Boarding Program Mission Statement
Menaul School’s dormitories offer a safe environment in which dorm parents, faculty, and residents work together to create a community that supports personal growth. We aim to teach students to live a balanced lifestyle, so they are ready to engage in their daily responsibilities. We help students gain communication, conflict resolution and academic skills, while living together in a joyful, vibrant learning community.
Menaul School is committed to developing boarding students who demonstrate self-reliance, independence, and accountability while learning to appreciate diverse perspectives in a safe environment. Our boarding students are not only scholars; they are a member of a living and learning community. Lifelong friendships are formed and the responsibility of everyday life is placed squarely on their shoulders.
Students live in dorms, manage their use of their time, and are accountable for their actions. This combination of enjoyment and responsibility transforms boys and girls into young men and women prepared to handle the entirety of their university experience. Students learn to balance structured and unstructured time. They also get the priceless advantage of friendships based on time spent far beyond the classrooms and hallways of their academic experience.
Menaul’s residential program fosters a safe 32 acre environment where students live with one another and learn how to best conduct their own lives. The boarding students live in two facilities: Boys Dorm (Bennett Hall) and the Girls Dorm (Barber Hall). Both dorms house up to 20 students.
Heading up each residence are experienced, full-time dorm parents, who have their own private quarters within each dormitory. Dorm parents are readily accessible to students, as are other members of the Residential Life Staff, including the Residential Life Coordinator. Dorm Parents play an integral role in Menaul’s boarding students’ lives. They supervise students’ academic progress, ensure that they focus on their studies, and help them to obtain any needed extra help. Also, Dorm Parents lead off-campus activities on weekends, and serve as adult mentors – offering a listening ear to students when they need to talk or be counseled on personal matters.
There is always an abundance of fun and exciting opportunities for students to experience on the weekends. Whether it’s a shopping excursion to Talin Market World Food Fare or a trip to some of New Mexico’s finest Art’s and Craft’s Festivals, there is always something to do. For those who love the outdoors, the residence life program offers many unique experiences associated with New Mexico. Students will experience the Sandia Mountains, Santa Fe National Forest, Petroglyph National Monuments, Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands National Park, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.
Menaul also encourages students to attend a few cultural events each semester. Choices in Albuquerque include performances at the KIMO Theater and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Students might also choose to attend a New Mexico Isotopes Baseball game or New Mexico Lobo’s Football game.
During a couple of the major school holidays–Fall Break and Thanksgiving breaks-students have the opportunity to go on school-sponsored trips to places such as the Grand Canyon, Colorado and exploring around New Mexico. During Christmas vacation and Spring Break, the school closes down and all dorms are closed. Most students during these breaks travel home while some choose to stay with family members in other parts of the country.
Menaul is a diverse community comprising students from all over the world. The boarding program is a key component to providing both day and resident students an opportunity to experience new cultures and broaden their view of the world around them.
The Language Transition
Menaul School’s commitment to diversity and being a World Smart school means that some students will enter Menaul as non-native speakers of English. An innovative and well-established program works on several fronts to help ELLs (English Language Learners) integrate and communicate successfully.
A Strong Basis for Entry
Menaul School does not accept students without a strong basis of English. Because ELLs at Menaul are immediately mainstreamed (placed into classes with everyone else), a comprehensive assessment and interview process ensures that students have a strong base level of English comprehension before they are accepted.
From grades 9 through 11, English Language Learners take part in Support Class, which is based on providing those skills and background knowledge missing during the transition from their home country’s school curriculum to Menaul. For example, a student coming to Menaul from Rwanda in grade 10 might never have received comprehensive instruction in the four basic essay types, a student from Japan might have skipped a background in American history, a student from Spain might not be clear on what MLA formatting is.
Support Class brings students together alongside instructors who observe their classes in person. The instructors serve as guides, interpreters, those who can fill in the missing gaps as international students acclimate to an American education system.
Accent Modification Clinic
Menaul has formed a unique partnership with the University of New Mexico’s Speech and Language Pathology Department to provide accent modification clinics each spring. Overseen by a professional speech pathologist from UNM, graduate student clinicians work with Menaul’s ELL community at a 1:2 faculty ratio. These grad student clinicians will perform professional analysis of student speech and language patterns, transcribe their statements into the international phonetic alphabet to understand exactly the issues that students have when producing English sounds, then work with them on an individual or small-group basis to fix those issues.
Through the Accent Modification Clinic, which runs for 10 weeks, students improve their intelligibility and confidence greatly, which acts as a force multiplier, allowing them to take part more actively in classes, express themselves more clearly, and be more successful students.