National Association Director Marks onBoarding School’s 500th Post

Editor’s Note: For our 500th blog post, we invited friend and Independent Educational Consultants Association, Executive Director, Mark Sklarow to comment and reflect on onBoarding Schools’ contributions to families and the larger boarding school community.

Many thanks, Mark, for the kind words.

For those who live, eat and breathe boarding schools on a regular basis, it is easy to forget how foreign such schooling is to the average American.

For 99% of the population who have never set foot on a campus, their view of the who, what and why of independent boarding has been framed by a handful of news reports, old movies or Harry Potter novels.

We know that the news reports typically report the infrequent bad news, old movies convey images of old money and elitism, and I’ve yet to see a boarding school with coursework in Divination or Defense Against the Dark Arts.

It has been a continual struggle for boarding schools to get out the right image… the true story: critical thinking, community action, diversity, and the like.

onBoarding Schools, hosted by AdmissionsQuest has been a wonderful eye into the world of boarding education.

We’ve been able to see student videos, learn about curricular advancements, see student accomplishments academically, artistically and athletically, discover new building projects, even follow along as students headed to Washington, DC and other locations, seeing, hearing and reading about the experience through their own expression. One can learn not only of new research into curriculum and program design, but see how schools implement theory into practice in creative and dramatic ways.

Anyone who has kept up with onBoarding Schools, as I have, has their view of boarding schools transformed. It has become THE running chronicle of what boarding education is… and where it’s heading.

It has played another role, I suspect, beyond helping the general public to a clearer view of boarding schools. It has become essential reading for those in schools: a place to learn of innovative programs, new courses, community outreach, character education initiatives, among other successes. Such sharing means that great ideas can be replicated as never before, assuring that great innovations reach more students and families.

onBoarding Schools has become essential reading for educational consultants. This group must stay up-to-date on advancements and developments on campuses from coast-to-coast. While campus visits are essential, one is likely to visit a school once every 4 to 5 years. Reading school viewbooks, websites and student publications allows for some insight, but nothing beats onBoarding Schools for timely, immediate, continuing updates about the best in school developments.

Reading this one might think I overstate the impact. After all, I started by noting that boarding schools directly impact fewer than 1% of the student population. But we also know that the influence of boarding schools is dramatic beyond enrollment numbers: they often have led the way in educational reforms and innovation and graduates play an outsize role in their contributions to government, business and service.

I wish continued success to onBoarding Schools, AQ and those who dedicate their lives to boarding schools, and look forward to reading this blog regularly… as I sit in Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade drinking my butterbeer.

About Mark Sklarow:
Mark Sklarow has served as Executive Director of the Independent Educational Consultants Association for 15 years. Previously he was director of an international/multi-cultural youth exchange organization, served as director of Presidential Classroom and was an independent day school teacher in Social Sciences and Dean of Students in Philadelphia.

About the Author
Mark Sklarow Mark Sklarow

  • Steve Ritchie

    Great post, Mark, and so true. Congratulations to AQ. This site is a fantastic resource to the boarding school community and those who follow it. Keep up the good work.

  • Alan Haas

    Congratulations to AQ on yet another milestone for the "onBoardingSchools" informative blog. It is a valuable resource and a contemporary view of the boarding school world.


Learn how to become a sponsor