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Private Schools

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006: Private Schools
By Emily7 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 06:52 pm:

They are opening a Catholic School in our town. My ds already goes to the preschool & we pay $65 a month for him to go Mon & Wed 12:30 to 3pm. Although I am not Catholic my dh is & so we are considering sending our ds to the new school. It will cost $2500 a year for Catholics & $3250 for non-Catholic families, which I am assuming we will be considered. They will give families a $500 decrease for each subsequent family.
So here are my questions...
1. Is this a good tuition?
2. Those that have kids in private schools, how do you like it?
They will be teaching the same curriculum as the public schools, but will incorporate the Catholic religion. It will be K-6th, to start.

By Juli4 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 07:08 pm:

I have no clue about Catholic schools, but my daughter goes to a small protestant school and I like it a lot. The class is a lot smaller and they get to do more field trips and stuff because of the smaller size. Also she learns more than I think she would since she gets tons more one on one time with the teacher. The tuition for a full day is $2200 a year.

By Dawnk777 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 07:49 pm:

I have a friend who sent all three of her kids to Catholic school, from pre-K to 8th grade. She was very happy with their education. I have no idea what the tuition cost, though. I will see her later tonight and I will ask if she knows the current tuition cost.

Never mind. They had it on their website.
$1996 for a member of a Catholic parish
$3262 for a non-Catholic member

St. Dominic's tuition

By Amecmom on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 07:57 pm:

I hate to tell you what I pay in tuition per month! LOL - yours sounds good!

For Helen, who is in a two year old program in nursery school five mornings for two hours each morning, the tuition is $2,950 for the year. My son, who is in public school for morning kindergarten, goes to a private kindergarten 3 afternoons a week for enrichment. For that, we pay $2,150 for the year. This is only tuition - not fundraisers or registration fees or anything else.

For us, it's worth it because we live in a rural community and it gives our children a chance to interact socially with other kids.

To me, the tuition sounds fine. And if your husband is a parishoner in a Catholic church, you should get the Catholic rate.
Good luck!

By Yjja123 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 08:08 pm:

That is an excellent price! Private schools here are more than double that!

By Emily7 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 09:54 pm:

Thank you all so much.
Ame I wish they offered a 2 year old program here, but they start at 3 here. Olivia is so ready to go & I wish I would have sent Joe sooner.

By Reds9298 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 10:09 pm:

The catholic schools here are almost exactly the same price as you stated. We have 2 in my city.

By Imamommyx4 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 10:17 pm:

DD goes to a private Baptist school and is in K. We pay $4410 per year.

By Yjja123 on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 10:23 pm:

I looked into private schools a few years ago. They were all over $4000 per year + books, etc.

By Mommmie on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 10:26 pm:

That's cheap! Go for it! I pay $17,000/year for my son's school (independent).

I am much happier with the private school than I was with the public school. Since my son's school accepts no federal funding the school doesn't have to follow a lot of the requirements, most importantly, kids don't have to take the state's high stakes test!! That's huge! Public school kids spend A LOT of time practicing to take this test every year.

I also like the uniforms, the small classes (max of 10), the highly trained teachers who genuinely like and respect the kids, the comprehensive program, they teach table manners and social etiquette for instance, the shorter school year (about 17 fewer school days), the yearly trips, the fact all 7th-12th graders are issued laptops to do all their schoolwork on, and a million other things.

Downsides - constant fund raising, tuition is just the beginning, the idea that your child can get kicked out at any time (a kid in my son's grade was asked to leave this week), and lack of diversity - economically and ethnically.

By Tsa on Friday, November 17, 2006 - 11:56 pm:

The tutition is really really cheap. We love our Catholic School. Not only are they taught everything the public school is taught, but they will also learn respect, and kindness which can be lost in the public school. Our school also has the kids do Mass (service) on Fridays. All of the kids go in front of a group and have a part. Great for people who are afraid to get in front of a crowd. Our school is more of a family and we all claim each other's children. Can't say enough good about it. If it's an option in your town--TAKE IT.

By Emily7 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 01:13 am:

Theresa that is what I like about the idea of the school, the closeness & the respect they will learn. They will also gather every morning for prayer, I love that idea!
I am glad to hear that this the tuition is a good price, and right now I think we are in a position that we can afford it. I just am not sure if we could do two kids when Olivia gets old enough to start.

By Reds9298 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 08:14 am:

As a former teacher...I'm not getting that somehow respect and kindness aren't taught in public school??? It was my whole day! Just curious. A little confused and a little offended, maybe unnecessarily. ??

