I heard a school district superintendent once say that education is the only occupation where everyone thinks they are an expert in your profession. It’s kind of true if you think about it. Every parent has been a student, and even the students themselves, except for the very youngest preschoolers, have already spent time in a classroom. No one questions doctors, dentists and lawyers the same way they do teachers and school administrators. But, then again, as a parent you are prone to question the process of education since, more than anything other than your family, it has the biggest impact on your child’s future.
Middle school years are especially formative. Whether you are considering the best academy middle school at a private school in your community, or choosing the public school Montessori classrooms in your own district, education decisions deserve careful consideration.
In the private school arena, you have many choices. Currently, there are 30,861 private schools in the United States. These learning environments serve 5.3 million PK-12 students. Most private schools are small. In fact, 86% of them have fewer than 300 students. Making the choice to attend a small private school system with best academy middle school offering could be the first step toward a great high school education. If your student and your family enjoys the private middle school experience, you may continue on to a private high school, which on average less than half the size of public high schools. The benefit of attending a small private middle school is that your student will likely get the focused individual attention that can help your student complete a rigorous set of classes. At the same time, many of these small schools provide many of the same sports and activities that would be available at a much larger school.
In the public school arena, you also have many choices. While you might no think that a public middle school can offer the same opportunities as the best academy middle school in your city, you might be surprised. Some larger districts are, in fact, able to offer more foreign languages, more fine arts possibilities, and more leadership and mentoring opportunities than what is found in a smaller school environment.
Whether you are selecting the best academy middle school or the local public middle school for your student, the most prudent advice may be to have the student take time to visit each environment. While everyone, including the best intentioned parents, think they are experts in the field of education, it just might be the real expert in deciding what school setting is best is that 12 or 13 year old who will be the one going to the classes.