The decision to invest in college preparatory school is one that cannot be taken lightly. Even if your child has attended private elementary schools, the next phase of their education may be more critical to their future success. On the one hand, you want to lay the foundation for college and a career. However, you don’t want to choose a school that erodes the foundation you’ve already built. And since the decision for a single child’s education will affect the whole family, it’s important to consider your needs, values, and beliefs as you begin vetting schools.
What You Need from a Prep School
As its name implies, a college preparatory school should prepare your child for college. Certainly, it should provide a robust curriculum with academic rigor. Teachers, faculty, advisors, and administrators should have excellent qualifications with subject matter expertise and a passion for the school, its mission, and its students. The institution should be well run and supported, with a long-standing quality reputation.
A prep school should also prepare your student for future success in and out of the classroom. By encouraging extracurricular activities and teaching executive function skills in high school, it can prepare your child for college academics and socialization. Especially if your child has unique talents or needs, a prep school must identify how to help your student reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves they can be.
How Prep School Can Support Your Values
Your values are the principles by which you and your family live your life. For the entirety of your child’s life, you’ve likely modeled the behaviors you expect and the values you hope they will embrace. At this critical juncture, you certainly do not want to abandon them.
The values of an institution are often articulated in its mission statement or learning approach. Look for alignment to your family’s values in areas such as:
How Prep School Can Support Your Beliefs
Similar to values, your belief system should fit well with the school you choose for your child. For example, a school may claim a value of honesty, but how does it demonstrate its belief in its importance? Does it place a high priority on academic integrity? Are students expected to adhere to a code of honor? And do its tenets align with the teachings you’ve imparted to your child since their birth?
Some beliefs that schools may espouse include:
- People should treat others as they want to be treated.
- All students have the ability to learn and grow.
- Respect is critical to a positive learning environment.
- Character formation is taught, encouraged, and nurtured.
- Love and kindness help the human spirit to flourish.
As you conduct research, visit schools, and begin to fully understand all that a college preparatory school might offer your child, explore all options. Gravitas is a private online Christian high school that is guided by strong values and beliefs. As the global extension of The Stony Brook School, we have a long history of providing students rigorous academics coupled with moral leadership and positive role models. Attend a virtual information session to learn more or contact us today.