Growth Through Boarding
More Than a Place to Stay
Many people come to us with the idea that boarding is merely about provision for basic needs: safety, sustenance, and companionship. These are very important and are foundational to what a program must provide. Once these needs are adequately met, we show families just how rich the opportunities are for helping children to develop character as a contributing community member, a responsible worker, a gracious leader, and a good friend.
The TCIS Boarding Program, working in conjunction with the primary academic programs of the school, have the potential to magnify the learning and character-building processes. With intentional thought and effort into providing a focused structure that encourages the entire individual by addressing physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being, students continue their growth by learning to contribute positively to their residence community. This is gently and consistently promoted in the way by which children learn to live, in mentor relationships, in peer interactions, in the wearing of leadership roles within the program, and by personally engaging in reflective goal setting.
Growing For Lifelong Benefit
Our concern for children is more than just their day-to-day needs. Dorm parents are involved in helping children become who they need to be to do well. For us, that means doing well in their studies and getting ready for university, but it also means something more. We love our boarding children, and we want for them the same things that we want for our own children: we want our boarding students to value people, kindness, hard work, perseverance, and caring for others. We also want them to have the kind of perspective and balance in life that brings feelings of fulfillment, contentment, and joy. The foundation for social-emotional well-being is not built in university or studying for a career; it is built now, in these developmental years, and we want to be a part of raising good, healthy, balanced people.
Growing With Others
One of the greatest benefits and enjoyments for students in the Residence Life Program is the connection with their classmates. Students who work and live with their peers develop a special bond like no other. Students receive support from others who are in the same position and moving in the same direction. They experience their successes together, they help each other in their failures, and they work alongside each other in ways that go beyond the usual..
Key Boarding Years
The TCIS Residence Life Program cares for student boarders from grades 6-12. While there is no bad time to join the boarding family, there are key times we find that students experience particular benefit from the structure and support in the boarding program:
- Grade 7
Students joining in grades 6-7 are at a prime age for needing and establishing personal care and learning habits. As these students are experiencing great changes developmentally, the structure and support help bring stability and understanding to this time. Children learn good self-management habits, and entering the Residence Life Program at this grade gives many years for children to benefit from the character building and college preparation built into the program. For this reason, students that join early and graduate high school in our boarding program are generally the most academically and personally prepared for an easy transition to university.
- Grade 9
Students in 9th grade benefit greatly from the academic structure and support in the dorm. As the MYP program progresses, it builds in academic rigor and the amount of work required so that students are ultimately prepared for entrance into the Diploma Program. Grade 9 is a pivotal year, and the boarding program has comprehensive support in place to help students through their high school years.
- Grade 12
The senior year is one of the most stressful and, ironically, one of the most enjoyable years in the dorms. Seniors have many large projects and assessments as well as college preparation requirements. On the other hand, students in grade 12 have some of their best friends living and working alongside them, going through the same processes. Combining these peer relationships with the academic structures in the dorm and the supportive mentor relationships with boarding staff, grade 12 students have some real advantages that aren't available to most students.