"You have to know your kid and they have to be able to live away from home, not be homesick."
Students and families on Wednesday greeted members of 84 boarding schools located throughout the Northeast at Chelsea Piers in Stamford for the Greenwich Education Group's fourth Annual Boarding School Fair.
The group's executive director says this year she's seen a greater number of students interested in boarding schools.
"I think it's up because public education, while good in many places, the funding is down," said Victoria Newman. "I think some kids need the best fit environment for some students is smaller class sizes, more accountability for parents."
The Greenwich Education Group works with families to place students in the best suited school.
"Maybe they need more structure, maybe they have a learning disability," said Newman. "Whatever they need whatever it is, there's a school for everybody out there. And sometimes, our day schools, as wonderful as they are can't meet the needs or fit every child."
"I'm looking forward to the academic programs and different sports teams," said The Stanwich School 8th grader Taryn Henderson.
"A school that's more academically challenging and also because I'm interested in football," said local student Allen Gerac.
"They both have really good academics and athletics and I have connections to all of them. You get to be really involved in the community and it's really closely knit."
Members say it's important to talk to your child and understand his or her needs before considering boarding school.
"A good markert for that is if your child has been to sleep away camp and absolutely loves it," said Newman. "That's a great way to tell if they weren't homesick and they had a great experience. Then you know they could be away from home. But they also come home more than parents realize."
"I don't really get homesick, that's not really me," said Fraser Allen. "So I think I'll be able to handle it."