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Learned about this one via AQ's Twitter.

Working to re-forest coal mining lands in the surrounding area, Olney Friends School faculty and students- working together with BARK (Barnesville Area Reforestation Kommittee)- have participated in the planting of more than 30,000 trees over the past six years.

Learn more about their commitment on the school's blog, Olney Students Encourage Trees to Grow.

Photo credit: page_eliz

The Benefits of Girls Schools: now on to longitudinal studies

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are single gender schools good for girlsHuffington Post contributor Susan Sawyers also posted some thoughts about the National Coalition of Girls Schools study confirming benefits for girls in single gender schools (Are Single Sex Schools Good for Girls?). While nothing earth shattering, her comments are an interesting, "yes, but..."Clearly, single gender education cultivates some benefits. Is it a panacea? No. The complexity requires more research.

"...But the question remains, however, if these seemingly confident public-speaking women will be able to express themselves in the workforce, in the company of men and around the boardroom table. First they have to get there. This leaves room for further studies that look at women's aspirations and accomplishments after they complete college or graduate school. It would be good to generate some numbers for women twenty or thirty years out of high school. You go girls, no matter where you are, we are cheering for you."

To read our post, visit: "Lasting Power of Girls Schools: more than anecdotal"
Admission professionals have been telling us the same story throughout the school year. Applications and inquiries are steady. Financial aid requests are up.

Using interviews at a few schools and with the National Association of Independent Schools, the New York Daily News ran a piece (Private schools see more financial aid requests during recession - but applications hold steady) documenting this exact situation.

Families are making tuition a priority and schools are increasing their fund raising efforts and aid budgets. Everyone in the school business seems to be exhaling deeply that we've made it though this year. But, if things say like they are next year, too, will be tough.

Chris Seeley, upper school admissions director at the Trevor School in Manhattan told the Daily News:

"We are tightening the belt...We are bracing for the possibility that we may have fewer students next year. But we are trying to cut the budget without affecting programs, and we haven't been forced to do any major tightening yet."

Kents Hill School Cuts Ribbon on New Performing Arts Center

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Kents Hill School recently cut the ribbon celebrating the conversion and transformation of their former Newton gym into the Performing Arts Center in Newton Hall. A multipurpose gathering and performing arts facility the Center includes the Vivian Russell Theater "where Morning Meeting will be held, visiting lectures and presentations will be hosted, and, of course, Kents Hill's theater troupe and musical groups will perform."

The Center also features music practice facilities, visual art gallery space and a recording studio

While the first phase is complete, work on phase two continues. 

"The refit will see the second part of the building's new lobby completed, permanent theater seating installed, a stage manager's booth added, a permanent video projector for presentations and movies, and lighting and sound systems for the stage."
Many thanks to Kents Hill School's communications office for providing the photos below:

Some Interesting Good News: Knox and St. Bede working to grow

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We realized that we've published two posts last week about schools that are building dormitories and/or working to expand their boarding populations this week. While not a silver lining, nor confirmation that everything is rosy, it's great to find two schools well positioned and so dedicated to boarding that they're building dorms and working to expand opportunities for families and students seeking boarding school.

St. Bede Academy Returns To Boarding Roots: A commitment to build two new dormitories

Knox School Wakes From Slumber with Ambition and a Plan

Ross School Offers Merit Scholarships

File this under the 'fantastic opportunity' category.

Ross School in Bridgehampton, NY "is offering $20,000 annual Merit Scholarships for students in grades 5-11 who demonstrate academic achievement and exceptional promise" in a number of areas.

Have a demonstrated talent for the Arts, Athletics, Community Service, Math, Media, Music (Jazz), Science, or Theater? This may be an opportunity to explore if you answered yes to any one of these categories.

I heard about this a bit late in the day (I read about it in the Independent Educational Consultants Association April/May Insights newsletter)- the deadline is May 1 and applications received post-May 1 will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If you're interested, you can learn more on the school's site or submit an inquiry to school's admission office through their AQ admission inquiry form.

With new head of school George Alison at the helm, The Knox School is focusing its mission and looking to grow its current student population by 40 over the next few years- to about 170 from its current 130 students.

Jennifer Lawrence joined the Knox board of trustees and set to realizing the schools potential by connecting with the surrounding region. Building and refurbishment programs began; a marketing campaign; and, the school rededicated itself to preparing students for college.

Allison, who brings with him 23 years at Perkiomen School (PA), told Newsday (Knox School in St. James to open a new chapter), "We've got great faculty, fantastic kids...We need to get our name out there."

Photo credit: The Knox School
Peter drew attention to this on AQ's twitter account the other day and I thought I'd follow up with a mention here.

The National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior approved listing the Olney Friends School campus on the National Register. The buildings date from the late 19th century and feature local materials.

Head of School Rich Sidwell told the Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register:

"Students and teachers at Olney are proud of the honor bestowed on the school by the National Park Service...We will do all we can to preserve the historic character of the campus, while maintaining an atmosphere where students develop and learn."
St. Bede Academy- a small Benedictine Catholic school in Peru, IL- broke ground this past Monday on a new building that will house female boarding students beginning with the 2009-2010 academic year. 

Reclaiming its boarding mission, St. Bede reopened its boarding department boarding department with the 2007-2008 school year, with four girls and eight boys living in leased residences. St. Bede boarded boys boarding school from 1892 through 1981 and has been coeducational since 1973.

Rev. Claude Peifer told the school's public relations office:

"St. Bede Academy is responding to a renewed interest in providing opportunities for boarding students on a small scale, and so we are providing housing on campus for this purpose. We hope that the boarding students will profit by living on campus because they will thus be able to participate more fully in the activities of the academy."
A second boys dormitory is in the works although no timetable has been set.

The expanded boarding program reaches back into the school's roots, providing boarding school opportunities to a new generation of students.

Rev. Peifer added:

"We hope that some of our boarding-school alumni who have fond memories of their years at St. Bede will enable their children to profit by the opportunity to enjoy a similar academic and living experience in a 21st-century context."
Traditional  boarding tuition looks to be a great boarding school bargain with  seven day tuition, room, and board St. Bede totaling $23,000 annually.

Read the article from The Daily Times of Ottawa.

Highlighted in the current National Coalition of Girls' Schools newsletter is a UCLA study confirming the lasting affects of a girls school education on graduates. I find the most interesting aspect of the study coming from its longitudinal view. Alumnae seem to carry and benefit from their girls school experiences deep into college and graduate work. I'd love to know if girls school alumnae and their coeducation alumnae ever gain equal education footing? Just how deep into life do these advantages carry?

Interesting work.

"According to the UCLA report, which was commissioned by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools, girls' school graduates consistently assess their abilities, self-confidence, engagement and ambition as either above average or in the top 10 percent. Compared to their coed peers, they have more confidence in their mathematics and computer abilities and study longer hours. They are more likely to pursue careers in engineering, engage in political discussions, keep current with political affairs, and see college as a stepping stone to graduate school...

    (Skipping over data conclusions)

As the UCLA study points out, girls' schools graduates rate themselves more successful and engaged in precisely those areas in which male students have historically surpassed them - mathematics, computers, engineering, and politics. The findings may undermine opponents of girls' schools, who argue that single-sex education accentuates sex-based stereotypes and widens the gender gap."

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Boarding School News category.

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