Best Boarding Schools in America

Educational facilities where some or all of the students reside during the school year are known as boarding schools. There are a many different boarding schools available, and each one has its own curriculum. Most are coeducational, but others are all girls or boy only schools. In the United States alone, there are over 300 boarding schools to choose from which can make selecting from the best boarding schools in America a difficult decision for parents and students.

There are three basic types of boarding schools: Therapeutic, Junior, and College Prep. It is important to know about the types of boarding schools because of the differences in goals, objectives, and the types of students they are for. Here’s an overview of each type.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools, also known as alternative schools, are for students having difficulty in a traditional school setting or at home due to behavioral problems. In addition to addressing the disciplinary and emotional issues of these struggling teens, a therapeutic school may also prepare its students for college in an academic sense. Some military boarding schools, with their strict style of discipline and structure, can fall into this category as well. Boarding schools for students with special needs such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD), dyslexia, and learning disabilities (LD) also exist.

Junior Boarding Schools offer academic opportunities for students that are middle school age and younger (13 years old or less). Some schools are junior boarding schools only, while others offer both junior and college prep. Junior boarding schools are more common in United Kingdom (UK) compared to America.

College Preparatory Boarding Schools are designed to prepare students who will be entering college. They are generally for students of high school age (14 to 18 years old). These schools offer rigorous academic programs, providing challenges and new opportunities to students who are motivated to learn and excel. The best boarding schools in America of this type are very competitive since they have a large number of applicants each year. College prep boarding schools can also have different affiliations. Christian boarding schools place emphasis on spiritual growth in addition to academics. Art boarding schools also train students in the fields of creative writing, music, theater, and dance as preparation for regular college or specialty conservatories. College prep military schools are another example.

Boarding schools are located throughout the United States. Some of the best boarding schools in America can be found in California, New York, Florida, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, and other states throughout the USA.

Boarding Schools in Southern California

Finding boarding schools in southern California is not very difficult considering the size of this megaregion. The southern area of California is home to several top boarding schools, private schools, military schools, high schools, and Christian schools in and around the large urban areas of Greater Los Angeles and San Diego. Los Angeles and San Diego are the most populated cities in Southern California.

There are military schools in southern California such as the Army and Navy Academy located in Carlsbad, California, just north of San Diego.  Just look at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy located in La Canada Flintridge to find one of the top Catholic Christian boarding schools in southern California. There are also numerous private schools in southern California such as the Ojai Valley School, Dunn School, Cate School, The Thacher School, The Webb Schools that offer some of the best education opportunities for students in America. These schools are also some of the best boarding schools in Southern California.

List of Boarding Schools in Southern California

Dunn School
Address: 2555 West Highway 154, P.O. Box 98, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Phone: (805) 688-6471
Website: http://www.dunnschool.org
Dunn School is an independent, college preparatory, 6th through 12th grade coeducational boarding and day school located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, in Los Olivos, California, 30 miles from Santa Barbara.

Midland School
Address: PO Box 8/5100 Figueroa Mtn. Rd., Los Olivos, CA 93441
Phone: 805-688-5114
Website: http://www.midland-school.org
Midland is a fully accredited, all-boarding, co-educational college preparatory school located in Los Olivos California.

Cate School
Address: 1960 Cate Mesa Road, P.O. Box 5005, Carpinteria, CA 93014
Phone: (805) 684-4127
Website: http://www.cate.org
Cate School is boy and girl preparatory boarding school for grades 9-12.

Oak Grove School
Address: 220 West Lomita Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-8236
Website: http://www.oakgroveschool.com
Oak Grove School is a progressive co-educational day and boarding school serving students from preschool through college preparatory high school.

Villanova Preparatory School
Address: 12096 North Ventura Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-1464
Website: http://www.villanovaprep.org
A Catholic boarding and day school for grades 9-12 on a southern California campus.

Ojai Valley School
Address: 723 El Paseo Road, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-1423
Website: http://www.ovs.org/home.php
Ojai Valley School is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school serving nearly 300 students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade in beautiful Ojai, CA. The Lower Campus, near downtown Ojai, enrolls students in grades pre-kindergarten to eight. The Upper Campus, located seven miles to the east, enrolls students in grades nine to twelve. Ojai Valley School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Besant Hill School
Address: 8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd., Ojai CA 93024
Phone: (805) 646-4343
Website: http://www.besanthill.org/
An exceptional college-preparatory school for grades 9-12.

