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Independent schools are close-knit communities that provide students with individualized attention. They challenge students to stretch their minds and go beyond academics to develop into responsible, independent and community-oriented students.
Their varying philosophies are each driven by a unique mission. If you’re looking for a school with a particular religious belief, would like to immerse your child in a different style of learning or if you require a school dedicated to special needs — there is an independent school that will fulfill all of your requirements.
When you are deciding which schools will be a good fit, here are some things to take into consideration:
• Health and Safety. How is the school creating a safe environment for its students? Do they have a clear and well-developed plan to combat COVID-19?
• School Type. Do you want a day school or boarding school? Coeducational or single-sex?
• Grade range. Do you want a school that focuses on your child’s current age, or one that can serve your child from elementary, middle and high school?
• Location. Convenience matters, especially if you want your child to take part in school activities.
• Student body. Consider both average class size and total enrollment. A smaller population may mean fewer social opportunities, but more chances for your student to shine. Also consider the diversity of the student body.
• Educational philosophy. How are classes taught? How are expectations conveyed? How are students tested? Ask to sit in on a few classes to see how the philosophy plays out.
• Curriculum. What courses are offered? Does the curriculum fit your student’s learning needs?
• Faculty. Where did the teachers go to college? How long have they been teaching? In primary grades, how many teachers are in the classroom?
• Facilities. In addition to the overall condition of the school, look at the facilities your child may use.
• Special programs and extracurriculars. Does the school provide programs that fit your student’s needs and interests? Is the school a place where your child can blossom?
The fall is the time to go to school fairs, browse websites, request admissions and financial aid materials and call the schools to schedule individual tours, class visits and open houses.
Click the images above to meet the Great Leaders in Education — the men and women who work hard to ensure your children shine now and have a giant head start toward a successful future, both academically and in life.
The most important investment you can make in your child’s future is his education. Sending your child to an independent school may be just the opportunity he needs to achieve academic success. This may be one of the most important decisions you make for your child, and one where you can watch her flourish and grow to reach her highest potential.
Information for this article courtesy of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, www.caisct.org.