Independent School Facts
The Carey School is one of 1,200 members of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Independent schools are private, pre-collegiate learning institutions, and each has a distinct mission statement and values, and approach to teaching. Independent schools are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions and endowment revenue. All meet accreditation standards and each is accountable to a Board of Trustees. According to NAIS, independent schools are successful because they offer “close-knit communities, individualized attention for students, supportive learning environments, high-quality and committed teachers, hands-on learning opportunities, educational experiences beyond the classroom, motivated and interesting peer group and actively engaged parents.”
Are all independent schools alike?
While independent schools have certain features in common – emphasis on high standards, strong teaching and individual attention – they may be very different from one another.
Independent schools may range in size from a few dozen to a few thousand students. The setting may be a single urban building or sprawling rural acres. Perhaps the school is centuries old with long-standing traditions or it may be newly founded. Independent schools may or may not have a religious tradition. There are boarding and day schools; single-sex, coeducational and coordinate schools; elementary, middle and upper schools or any combination thereof. Each independent school has its own distinct mission. In curricular terms and teaching styles, independent schools can be quite diverse. Some are traditional, others experimental, still others have a particular educational focus.
Why do parents choose independent schools?
Over time, discerning families have most consistently cited three reasons for wishing to enroll their children in independent schools: individual attention for their child’s emotional needs, smaller class sizes, and rigorous academic standards. Independent school parents want their children to be part of an educational community where there are high expectations of every student and where each young person is recognized as an individual.