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Our Boarding Prep
School Experience

Students in high school have unique social and academic needs, and boarding in the upper levels of education provides experiences that better prepare them for life after high school. It offers an around-the-clock environment conducive to college prep, the development of independent skills that help the transition to higher education and much more.

Our high school boarding school near Signal Mountain and Hixson in Chatanooga has thorough support systems, opportunities and college preparation resources for all upper-level students. Read on to see what makes a boarding prep school in the upper education levels so beneficial for students.

Boarding in upper school

A 24/7 Learning Community

When students live, eat and breathe in a place designed for education, they continue to learn well after the school day ends. With the help of our dorm parents, students have an ample 24/7 support system that guides them toward successful studies. Dorm parents are teachers who run our three male and three female dorm buildings, with the help of select students who serve as prefects. These people assist in a wide variety of ways, such as:

  • Helping with homework
  • Working through personal issues like homesickness or making friends
  • Keeping students on schedule
  • Planning events throughout the year

They can help with tasks like these and ensure that studies come first. There are also programs like the Peer Support Network and the Peer Tutoring Program, to provide help from the students' friends and classmates.

Alongside all Baylor students, boarders regularly meet with an academic adviser to monitor progress, establish personal goals and discuss challenges or opportunities. In addition to the academic benefits they offer, many studies have found that the relationship between a student and an adviser promotes a stronger feeling of connectivity to the school and fosters an open line of honest communication.

In addition to a rock-solid support system, our boarding students have more access to learning materials than they might otherwise. Living on campus means an evening trip to the library is completely accessible. The Learning Center at Baylor is another place they can go for drop-in assistance and to find spaces for group work and private studying.

The support systems at Baylor extend beyond the academic — we are also proud to offer facilities that provide physical and emotional support. Our campus houses a dedicated counseling center and a 10-bed Health Center staffed by an experienced full-time nurse practitioner.

A Place to Develop Skills for Adulthood

High school years are some of the most formative parts of our lives. By boarding at Baylor, students get ample opportunity to learn skills that influence their lives well beyond the classroom. From social skills to effective study habits, they have unique opportunities to learn the abilities that will carry them the furthest.

  • Social skills: Baylor students often find themselves with close-knit friend groups during their time here. Boarding creates a space for a much closer bond and more interaction among students. Between a wide variety of athletic options, academic work both in and outside of class and after-school activities like theatre and gardening groups, they're sure to find friends and learn the ins and outs of navigating the social sphere.
  • Cultural awareness: Since Baylor has students from around the country and the world, boarding students are likely to have more interaction with peers from different backgrounds. They can learn about other religions, nationalities, cultures and ways of life that they might not notice if they just share a class.
  • Leadership: With opportunities like elected student positions, becoming a prefect and helping with tutoring or the Peer Support Network, students can take on leadership in several different ways. The Association of Boarding Schools reports that 77 percent of boarding school students have found leadership opportunities through their boarding education — nearly 20 percent more than their private day school peers. Boarding is an excellent way to expand your horizons.
  • Organizational skills: When living away from home, students have to learn how to stay organized in many aspects. Whether it's cleaning, scheduling their day or keeping their classes straight, they gain this skill far ahead of their peers. Many of their peers who don't board won't learn this until college, without a strong support system, where it could seriously affect their grades.
  • Interests: Aside from academic classes, students can spend time in one of our many clubs, such as Earth Advocates, language clubs and several religious groups. These provide a great opportunity for students to explore their interests and build on their academic focuses. Taking part in extracurricular activities is great for character-building, as it fosters teamwork and a sense of purpose. We also encourage students to explore the area, especially since we are so close to downtown Chatanooga. There, students can spend free time getting involved in the community, spending time with friends or earning extra money at a part-time job.

Some of the most significant advantages students find at Baylor are those beyond the classroom.

Small class sizes

College Preparation

As students enter high school, college preparation and acceptance is one of the utmost concerns. Baylor prepares students well for life in higher education — just ask our graduates. The class of 2019 headed out to 93 colleges and universities, including Ivy League schools like Princeton, Harvard and Cornell. When a student boards at Baylor, they get a taste of the college experience inside and outside of the classroom.

Inside the classroom, they get access to a wide variety of college-level resources, including our honors opportunities and 21 different AP courses, led by a well-educated staff, 70 percent of whom hold advanced degrees. You'll also find diverse electives at Baylor and a variety of language options, including Chinese, French, Latin, German and Spanish. For students pursuing Fine Arts, Baylor offers one of the best programs in the area.

Outside of the classroom, they experience independence much faster than their non-boarding peers. Baylor students learn to live independently and take care of themselves. While our dorm parents are there to guide, students learn more about being self-sufficient. They need to clean their own rooms, plan their own healthy meals and keep study habits on track. If they're working or have another source of income, they may also need to start budgeting wisely. Baylor alumni frequently report that their experience at boarding prep school helped them transition into higher education — they claim it made them self-confident, organized and better prepared to make their own decisions.

All of these problems are issues that plague college freshmen everywhere. Often, these challenges can affect the student's grades and emotional well-being in their first year. If your student already knows how to live on their own from their time boarding, they'll be better prepared to hit the ground running when they enter college.

Even our athletics programs are well-suited to getting teens ready for playing at the college level. Our sports program was named the third-best overall for high schools in the nation, and we have over 100 graduates playing at the collegiate level.

What Do Students Love About Baylor?

Students and alumni often find that dorm life is an enjoyable way to prepare them for college. They say it is like a family, and you get to experience a sense of community and support unlike anything else. Annelise Kollevoll, a graduate of 2014, came to us from Virginia and said that she "never felt like someone didn't care about how [she] was adjusting to a new school and a new culture far away from home." Boarding can be an unsettling, new experience, but the support structures we have in place and the diverse community help the transition go smoothly.

Many of our boarding students tell us they decided to go to Baylor because they wanted more independence, challenges, and opportunities. While we aim to make the transition easy, students still get to experience all of those challenges and opportunities that Baylor provides, aspects for which many boarding alumni express appreciation.

Apply to Upper School at Baylor

Upper-Level Boarding at Baylor School

At Baylor's boarding high school, students get more than a stellar education. They also gain life skills and the resources to prepare them for the world after high school. Opportunities are endless. Whether your student wants to be a musician, a world-class business mogul, a scientist or something else, attending Baylor's preparatory boarding school can help them get ready for it.

Our private boarding school is near Hixson, Signal Mountain and the Chatanooga area in Tennessee, but we have students from across the world. Browse our website to learn more about Baylor and boarding to see how it can propel your student's learning to the next level.

The Boarding Experience

Research by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) provides solid data that breaks down long-held misperceptions about boarding schools: The Truth About Boarding School