Today, about 25% of American schools are private, and as of 2016 about 2.63 million students were enrolled at private elementary schools alone. There are a lot of benefits to private school, from more opportunities to go to summer camps to access to the fine arts. Here are just a few that are worth considering:
Student and Parent Involvement
One of the greatest advantages of private schools is better student involvement–meaning peers are a boost to learning rather than a distraction–and better parent involvement. When asked about student apathy, 21% of public school teachers find it a problem in their school. Only 4% of private school teachers are worried about apathy. As for parental involvement, 3% of private school teachers report having a problem getting parents involved. With public school teachers, 24% have issues with getting parents involved.
Private schools offer far more in terms of extras. Students in private schools typically have greater exposure to the fine arts, more computer labs, and great access to summer camps and all the fun and learning those provide. Summer camps at private schools include a week of mixed activities like horseback riding, learning to code, producing a news broadcast, swimming, and using an electron microscope; or summer camps can be more specialized. Summer camps offered by private schools can include learning to fly, space camp, travel camp that sends kids on an international trip, language camp, summer camps with an athletic focus, or even learning a trade. In fact, some schools offer summer camps on-site as a way for prospective students and parents to decide whether the school is a good fit for them.
There’s no denying that the average private school can offer better academics than the average public school program. Nationally, private school SAT scores run an average of 1235. The average for all students nationwide (both public and private) is 1060. When it comes to going on to college, private schools have the advantage here, too. Just under half of all public school graduates go on to college. Among non-parochial private school grads, 95% will go on to attend a college or university. Counseling for college-related issues at private high schools is 55% of what school counselors do. It’s only 22% of what public high school counselors end up using their time for.
Smaller Classes and Dedicated Teachers
It’s a well-accepted educational tenant that the smaller the class size, the better the performance of the average student. The longer a child is in a smaller class, the greater the advantage, too. Most public schools can only provide large classes. The vast majority of private schools can offer class sizes of 12 or fewer. Teachers at private schools also out-perform their public counterparts, when looking at averages within the groups. Private schools not only pay better, but they can offer smaller class sizes and better support from parents than public schools are able to offer. This attracts and keeps the best teaching talent in most areas. Additionally, because of teacher’s unions, public schools have a difficult time firing any teacher, even if the teacher is incompetent or lazy. Private schools don’t have this issue.
Private schools have long had a reputation for safety and for high standards of respect (both for others and self) and discipline. BEcause there are fewer students per teacher and more parental involvement, issues are identified and dealt with more quickly than they can be at a public school. When surveyed, 72% of parents with children in private schools “strongly agreed” that their school was a safe place for the children.
From summer camps to academics, there are many advantages of attending private schools. If you want the very best for your children, look into private schools in your area and find out just how your kids are capable of excelling.