Association Of Boarding Schools

Written by Shirley Parker
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Public schools are almost always licensed by the state in which they're located, and accredited by authorized state and/or regional educational organizations. However, in many states, nonpublic schools are not required to be accredited. Private academic schools licensed by the state meet compulsory laws, such as those relating to required attendance in school. Other nonpublic, religious schools are registered by the state, rather than licensed, and also meet compulsory laws. If a boarding or day school isn't on the state list, a parent should probably be cautious about selecting it.

An added level of reassurance is that a state may maintain a list of Accrediting Associations that it has approved, through which a nonpublic school can seek accreditation. As with a non-licensed or non-registered school, a parent needs to investigate a non-accredited school carefully. Attendance at a non-accredited boarding school could conceivably present problems when a child later applies to an institution of higher learning.

A quality boarding school will often choose to seek membership in one of several educational associations, such as the National Association of Independent Schools. Members benefit from the sharing of information and ideas that are available within such an organization. In addition, the public relations recognition of meeting standards set by an educational group of peers and the display of their insignia or emblem has no price. As a people, we rather automatically look for a seal of acceptance or endorsement in any field we deal with, be it Good Housekeeping, UL, AAA, or any other.

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)

Approximately 300 college-preparatory boarding schools in the United States and Canada, as well as abroad, belong to the Association of Boarding Schools, headquartered in Washington, DC. From a marketing standpoint, the association provides much needed information for families about the benefits of a residential school setting. They also support the member schools' efforts at recruiting faculty and enrolling new students. This is not done in a passive way at all. Instead, an annual conference and directory, admission trips, and workshops geared toward staff and administrators help keep the benefits of private boarding schools in front of the public. A comprehensive website makes additional detailed information about exciting activities and future friendships from around the globe available to all who are interested.

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