If you are the parent of a child between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, chances are you have googled the phrase “private middle schools near me” more than once. Or, if not “private middle schools near me,” we are betting something like “local private schools,” “private elementary schools,” or, the biggie, “private preschool” have made it onto your exploratory radar once or twice. It’s no secret that private education, particularly in the formative years, can be extremely beneficial. Because what you’re really looking for when you google “private middle schools near me,” is a school that fits the unique needs of your young child, and private schools are just better poised to do this. Below are some benefits of private schools that will help validate your next search:
1. Smaller Class Sizes
More than 85% of private schools have less than 300 students. In contrast, public primary schools in New York State average 576 students, and New York middle schools educate an average of 758 — over twice the private schools. Smaller class sizes mean more individualized attention for your child, which is crucial for building their academic confidence and fostering better understanding of the material.
2. Potentially More Qualified Staff
Typically, 60% to 80% of private school teachers have an advanced degree, i.e., a Masters or higher, compared to around 55% of public school teachers. This varies from school to school, and so it’s important to do your research, but schools with better qualified staff mean better, more versatile instruction.
3. Private Schools Have More Motivation to Improve
Because of the way schools are funded, the private school that pops up in your browser when you google “private middle schools near me” probably worked twice as hard to get its reputation than the public schools in your area. This is because public schools will be funded by property taxes no matter what, but private schools must compete directly with other private schools and the public schools for funding — and that means showing good teaching outcomes consistently to both parents and donors. Most organizations thrive and innovate in such a “survival of the fittest” environment, which allows for more diversity of instruction. And in speaking of diversity…
4. Private Schools can Experiment More with Curriculum
Often, public schools are severely limited in what they can teach and even how they can teach because they are dependent on state and federal dollars for funding – which are often tied to curriculum stipulations. Private schools are different. Because their funding streams are more diversified, they are more likely to have the freedom to say, invest in more art, music, and humanities curriculums, create a new sports team, or try out a new pedagogy model. If you’re looking for a non-typical approach to teaching and learning for your child, your best bet is almost always a private school.
5. Private Schools are Great Environments for Young Children Especially
Enrollment in private schools for children in Pre-K to 8th grade is growing. During the 2013/14 school year in fact, the number of students this age enrolled in private schools was up to 4.1 million! The reason for this is simple – during these formative years, it is absolutely vital that children figure out what their strengths and interests are. This is more important even than grades, which don’t get scrutinized by colleges until high school. And if a student enters high school with good study habits, academic confidence, and a better idea of their extracurricular interests, they will be more likely to succeed in the rigorous and competitive secondary school environment.
We hope that arming you with these facts will help you in your next google search for middle schools in the area. Remember too that the best “private middle schools near me” will be schools your child is excited about, so don’t forget to get their thoughts on the short list.