Independent Schools Make the Difference of a Lifetime
As a parent, you have an opportunity to choose a school with a mission - a school's philosophy, values, and approach to teaching - that is right for your child, resulting in an education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.
What are independent schools?
There are approximately 2,000 independent schools across the United States. As part of the private school community, these schools provide more than 700,000 students from pre-kindergarten through high school with a unique and high-quality education. Independent schools are "independent" because they have distinct missions and are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue. Independent schools include coeducational and single sex institutions, as well as boarding and day schools. Each school meets high accreditation standards and is held accountable by its Board of Trustees.
Why are independent schools successful?
Here's what the research says:
- Close-knit communities
- Individualized attention for students
- Supportive learning environments
- High-quality and committed teachers
- Hands-on learning opportunities
- Educational experiences beyond the classroom
- Actively engaged parents
Why attend an independent school?
The reasons cited over and over again by the families who send their children to independent schools include individual attention, small classes, teacher excellence, and high academic standards. But the main motive for families looking into independent private schools can be summarized in one word: Quality. They want, quite simply, the best for their sons and daughters.
The National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, confirms what independent school families have known for years: larger percentages of students in independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.Independent school students:
- Do twice as much homework as their counterparts
- Watch only two-thirds as much television
- Are significantly more likely to participate in varsity or intramural sports
- Are more likely to agree that students and teachers get along well, discipline is fair, and teaching is good
With results like these, it is not surprising that independent school enrollments are increasing at double the rate of all other schools in this country.
Your decision to consider an independent school is just the beginning. You must choose the right school from those available in your area. While all independent schools set high standards and emphasize values, they are all wonderfully unique.