I often find myself in conversations with parents (within and outside of the BCD community) who are in the process of deciding whether or not to enroll their children in private schools. This can be a particularly painful experience if they are in a close knit neighborhood and/or if their friends or colleagues are strong supporters of public education. For me, the reasons are clear.
- Private school students are known and valued. Small class sizes, close school-family partnerships, and teachers that intentionally cultivate a sense of belonging mean your child won’t get lost in the crowd. Because of this, kids can learn better and thrive, even in subjects that they consider to be their least favorite.
- Private schools value parental engagement. Parents are part of our team, and we invite parents into all aspects of school life. Research tells us that parents engaged in their children’s education lead to better student outcomes.
- Private schools are innovative, proactive, and flexible. Unlike our public school colleagues, private schools do not exist within a larger school district. This enables us to change course as appropriate, and respond to the needs of today.
- Private schools provide a high degree of physical and emotional safety. Smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios allow us to know our students well. We catch student wellness issues quickly and respond before they escalate.
- Private schools are community schools. Private schools are schools of choice, gathering folks with shared values which result in close bonds, stronger relationships, and a strong sense of community.
Data from the National Association of Independent Schools tell us that a private school’s “holistic approach to education may result in better long-term outcomes for graduates” when it comes to college preparedness. In fact, “a higher percentage of NAIS graduates than public school graduates enrolled in college immediately after high school (85% of NAIS graduates compared to 69% of public school graduates).”
Further, because private school students are more likely to engage with hands-on learning opportunities, participate in extracurricular activities, collaborate with expert teaching staff, and experience customizable coursework, these students experience “higher rates of well-being and workplace engagement later in life.”
In sum, the data shows that students who graduate from private schools are more likely to enter the real world with the knowledge, ambition, and self-awareness needed to take the next step in their academic journey and ultimately, successfully engage with the world.