What are Independent Private Schools?
More than 2,000 independent private schools across the United States provide high-quality education to more than 700,000 students from pre-K through high school.
Independent schools are close-knit communities that provide students with individualized attention. They challenge students to stretch their minds and go beyond academics to develop responsible, independent, and community-oriented students.
What makes independent schools independent?
Independent schools are independent in:
- Philosophy: each is driven by a unique mission.
- The way they are managed and financed: each is governed by an independent board of trustees and each is primarily supported through tuition payments and charitable contributions.
They are accountable to their communities and are accredited by state-approved accrediting bodies.
What are some advantages of an independent school?
Independence in the truest sense of the word. Independent schools are governed by a board of trustees, not a public school board. They are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue.
Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs, without state mandates on curriculum, textbooks, and testing.
Mission-driven education. Whether co-ed or single sex, day school or boarding school, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching. The wide diversity among independent schools allows you to find a school that is a great fit for your student.
High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning. More students in independent schools enroll in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.
Small classes that allow for individual attention. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.
Excellent teachers. Independent school instructors usually teach in their areas of expertise. They strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation. Graduates of independent schools have a greater likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
Education for the whole child. In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience.
Outside the classroom, students participate in school-sponsored athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and leadership experiences.
Inclusiveness. Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.
In 2015-2016, students of color were 26 percent of independent school enrollment, while 3.2 percent of students were from other countries.
A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals. As a parent, you can actively engage in your student’s education, because the staff and teachers want and value your participation.
The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) offers wonderful resources for parents who are researching independent schools for their child.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our LMAIS member schools.