What is a Junior Boarding School?

Junior Boarding Schools are independent elementary and middle schools with a boarding program for middle school students.  The member schools in our network — Junior Boarding School Association — are all located in New England and New York.

Our middle school boarding programs begin with the 4th or 5th grades and culminate with 9th grade. Our boarding communities enrich our schools, most of whom also have day students, providing depth of program and people, and are a key component of school mission and life of the school.

Often known as ‘private’  or ‘pre-prep’ middle schools, junior boarding schools are a small group of  excellent schools, without an upper or secondary school level, completely devoted to the education of young and early adolescent children.

Our total focus in our boarding program is middle school students — their development, their unique talents, their motivation, their well-being.  Because our educational lens is focused on this age group, we have tremendous expertise with 9-15 year olds.  The faculty and staff at each of our member schools have chosen this field of education, are committed to working with this age group of students, and pursue excellence in teaching young adolescents.

Our 9th grade programs  – and the importance of them – cannot be underestimated.  The opportunity for a child to complete 9th grade at a junior boarding school  – or to enter as an 8th or 9th grader – is unique and compelling.  Leadership responsibilities, academic strengthening, the chance to experience boarding school life, the opportunity to mature and build confidence before starting secondary school can be extremely worthwhile.

Our member schools have storied histories, begun by educational pioneers in the late 19th to early twentieth centuries, who cared deeply about providing the best educational opportunities for young children and adolescents.  At founding, along with academic preparedness for secondary school, came the notion of service to community, love of the outdoors and physical fitness, interest in the arts and creative thinking, and the development of independence and strong character.  These traditional concepts are alive in our schools today — in our top-notch facilities and in exceptional faculties – along with all that is exciting and new in technology, child development, and ethical and family values.

Our schools are global communities embracing international and diverse students and faculty.  The true cosmopolitan nature of our schools provides learning environments that prepare young students to understand and to participate in this world with confidence.