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By: Marina Jones // MDS Musings Blog

There are innumerable approaches to education, and finding a school that matches one’s own perspective can create a positive academic experience for your child. Finding a school that will not only allow your student to thrive in a supportive, safe environment and build independence, but also allow your student to gain unique skills that fit their individual learning style should be top priority.

Does your child learn better in a smaller environment? Private schools tend to have smaller class sizes and lower staff-to-student ratios. Overcrowding of public school classrooms is one of the most common complaints about the public education system. Private schools often maintain high standards for discipline and respect. Lower staff-to-student ratios allow for more effective observation and control of both the classroom and school grounds. A smaller student body means smaller sports teams and performance groups. This can lead to a more intimate and positive environment for students.

Is a faith-based school important to you? Are unique educational and extracurricular offerings important? Because they do not use public funds, private schools can expand their programs and curriculum without public funding regulations. Private schools are not obligated to adhere to legislative mandates in programming, funding, and services. This freedom allows private schools the ability to adopt a curriculum and standards that expand beyond the limitations placed upon public schools. Intellectual, philosophical, and religious programming can be integrated beyond the state regulations. This allows for more flexibility and differentiated instruction to meet your child’s needs.

According to a Fraser Institute report, “62% of parents with children in private school believe their school’s environment is motivating, supportive and nurturing.” Former students repeatedly report that the friendships they formed in private school have lasted post-graduation. Alumni of private schools tend to have a great sense of pride, creating rich networking opportunities upon entering the workforce. This is especially true of faith-based schools.

Ultimately, your decision between private or public school should reflect the values of your family. It is a matter of discerning which school best fits your child’s needs, learning style, and your desires for your child’s education.

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Mount de Sales Academy is a private Catholic school located in Macon, GA, and serves students in Bibb, Houston, Jones, Monroe, Peach and other surrounding counties. MDS is sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy. Since 1876, MDS has served a diverse college-preparatory community of learners—students and teachers alike—who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.