As your family begins to navigate the educational system for the first time there are a variety of different choices you can make. From public school to private school and everything in between, there are options to fit every family. There are so many benefits to private education and we see first hand how our students are positively impacted by our community. If you know that private education is for you, this article may help you narrow down the next step in the process.
It should go without saying that we think you should choose us! But rather than write a long list of reasons, we thought we’d provide you with a checklist to help you make the most informed decision on your own. If, in the end, you choose to invest in private education at another establishment, that’s just fine. We’re happy to know that you had all the tools to make the ideal choice for your family.
1. Shared Values
Many of the private education institutions in our area have religious backgrounds, but not all. Additionally, each of the schools that are associated with local churches has its own set of institutional values. If you’re choosing private education for your family because you want your kids to engage in faith-based learning, it’s very important to identify the values of each of the schools you are considering and the churches they’re affiliated with. Finding a school that shares your family’s values, religious or not, will give you confidence when you send them off to school they are being nurtured as the bright academic achievers that they are, but also as the type of individuals you want them to grow up to be.
2. Commitment to High-Quality Education
Shared values are at the top of the list for most families when searching for the right private education institution. However, when it comes to selecting a school, we urge parents to look for a place that makes high-quality education their top priority. The education that your children receive in their youth will impact the rest of their lives. When you visit a private school be sure to ask plenty of questions about their commitment to academic excellence, the experience of their teachers, and their opportunities for advanced students.
3. Sense of Community
Do you know that feeling when you walk into a place and feel a sense of belonging and community? This occurs when parents, teachers, and students are all plugged in and working toward the same goals. It takes leadership that drives connection, and it makes a difference in the way students and their families experience private education. If you’re looking for a school that has a positive and engaged community there is no better way to find out than to ask. Find parents of current and past students, teachers, and alumni and get their input.
4. Passionate Teachers
It should come as no surprise to anyone that teaching is a hard, albeit rewarding, job. Too often, great teachers find themselves in schools where they aren’t well supported and they end up burning out. As you can imagine, burnt-out teachers are not ideal for your child’s learning experience. One of the many benefits of private education is the small institutions help make sure that neither students nor teachers fall through the cracks. When great teachers feel supported they can passionately and lovingly do their jobs to educate your kids. Of course, there are some passionate teachers at every school, but in our experience, private education helps nurture great teachers in a way that other schools aren’t equipped to do.
5. Strong Parent and Alumni Base
One of the hallmarks of private education is the ability to maintain strong support from past parents and alumni. This is a testament to the experience that is cultivated on campus as well as the benefits that extend far beyond their time in school. When you are considering private education it is worthwhile to inquire how engaged parents and alumni are with the school. Often a strong parent and alumni base also leads to a strong fundraising program which translates to enhanced resources for current students.
6. Location, Location, Location
It might sound obvious to say this, but the physical space where your children attend school matters. When you visit any private education institution’s campus consider the neighborhood and proximity to resources as well as how nicely the campus is kept. No matter which school you choose, your family will be there for some time. These seemingly small details will matter over the long run.
If you have decided to send your child to a private school you should know that there are many great options in our area. At St. Barnabas, we’re particularly proud to be on the top of the heap when it comes to student performance and family satisfaction. But don’t take our word for it. We urge all of our potential families to come prepared with questions so you can ensure that our school community is the right fit for you. For more information about joining the St. Barnabas family, or to schedule a campus visit, contact us today.