Understanding The What, Why, And How Of Independent Private School
As a parent, you have a choice to make about your child’s education. Only you can weigh the differences between public and private education to determine which is the best fit for your child. Below we will outline the What, Why, and How of independent private education and how it compares to public education.
Tip: Include your child in the conversation to help them understand why this is an avenue you are exploring.
Independent private schools exist to give students and teachers the freedom and flexibility in their learning and curriculum. This is in stark contrast to the state and federal standards that drive the public school systems.
Private schools generally have lower student-to-teacher ratios, high school graduation rates that exceed public school, increased college attendance rates, and stronger school communities, which lead to more positive feelings toward education. Altogether these elements provide an opportunity for your child to be a step ahead in this ever-changing world.
We’ve used the term independent private education/school quite a bit already. However, what qualities define an independent school?
In the United States, public schools are accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and Civics. The U.S. Department of Education and Civics manages 98,871 schools from Kindergarten through grade 12. Beyond federal accreditation, public schools are accountable to state, district, and school leaders before decisions can be made about changes in the school.
Independent private schools function much differently than public schools. Many are organized as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, individually governed by boards. As such, state and local politics play little part in their oversight. Independent schools also have their own accrediting bodies.
Here you will find links to the websites of some of the largest accrediting boards for independent schools in the nation:
- Association of Independent Schools of New England
- Independent Schools Association of the Central States
- Independent Schools Association of the Southwest
- Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools
- Southern Association of Independent Schools
- Virginia Association of Independent Schools (Fredericksburg Academy’s Accrediting Organization)
While independent education has a cost associated with it, this investment is returned with happy students, above-average outcomes, and peace of mind about your child’s experience at school.
Fredericksburg Academy has projected the following range of tuition for 2022-2023:
Junior Kindergarten: $$14,245
Prekindergarten and Junior Kindergarten are five-day/full-day programs (8:30 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.). Indexed Tuition is available on a limited basis for Junior Kindergarten. Contact our Admission Office for more information.
Lower, Middle, and Upper Independent Private School Tuition:
Kindergarten: $$12,500 - $$17,500
Grades 1-5: $$14,500 - $$22,045
Grades 6-12: $$15,500 - $$24,905
Tuition covers more than classes; it incorporates field trips and athletic team participation.
We understand that tuition is not something all families plan to take on when considering primary education. Our students are from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds and because of this, we work with each family to find the right tuition level for their unique financial situation through Indexed Tuition. There are many options.
If you’re looking for more information on Indexed Tuition or have questions regarding payment plans, or how to apply, take a look at the Indexed Tuition page. FA is not out of reach, let us show you how.
Independent vs. Public vs. Private
When you consider the range of school options available, an exorbitant amount of naming conventions are used:
- Public school
- Charter school
- Magnet school
- Religious school
- Home school
- Private school
- Independent school
Accredited by the U.S. Department of Education and Civics, public schools receive money from both the federal government and state government to run their day to day operations.
Private schools are schools that have been accredited by an independent accrediting body. Private schools do not receive funding from the federal or state governments; however, they may receive funding from religious or higher institutions - their governance may also stem from any such affiliation. All operational funding can be derived from current families, past families, and community members through tuition, donations, or auxiliary revenue.
Independent schools are accredited by an independent body, and they do not receive funding from any government subsidies. They rely on funding from past and current families, as well as community donations, in addition to tuition and auxiliary revenue. Independent schools are governed by a Board of Directors. These are often vested stakeholders, alumni, and any persons who are charged with ensuring the school is operating within its respective mission.
Joining an Independent Education Community
If an independent education feels right for your family and you want to speak with someone to learn more, our admission team is always available to answer any questions you may have. Come see all that Fredericksburg Academy has to offer.