By Tripletmom on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 08:42 am:

As a parent of a child in school.I would never rely on a school to teach things that I think should be taught at home first.Respect and kindness should be taught at home and it should be carried with them everywhere they go.I think that's where we go wrong today,thinking the schools are going to teach them things that should be taught at home before they go to school.With having a child in public school,they have just reenforced what I've taught at home.

By Emily7 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 09:26 am:

I do teach my children those things at home.
I am basing my opinions on the public schools around here, sorry if I offended anyone.

By Conni on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 09:51 am:


By Dawnk777 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 12:39 pm:

I never felt that way, at either of the elementary schools that my kids went to. I was always welcome and I helped out a lot, when my kids were little, since I wasn't working. I loved it! They both had the same 3rd grade teacher and for both kids, I typed spelling words into the computer every week, to make customized spelling lists for each child. I thought that was fun. I always felt welcome!

Conni, I'm sorry that your schools made you feel that way.

By Kay on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 02:46 pm:

My daughter's high school tuition at our Catholic high school is about $4800, and we're Catholic. At our elementary school, I think it's around $3500 for Catholics.

I can't say enough wonderful things about our particular schools - and I know it varies from area to area. As a former high school teacher in a very large public school, I am most impressed by how much one-on-one time my children have received. And beyond that, the extracurricular activities involve just about *everyone*. Granted, it's more difficult for students to be in the top 10% of their graduating class when the numbers are smaller, but they know the stakes are high going in. Our graduates have received scholarships to and gone to the best universities in the nation. My two oldest children are graduating from college this December, and then May - and they have felt prepared for it all the entire way through.

By Reds9298 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 02:55 pm:

I wasn't trying to say anything about private vs. public at all. I'm all for either one. I just thought it was interesting that multiple people mentioned that one reason they liked the private school setting was because values like respect and kindness were taught there. Those values are also taught in public school, so I was just confused that those statements were REASONS for attending a private school. I can come up with multiple reasons why I would like my own child to attend private school, but none of them are because values are taught/not taught in either choice. That was very weird to me.

Emily- I don't think you were trying to offend anyone. :)

Conni- I never once said that I think someone should choose one or the other. I taught in public school and would like to send mine to private, so that doesn't matter to me at all. I realize that everyone makes their own choice. My question had nothing to do with private vs.public in any way. It was simply what I stated above....I find it odd that people think that kindness and respect aren't taught in public school. I understand that one reason for attending a private school is to "weed out" so-to-speak a certain clientele. I'm all for that. That's COMPLETELY different from implying that values aren't taught in public school. Just because you don't teach religion in public school doesn't mean that you aren't teaching values. I strongly feel Conni that you lecturing me about something that I never even said or meant. I'm not asking why someone would attend a private school...I'm all for them!

By Mommmie on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 04:13 pm:

In my son's former public school the primary goal was crowd control. There were simply too many children per teacher. (22 in grades K-4 and 25-28 in 5th and 6th - no aides)

At lunch in public school, the kids sat with their entire class on one long table with no adult. They were only allowed to speak if the "green light" was on. At the private school they sit with their entire class (9 or 10) at a round table with their teacher. They practice table manners and conversation skills - every single day. It's not until part way into 6th grade they are allowed to sit on their own with no adult. Even then there is no "green light" thing.

For assemblies in the public school the kids had to sit on the floor in the cafeteria in a mass. In the private school when they go to assemblies they sit in chairs. If they win some award or something they are taught how to accept it, shake hands, hold it up, say Thanks - all that stuff.

In public school they picked some character trait like "respect" as the character trait of the month they are "studying" and that meant the kids received handouts about "respect" and that's it. There was no actual time devoted to it because that would take away from getting ready for the high stakes test.

In the private school, they have 30 minutes a day of social skills and character building in addition to the classes being small enough that the lessons are continually reinforced all day every day. They practice social skills, they spend time with the high schoolers, they go read to the preschoolers, they walk to fast food restaurant nearby to practice ordering clearly, giving money, saying thanks, cleaning up after themselves.

The first thing my son's 6th grade homeroom teacher told me at my conference the other day was, "When he talks to other kids he only makes statements. I am teaching him to ask questions of the other kids." And since the kids attend the conferences the teacher turns to my son and says, "Mark, ask me a question about the conference today." So they role play things too.
This would have never happened at the public school. I was so impressed this teacher identified something in my child that I had already noticed and he's helping him become "other focused" instead of the center of the universe thing.

