School boarding houses aren't just places where students sleep; they are where memories are made, lessons are learned, and young minds grow. As administrators, it's our responsibility to ensure that our boarding facilities are safe, nurturing, and conducive to learning.
This is something I emphasise to school boarding house staff, administrators and school owners all of the time, especially if you have attended my Boarding House Administration series, or read my book Effective Boarding House Administration.
Here's a checklist of what to look out for to continually improve the boarding experience for your students:
1. Safety First!
Fire Safety: Ensure that smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers are functional and regularly checked.
Practise regular fire drills, and have clearly marked emergency exits.
Structural Safety: Periodically inspect the building for any signs of damage, such as cracks, leaks, or electrical issues. Maintenance should be proactive rather than reactive.
Access Control: Monitor entrances and exits to ensure only authorised individuals are allowed in. Consider installing security cameras and having boarding house security staff apart from those at the school main gate.
2. Cleanliness and Hygiene
Regular Cleaning: Schedule regular cleaning of common areas, bathrooms, and dorm rooms.
Pest Control: Implement routine pest control measures to prevent infestations of insects or rodents.
Waste Management: Have proper disposal systems in place..
3. Comfort and Amenities
Bedding and Furniture: Ensure beds are comfortable, and furniture is functional. Regularly check for wear and tear.
Wi-Fi Access: In this digital age, students need stable internet access for studies and to connect with family.
Recreation Spaces: Have areas where students can relax, read, or play games. It’s essential for their well-being.
4. Nutrition and Dining
Varied Menu: Ensure that the meals provided are balanced, nutritious, and cater to various dietary needs as long as the school fees can take the bills
Hygiene in the Kitchen: Regularly inspect the kitchen for cleanliness. Ensure food storage and preparation adhere to safety standards.
5. Emotional and Mental Well-being
Counseling Services: Offer access to counselors. Living away from home can be challenging, and students should have someone to talk to.
Feedback System: Implement a system where students can voice their concerns, suggestions, or grievances about boarding life.
6. Community Building
Organise Events: Host events or activities that foster a sense of community, from movie nights to cultural festivals.
Promote Inclusivity: Create an environment where every student, regardless of background, feels welcome and included. Play down on social class.
7. Continuous Improvement
Regular Surveys: Periodically gather feedback from students about their boarding experience. Use this to guide improvements.
Stay Updated: Research and observe best practices from other boarding schools. Consider implementing innovations that might enhance the boarding experience.
Nancy Ekpezu has led four reputable schools three of which operated boarding facilities.
How we can you work with you.
1. Attend the next edition of Boarding House Administration Training 4.0 coming up in November.
2. Get a copy of the book Effective Boarding House Administration. It is N5500 only and we deliver to your doorsteps nationwide in Nigeria. Delivery fee depends on the distance.
Pay to Nancy Ekpezu, First Bank 2014532690 and send proof of payment to WhatsApp at 08035880367.
3. Invite my team to train you inhouse. Inbox me to initiate a conversation.
4. Invite my team to carry out a boarding house audit and make recommendations for your improved efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. We audit every aspect of the boarding house using our tich customized template that meets international standards. It's a bespoke service.
TRAINING IN NOVEMBER?
I'm excited to inform you that Boarding House Administration Training 4.0 takes place in November and you should be a part of it. It's a two-day packed training that will equip you with the knowledge and skills to operate your boarding house in a very efficient manner that leads to productivity and sustainability.
You might also want to watch a free webinar I facilitated on boarding house administration over a year ago. The paid training in November is a two-day packed training that equips you with the knowledge and skills to operate your boarding house effectively, efficently and for sustainability.
Watch the video below:
You can get a copy of the book Effective Boarding House Administration here: