Independent schools are characterized by a number of unique attributes that translate into a wide array of special opportunities and offerings for students and families.
The combination of a mission-driven approach and a resource-rich environment makes it possible for independent schools to students’ intellectual, social, and emotional needs. The following describes some of the compelling attributes that make independent schools outstanding places for students to learn.
Small class sizes allow teachers to really get to know their students and their unique strengths and individual needs. The smaller learning environments encourage students’ active participation and allow teachers a unique opportunity to monitor every student’s progress. Students can grow and flourish according to their interests and abilities. Furthermore, teachers have more flexibility to develop curricula and materials.
Independent schools not only attract and recruit top teachers, but also offer environments in which teachers are freer to develop their skills and become even better educators. Independent school teachers are granted a high degree of autonomy that allows them to shape their own programs to fit their personal teaching styles as well as their students’ needs and to assess student achievement through their preferred methods. Faculty members are provided valuable professional development opportunities to further hone their teaching proficiency and abilities.
Independent schools focus on providing safe and secure settings that also offer a wealth of valuable resources and facilities. Students often have access to tools ranging from computers and technology to library resources and laboratory equipment that help supplement their learning in important ways. Independent schools also work hard on maintaining and improving their facilities to provide the best possible environment for learning, both inside the classroom and out.
Independent schools are committed to creating and fostering a sense of community that extends to a variety of constituents, including students, their families, alumni, faculty/staff, and others. Parents are encouraged to actively engage in their child’s school experience, and a wide range of events and volunteer opportunities help to promote parental involvement, camaraderie, and fellowship. This sense of community is strengthened by a shared belief in and commitment to the school’s mission and core values.
Independent schools recognize and embrace the value of providing their students with a multifaceted educational experience that contributes to their personal development as well as their intellectual growth. For this reason, opportunities for participation in activities outside of the classroom are abundant, ranging from athletics and the arts to community-service and world-study programs. These activities are an integral part of the independent school experience and culture, and allow students the chance to explore their talents, apply lessons they’ve learned in the classroom, and interact in diverse settings with their peers, teachers, and the community at-large.