Are you a parent searching for the best private high school near you? Here are five common myths debunked.
- Private Schools stifle different modes of learning through a rigid curriculum
One of the wonderful things about private education is its ability to cater a school curriculum towards a child's interests/ gifts. In Ontario 2016, the Frasier Institute commented that a total of 581 schools (30 percent of independent schools) were classified as specialty schools. These schools usually were designed to hold a special emphasis in their curriculum on a specific subject (e.g., arts, athletics, language, or science/technology/engineering/math). The key to choosing a the right school for your child is finding a school that caters towards the subjects that they thrive in, whether that be the sciences, the arts, or technology.
- They are only located in urban areas
Good news for families outside of large cities, with a passion for education! Private schools can sometimes mistakenly be thought of as phenomenon of urban centres. However, according to Canada's Fraser Institute, 37.1 percent of all independent schools are located outside of large urban areas. 22.1 percent are in rural areas and 15 percent in small or medium-sized centres. Private school can be a possibility, without a long commute.
- They do not provide funding towards tuition
There is certainly still an issue of social-economic stratification in the demographics of private schools versus public schools. According to statistics Canada in 2015, the total income of parents with children in private schools was roughly 25% higher than those with children in public schools. Children in private schools are also two and a half times more likely to have a parent that completed a professional or graduate degree. The best schools ideally attempt to shorten the socio-economic gap between public and private education. A growing number of Ontario private high schools are striving to increase their financial aid programs, according to Barbra Bierman, the executive director of the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS). Currently, students can receive funding through academic scholarships, private competitions, and non-academic prizes for community involvement. In addition, a list of schools with financial aid programs in Ontario can be found on the website http://www.ourkids.net/private-school-financial-aid.php. With thorough research, funding for your child's education can indeed be found.
- They don't offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs
If English is a second language to your child, attendance is not an impossibility. Several in the Toronto region offer language support programs for students. Religiously affiliated schools also commonly offer ESL programs.
- Their curriculums separate themselves completely from Ontario high school curriculums
A private high school by definition is a school that is funded independently from the government. Though they do not receive funding or financial support from the government, they are required to report to the minister of education rigorously for updates about their curriculum. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education's webpage, they are required to abide by the legal requirements written in Ontario's Education Act. In addition, strict requirements are imposed on schools that are seeking the authority to grant credits for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). If you are searching for a private high school, visiting the Ministry of Education's website for a full list of high schools approved to administer the OSSD is a good idea.