Public school is free, has built-in transportation, more options for athletes, and more teachers dedicated to special needs. If that’s the case, then why have parents across the nation been choosing a private elementary and high school education for their children for decades? The answer is multi-faceted, and may change according to your student’s individual needs, but the difference ultimately comes down to six essential elements:

  1. Money
  2. Attention
  3. Values
  4. Curriculum
  5. Safety
  6. College

Show Me the Money

In a private institution, the money used to fund each activity, class, and teacher comes from the parents of the students who attend the school. This means a private high school may cost you more than the Lodi public schools, but there will be less political interference, a more simple and stable system, and a higher a chance for your voice as a parent to be heard. You’ll be respected in the community instead of overlooked, especially concerning your child’s education.

Even more importantly, because a private institution is not funded by the government, it doesn’t have to follow the limitations or regulations imposed on the public school system. Instead, it can use the latest research and knowledge as a guide to provide a more effective curriculum, which can then be altered according to each student’s individual goals and needs. So, as an alternative to seeing a public school as “free” and a private school as “costly,” think of private school as providing you and your child the freedom to a more personalized education.

Center of Attention

When it comes to education, the more positive attention a child receives the better.

In a public high school, teachers can have about 120 students per year (and even that is a low estimate). In a private high school, teachers may have anywhere from 30 to 60 students per year. Class sizes in a public school average around 24 students (according to the New York Times), with some classes reaching upwards of 30 students, while class sizes in a private school average around 18, with some as low as 10 students.

Understanding this, it is easy to see why students in private high schools feel more valued and learn better. Teachers in smaller classes are better able to adjust to the different learning styles of each student, to help them learn how to learn, and to guide them toward an understanding that will carry them through college and beyond. In fact, the Condition of Education 2002 found that students in small classes were much more likely to build personal connections with other students and teachers, which fostered a love for learning, positive educational experiences, and general success as a student.

High Values

Many private schools are founded in a certain faith, and have a set of religious values with which they operate. However, there are several secular private schools that are deeply grounded in the beauty of education in itself, with a value system built on learning, enhancing oneself, and becoming a successful person. Athena Preparatory is a secular private high school, but we are still built on a set of values, which includes building young minds to be intelligent, analytical, independent, and highly successful.

Control over the curriculum, individual attention, and a solid value system are all a part of a quality education, and only the private schools have all three and more. Stay tuned next week to find out the other three differences between private and public high schools, and contact Athena to register your high schooler today.