and gray and as soon as you move into the dorm, returning students know their colors, but new students are assigned to the green team or gray team and from the very first move in day, the teams compete against each other. Those competitions go on throughout the school year. At the end of the year, the winner is announced. Activities can include spirit week etc and the faculty are also assigned to the green or gray team.
Loomis: We have a new tradition of juniors walking down the senior path. We have our seniors graduate about 10 days before the end of the school year and the day after the seniors graduate the juniors are now able to walk down the senior path which is reserved for adults and seniors. The entire faculty lines both sides of the path at 0830 in the morning and we clap for them and we welcome them to the adult community at Loomis. It’s a pretty powerful moment for those juniors who start to realize that they have arrived and are expected to and can take on the responsibilities of being the oldest class on campus.
Loomis: We want to know what your student will do outside of the classroom. There is not necessarily a ranking for activities that we look for. Being very good at something is important. I am a coach and I often deal with very good athletes as I recruit them, but one of my favorite students is an impressive violinist. I can’t quantify that, but what is most important is that your student can demonstrate the quality of their pursuits and not the quantity. Let your son or daughter be himself or herself and let them pursue what they love and we will see that love and passion. Don’t try to constrain them into something you think they should do. Both my wife and I were college athletes, but none of my children are. My children love art and are very involved in the arts.
Tabor: Going into 9th grade, but there is the opportunity for junior boarding schools that start as early as 5th grade.
Concord: For the year that you intend to enter, you need to apply a full year before. If you plan to enter in 9th grade, you apply during your 8th grade year.
Tabor: We focus on combining lecture, small group discussion, discussion, small group work. Sometimes I will throw a question out and step away and let them grapple with it so that they take ownership of their learning and engage with the topic. I am there listening, nudging and guiding to push them in the right direction.
Loomis: There is a pretty big push in the US to explore smaller moments in history more deeply. Instead of trying to cover all of American history, pick 4 smaller moments and explore the military, economics, emotional, social components of that. We have a model T class at Loomis and Model T was the first car in the assembly line with Henry Ford. That class explores the economics of the Model T, but we also have a model T on campus and our students take it a part and put it back together physically.
Berkshire: We would encourage the student to continue these interests and hobbies because they are skills he will need in the future. He could get involved in our STEAM program; we are starting an engineering program. We want to continue the different interests he has tapped into and while we would encourage him to sleep more, we would find ways to utilize his talents rather than putting him in a standard box.
Loomis: An academic advisor would meet with your son – me - and I would ask him where he wants to be in 2, 5, 10 or 15 years and if he says ‘entrepreneur then I’m going to suggest he take mico- and macroeconomics so that he can craft a business model. I also want him to learn how to write well so that he can interact well with PR. I also want him to understand the technological challenges of starting a business and so I would have him take computer science. We would identify what are the weaknesses in your talents right now to get you to where you want to be and how can we fill those. Our schools do a good job of helping a student like yours who has a singular passion become a more well-rounded person so that he can pursue all aspects of the entrepreneurship he wants to pursue.