Well, these first three or four months of 2019 will bring a whole host of feelings for young people applying to independent schools. They have to ensure that their school work continues to flourish while also looking ahead to exciting new educational opportunities. 

My current clients have applied to schools on Vancouver Island, California, New Hampshire. Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State. It’s an exciting and nervous time. With application deadlines looming for the end of January, it is time to chase all the necessary documents to complete the application, and if an interview has not been completed yet, then the visit needs to be set up very quickly. I help in all this, including interview coaching. 

My primary role as the family’s consultant is to ensure that the best fit of school (s) has been identified and through on-going meetings with me they are ready to choose the number one choice for them, once decisions come out from the schools. My secondary role is to ensure that if the dream school on the list denies a spot that the other schools they have applied to, from reach to safety schools, are also pleasing options. 

During these next 3 months ( March 10th is the decision day for US boarding schools, for example) I will be an advocate with school admission staff for my clients. At the same time, I am looking outward to attract new clients for placement September ‘20. To that end, I will be in Hong Kong from Feb. 20th to the 26th interviewing families. A great place to go to work! 


US Boarding School Visits: June 2018

A vital part of being an accredited educational consultant is visiting boarding schools to assess their programs first-hand, and to liaise with admissions staff and faculty who have been a vital link in helping student clients and their parents achieve a place. 

I live in the heart of excellent Canadian boarding schools on Vancouver Island. However, in early June I visited four American boarding schools. In western Massachusetts, I was able to thank in person the admission directors at Berkshire School who had helped enrol one of my students this season. Berkshire is a traditional New England prep school consistently ranked in the top 25 US boarding schools: https://www.berkshireschool.org

Twenty minutes away in Lakeville Connecticut, I visited the Hotchkiss School, one of the top 10 boarding schools in America: https://www.hotchkiss.org. These two New England schools have superb campuses.

On my drive back up to Montreal, I visited North Country School in Lake Placid, New York – a small, progressive junior boarding school with a coherent and cohesive student centred philosophy: https://www.northcountryschool.org. These schools have accepted two of my students for this September.

My fourth visit was to Northwood School, also in Lake Placid: https://www.northwoodschool.org. It was my first time there and it has a good hybrid of traditional and individualized programs.

The United States is a culturally and geographically diverse country. The 300 or so boarding schools in the United States reflect this reality. Boarding school options are tremendous.

The research and application process can take up to a year if a family does due diligence on their research, in conjunction with a consultant’s informed guidance and wealth of experience.

Jarvis and Associates is now taking inquiries from families who are looking for September ’19 entry to either Canadian or US boarding schools. We provide a highly personalized service and look forward to hearing from you through our web site. We are ready to listen.In two weeks I visit boarding schools in the United Kingdom.

1. With Dr. Tasia Wu - a brilliant music teacher at Berkshire who will be working with my talented student from Vancouver.

2. With Dana Anselmi, new Admissions Director at Berkshire School.

3. With Andrew Bogardus, my successor as Admissions Director at Berkshire School, and now the Advancement Director.

4. Hotchkiss School sign at the entrance way.

5 - 7. Photos on the working farm like campus of North Country School. David Damico, the Admissions Director.

8. Northwood School sign.

“Everyone needs a coach”: Bill Gates

Once again ranked in Jan. 2017 as the world’s wealthiest person, Bill Gates believes strongly in the coach and feedback loop, as seen in this You Tube clip from a TED talk on education:

If you are a parent reading this, you may well be embarking on the journey to select the “ right” boarding school. It is crucial that you get objective feedback as you develop this school search. As a member of IECA, Jarvis and Associates is ideally placed to help you. We will coach you and your family every step of the way.

I used unofficial coaches/mentors when I was an admissions director, and an official one when I was a Head of School in Massachusetts. They proved to be crucial supports.

At your tentative early stages of this journey, you may well be wary of boarding schools. Here is an article debunking myths about boarding: 


If you are a school representative reading this, we can coach your admissions team to become even better representatives of the school in order to serve prospective families well.

Clarity of thinking is needed to achieve great results. More on clarity next week.