A Secret World is a documentary series that explores what life is like at college preparatory boarding schools by using personal stories from over 100 individuals, from a wide range of different backgrounds, to explore this misunderstood schooling option. Negative stereotypes about boarding school permeate the media and filter into the subconscious mind of most parents in America.
Since 1999, I have seen hundreds of parents go from being adamantly opposed to boarding school to not only enrolling their child at a college prep boarding school, but regarding the boarding school experience as positive and even transformational in their child’s life. I was reflecting on just what it was that moved parents from such adamant resistance to boarding to an open-mindedness to explore boarding school and I concluded that it was conversations that parents had with current students, current parents, graduates and admission counselors that debunked their stereotypes and created enough interest that these parents were willing to visit a college prep boarding school with an open mind. This documentary series was created as a way to try replicate those conversations and campus visits.
Thought-provoking, unbiased interviews with 36 current and prospective students, 16 boarding school graduates, 50 parents, 4 public school leaders and 2 current admissions counselors
20 Educator Insights from nationally prominent boarding school leaders
20 Statistical Insights about boarding schools
Campus footage from more than 20 boarding schools across the U.S.
Academics‚ Arts‚ and Athletics
Creativity And Education
Life At Boarding School
Resistance To Boarding
Safety And Security
Sex‚ Drinking‚ Drugs And Hazing
Supports In Place For Students
Challenges And Difficulties
The Parent-Child Relationship
Access To Information
Advice To Parents
Appreciating Your Parent(s) More
Parenting From A Distance
Personal Growth For Boys
Personal Growth For Girls
Support Systems In Place
The Student Body
Critical Thinkers And Good Communicators
Academically Focused And Grounded
Ambitious, Focused And Self-Motivated
Confident, Responsible And Independent
Gifted And Talented
Globally Aware, Open-Minded And Curious
Mature For Their Age
Stereotypes And Reservations
Who’s A Good Match
Boarding Is Not For Everyone
Who’s A Good Match: Student Perspectives
Who’s A Good Match: Adult Perspectives
Who’s A Bad Match: Student Perspectives
Who’s A Bad Match: Adult Perspectives
Wrestling With The Decision
Film overviews with an outline of the content and structure of each film.
Snapshots of the individuals in the series, what they share in the films and which films they appear in. This includes 36 students, 16 graduates, 50 parents, and 26 educators.
Information about the 31 boarding schools featured in the five films.
A sample schedule of a typical day at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA.
Multiple places to jot down notes throughout the Viewing Guide.
WHO IS A SECRET WORLD FOR?
Parent with children under age 18
People who are curious about college preparatory boarding schools