High school is such an important time both academically and socially, and finding the best-fit school for your child is one of the keys to a successful high school experience. But, what do you do when you find that ideal school, only to discover it’s a bit too far from home to make sense for your family? Or what if your work schedule doesn’t allow for regular school drop-off and pick-up, either because of frequent travel or extended hours on the job?
There’s a great solution if that choice school is Sandy Spring Friends School – Five-day boarding!
How does a five-day boarding program work?
We all know what day students do – they’re dropped off at school each morning, then picked up in the afternoon. And, we all understand how boarding programs work – students live at the school.
But, how does a five-day boarding program work?
At Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS), five-day boarding students arrive at school each Sunday afternoon or evening, and stay at school until Friday afternoon. They dine with fellow boarders in the evenings then sleep in the dorms, and are fully involved in the school community throughout the week.
This setup provides the best of both worlds, allowing students to be completely immersed in school life from Monday through Friday, but free to pursue their own opportunities and family time on the weekends.
What are the benefits of a five-day boarding program?
There are many benefits to a five-day boarding program for students. The first that comes to mind for many parents is the boost it gives in terms of college preparedness. Boarding is a nice way to ease into living away from home before college. It also teaches students how to manage their schoolwork with other responsibilities, without parents stepping in to help keep them on track.
In my opinion, though, one of the most intriguing aspects of this program is its attention to the child’s holistic development. This is an area where Sandy Spring Friends School really shines. In fact, the school’s supportive, holistic learning environment has caught the attention of Glenn Whitman, co-author of Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education, and Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School.
Why? Because the school is so committed to fostering the development of the whole child, providing strong social, emotional, and academic supports.
If a child is struggling academically, he or she will benefit from the boarding program’s structure which eliminates some of the distractions that could be found at home. And, more hours at school equate to more hours of access to teachers for extra guidance or tutoring.
If a student is struggling socially or emotionally, the dorm staff can help navigate the challenges. Plus, they’ll have the support of their community of boarding students.
So much change happens to our children during the high school years, and constant support and nurturing of the whole self, like that offered through Sandy Spring’s five-day boarding program, can be hugely beneficial for adolescent development.
Who’s the ideal candidate for five-day boarding at SSFS?
Wondering if five-day boarding at Sandy Spring Friends School is a good fit for your family? The best way to determine this is to visit the school and chat with admissions staff. But if you’re not ready for that step quite yet, here are some considerations.
First, it can be a great option for families with two working parents, particularly those who travel frequently.
It can also be a good fit for a middle school student who’s starting to struggle in school. Say you start noticing some learning or emotional challenges in your child. In this case, enrolling them in a five-day boarding program that focuses on their holistic development could help alleviate some of these challenges before they’re off on their own at college.
Lastly, consider location. Many seven-day boarders come from far away, or even other countries. At Sandy Spring Friends School, most five-day boarders live within an hour of the school, so parents on average have no more than a two-hour round-trip commute each week.
Ready to Learn More About Sandy Spring?
Come see the school for yourself! Register for an admission event here.