Why Choose a Private School?

Many parents have long lists of qualities that are required for their children’s education. Whether they desire rigorous academics, spiritual development, or a family atmosphere, private schools offer options that cannot be found in the public realm. Education is the primary concern of engaged parents, and private schooling gives them the opportunity to choose the perfect environment for their little scholars. Private education comes with a cost, though, so what makes it the right choice?

For starters, private schools take educating the whole student seriously, and many focus on developing future citizens with integrity and character. Students in private school will also more likely be known as individuals instead of numbers in a large system.

Finding the right fit for your children’s education makes a lifelong difference in their journey of fulfillment and success. Below, you will find key factors that can help you prioritize your goals for your child’s present and future.

Specialized Instruction
Baton Rouge offers several private schools that focus on specialized instruction, whether that be foreign language immersion or education geared toward students with learning differences. Other private schools offer unique learning centers that offer tutoring, oral testing, and other accommodations. Many private schools address specialized needs with highly-skilled teachers and tailored programs throughout the day. 

Enriched Academic Opportunities
While both public and private schools strive to increase the rigor and relevance in education, the fundamental differences in how this is done separates the two paths.

While a good private school must meet rigorous criteria in obtaining accreditation and meeting Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education standards, they are not held to state testing requirements that have become a contentious area of debate throughout Louisiana. Schools are free to develop their own curriculum in alignment with parental goals, and educators spend valuable time teaching students to meet these expectations.

Most private schools are recognized for academically-enriched programs such as AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), and multidisciplinary approaches. Another unique aspect of private education is the vertical integration that happens between grade levels. Faculty meets often to share both teacher and learner goals across learning stages to assure students are prepared for the next level and a variety of skills and content are being covered. Private schools may also offer academic coaches and even individual courses for students who benefit from a more challenging course of study.

Parents also often cite small class sizes as a determining factor for choosing private schools. Small class sizes provide students with more personal instruction and relational connections with teachers, and allows teachers to engage more students individually and decrease the amount of time spent in classroom management. 

One primary concern of parents is the access to technology from kindergarten to senior year. Due to independent budgets and technological application goals, many private schools are able to implement one to one programs in which each child either has a tablet or a laptop for school work. Several schools utilize Google Drive or Learning Management Systems that allow students to collaborate, create, edit, and develop work online in a paperless format. Some schools have even formed partnerships with Apple to integrate technology on an even higher level. The dedicated approach to technology of many private schools assures students will thrive in post-secondary education and careers. 

Tailored Religious Beliefs
Religious parents most often choose private education because of the religious education and spiritual development their child will receive during their time at the school.

Baton Rouge boasts a strong Catholic presence with multiple opportunities for Catholic schooling at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels that are overseen by the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools. Though each school determines their curriculum and specific mission, each works together to provide a consistent Catholic education. On the other hand, Baton Rouge also offers a multitude of Protestant and Non-denominational choices. These schools operate independently from one another.

Through Bible classes and Religious Studies, students can learn through intentional spiritual instruction. Students and faculty may also worship together corporately during weekly chapel and Mass services. In religious private school environments, corporate prayer is also a part of the daily routine. Spiritual development in each child is a core tenet of these faith-based schools. 

Athletic and Fine Arts Programs
In an effort to support a well-rounded student, many private schools incorporate strong athletic and fine arts programs that provide unforgettable experiences for students. The variety of these sports and arts opportunities draw many parents to private schools because they promote a balanced approach to education, once again developing the whole child. Private funding of parent-school organizations often provides unique competitions, events, and performances that enrich children’s lives. Several of our Baton Rouge private schools are known for championship quality sports teams as well as excellent drama and music accomplishments. 

Family Atmosphere
Every engaged parent wants her child to be known and cared for while at school, so a school that intentionally strives to promote a family environment checks that box. The bonds formed in the small community in private schools cannot be overestimated to many parents in their selection. The tight-knit community fostered by private schools often results in relationships that extend well beyond graduation. Students are encouraged by peers and faculty alike to excel in a safe, supportive environment that feels like family and where the diversity of talents, interests, and backgrounds can and do exist.

Additionally, the traditions of many private schools create a strong sense of identity and pride. Parental involvement in private schools is a given, so parents are an integral part of the school as not only volunteers, but also decision-makers with open lines of communication to faculty and administration.

A Culture of Engagement 
Private schools in the Baton Rouge area are highly-engaged schools at administrative, faculty, and student levels. Committed heads of schools and principals foster this engagement by focusing on the strengths of teachers, which results in a culture of recognition and collaboration.

With competitive high academic scores that are required for many private school admissions, a culture of excellence is expected. Students in private schools consistently score top marks on college entrance exams with high rates of post-secondary university education acceptance and success. Not only do parents and faculty have high expectations of the students, but the students also have high expectations of each other.

The consistent efforts to assess, plan, and follow through on commitments to achieve excellence at every level are a hallmark of strong, engaged private schools. ■

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01 Jan 2018

By Joy Holden

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