Choosing Between Independent and Public School Education

Stephanie Curtis, Director of Marketing

Discovering the ideal educational environment for your child can be a joyful and thoughtful process for families. Many communities offer a variety of educational options, including public, charter, faith-based and independent (private) schools. Knowing how they differ can help when selecting the best match between your child's unique strengths and a school's mission and culture. 

Below are 3 reasons why an independent school should be on your consideration list.

1. A Challenging and Well-Rounded Curriculum

Independent schools are known for their emphasis on a well-rounded education—including academic achievement in core subject areas plus visual and performing arts, world languages, extracurricular clubs, physical education, competitive athletic programs, community service and leadership opportunities—that enables children to discover and pursue their passions.

 

2. Low Student-to-Teacher Ratio

Independent Schools prioritize low student-to-teacher ratios when developing their program. The low ratio* benefits students and teachers by: 

  • cultivating robust classroom discussion and student participation 
  • facilitating deep relationships between students and educators 
  • promoting essential skills such as critical and creative thinking, collaborative problem-solving and demonstration of deep knowledge
  • students develop skills as self-motivated learners. They know that their preparedness for class will contribute to the day’s discussion or the outcome of a collaborative project. Students take pride in ownership of their educational journey
  • teachers take pride in knowing their students well—as learners, individuals and as members of a close community.

*The National Association of Independent Schools reports the 2020 median ratio at its member schools as 8.5:1

 

3. Mission-Driven Curriculum and Culture

Independent Schools are governed by a Board of Trustees and accredited by national or regional organizations, independent of state regulations. Teachers and administrators are therefore able to pursue curriculum and an inclusive community culture that aligns with their mission. Attendance at an independent school provides a robust academic experience, development of social-emotional skills—and a whole-child education within an inclusive school community in which they feel known and celebrated.