Why Choose an Independent School
"EVERY TIME I WOULD DRIVE UP THE TUXEDO PARK SCHOOL DRIVEWAY I WOULD THINK, 'THIS IS A GIFT I'M GIVING TO MY CHILDREN, AND I FEEL SO FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE TO GIVE IT TO THEM.'" - PAMELA V., PARENT OF THREE TPS GRADUATES
WHAT MAKES AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL WORTH THE TROUBLE OF APPLYING AND—YES—PAYING THE EXPENSE TO ENROLL YOUR CHILDREN?
- High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, and encourage critical thinking. A larger percentage of students at independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.
- Small classes and individual attention. Independent schools have low student-teacher ratios that encourage close connections with students. The median ratio in NAIS schools in 2008-2009 was 8.6 students to 1 teacher (meaning that half have a higher ratio and half have a lower ratio).
- Excellent teachers. They usually teach in their areas of expertise and are passionate about what they do. With more autonomy within the classroom, teachers are able to develop a full understanding of how each student learns and what interests and motivates each individually.
- Greater likelihood of a student completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
- Education for the whole child. Independent schools nurture not just students’ intellectual ability and curiosity but also their personal and social growth and civic conscience. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and school leadership experiences.
- Inclusiveness. Schools maintain diverse and vibrant student communities and welcome and respect each family. Students of color are 22.4 percent of total independent school enrollment. In addition, 11.4 percent of all faculty and staff in independent schools in 2008-09 were people of color.
- A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals for the student.
- The opportunity to choose a school with a mission. You can select a school whose philosophy, values, and teaching approach is right for your child.
- And most important: An education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.
- From the National Association of Independent Schools