Why Choose an Independent School

ISSFBA represents a broad and diverse consortium of schools that share a common goal: to provide a safe, nurturing environment where young people can thrive academically, learn personal responsibility, gain leadership skills and understand the importance of hard work. Guided by their unique missions, each school offers a range of values and approaches, allowing parents to find the school best suited to their child’s individual needs.

Because ISSFBA schools are accredited as independent, they possess a distinct advantage. Not bound by state-mandated standards regarding textbooks and testing,

ISSFBA schools have the freedom to create robust, comprehensive, and exceptional curriculums tailored to the needs of their students.

ISSFBA schools also enjoy the freedom to offer expansive academic and extracurricular programs and ability to create a community of learners best suited to their school’s philosophical approach.

What are some of the advantages that an independent school education affords?

  • High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth and encourage critical thinking. A larger percentage of students at independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial and other private schools.
  • Small classes and individual attention. Independent schools have low student-teacher ratios that encourage close connections with students. The median ratio in NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) schools in 2011-12 was 8.8 students to 1 teacher.
  • Excellent teachers. Independent school educators usually teach in their areas of expertise and are passionate about what they do. With more autonomy within the classroom, teachers are able to develop an in depth understanding of how each student learns and what motivates and inspires each child.
  • Greater likelihood of a student completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
  • Education for the whole child. Independent schools nurture not just students’ intellectual curiosity but also their personal/ social growth and civic purpose. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits and school leadership offerings.
  • Inclusiveness. Schools maintain diverse and vibrant student communities and welcome and respect each family. In 2011-2012, students of color were 26.7% (up 4% since 2008-2009) of total independent school enrollment nationally.
  • 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 for the student.
  • The opportunity to choose a school with a mission. You can select a school for which the philosophy, values, and teaching style resonate with both you and your child.
  • And most important: An education that will pay dividends for a lifetime.

Resources

General timeline
Making the Most of School Visits
Tips to Ease the Application Process
Application Do’s and Don’t’s
The Decision
Affording an Independent School Education