All parents seek exceptional schools for their children. They want teachers to help their child learn through a strong academic program as well as understand the importance of hard work, personal responsibility and good citizenship. They all seek a safe community that offers opportunities for personal and social growth. Independent school parents recognize lifelong returns of an independent school education and realize it may just be the most important gift for their children.
An Independent school is different in two critical ways
· Independent in governance – schools are organized as not-for-profit corporations governed by a board of directors.
· Independent in finance – schools charge tuition and raise money to operate as opposed to being supported primarily by public monies.
It is the independence of these schools that offers the four essential freedoms that make them strong:
* The freedom to define their own mission (why they exist, whom they serve). Independent schools have a commitment to provide a small learning environment with small classes which allows the teachers time to personalize education and give students more attention and careful, ongoing assessment.
* The freedom to regulate admissions (admitting only those students appropriate to the mission). We value quality over quantity. It is difficult for children to hide or get lost in the shuffle of an independent school. Students are challenged and nurtured, achieving more than ever before.
* Independent School teachers are truly teaching experts and have greater influence in establishing curriculum. Creativity and flexibility in teachers is fostered which in turn helps ensure that all students reach their full potential. Independent schools value the importance of faculty development and support their teachers’ academic endeavors.
* Independent schools, contrary to popular belief and their portrayal in the media, are not “elitist” in any way except in terms of academic expectations. The socio-economic diversity is supported by a significant commitment to financial aid: Independent school students come from all family income levels.
Independent schools are different as well in terms of the effectiveness of the partnership between parent and school: We speak in a unified voice about a common set of goals and values, and it is this uniting of parental and school voices that points students towards achievement and guides them towards upright behaviors and good citizenship.