U.S. junior boarding schools, which are primarily located in New England and New York, are independent elementary and middle schools with a boarding program for middle school students. A few schools take boarders beginning as early as the 3rd grade.
Not all students are required to board. Many choose to return home on weekends. But for students whose homes are outside of the United States, junior boarding schools are a good introduction to the academic setting that exists at New England boarding high schools, and entry to a junior boarding school can lead to acceptance to these schools.
A junior boarding school offers benefits for middle school aged students including but limited to: 24/7 supervision and learning; a myriad of sports and extracirricular activities; development and strengthening of admirable character traits; encouragement of teamwork; and an opportunity for international students to improve their English and cultural skills. In essence, the common philosophy amongst these schools is that they develop students’ academically, athletically, artistically, socially, and ethically.
Junior boarding schools are also identified as “feeder schools” to top boarding high schools, in much the same way that private high schools are considered “feeder schools” to top American colleges. Admissions officers in top boarding high schools expect to see applications from these schools each year, and have established relationships with the secondary-school placement offices at junior boarding schools due to familiarity.