A private school is typically the top end of education. Your child is cared for and nurtured according to a rigorous yet fair system that allows them to learn and grow both academically and socially. However, not all private schools operate in the same way. Different schools focus on various aspects of a child’s development. Time Magazine notes that more parents see the benefits of private schools and are moving their kids out of the public system. However, how can you know you’re getting the best private school for your child’s needs? In this article, we’ll explore how to judge a private school to determine if it’s what your child really needs.
The Glossary of Education Reform defines school culture as the relationships, attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, perceptions, and rules (both written and unwritten) that shape how a school functions. To say that a school’s culture will shape how your child develops is an understatement. Everything from how they see friends to how they cope with rivalries and competition stem from school culture. School culture sets the stage for how children will navigate the world through the rest of their lives. It forms a core part of what a parent should be aware of when searching for a school.
Single-Gender or Co-Ed?
Some private schools segregate students by gender. There is some basis for this, as some children tend to learn better in homogeneous environments, but in some cases, this might not be the best thing. Girls who have trouble with socializing with their peers will be at a disadvantage in a single-gender school. Boys who are more outgoing and like to draw attention to themselves may also not find themselves fitting into a single-gender institution. Co-Ed schools can relieve these tensions but may provide a distraction for some kids. Finding which one of these choices suits your child best will help you choose the right private school for your child’s needs.
Application Processes and Determining A Fit
Most private schools require parents and children to go through an application process. The principal will go through the child’s grades and will discuss with you whether your child will fit in based on those and other factors (such as extra-curricular activities). The application process at most private schools is designed to help them determine whether a student is one they want to see at their institution. If a child manages to reach and surpass the application process’s expectations, it’s a good chance that they’ll fit in.
Networking For Life
A private school might seem like an expense, but the truth is that its benefit isn’t truly realized until much later in life. A child who goes to school in a private school tends to interact with others that they may not have ever met in their regular community schools. The networking that takes place at private schools can set a child up to succeed later on in life. The real draw of a private school comes from being an alumnus of that prestigious institution.