Benefits of Boarding

Gaining Independence and Opportunity

Study HoursExtended access to teachers, rink, gym and stage. Supervised study halls every night. No commuting, especially during times of inclement weather. The opportunity to participate in special dorm events and to live with teachers and friends in preparation for the transition to college. Boarding is an ideal way to develop the skills to live responsibly and confidently. With teachers nearby for mentoring and support, boarders gain independence in a structured and safe community.

Developing Leadership Skills

Because the boarding community is small, focused, and friendly, every student can take an active part. Everyone shares a sense of connection and is given a chance to lead. And every boarding student can apply to be a prefect – a student dorm leader – as a junior or senior. Prefects are a driving force in the Residential Life Program. Beyond the day to day duties assigned to them, prefects plan and carry out special activities for their peers. Prefects also participate in ongoing leadership training including a summer workshop followed by regular discussions and dinners throughout the year. Prefects are expected to demonstrate the same kind of energy and commitment in the dorms that they would make as a team captain, dramatic lead, or organizer of a major club or activity. Being a prefect provides an invaluable foundation for future leaders.

Testing the Transition to College

Students who have had the opportunity to live away from home for the first time during high school often have a smoother transition to college. Boarding in a familiar, nurturing environment provides students the opportunity to safely explore their independence. With the support of faculty, students learn valuable lessons about time management and about getting along with people from different backgrounds so that each student is prepared to handle new situations with confidence when they head off to college.

What Students Say About Boarding

"I really do believe that my education at Shady Side would not have been as complete without my boarding experience. I became a more complete person as a boarder, and I gained valuable friendships that continue to grow today."

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