When your child starts a full-day educational program, you want to be sure that you’re choosing the best institution for him or her possible. Doing your research and taking a close look at the best day schools, prep schools, private schools, and public schools in your area will ultimately benefit your child. There are many advantages of attending private schools and considering day schools seriously is smart. If you’re worried about the cost of private schools, many private institutions have endowments and scholarships available to alleviate the cost for families, so you shouldn’t discount it for that reason only. Let’s discuss why day schools are such a good option and what you should consider when looking at private schools.
What are Some of the Benefits of Private Schools?
A quarter of all schools in the United States are private schools, with almost 5.5 million students attending them between the grades of Pre-K to 12th.
Academics are usually more challenging than the curriculums offered at public schools. This is mainly because one must apply to a private school, so all the students are operating at around the same academic level, whereas public school teachers must cater to a wide range of attention spans, abilities, and interest. On average, the SAT score from private schools nationwide tends to be around 1235, higher than the national average (compiled from across all types of schools) which is 1060.
Furthermore, around 95% of non-parochial high school graduates continue on to study at four-year higher education institutions, versus just under half of public high school graduates. And counselors at private schools spend over half their time on counseling related to counseling, compared to public high school counselors, who spend less than 25% of their time on college-related counseling.
Your child is also likely to find children their own age who have similar keen interests, especially if they join a club or extracurricular activity. Their peers may also be more competitive and push your child to do better — over 20% of public school teachers say that student apathy is an issue, and under 5% of private school teachers report the same.
If your child enters a private high school, they may be able to connect with alumni of that school and make prestigious connections. If it’s an especially well-known private school, colleges will certainly sit up and take notice, perhaps giving your child a better shot at getting into the college of their choice. Internships, job opportunities, and other networking opportunities may also be opened up with the right school.
What Should I Consider When It Comes to Private Schools?
One big thing you’ll want to decide when looking at day schools is whether you want a parochial school — that is, one supported by a church or parish. Likely your child will be asked to attend religious services and be taught that religion, in addition to receiving their regular education. There are however, other private schools that are non-parochial.
Some private schools also heavily specialize in certain topics or teach in a non-traditional manner. Do you want your child to be exposed to alternative methods of learning, or do you think they would thrive best in a traditional learning environment? Finding out what kinds of extracurricular activities are offered by the school is also important, especially if your child is already interested in sports or music, for example.
Even if you’re well off, it’s worth seeing what kind of financial support the school can offer. Talk to the admissions office and be upfront about your financial situation. You may be surprised at what they can offer. And don’t forget to tour the school! You want to get a feel for what the school looks like and how it operates — and you want to see if your child feels comfortable there.
You want to give your child the best educational opportunity possible, so it’s important to look at all your options and pick the one that will be the most beneficial for your child in the long run.