The Thacher School
Address: 5025 Thacher Road, Ojai, California 93023
Phone (805) 646-4377
Website: http://www.thacher.org
The Thacher School is a girl and boy boarding high school (grades 9-12) located 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience.

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Address: 440 Saint Katherine Drive., La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Phone: (626) 685-8500
Website: http://www.fsha.org/
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is a Catholic, Dominican, college-preparatory school which educates young women for a life of faith, integrity and truth.

Excelsior School
Address: 1539 E. Howard St., Pasadena, CA 91104
Phone: (626) 398-2388
Website: http://www.excelsiorschool.com
Excelsior School is a small private prep school offering boarding opportunities for high school students grades 9-12.

Southwestern Academy – San Marino Campus
Address: 2800 Monterey Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Phone: (626) 799-5010
Website: http://www.southwesternacademy.edu/index.html
Southwestern Academy is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls grades 6 through 12. Southwestern Academy is a college preparatory school and classes are based on the University of California’s entrance standards. Students from all around the world benefit from Southwestern Academy’s small classes, active student body, and challenging educational program.

St. Catherine’s Academy
Address: 215 N. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, California 92805
Phone: (714) 772-1363
Website: http://www.stcatherinesacademy.org/
Boys Catholic School with a Military Tradition
Grades K-8

Idyllwild Arts Academy
Address: P.O. Box 38, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549
Phone: (951) 659-2171
Website: http://www.idyllwildarts.org/about.aspx
A fully-accredited college preparatory school for grades 9-12. The Idyllwild Arts Academy provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum. They prepare artists for the finest conservatories and professional companies, liberal arts colleges and universities.

Army and Navy Academy
Address: 2605 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: (760) 729-2385
Website: http://www.armyandnavyacademy.org/
The Army and Navy Academy is a college preparatory boarding school for boys for grades 7-12

Boarding Schools in Northern California

Some of the best boarding high schools, private schools, military schools, and summer camps are located in California’s upper 48 counties which is considered the northern California region. From the San Francisco bay area to the Sierra Nevada and Central valley, boarding schools in northern California are available to fulfill the needs of students who are preparing for the future.

What differentiates the boarding schools in northern California from boarding schools in southern California is the diverse geography within the region. The Sierra Nevada region includes the giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park , Mount Whitney, Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Mount Shasta. The Central Valley in the north is a unique region that is considered to be one of the most productive agricultural areas in America and includes the cities of Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. The sandy beaches of the Pacific coast and redwood trees along the coastline north of San Francisco add to the charm and beauty of Northern California. The San Francisco Bay area which includes the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose are also located in the Northern California region.

Boarding Schools in Northern California

St. Andrew’s Academy
Address: 198 Main St., P.O. Box 3050, Chester/Lake Almanor, CA 96020
Phone: (530) 596-3343
School Website: http://standrewsacademy.org/sta/home.html
St. Andrew’s Academy is a preparatory day and boarding school in northern California. St. Andrew’s Academy is located in Northern California where the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades Mountains meet.

Squaw Valley Academy
Address: 235 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Phone: (530) 583-9393
School Website: http://www.sva.org
Squaw Valley Academy is a small classroom, college prep 9th-12th grade international day and boarding school at Lake Tahoe in Northern California.

San Domenico School
Address: 1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960
Phone: (415) 258-1900
School Website: http://www.sandomenico.org/
San Domenico school is a boys and girls pre-k through 8th grade day school and girls only day and boarding school for grades 9-12. The 515 acre campus is located in northern California in the bay area just north of San Francisco in Marin county.

Archbishop Riordan High School
Address: 175 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112
Phone: (415) 586-8200
School Website: http://www.riordanhs.org/Boarding/Default.aspx
Archbishop Riordan high school is one of the all male Catholic high school boarding schools in Northern California for grades 9-12. Located in San Francisco just 20 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and close to northern California’s financial center.

