Given how rough the past year has been for most students, it’s no wonder parents are trying to do everything they can to improve their children’s educational opportunities. For some, that means spending time pushing their kids to pursue new activities, while for others it means wholesale educational changes, including a seeming influx of families choosing to enroll their children in private schools.
The decision to enroll one’s child in a private school is hardly a simple one, especially if a parent is moving a student away from their children’s already existing social groups during a moment in time when we are all feeling increasingly untethered. While the decision may not be the appropriate one for all parents or students, private schools have displayed an ability to nimbly accommodate family and educator needs during unpredictable times.
In many cases, private schools have been able to utilize their vast resources to guide pupils both remotely and then ultimately with the transition back to in-person learning. Many parents feel that private schools provide an opportunity to bypass institutionalized red-tape – even at a high cost to their wallets. Parents who have the capability of transferring students from public to private are doing so to avoid what they fear may be a precarious learning experience.
Pros & Cons of a Private School Education
There are a number of benefits to pursuing a private school education for your child, including the ability to access more robust learning and engagement opportunities. Smaller class sizes, customized curriculums, and an adept integration of technology into learning allow private schools to offer a potentially great return on investment when it comes to a child’s quality of education. Additionally, on average, students who attend private schools are more likely to invest their time, energy, and focus toward their education – both synchronously and asynchronously. Finally, many parents look to private school as a form of childcare they once relied on in-person public school classes to provide.
Private schools are not a panacea, however, their lack of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity undoubtedly is a major concern. Introducing children at a young age to a myriad of students can help mold them into becoming sympathetic, empathetic, and understanding individuals. Engaged parents removing students from public schools rob the institution of desperately needed resources.
Schools need students to attend and stay enrolled in order to procure pivotal funding that ensures the public school system’s growth, impact, and longevity. Parents’ decisions to remove their students from public schools widens the educational gap by exacerbating inequities that undermine all students in the long run. Furthermore, while a simple narrative that focuses solely on private school admissions increasing may be tempting, many families who enrolled students in private schools have balked at continuing to pay exorbitant tuition for remote curricula. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some smaller tuition-dependent private schools have expanded their applicant pools amidst declining applicants. It may be an example of “the grass is always greener” type of thinking as parents know what they dislike about their “current” educational setup and, in turn, “idealize” alternatives.
Making the Most of a Public or Private School Education
Enrolling students in either public or private schools does not guarantee success, especially if parents are merely replacing attention with financial resources. Just because a student is attending a private school does not mean that they will be more successful than a student receiving a public-school education, though it is worth acknowledging that their opportunities may be greater. Whether it’s a private or public-school education, students can make the most of their curriculum by going beyond actively seeking to cultivate their passions. Pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, learning specialized skill sets like coding, and applying for internships or jobs are all great ways to increase their viability as future college applicants while allowing students to explore and further cultivate their interests. Taking on Non-Teenager Activities (NTAs) such as creating a blog, learning to crochet, or starting a podcast helps students of all backgrounds to discover who they are no matter what type of school in which they are enrolled.
With the promise of more personalized education, access to robust learning opportunities and resources, as well as a more seamless integration of technology into the curriculum, private school education may appeal to parents seeking educational security. However, the choice to transfer students to private school is not without obstacles, and students can excel no matter their path.
Cindy Chanin is the Founder of Rainbow EDU Consulting & Tutoring, created with the intention of transforming lives through the power of personalized education, customized homeschooling, as well as impactful mentoring and enrichment. Internationally sought after by ambitious parents, Cindy and her team of the nation’s top educators not only help their children prepare for and gain entrance into the most prestigious academic schools in the country, but also help students discover their ambitions, desires, goals, and ultimately, their ‘why’ in the world. From working with elementary, middle, and high school students, to counseling with empty-nester parents, Rainbow EDU provides various services tailored to each individual and their personal path — no story is the same. For more information, please visit https://rainboweduconsulting.com/.