16th Apr, 2009 | Source : Newsweek Showcase Archives
With an independent private school, you can choose a school where the approach to teaching, philosophy, and values are the best match for your child.
At independent schools, you’ll find extraordinary teachers who are experts in the subjects they teach, who love children, and who are passionate about teaching. Small classes mean that teachers are able to develop a full understanding of how each student learns and what interests and motivates each individually. They nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, and encourage critical thinking.
Although each independent private school is driven by a different educational mission, they all share a commitment to providing a safe environment in which young people can learn academic skills plus the importance of hard work, leadership, personal responsibility, and good citizenship.
Why are they called “independent” schools? They’re independently governed by boards of trustees, as opposed to a public school board. They’re independently financed, primarily through tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue. They determine independently the academic and extracurricular programs that will help them best meet their missions.
There are approximately 2,000 independent schools across the United States, providing high-quality and individualized education to more than 700,000 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.
About 1,400 of these schools belong to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Independent schools can be coeducational or single-gender. They can be day schools or boarding schools in urban, suburban, or rural settings.
The schools that belong to NAIS are non-profit organizations that are non-discriminatory and fully accredited by an accrediting agency with high standards. The NAIS website, www.nais.org, offers a school search. You’ll also find timelines for admission, information about financial aid, and lists of questions to help you locate the best schools for your child.