By: Amy Burchett, Director of Admissions
As parents, we are faced with the weight of making many difficult decisions about what would be best for our children in a variety of different scenarios. Regardless of the nature of the decision at hand, we ultimately have to approach every topic by looking through the lens of “How would this affect MY child”. There is no blanket response to many of these scenarios that would apply equally to all children. Choosing the educational path that would be best for your student and family is no different.
When families begin to choose whether a private or public school option is the right fit for their family, there are many factors to consider. Typically, the first and most notable difference when comparing private and public education is the financial commitment related to private education. The seemingly out of reach tuition for a private school education can eliminate this avenue as a possibility to some families; however, many private schools offer either scholarships or tuition assistance to students who apply and qualify. This can help to bridge the financial gap for some.
For others, a driving factor in selecting a school for their child’s educational journey may revolve around smaller class sizes and the ability for individualized instruction. Any child, in any state, can attend public school. This could, depending on location and demographics, increase student population and thus increase class size. Private schools typically highlight smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios in their classrooms due to their selective admissions processes.
It is also common that a family would desire that their children attend a parochial school. Many families value their religious affiliation and would like for their children to attend a private school that reinforces this through a religious-based curriculum. When considering public education, this would not traditionally be a part of the classroom curriculum.
A few additional considerations could be special education classes and services that may not be offered at a private school, proximity to home, and college preparation and counseling services for high school students.
Remember as with all things, it is important to do your due diligence in completing your research. When touring schools, be sure to bring a list of questions that you want to have answered. Sit down as a family, include your students in the discussions, and weigh the pros and cons of both. Keep in mind, you are choosing the educational setting that would benefit YOUR child most! Be sure to choose the school that you feel would best help your child reach their full potential.