The Athenian School
Address: 2100 Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd., Danville, CA 94506
Phone: (925) 837-5375
Website: http://www.athenian.org
The Athenian School offers a full boarding program for students in grades 9-12. Athenian is the San Francisco Bay Area’s only nonsectarian high school boarding program located on 75 beautiful acres at the base of Mt. Diablo in Northern California.

Woodside Priory School
Address: 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028
Phone: (650) 851-8221
School Website: http://www.prioryca.org
Woodside Priory School is the only Benedictine College Preparatory school in California. The School is a co-educational, college preparatory school for grades 6-12. A coeducational day school for grades 6 through 8 and a boy and girl boarding and day school for grades 9 through 12.  Woodside Priory school is located about 30 minutes south of San Francisco and north of San Jose and Silicon Valley.

Valley International Academy
Address: 1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA. 95008
Phone: (408) 866-9988
Website: http://www.valleyacademy.org
Valley International Academy is a college preparatory day and boarding school for grades 9 through 12 located in the bay area.

Monte Vista Christian School
Address: 2 School Way, Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: (831) 722-8178
Website: http://www.mvcs.org/
Monte Vista Christian School is one of the premier college preparatory Christian boarding schools in Northern California. Monte Vista Christian School is the largest Christian co-ed boarding school in the western United States. The campus is located in the foothills of the Santa cruz mountains in the heart of the beautiful Monterey Bay area of California.

Santa Catalina School
Address: 1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey, California 93940
Phone: (831) 655-9300
Website: http://www.santacatalina.org/
All girls boarding and day school for grades 9-12 and boys and girls pre-k to grade 8 day school. The 36 acre campus is located 2 hours south of San Francisco and just 2 miles from downtown Carmel and Monterey.

Boarding Schools in California

Some of the top California boarding schools can be found thoughout the state. There are boarding schools in northern california such as Archbishop Riordan High School, San Francisco’s oldest all male Catholic high school and military schools in southern California such as St. Catherine’s Academy, a Catholic school with a military tradition for boys in kindergarten through 8th grade.  Boarding schools in California can be all boy schools or all girl schools and include various age and grade levels. Also, there are boarding schools in California for boys and girls such as Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, CA.

Boarding Schools for Boys

Archbishop Riordan High School
Address: 175 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112
Phone: (415) 586-8200
Website: http://www.riordanhs.org/Boarding/Default.aspx
All-Male Catholic High School
Grades 9-12

St. Catherine’s Academy
Address: 215 N. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, California 92805
Phone: (714) 772-1363
Website: http://www.stcatherinesacademy.org/
Boys Catholic School with a Military Tradition
Grades K-8

Army and Navy Academy
Address: 2605 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: (760) 729-2385
Website: http://www.armyandnavyacademy.org/
The Army and Navy Academy is a college preparatory boarding school for boys for grades 7-12

Boarding Schools for Girls

Santa Catalina School
Address: 1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey, California 93940
Phone: (831) 655-9300
Website: http://www.santacatalina.org/
All girls boarding and day school for grades 9-12

San Domenico School
Address: 1500 Butterfield Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960
Phone: (415) 258-1900
Website: http://www.sandomenico.org/
Girls only day and boarding high school for grades 9-12

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Address: 440 Saint Katherine Drive., La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Phone: (626) 685-8500
Website: http://www.fsha.org/
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is a Catholic, Dominican, college-preparatory school which educates young women for a life of faith, integrity and truth.

Boarding Schools in California for Boys and Girls

Southwestern Academy – San Marino Campus
Address: 2800 Monterey Road, San Marino, CA 91108
Phone: (626) 799-5010
Website: http://www.southwesternacademy.edu/index.html
Southwestern Academy is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls grades 6 through 12. Southwestern Academy is a college preparatory school and classes are based on the University of California’s entrance standards. Students from all around the world benefit from Southwestern Academy’s small classes, active student body, and challenging educational program.

Monte Vista Christian School
Address: 2 School Way, Watsonville, CA 95076
Phone: (831) 722-8178
Website: http://www.mvcs.org/
Monte Vista Christian School is dedicated to being the premier college preparatory Christian school in Northern California, committed to preparing students to be world changers. Monte Vista Christian School is the largest Christian co-ed boarding school in the western United States.

