Diverse Private School Students

Starting school is a major milestone in a child’s (and parent’s!) life. Some families may be set in their decision on where to have their children attend school, but others may be on the fence. The options used to be fairly simple, but things are not so simple anymore. Parents can pursue the public school they are zoned. They can also look for public options that are immersion, magnet, or charters. Homeschool options, including university model programs, are increasingly popular. Finally, you have private programs.  There is a surprising amount of options out there!

You might be wondering if the benefits of a Private school is worth the investment. Let’s study up on the topic:

What is Private School?

In contrast to public schools, which are funded federally, private schools operate by way of personal funding. This means that they are not tied to the federal policies of zoning laws or criteria for entrance.

The majority of private schools operate under the denomination of specific religions. Children aren’t necessarily expected to fall under these belief systems. However, they will be exposed to religious practices during school hours such as prayer times and scripture lessons.

Private School vs Public School

Every family has unique needs. Not all children will thrive in public school, and likewise, private school will not be a guaranteed success either. Your child’s learning needs and personality should be considered when comparing ideal school types.

It’s good to know the main differences between public and private school options, to aid in your decision for your child’s education.

Public schools:

  • Limited by government funding.
  • Class sizes: public schools are notorious for large class sizes.
  • Religion: there are no religious affiliations for public schools
  • Admission requirements: public schools are required to accept everyone within their zone

Private schools:

  • Greater funding: this leads to an increase in the quality of extracurriculars, facilities, and food
  • Requires more money from the family: in the form of baseline expenses to attend school, uniform costs, and supplementary investments
  • Class sizes: usually top at 18 students per teacher for older children.
  • Religion focus: not all private schools are religion-based, but the majority of them are
  • Admission requirements: each private school will have a unique set of requirements, like testing, for admission

You can see the main differences above, and this is a good starting point for understanding how public and private schools compare. You are likely to find more diversity in a public school and another major bonus is: it doesn’t cost you money. Deciding if a private school is the right path for your child is a personal one.

A private school would be ideal for the following students:

  • A child who is not challenged by public school and would benefit from increased opportunities
  • The special needs child that requires more resources than a public school can offer
  • The family budget does not have a limit for education
  • The family prefers to have a child in a religious focused school

Benefits of Private School

There are certainly many benefits to attending a private school. It can propel your child into success where a public school has failed. With greater funding, there may be more resources available for learning. Below are the main benefits that a private school can offer.

Smaller class size

The typical class size at a private school will be much smaller than a standard public school. Averaging around 15 students per teacher allows educators to provide more individualized attention to children.

Not only does smaller class size ensure more attention for your child, but it also leads to fewer discipline issues overall. With fewer children in a classroom, the ability to build a strong community improves. Kids are less likely to get lost in the shuffle and this increases supervision leads to less bullying and quicker detection of behavioral issues to address.

More Resources

With greater funding comes the ability to have more robust resources. In private schools, you are likely to find impressive libraries, art specialists, more technology, and improved facilities.

The greater expanse of resources can certainly provide a child with the stepping stones to success in a multitude of fields.

Libraries

Educational assets are so important when it comes to school. Collections that are well-curated, inclusive, and diverse and the employment of expert librarians that are well-trained offer an endless amount of possibilities.

An integral part of an excellent education should also include a well-stocked and high-quality library. Private schools won’t let you down in this category.

Arts, Sciences, and Recreation

In a private school, you are likely to find a hearty and active arts program. Public schools often fall short in this category due to a lack of funding and art departments being the first sacrifice for finances.

Private schools have the liberty to invest in these programs, providing an excellent supplement to education. The following sectors are valuable additions in most private schools:

  • Arts: available classes can include photography, film, theatrical arts. The school might have a curated gallery and professional level musical departments.
  • Technology: it’s not uncommon for students to be issued laptops and have access to advanced computer classes.
  • Sports: many private schools offer elite athletic programs with experienced coaches. With this high standard, it makes it easier to showcase students to college athletic recruiters. You’ll also see unique sports like rugby, rowing, sailing, and more.
  • Travel: more commonly in private schools will be the opportunity for older students to travel internationally. This can be a valuable asset to education for language or foreign affairs studies. Even music and art programs can be involved in travel efforts.

Overall, private schools do a good job of balancing academics and extracurricular programs for children. It’s known that recreational involvement is critical in a child’s development and private schools do not fall short in this area.

Facilities 

Most private schools are beautiful. From historical to modern, the goal is always first-rate facilities and finery. This makes sense of course because the school knows that you’re paying money to send your child here. You most likely want to see the quality you’ll get in return.

