Julie Cross Online

Thursday, September 13, 2012

YA Boarding Schools: Interviews with Boarding School Students

Continuing our YA Boarding School theme from Monday’s post, I had the pleasure of interviewing two teens who currently attend actual boarding schools! How awesome is that? Here’s what I found out from Kristina and Allie. Kristina attends a school in New York that boards only part time except for international students and Allie attends a school in Canada where she is a resident student the entire school year.

ME: So you really live at your school?

KRISTINA (age 16, from NY): Yes, I boarded for three months last year, but I'm a junior this year and live much closer so I'm only spending the first month on campus. It's mostly to prepare us for college life and keep us on track, but it isn't a punishment. All the girls at Mount, (we call ourselves Mounties) WANT to be there and respect the fact that it's a privilege to board.

ALLIE (age 16 from Canada): It is also a day school, but I live in residence.

Boarding School Tip #1: Girls, if he’s in your room, you might be at the wrong school

ME: Is your school co-ed?

KRISTINA: All-girls. There's an all-boys collegiate institute less than a half hour away where our cheerleading team cheers at football games. I'm on the team and my boyfriend goes there so just because MSM is an all-girls school, we still do typical stuff lol like I said, people tend to think we're recluses.

ALLIE: I go to an all-girls school- we have a brother school, which we do events with and occasionally have night classes with.

Boarding School Tip #2: There’s a reason why some people get single rooms, it’s best not to complain about this or you might get a new roommate

ME: Is is hard to get into? Are the admissions procedures very selective? Difficult academics?

KRISTINA: Yes, it's somewhat difficult to get in. There's an entrance exam all students must pass to get in, but there are prep classes to help boost your chances of being accepted. The academics are college prep level, meaning it's Regents classes (state classes) with a lot of added homework from the teachers, independent from the state curriculum. There's a ton of interesting electives, I personally took College Forensics and Psychology as a sophomore. We have a sailing club, equestrian, "Students against Social Injustice," "Junior Lawyers," and a ton of art classes. The more credits/classes you take, the more grades are weighted on a report card, meaning we can get averages well above 100%. Last year's graduating class had a valedictorian named Claire with an average of 103.45% which I don't think I could EVER get... haha! So yeah, it's pretty intense, but there's classes at regular levels for students who struggle. I dropped out of Advanced Placement European History last year because we had to do so much work, even in the summer time!

ALLIE: My school follows the IB program, which is the most rigorous in the world, so it's quite difficult and not that easy to get into! I had to write an English and Math entry exam. I did poorly on my math exam, but because I got 100% in English and the math teacher said my mistakes were more of the "different system" variety than of the "not smart" variety, they let me take another test a few months later. They accepted me and put me in the lowest math class, but I knew I could do better so went to summer school.

ME: Do you have uniforms?

ALLIE:  I do have a uniform! On mondays we wear '#1 Dress" which consists of a blouse, tie, and blazer, as well as our usual kilt and knee socks or tights. The rest of the week we wear a simple polo shirt with our kilt and such. We have occasional free dress days, where we can where whatever we like (within reason). And of course, once we come back to rez (that's what we call our dorm buildings) we can wear what we like. We also have houses or clans, like in Harry Potter, and on things like sports day we wear our house colors. On spirit week we wear our grade colors.

Boarding School Tip #3: Your room will probably NOT be this big

(since Allie is only one of the pair to board the entire school year, most of the next questions are directed at her only)

ME: Does everyone have trunks like at Hogwarts?

ALLIE: Haha, nope! We all have suitcases and such to move in, and we have closets and wardrobes for our stuff. I have an embarrassing number of suitcases- most of it is my laptop, my printer, etc. The school runs on a laptop program, and many of us have our own printers, though it's not required. We are also allowed to have our own storage stuff and small furniture- for example, on the first week of school we go on a trip to IKEA to get whatever we need. We also can use our own bedding and such, but the school provides it if necessary.

Boarding School Tip #4: Bring your own supply of feminine products

ME: What is a typical day like for you?

ALLIE: A typical day: School usually starts around 8:20 (except on Wednesday, when we get sleep in). Breakfast is from around 7-8, and we have to show up by 7:55 but it's up to us how early-late we get there and how long we stay. Classes run on an 8-day cycle- teachers are only allowed to give out tests during first period, to make sure we don't have a bunch of tests on the same day. I have a spare most days after lunch. In the IB program, you take six classes, three 'higher level' and three 'standard level'. They are both ap, but higher level is more hours of class. Most of my HL classes get their extra hours in grade twelve, and since I'm in grade 11 I get some time off. After school, we have free time until six. Most of us have extracurriculars from 4-5 (and we have many clubs and sports). We are allowed to leave campus here too- we have to be in groups of at least 2, or if we have a guardian or guardian-approved adult picking us up that's okay. our dons have to know where we are and what we're doing at all times. Six is dinner, which everyone is required to be at. Then from 7-9 is mandatory study period in our rooms, with the doors open. After that, in-room lights-out time is 11- except for grade 11 and 12. In grade 11, we have lights out at 12, and in grade 12 you get to set your own lights-out.

Boarding School Tip #5: Don’t be late for dinner!

I’ve asked the Perfect 10 for some additional title suggestions for boarding school themed books (remember it’s only non-magical, non-supernatural titles) and here’s what they came up with:

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison (for younger YA readers) 

When I first read this book is was only just becoming a teenager and this book related so much to what i was going through, also the fact that she was going to boarding school to do performing arts it was just so much fun to read about her friends and what she did every day at school  and the adventures she had whilst she was there, this book will leave you laughing at every page,if anyone is interested in performing arts or are just becoming a teenager or even if you're not I'd still recommend this book. 

Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (for EVERYBODY.) 

This book is just so cute. Not only is it a boarding school, it's a boarding school in France for American students. J'adore! :)

Additional Book/Movie Suggestions from Julie Cross

School Ties (movie)
Dead Poet’s Society (movie)

1 comment:


  1. Thanks for providing the great information about the teens boarding schools which are providing all the necessary facilities to meet their academic as well as personal needs. These schools are best to develop the discipline in the lives of each student.

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