The Athenian School
Address: 2100 Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd., Danville, CA 94506
Phone: (925) 837-5375
Website: http://www.athenian.org
The Athenian School offers a full boarding program for students in grades 9-12. The boarding program is a unique community comprised of international and domestic students.

The Webb Schools
Address: 1175 W. Baseline Road, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 626-3587
Website: http://www.webb.org/
The Webb Schools offers all girl classes and all boy classes for ninth and tenth graders and coeducational classes for juniors and seniors.

Besant Hill School
Address: 8585 Ojai Santa Paula Rd., Ojai CA 93024
Phone: (805) 646-4343
Website: http://www.besanthill.org/
An exceptional college-preparatory school for grades 9-12

Squaw Valley Academy
Address: 235 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Phone: (530) 583-9393
Website: http://www.sva.org
Squaw Valley Academy is a California 9th-12th grade international boarding and day school at Lake Tahoe.

Dunn School
Address: 2555 West Highway 154, P.O. Box 98, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Phone: (805) 688-6471
Website: http://www.dunnschool.org
Dunn School is an independent, college preparatory, 6th through 12th grade coeducational boarding and day school located in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, in Los Olivos, California, 30 miles from Santa Barbara.

Villanova Preparatory School
Address: 12096 North Ventura Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-1464
Website: http://www.villanovaprep.org
A Catholic boarding and day school for grades 9-12 on a southern California campus.

Valley International Academy
Address: 1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA. 95008
Phone: (408) 866-9988
Website: http://www.valleyacademy.org
Valley International Academy is a college-preparatory day and boarding school that exemplifies academic excellence, fosters social responsibility and celebrates global citizenship.

The Thacher School
Address: 5025 Thacher Road, Ojai, California 93023
Phone (805) 646-4377
Website: http://www.thacher.org
The Thacher School is a girl and boy boarding high school (grades 9-12) located 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. The School serves academically talented students who will benefit from a rigorous college preparatory experience.

St. Andrew’s Academy
Address: PO Box 3050, 198 Main St., Chester/Lake Almanor, CA 96020
Phone: (530) 596-3343
Website: http://standrewsacademy.org/sta/home.html
St. Andrew’s Academy is a day and boarding preparatory school located in Northern California

Woodside Priory School
Address: 302 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028
Phone: (650) 851-8221
Website: http://www.prioryca.org
Woodside Priory School is a boy and girl boarding and day college preparatory school for grades 6-12.

Excelsior School
Address: 1539 E. Howard St., Pasadena, CA 91104
Phone: (626) 398-2388
Website: http://www.excelsiorschool.com
Excelsior School is a small private prep school offering boarding opportunities for high school students grades 9-12.

Cate School
Address: 1960 Cate Mesa Road, P.O. Box 5005, Carpinteria, CA 93014
Phone: (805) 684-4127
Website: http://www.cate.org
Cate School is boy and girl preparatory boarding school for grades 9-12.

Midland School
Address: PO Box 8/5100 Figueroa Mtn. Rd., Los Olivos, CA 93441
Phone: 805-688-5114
Website: http://www.midland-school.org
Midland is a fully accredited, all-boarding, co-educational college preparatory school located in Los Olivos California.

Oak Grove School
Address: 220 West Lomita Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-8236
Website: http://www.oakgroveschool.com
Oak Grove School is a progressive co-educational day and boarding school serving students from preschool through college preparatory high school.

Ojai Valley School
Address: 723 El Paseo Road, Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-1423
Website: http://www.ovs.org/home.php
Ojai Valley School is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school serving nearly 300 students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade in beautiful Ojai, CA. The Lower Campus, near downtown Ojai, enrolls students in grades pre-kindergarten to eight. The Upper Campus, located seven miles to the east, enrolls students in grades nine to twelve. Ojai Valley School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Idyllwild Arts Academy
Address: P.O. Box 38, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549
Phone: (951) 659-2171
Website: http://www.idyllwildarts.org/about.aspx
A fully-accredited college preparatory school for grades 9-12. The Idyllwild Arts Academy provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum. They prepare artists for the finest conservatories and professional companies, liberal arts colleges and universities.