Choosing a School: Why Independent Schools are the Best Option
These days, there are all sorts of ways to educate your children. It’s not like days of the past, with public schools and private schools being the only options. Today, there are charter schools, virtual schools, and independent schools, as well as home-schooling, which has seen a recent surge in popularity. Add these to the typical public schools, private schools, and religious schools, and you have a wealth of options. How do you decide what’s best for your son or daughter?
When choosing a school for your child, there are many questions to consider:
- “Will this school prepare him for college and the future?”
- “Has the school evolved to meet today’s challenges?”
- “Will she feel like a part of the community and have the opportunity to make good friends?”
- “Are faculty, staff, and administrators well-qualified, caring, and approachable?”
- “Is there open communication with parents and opportunities for parental involvement”?
- “Are there a variety of sports and extracurricular opportunities of interest to my child?”
- “Will she enjoy learning at this school and bring her positivity out in others?”
- “Are there service learning opportunities to make a difference in the greater community – even the world?”
Lately, independent schools are an increasingly popular option for parents who wish to give their kids a top-notch education. According to the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools, these schools are defined as “non-public schools that are independently governed by a board of trustees and funded primarily through tuition, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue.”
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, independent schools are successful because they provide close-knit communities, individualized attention, supportive learning environments, high-quality and committed teachers, hands-on learning opportunities, unique educational experiences, and environments to actively engage students.
Independent schools can be co-educational, single-sex, boarding, or day schools. Some even have a specific curricular focus. Yet, what independent schools all share is the level of educational innovation and enrichment rarely seen at other educational institutions.
One such independent school that provides its students these opportunities and more is Westtown School, located on a beautiful 600-acre campus just outside of West Chester, PA, within close proximity to Philadelphia and Wilmington.
Westtown, established in 1799 by the Philadelphia Quakers, is actually the “oldest continuously operating co-educational boarding school in the country” and offers its students day and boarding school options, along with an innovative and global pre-K through 12 grade school education, state-of-the-art facilities, a wide array of sports and extracurricular activities, and a diverse student body.
According to Westtown’s Associate Head of School Terry Dubow, “Westtown’s 216 year history makes it stand out from other schools.” He cites Westtown’s top-tier academic programs, warm and welcoming community, and hands-on “action-based” educational model as to what attracts students and parents to the School.
“Today’s students live in a world of constant change and need to learn how to adapt and thrive in fluid environments,” he continues. “Westtown prepares students for lives of success and lives of meaning, which is a rare combination.”
Choosing the right school for your children – whether they are 5 or 15 – is no easy feat. With the many options that exist, you want to know that you are sending them to the very best for the cost and education. Enrolling your child in an independent school will ensure him or her an incomparable education and grade school experience.
Westtown School, a pre-K – 12 college prep school that offers day and boarding options, was founded by Quakers in 1799. Westtown offers a challenging and diverse curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration, service and social action.This is a paid partnership between Westtown School and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio