Boarding school is a school where some or all people study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals. Some boarding schools also have day students who attend the institution by day and return off-campus to their families in the evenings.
Many independent (private) schools in the Commonwealth of Nations are boarding schools. Boarding school pupils (a.k.a. "boarders") normally return home during the school holidays and, often, weekends, but in some cultures may spend the majority of their childhood and adolescent life away from their families. In the United States, boarding schools comprise various grades, most commonly grades seven or nine through grade twelve - the high school years. Some also feature military training, though this is generally offered only at specialized military schools. Some American boarding schools offer a post-graduate year of study in order to help students prepare for college entrance, most commonly to assimilate foreign students to American culture and academics before college.
In the former Soviet Union similar schools were introduced; these sometimes are known as Internat-schools (Russian: Школа-интернат) (from Latin: internus). They varied in their organization. Some schools were a type of specialized school with a specific focus in a particular field or fields such as mathematics, physics, language, science, sports, etc. Other schools were associated with orphanages (known as Children Homes) after which all children enrolled in Internat-school automatically. Some such Soviet schools offered "extended stay" programs (Russian: Продленка) featuring a shared meal time providing an opportunity for social interaction between classmates (education in the Soviet Union was free). This program was discontinued in the 1980s. In post-soviet countries, concept of boarding school differs from country to country.
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“But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.”
—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)