You’ll find good quality seating, advanced teaching materials and applications, art studios, science and computer labs, and sports areas like ice rinks and tennis courts. It’s not just about looking fancy, these improved facilities offer a variety of involvement for your child and won’t hinder their learning like a poorly outfitted school might.

Food

If you went to public school in your youth, you might have nightmares about the crusty cafeterias and stale eats. This is hardly ever the case in a private school. Proper health and nutrition are just as important as education.

You are likely to find high-quality food with a range of dietary options like vegetarian, vegan, non-GMO, and more. Commonly, private schools outsource their nutrition programs to culinary art businesses. This means that your kids are eating nutritious, wholesome, and even innovative food.

Planning for the future

Public schools usually employ a counselor or two to help children plan for their lives after school, but sometimes access to these leaders is limited and brief. In a private school, there will be a greater focus on college counseling and established alumni networks.

  • College counseling: counselors in private schools operate a much better student to counselor ratio, making time and energy more available to each child. Meetings will occur more regularly to organize future planning for advancing to college.
  • Alumni: Especially present in private colleges, alumni networks extend a resource pool of connections and contacts that can help a person obtain a job and attend social events.

For the Parents

Not only can your child benefit from private school education, so can you! You will typically have better access to your child’s teachers and the school administration. As parents are paying good money for private schools, they tend to be treated well in response to concerns and questions.

Your child’s private school also provides you with a network of other parents. Most parents sending their children to private institutions are involved in high-end careers. Some schools may even put on parent events like meet-and-greets, socialization, and networking.

The Downside to Private School

You might be thinking “private school sounds amazing!!” And you’d be right – it does! However, it may fall short in meeting your specific needs. A crucial step in making this schooling decision is taking an unbiased approach to weighing out the pros and cons.

Have a look at the downsides below, to give you a realistic picture of the shortcomings of private school.

  • Less diversity: private schools are likely to be exclusive to those that can afford it.
  • Location: private schools are less common, and therefore you might not have one very close to you.
  • Much more costly: the main difference between private and public schools is the cost. One is free, one is far from free. This might be enough to sway you to one side or the other.
  • May not have special education resources: public schools are required by law to provide for children with special needs. Some private schools do not have these programs.

Different kinds of Private School

As mentioned previously, there are various kinds of private schools. Most are religion-focused, but plenty are not. Let’s explore the types:

Religious 

In private schools that prescribe by a specific denomination, this practice will be found throughout the curriculum. The school may prescribe by guidelines originating from its religion. Your child will likely participate in scripture studies, services, and prayers.

Some parents choose private schools on the sole basis of their religious affiliations, aiming to expose their children to spiritual curriculums. This type of private school does have the potential to further limit diversity in the student body and faculty.

Nonreligious

Private schools that do not abide by a religion certainly exist. In these facilities, the community and environment will be greatly valued.

Nonreligious private schools are further divided into methodology based curriculums like the following examples:

  • Language Immersion: These schools typically operate with a half-day in English and a half-day in a foreign language like Spanish, Japanese, French, or others. This is a great option for multicultural families wanting to immerse their children in the best of both worlds.
  • Montessori school: a methodology focused on following the interest of the child. Community is highly valued and the small classes are often together for multiple years.
  • Waldorf school: greatly centered on imagination making way for intellectual lessons. The natural environment is mindfully set for the child to explore.
  • Special Education schools: specifically directed towards children in extra attention categories like autism, brain injury, and more.
  • Boarding schools: children live and educate at these facilities. These schools strive to offer a vibrant community with a focus beyond pure academics.

There’s more to the decision after you agree on heading down the private school path. The different kinds of private institutions vary greatly and based on their unique methodologies, will benefit some types of learners more than others.

With older children, it could be very advantageous to include them in this discussion. They might hold educational yearnings or preferences that you aren’t aware of.

The Finances

As established, the overall cost of private education will be vastly more than a public one. Many parents view this as an initial investment in the quality of their child’s education. Many private schools also offer scholarship opportunities for lower-income families.

Overall, the average annual cost of private schools in the United States is as follows:

  • Private elementary: $9,944
  • Private high school: $14, 821
  • National average: $11,004

In Conclusion

There are great differences between public schools and private schools, and even more differences between the types of private schools available. Many factors come into play when choosing the right school for your family like location, available resources, budget, and your child’s unique needs.

This decision doesn’t have to be a major stress point for you, the main influence on the outcome of your child’s adolescence will be your impact on them. People of all types and decrees have come from public and private schools alike.

You serve as the main mentor for your child and add boundless value to their life and the ability to find happiness and success.

References

https://teach.com/careers/become-a-teacher/where-can-i-teach/types-of-schools/private/

https://www.educationdegree.com/articles/private-vs-public-schools/

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/tuition-stats/private-school-cost-by-state