Good ESL programs for average student

<p>I am looking for a boarding school with ESL support for my step-son, who has been in the US for 3 years. He will be going into 10th grade next year. He is an average student - gets B/B+ if he works at it, but has poor study skills. He hasn't taken the SSAT or TOEFL yet, but in his current public school ESL program he is reading at a 6th or 7th grade level and needs support with writing. His speaking skills are good and he is in a standard geometry class in 9th grade and getting a B+. </p>

<p>I've been researching schools and come up with the following list. We cannot afford an educational consultant (I know that sounds strange if we are applying to expensive boarding schools, but my employer is paying the tuition since we will be posted overseas).</p>

<p>The choices are a bit overwhelming and I know we need to get going on the application process. Any insights about school reputations, especially socially (i.e. behavior problems, dorm supervision etc) would be appreciated since we need to narrow the list down before visiting. The ideal school will get him up to speed for the rigors of college reading/writing (he will most likely go to one of the state colleges in Virginia), provide study skills support, have a strong soccer program, and have good supervision. He would like a co-ed school, but if there is a all boy's school with outstanding soccer, he might consider it. Also, if anyone thinks there are schools we should add, I would appreciate your ideas. </p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>Darlington (his choice because of the soccer academy program)
Cushing (I am concerned he may not get in)
Kent School (same as above, but he is interested in pre-engineering)
Cheshire
Winchendon
Storm King School
Christchurch School (we currently live in DC metro area so easy to visit)
Stuart Hall School (same as above)
Marvelwood School
Wilbraham and Monson</p>

<p>Kent's Hill in Maine. Not sure about the soccer - but big international student contingent and strong study skills support.</p>

<p>Northfield Mount Hermon has an ESL program; they may even have something in the summer before a student enters. The international population is fairly large; the boys soccer team is quite good; they have learning support to assist with study skills. I believe they have kids with a wide range of academic abilities and a range of honors and regular courses to accomodate them. I'd call them and talk candidly about your child's situation and see if they think there might be a fit.</p>

<p>I can answer some of your questions about Darlington if you would like. My children all attend there and my husband is also on the duty staff in one of the boys Dorms so I definitely know that routine inside and out. We love Darlington, A LOT, but as with all things, schools are a very personal choice and fit matters. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any help. I do know that Darlington administers the TOEFL and they have an on campus learning center that's available to all students who need extra help in any subject. They have a pretty diverse student body with students from all over the world who speak a variety of languages. </p>

<p>Oh and I had to add, the soccer program is amazing!</p>