These soft skills are so important!! In fact I have seen several of my son's schoolmates on TV, on the news being interviewed or whatever (parents are high profile or the kid is an actor or whatever) and they use these skills. Sure they are learning this at home, but it's reinforced at school.

The teachers at the private school touch and hug the kids. The teachers from prior years will seek out a former student to visit with them and talk to them about the progress they are making in school as they move through the grades and ask them how things are going.

My son has the home phone number of every one of his teachers and he can call them up until 9pm any night. Some kids call their teachers just to chat. In the public school the teachers were very secretive about where they lived, and at no time were parents to attempt to contact them at home should they discover their phone number. Even though my son's school is huge, it has a family feel to it.

At the public school the kids were always under suspicion. The teachers did a lot of yelling, screaming, eye rolling, and spoke sarcastically to the students quite frequently. There was a lot of stress at the public school - tension you could cut with a knife kind of feel.

Also at the public school there were so many "photo ops" of this, that, or the other but there was really no substance to the activities. They were just silly little things that moms could attend so they could get the feeling that their school was great. These activities were meaningless! Token! Wastes of time!

My son's private school does not have these stupid photo op type activities. If some African dancers are coming to the school to perform and visit with the kids then they just do it. Parents aren't invited. It would distract from the learning opportunity for the kids. It would turn it into a "chaotic, but isn't this a great school" kind of event.

The private school also teaches every day organization and taking care of their materials and the school's materials. A neighbor told me the other day he was so happy with his son's public school 7th grade because the kid is taking a class on how to organize your stuff. The dad said it was the first meaningful class his gifted child had taken thus far in school. How sad is that?

These are just some of the differences between the public school my son attended and the private one he attends now.

By Reds9298 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 08:43 pm:

Again, I see the differences, not needing an explanation of that. But to suggest that values are not taught in public school is ridiculous to me. I understand there are individual experiences, but making that a generalization is completely unfair.

Almost everything you mentioned Mommmie, regarding the positives of your private school experience, I did as an elementary teacher. It's unfortunate that you had a bad public school experience. Every school is different, and I'm definitely not plugging public school or private. That's not my point, I'm looking at private myself. :) It was just the values thing.
No one has to defend their private choice, because I AGREE! :)

By Debbie on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 09:23 pm:

The tuition is very reasonable. I paid $4,700.00 last year for the catholic school my boys attended. This was for a full time 2nd grader and a 1/2 day kindergartener. We are catholic, so this did include a parish member discount.

As far as private vs. public, we have done both, and it really depends on the school. We loved the catholic school my boys attended last year. It was small, and had a great curriculum. We were very involved with church and the school, so it was like an extended family for us. The teachers were all wonderful. Now, when we moved here, there was only one catholic school in our area. It was overcrowded, and I just didn't get a good feel from it. However, the public schools are excellent. We decided on public school, and we are very happy with our decision. One thing I didn't like about the catholic school was that there was no gifted/accelerated program. My older ds was ahead in some areas, and I was worried about him not be challenged enough. Now, that he is in public, he was tested for gifted, and is now in the program. It is a great program, and he really loves it.

By Imamommyx4 on Saturday, November 18, 2006 - 09:48 pm:

I don't have a problem with public school just THE public school that my dd would be going to. It has changed a lot since my boys were there for the better. But I just couldn't seem to get over the anxiousness I felt every time I thought about walking through those doors. All 3 of the boys hated school. Youngest ds had a K teacher that told us he was the worst student she had ever had to teach. Turned out he was bored out of his fuzzy little mind. But that started him on the road to hating school. That teacher has since retired. Oldest ds had a 4th grade teacher that was so sweet when we as parents were around. But ds hated going. Finally one day I was at the school doing something and happened to be standing outside the door. She was talking to those kids like they were prisoners on a chaingang. It took 10 years to get rid of her and a parent who was friends with the school superintendent and knowing the right channels to go through.

DD has been in a mother's day out program at a baptist church since she was 2 and has always loved it. I just wanted to continue her on the same path that I knew she loved. If we were zoned for 2 other schools in our county, I'd have sent her to public school.

By Conni on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 08:25 am:


By Conni on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 08:49 am:


By Tripletmom on Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 09:14 am:

I personally think this post got WAY off topic.

It was about someone saying respect/kindness not being taught in public schools,and that was one of the reasons they were contemplating private school.I was simply stating that these important traits should be taught at home first.They do teach these things in public school,it is in everything they do.Kids are taught what is acceptable and what is not.Public vs private is all about experience and choice.

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