Why An Independent School?
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It is an investment to enroll your child in an independent school. When public schools are the alternative, it is important that you understand the independent school culture. Every family expects different results from an independent school education. Review the comparison below between public and independent schools to determine if an independent school education is the right fit for your family.

Criteria Public Schools

Independent Schools

Purpose Broad General Education Mission-Driven
Governance Publicly Elected Board Self-Perpetuating Board
Structure Separate Unit Schools: Elementary, Middle, High Comprehensive: All Grades on One Campus
Funding Public: Receives Tax Revenue Private: Relies on Tuition and Charitable Gifts
Marketing Limited to Local Community Extensive to Local Region, Focus on Value Proposition
Faculty Certified Qualified; Majority with Advanced Degrees
Class Size Larger (25-35) Smaller (12-20)
Workload 120 or More Students 48-80 Students Individualized
Faculty Contracts Unionized Comprehensive Duties
Faculty Compensation Uniform/Public Higher Pay Competitive Pay, Merit System
Students Based on Geography, All Students Admitted Selective Criteria for Admission
Student Management Control/Distrust (Hall Pass) Honor Code/Trust (My Word); High Expectations
Student Leadership Student Council by Popular Student Election Character, Service and Personal Relationships Election
Administration Hierarchical; Specialized Degree Requirements Collegial; Emphasis on Classroom, Experience and Demonstrated Competence
Academics Full Range to Fit Needs Homogeneous/Focus on Total Child and Rigor
Testing Standardized, Multiple Choice Essays/Critical and Analytical Thinking
SAT/ACT Some Take It All Students Take It
Personalization Limited/General Instructions, Up to Teacher Individual Attention; Extensive Personal Feedback
School Community Mixed Allegiances; Guidance/Specialists Clear Set of Shared Core Values/Every Member Has a Role in Guidance

Choosing the best school is a personal decision based on your family, your values and, most important, the needs and interests of your child. Please contact our Admissions Office at (803) 276-2760 with any questions you may have.


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