Public or Private Elementary SchoolsWeighing the Benefits

Elementary school in miami

Schools are often in the news these days. Between controversial new curriculums, sports, and budget cuts, there is never a dull moment! Aside from these, a subject that often arises among parents is that all important decision regarding their little one who is just beginning their school years. This is the decision to choose either the local public school, or a private school.

Statistics showed that the 2011-2012 school year saw 449,419 kindergartners enrolled in private schools.This exceeded the number of students enrolled in any other private school grade level for that year. In addition, it is a fact that most private schools, about 87% have less than a total of 300 students. During the 2011-2012 school year, the average number of students among private schools was 146. This number constitutes smaller numbers of children in classrooms, which is a fact that many parents like.

Parents who choose to begin their children’s school experience in private elementary schools like the fact that they are starting their education off in a place that offers more individual and one on one opportunities. Private elementary schools not only provide individualized attention but they also focus on total development of the whole child. This means that the education provided by private elementary schools goes beyond the classroom to include experiencing leadership opportunities within the school as well as artistic and athletic pursuits. Emphasis is also placed on the social and personal growth of the children who attend the school.

Further benefits of private elementary schools are their high academic standards. Children who attend are encouraged to expand their thinking processes and intellectual curiosity. More children in private schools take part in advanced classes than do public school students. Again, the fact that the classes are much smaller enables closer student-teacher relationships, as well as more individualized attention. Because of this, teachers are often more able to develop a better understanding of each of their students and how they learn. The ability to spend more quality time with each student gives teachers a clearer look at what motivates each one, as well as what their interests are. Teaching in private elementary schools also gives teachers the opportunity to teach students in their area of expertise, sharing their passion with the class.

Generally, a greater level of parental participation is seen, more so in private elementary schools than in public. Private schools do provide an increased level of opportunity for communication between parents and teachers in order to enable everyone in the student’s life to be on the same wave length regarding their education. And, because deciding on a private school is a choice, parents are free to choose whatever school they feel offers the teaching standards and the values they want for their children. Among students, both private school and public school, statistics show that private school students have the better chance of earning a bachelor degree or graduate degree later on.

In a private school, whether elementary or higher, children are challenged to higher standards. They are held to a higher criteria in order to keep up their grade point average. Because students push to meet this higher standard expected from them, even in private elementary schools, the results are very often a higher performance level. The general consensus is that students who attend private schools are most likely to attain greater academic achievement.

Private schools, from elementary on up, have the freedom to create or use their own choice of curriculum. The core of these must meet Department of Education requirements; however, the schools can add different components. For instance, any variety of the arts can be incorporated into a curriculum to enable students to branch out into other areas. Because of government regulations, public schools are not able to surpass a certain budget for the Arts. Private schools, devoid of these regulations, are able to offer expansive training in special areas. In addition, the tuition paid by parents is used to fund certain programs that would not be offered in public schools.

Parents, in addition, have expressed great overall satisfaction with the discipline and the order within private schools. In general, they feel that private schools provide an element of safety for their children that they may not experience in public schools.