What Are Independent Schools?

Independent Schools are close-knit communities that provide students with individualized attention and challenge students to go beyond academics to develop into responsible, independent, and community-oriented citizens. Independent schools come in all shapes and sizes, including elementary and secondary schools; day and boarding schools; single-sex and coeducational schools; schools that are religiously affiliated and not. This diverse array of types of schools and differing missions and educational philosophies allows families to find a school that is the best match for their student.

High Academic Standards

Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.

Mission Driven

Whether co-ed, single sex, day school or boarding school, religiously affiliated or not, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values and approach to learning. This mission permeates every aspect of the school

Safety

Independent schools focus on providing safe and secure settings that also offer a wealth of valuable resources and facilities. Students often have access to tools ranging from computers and technology to library resources and lab equipment that supplement their learning in important ways. Our schools also work hard on maintaining and improving their facilities to provide the best possible environment for learning, both inside the classroom and out.

Inclusiveness

Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family. 

Governance

Independent schools are governed by an independent board of trustees, and each is primarily supported through tuition and charitable contributions. They are accountable to their community and are accredited by state-approved accrediting bodies.

Outstanding Teachers

Independent schools attract and recruit top teachers. They are granted a high degree of autonomy that allows them to shape their own programs to fit their personal teaching styles as well as their students’ needs and to assess student achievement through their preferred methods. Faculty members are provided professional development opportunities to further hone their teaching proficiency and abilities.

Small Class Sizes

Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students. Small classes encourage students’ active participation and allow teachers a unique opportunity to monitor individual progress. Students can grow and flourish according to their interests and abilities.

Emphasis on the Whole Child

In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience. Beyond the classroom, students participate in school-sponsored athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, leadership experiences, domestic and international travel opportunities, and community service.  

Community

Independent schools are committed to creating 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. Staff and teachers want and value parent participation. Parents are encouraged to actively engage in their child’s school experience, and a wide range of events and volunteer opportunities promote parental involvement, camaraderie and fellowship. The school community is strengthened by a shared belief in and commitment to the school’s mission and core values.

Categories: National News, ISSL Blog
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