Choosing the right school for your child can feel like a daunting task. With admission season gearing up at private schools across the nation, it is important to realize that there are many misconceptions about private schools.
Myth #5: Private schools are exclusive.
Private schools have a reputation for being exclusive. Admission to a private school is not about who you know. Independent schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, religious affiliation, color, national or ethnic origin, and physical handicap/disability in any of their admission policies and practices. Admissions counselors select students whom they judge to have the highest likelihood of success in their programs. The goal is to make a good match between the school, the student, and the student’s family.
Myth # 4: Private schools are unaffordable.
Private education does come at a cost. However, private schools are eager to award financial aid to qualified students. Form a relationship with the financial aid director at the schools in which you are interested. You might be surprised to find that you qualify for financial assistance. Also, many schools offer tuition payment plans allowing you to break up the payments across the school year.
Myth #3: My child will have loads of homework at a private school.
Depending on the age of your child, he or she will be given an appropriate amount of homework. Typically, private school teachers strive to make homework assignments meaningful for the students. They are not bound by the Common Core curriculum and are allowed more autonomy in homework decision making.
Myth #2: Private schools do not offer a diverse environment.
Private schools are increasingly diverse. Many private schools are making an ongoing effort to increase diversity of color, religion, and socio-economic status. Many faith-based schools are welcoming of families that have different beliefs.
Myth #1: Private schools do not accommodate any special learning needs.
Private schools do offer some services to accommodate learning differences. They recognize that each student is unique. Many private schools have learning specialists, counselors, and speech therapists on staff.
The best way to see these myths debunked is to schedule a tour or attend an open house of the schools in which you have an interest. Ask the schools specifically how they are addressing these misconceptions.