Boarding school helps young adults become more independent and resilient, and helps them build strong relational skills on a path to personal growth. However, moving from home to a boarding school can be a big transition. It comes with lots of questions: How will you stay in contact? Will students feel isolated? How will you know if this is the right decision?
We believe boarding school is the absolute best environment for many students, and our families are believers, too. Here’s why our boarding school may be the right choice for you and yours.
Students in boarding schools have more time and energy to focus on their academic studies because distractions are more limited. There’s still plenty of time for entertainment activities like television, video games, and hanging out with friends, but they’re provided in a structured manner so that they don’t interfere with schoolwork.
Personal Attention to Academics
On average, Datus enrolls 150 students per school year. This allows us to keep class sizes small (about 15 per class), which gives us the chance to nurture individual talents and interests and provide immediate assistance to those who need it. We have designated study times where students can get extra tutoring in subjects they’re struggling with as well as more in-depth instruction from faculty for subjects in which they excel and are eager to learn more.
Zero Cell phones in Class
With our “pockets of usage” cell phone policy, students are allotted ample time in the afternoons to interact with their phones. This gives plenty of usage time, but helps free students from the omnipresent distractions devices can cause in everyday life (even among adults!
Families Maintain a Strong Presence
Our goal is to make sure both students and parents are comfortable in our boarding environment. Parents have a consistent and direct line of communication with faculty, who are diligent about answering questions and providing assurance of students’ care. The residential life staff and administrators also help facilitate regular communication and give parents insight into their student’s life beyond the classroom. We also encourage family members to join our parent’s association, where you can get more involved in school activities.
A stronger sense of Community
Every boarding school student is encouraged to grow not just academically but also socially. To build a stronger sense of community, we hold socials outside of class where students interact, make friends, and develop key interpersonal skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. We emphasize the importance of diversity, sensitivity, and awareness of others.
Better Prepared for Life Beyond High School
Structured independence prepares students for life after high school — both for a college-level curriculum as well as the challenges that come with living independently for the first time on your own. Many college freshmen arrive at school not knowing how to manage their time, structure their studies, make new friends, or even perform daily tasks like budgeting their money or doing their own laundry. Boarding school students develop all of these skills in a safe, supervised environment, so they have a clear advantage over other high school graduates living on their own for the first time
A Bigger Focus on Personal Growth
Datus International School promotes an environment designed around personal and academic growth. Our inclusive and relational approach to college preparatory education gives students a head start on their peers, both in their attention to studies and in the way they carry themselves through life as mature young adults.
On & Off Campus Matters
Off-campus activities are offered consistently through the year to promote social interaction, exposure, and fun! In 2018-19, these outings ranged from trips to movies, restaurants, coffee shops, plays, and guest lecturers, to trips that accommodate an active community service spirit that draws wide student participation in the local events, assisting at the local hospitals,(to name just a few!).
On-campus clubs include a Debate Club, Emerging Leaders, Youth Group, A-Team Leadership, Astronomy Club and an International Club, Bookworm Club among others. Additional clubs spring up as the interests of the current student body emerge each year. We offer a full range of athletic outlets from formal teams such as Badminton, Tennis, Soccer, Netball, Volleyball, and, of course, Basketball, and of course Karate.
The Arts are alive in Datus! Students also find their passions outside of class with a strong visual art program that exhibits locally, a music program that performs regularly, a Praise Band, and a vibrant theatre department always on display during speech and prize giving days at Datus. Soccer and 3-on-3 basketball is the most fun to watch during pep rallys. Other physical activities offered include, biking, and a variety of intramural sports including kickball and sand volleyball.
A DAY AT DATUS
The day begins in the homeroom. A few students are still reminded to tie shoes or tuck in shirts. Almost all come into the assembly chattering and laughing. Quickly, through reminder and routine, students find their seats, sit up straight, and begin to become quiet. Mornings in homeroom begin with prayer, followed by a devotion, then announcements by the teachers. A day has begun, almost always on a structured and positive note. The positive emphasis is carried into the classroom. A look into the rooms reveals teachers quizzing students, encouraging individuals to ask questions, and engaging in conversation. Small classroom sizes allow for personal interaction, which facilitates bonds between teachers and students. These bonds build trust that the teachers are not merely marking hours, but are truly interested in the person sitting at a desk. Positive interaction also includes reinforcement of the structured discipline of the school. Teachers remind students to attend to their clothing and appearance. Students are instructed to take responsibility for their homework, their behavior, and their attitude. The benefits of discipline slowly and surely take root. Coupled with discipline is reward and accountability. Reward comes through praise for a job well done, the good will built between students and teachers, opportunities for trips “off campus,” and the self-rewards that come through maturity. Disadvantages accrued through misbehavior can include detention, “8th period” after school with a teacher, room restriction, loss of privilege to go on trips, and other measures. At the end of the school day students report to teachers for extra help with their academic responsibilities One could say the day is busy, but the better view is that the day is filled with instruction and activities to foster growth and maturity. The academic day may end at Datus, but student life continues. Extra-curricular activities after school segue into later club activities, dinner in the dining hall, and life in the dormitory. At the evening meal, students dine and interact with the small children of the Datus campus. These boarding students begin to establish routines with friends around the evening meals, and for a moment the demands of academic life are set aside for hearty meals and wholesome friendships.
Residential life continues the structured environment. “Quiet Time” each night in the dormitories is monitored and enforced so students can study and prepare. Behavior is observed consistently with the goal of providing a safe and respectful environment in which students can be successful. “Lights Out” ends the day, helping students develop habits that balance work and rest, relaxation and concentration. Residential Life at Datus offers many programs that help students fulfill their potential beyond the academic setting. Our dedicated and experienced staff live among the students in dormitory apartments and provide supervision and counsel in the after-school hours. Our goal is to provide the requisite structure and support for the social needs of all of our students. Because students are not permitted to meet members of the opposite gender unsupervised, Resident Life Staff plan numerous supervised social events and settings throughout the year. Divided into a “male side” of campus and a “female side,” Datus operates five traditional-style dormitories that house approximately 150 boarding students.
Weekend life in a rural setting has its own pace and character. When not in Saturday school classes, students relax in the dorms, engage in a host of on-campus activities such as football, and tournaments, participate in a myriad of home athletic events, etc.
On Sunday the pace is subdued with church attendance in the morning and afternoon rest and relaxation in preparation for the new academic week.
There is a varied four-week cycle of menus designed by the school’s chef registered dietitian. Breakfast, two-entree lunches, and dinners with a variety of meats and vegetables are served daily.
Students are required to attend worship on Sundays. Additional emphasis on spiritual growth and maturity is encouraged through devotions provided by the school’s chaplain, students, and faculty during daily homeroom assembly.