A Christian boarding school can offer your child a safe and structured environment, while at the same time providing an education and religious instruction. Keep in mind that not all Christian boarding schools are the same.
- Qualifications-What qualifications or accreditation does the boarding school have? What is the educational background of the faculty and staff? Is the boarding school a member of a larger organization? How is it monitored and how often are reviews conducted? Who is on the review board that governs the rules and regulations of the boarding school?
While you can ask the administration to see a copy of the school's accreditation record, you should also be able to check with your state's Department of Education. You should be able to find this by searching the Internet and using your state and the keywords "Department of Education." You may also be able to check the status of a teacher's qualifications by speaking with your state's Department of Education as well.
- Curriculum-What type of curriculum does the school offer? How much religious theology is taught? What type of advanced placement classes are available? While it may be important to you that your child stay in a Christian boarding school, you should also pay close attention to the classes that are offered. Ask for a copy of the school's catalog, which should give detailed descriptions of courses as well as a breakdown of what classes students must take to graduate.
- Class Sizes-What is the teacher/student ratio for an average class? Are the classes fairly small? Consider your child as you ask this question. Will she thrive in a smaller environment where she will receive more one-on-one attention from her teacher? Ask the administration for the average number of students per class.
- Extracurricular Classes-What classes are offered besides the core classes? Can your child take a foreign language? Will he be able to take classes in an area that interests him, such as music, art, drama, technology, carpentry, etc.? This information should be in the school catalog.
- Activities-What activities are offered on campus? Are there supervised group activities for sports, study and any recreational events? How will your child be placed into a group?
- Supervision-When the students are not in the classroom, how will they be supervised? What are the rules regarding leaving campus, receiving visitors, etc.? Who is in charge of the students in the dorms? What are some security measures that are in place? How are infractions of the rules handled? Ask to see a copy of the school's safety manual, which should answer these questions.
- Emergencies-How will emergencies be handled? What type of first aid training has the staff received? Is there a nurse on staff?
- Friends/Family-One of the best places to start looking for a good Christian boarding school is through friends and family. Even if a friend or family member doesn't have contact with a boarding school directly, he may know of one he can recommend or at least suggest to you for further research.
- Church-If you are searching for a Christian boarding school, you may want to talk to the preacher, pastor or other church member at your local congregation. In many cases, they may have firsthand knowledge of a good boarding school for your child. Another advantage of talking to a church member is that he may be acquainted with your child and will be able to recommend a school that will be a good fit. In many cases, boarding schools send out information to area churches periodically.
- Internet-Finally, there are many Internet databases that offer a broad listing of Christian boarding schools, both in North America and abroad. In many cases, you can get an overview of the focus of each boarding school. Some Christian boarding schools are geared toward helping troubled teens, while others are simply boarding schools which emphasize a religious education.