Public Schools

Should We Switch From Public To Independent School?

Should We Switch From Public To Independent School?
September 1, 2023

Is your family thinking about making the switch from a New York City public school to private school? You’ve come to the right place! Making the switch from public to private school is a decision that many families make for their child, whether in elementary, middle, or high school (and sometimes back and forth, more than once!). 

A switch of this magnitude often comes with questions, and several to-dos to keep in mind; as New York City admissions experts, we’re here with guidance. Read on for more insight about why a switch from public to an independent (also known as private) school might be the right choice for your family, and the things you need to keep in mind if you make the decision. 

What are the benefits of an independent (private) school in New York City?

First and foremost, remember that every single child is different. One child’s best educational fit may be completely different than another child’s. If you feel that your child may be suited for independent school, and it’s financially and geographically feasible for your family to explore, an independent school could be an excellent investment in your child’s future. Here are a few of the main reasons why families make the switch: 

Autonomy & Choice

One of the main reasons families choose private schools is for their unique educational philosophies and approaches. This can mean a range of things, from more autonomy over curriculum to the specific teaching methods and practices used at a particular school. Parents often feel that there is more differentiation across independent school models, likely because school teachers and administrators can create their own curricula and graduation requirements with less standardization than public schools have to adhere to. Additionally, private school teachers don’t have to worry about state testing benchmarks, because private school students don’t have to take state tests; that’s why these schools are often called “independent.”

Even the choice of a certain private school gives families a great deal of involvement in selecting their child’s best fit educational environment. Private schools often have their own unique missions, philosophies, and makeups, from schools with a progressive educational model to single-sex schools. 

Individualized Attention

Private schools often offer smaller class sizes, which means more individualized attention for students. Public school classrooms average nearly thirty students, while private schools average sixteen. These smaller classes give teachers a greater ability to differentiate their instruction for each student, with one-on-one time to ensure each pupil is moving through the curriculum at a good pace. If your child is falling behind, a private school teacher can identify this quickly and implement a personalized plan to get back on track. 

Smaller classes can also make classrooms feel more cohesive and community-oriented. Some students find that this environment makes them more comfortable with speaking up in class to share ideas and opinions, which can often benefit their learning. You may be able to witness this dynamic during a school tour; many private schools allow parents to peek into classes in action.

What is the independent school application process like?

The New York City private school application process can be time-consuming and overwhelming (but it doesn’t have to be!). Juggling school visits, application portals, testing, essays, interviews, and recommendations requires strong organizational skills. It’s critical to keep track of small details like deadlines for various steps, testing requirements, etc. 

The Admit NY team offers expert guidance on the private school application process in New York City, ranging from our free blog resources (check out our admissions overview, interview tips, sample essays, and more) to full-service consulting packages. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can advise on your public school application process.