If you are exploring independent schools for the first time, there are a few things that you should know:
Independent schools are truly independent. They do not receive government funding, and they are not governed by the local school board. Governance at St. Anne’s begins with our Board of Trustees, a group of individuals with ties to the school community (often parents, alumni parents and grandparents). The job of the Board of Trustees is to oversee the school’s mission and financial health. The Board also selects the Head of School, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the school.
Because an independent school does not receive funding from the state or federal government, its operations are dependent upon tuition and the generosity of the school community. The cost of an independent school education generally exceeds the tuition charged to families, so fund-raising efforts (such as annual giving campaigns and endowment distributions) often make up the difference.
An independent school designs its own curriculum. That curriculum is created by the faculty and staff who are most familiar with the school’s mission and its students. Current research and best practices also inform program design and instructional methods. Independent schools are not restricted by the state mandates on curriculum or testing.
Because each independent school has a unique mission and design, there is a wide diversity among independent schools. That enables you to find the right “fit” for your family as well as your child.
The teachers in an independent school have been carefully selected to uphold the mission of that school. They are also empowered and supported in fulfilling this work without external restrictions. These highly knowledgeable individuals have chosen to teach in an environment that focuses on doing what is best for each child.
Independent schools have high academic standards. They encourage students to grow intellectually and to think critically.
Small classes in independent schools mean that students get more individualized attention. Students have the opportunity to connect with faculty members.
Independent schools value inclusivity and multiculturalism. The communities of independent schools welcome and respect their students and their families.
Parent involvement is highly encouraged in independent schools. Parents are a crucial component of the school’s community, and they become actively involved in their children’s education. In order to foster a strong partnership with parents, independent schools establish regular channels of communication.