Planning to enroll your child in a new school is a complex decision that typically is motivated by the following advantages found in private elementary schools:
- Class size tends to be smaller, offering teachers a chance to know your child better.
- The freedom of private schools to set the curriculum
- The opportunity to select a school that fits your family’s values and philosophy.
- Parental involvement is encouraged allowing deeper understanding of the full educational experience.
- Sense of community where students can feel safe, comfortable, and passionate about learning -- academically and socially.
Among the best advice about changing schools that we have read is included in the 4 reasons your child may be ready to switch schools.
The reasons are listed below and are written by the staff of Renbrook School, a private school offering preschool through the eighth grade in West Hartford, CT. While slanted to the private school sector, their thinking throughout the article recognizes the complexities of how young children learn and grow and the occasional need to make changes in schooling. The following are signs that might prompt you to begin thinking about a change:
- Your child is unhappy or bored with the current school.
- Your child stops developing or progressing and the teacher isn’t giving enough reaction, commentary, and suggestions for progress.
- The curriculum is generalized or lacks creative options, and is driven more by standards than by the needs of the student.
- Your current school isn’t a “good fit” and does not conform to your values and philosophy.
Before deciding, confer with teachers at the current school to see if issues can be identified and resolved.
When considering a move to a new school, cost is always a concern. Regardless of the tuition rate, cost seems to be the biggest impediment to enrolling. Schools offer financial aid to families to reduce the cost. Ask the school for financial aid case studies of families with differing circumstances. Such scenarios can give parents the perspective that tuition can be affordable.
What is the return-on-investment that families can receive for their tuition dollars? What difference will your school make in their child’s education? A vice president at the Educatioinal Testing Service in Princeton, NJ remarked that we have it backwards: instead of saving for 18 years for college, we should invest those dollars in the early years when students can catch a fire for learning that will burn throughout their lives. To better understand the value of this investrment at Free Union Countrty School, consider what is unique about the school, what parents say about why they send their children, what on-the-ground first graders and fifth graders like and dislike about Free Union (scroll to the bottom of the page), and what alumni have to say.
Other rersources to consider include:
Tips for making the switch from public to private school
Is It Worth Transferring From Public to Private School?
Nine Reasons for Private School - Brightmont Academy
The Green Apples — Not Selling Out, Buying In — Effective Education A summary of the March 2019 article appearing in The Atlantic.
It's Just Not Working: 4 Signs You Should Switch to Private School Education
Why Leave Public School for Private School?
Should I Switch My Elementary Aged Child from Public to Private School?
Five ways to break through the cost barrier in private schools
To learn more about Free Union Country School, schedule a campus tour.