If you have been thinking about private school for your child, there is a lot to think about. You need to know the best rated private schools near me so that you can look into each of them. The best private schools can be expensive, but they will often offer scholarships to deserving students. Good private schools offer advanced curriculums and more opportunities for high-level classes. Each course for school credit will expect more from your child than at a public school. Making a commitment to a private school means more homework and studying will be needed to keep up.
You may also think about the schools that are online. There are cheap online high school courses available, and some online schools are even free. Certified online schools can be a good alternative to in-person schools in the area. They are sometimes chosen when parents can’t afford in-person private schools. They offer an education that is like a combination of homeschooling and in-person schooling. Your child will get to learn from home or wherever you are, but you won’t be the one who has to teach the courses. This is often a good idea for those who wish they could homeschool but don’t have the time.
What do parents look for in a school when enrolling their kids? Academic standards, safety, a low teacher to students ratio, extracurricular activities and sports programs are among some of the top concerns. From preschool through middle school to high school, private schools score higher in all these categories. With all the advantages they offer, private schools are becoming an increasingly popular choice with parents who want to give their children the best possible start in life.
At this time, the number of private schools stands at 30,861, across the U.S. That accounts for 24% of the total number of schools in the country. This means that nearly one school out of four is a private school. The total number of PK-12 students enrolled in private schools is 53 million. That’s 10% of the total.
Should you choose private school for your kids? Here are some things to consider:
- Academic standards
Researchers have confirmed the popular perception that private schools have high academic standards. For all kids but especially from middle school onwards, that is an important consideration for parents. An overwhelming majority, or 80%, of parents in whose kids go to private schools say that they are happy with the academic standards.
Private schools students on average score higher on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. Procter schools have a higher rate of graduation than public schools, at 98% in 2010.
Students from private schools are much more likely to apply to and be accepted by a college, compared to public school students. In fact data from NCES data shows that 88% percent of the students at private high schools apply to college, while only 57% of high school students in public schools do so.
- Class size
Typically, private schools are smaller than public schools. Most of them, around 86%, have enrollments of 300 students or less. This also means that class sizes are smaller, and teachers can provide individual attention and encouragement to students. Private school classes have one teacher for 12.5 students, while in public schools there is one teacher for 15.4 students. At every stage, and especially for older kids in middle school and high school, individual attention can make a big difference to their academic performance.
Unfortunately, the idea of the innocence of childhood is a thing of the past. Parents find themselves having to warn kids about things like safety, drugs and even guns. Private schools are widely believed to be safer than public schools. That can be a major consideration for parents. A study by the Fraser Institute study found that around 72% of parents who sent their kids to private schools felt that their kids’ school was safe.
Private school teachers are also a well qualified and dedicated group of individuals. The vast majority of parents cite the dedication of teachers as a reason for choosing private schools. Some parents will even move their kids to a new school if a favorite teacher moves, so they can continue to be taught by them.
- Extracurricular activities
From music and arts to athletics, private schools offer a range of extracurricular activities to help children develop their talents.
From athletics to honors programs, private schools offer more opportunities for students. It takes some financial sacrifice for parents to send their kids to private school but they find that the results are worth it. At every stage, but especially from middle school onward into high school, the higher quality education offered by private schools makes a difference in the life of a child.