A boarding school provides education for pupils who live on the premises, as opposed to a day school. The word "boarding” is used in the sense of "room and board" i.e., lodging and meals. As they have existed for many centuries, and now extend across many countries, their function and ethos varies greatly. Traditionally, pupils stayed at the school for the length of the term; some schools facilitate returning home every weekend, and some welcome day pupils. Some are for either boys or girls while others are co-educational. In the United Kingdom, which has a rich history of such schools, many independent (private) schools offer boarding, but likewise so do a few dozen state schools, many of which serve children from remote areas. In the United States, most boarding schools cover grades seven or nine through grade twelve—the high school years. Some American boarding schools offer a post-graduate year of study to help students prepare for college entrance. In some times and places boarding schools are the most elite educational option (as in the classic English rivals, Eton and Harrow, which have produced many prime ministers), whereas in other contexts, they serve as places to segregate children deemed a problem to their parents or wider society. Notoriously, Canada and the United States tried to assimilate indigenous children in the Canadian Indian residential school system and American Indian boarding schools respectively.
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