Maybe most kids don’t look at school as a gift, but a private school education is just that. As children grow into adults, their environment shapes their character quite profoundly. And an enormous part of a child’s environment is his or her long-term school setting, in all its idiosyncratic variety. Think about it: Your child spends one-third to one-half of his or her weekday, if not more, on an academic plane. Conveniently, there are a wealth of standout private schools in Baltimore that boast numerous quality, reliable—and highly creative—options to recommend as your child’s learning realm to come: Oldfields School, Mercy High School, Calvert Hall College High School for boys, and the Waldorf School of Baltimore, to name just a few shining examples.
At private institutions, you may know that students experience smaller class size and a helpful student-to-teacher ratio. Many such institutions also make specialized/individualized learning a top priority.
“Students come to Oldfields for our unique academic schedule, small class size and exceptionally passionate and caring faculty—they stay because the experience of high academic standards in a low-pressure environment transforms the way they learn and think about themselves,” says Tom Faxon, senior associate director of admissions at Oldfields, which is a girls private boarding and day school.
The celebrated Waldorf School sets similarly small limits on class size. They, too, tout their focus on catering to the individual within the larger learning group.
“Our average class size is 15 to 18 students, and reflective of the larger global community with diverse personalities, cultures, faiths, intelligences and work styles,” explains Stacie Henderson, outreach director of the Waldorf School of Baltimore.
Meanwhile, Mercy High School provides thoughtful education to young women as a private Catholic college- preparatory school.
“The curriculum is concept-based and interdisciplinary,” notes Tess Veleso, director of communications for the private school. “Students are challenged to integrate knowledge across subjects.”
In a private educational setting, every student is encouraged to exceed expectations as a student and citizen—logically, there are many special opportunities to get involved on campus that allow the student to explore his or her eclectic interests and various talents.
“Students are encouraged to participate in activities outside the classroom and they receive a lot of personal attention,” adds Veleso. “It is every teacher’s goal to help each student become the best person she can be.”
“Calvert Hall [College] offers 75-plus clubs and athletics to the student body,” notes Danielle Werner, director of communications at Calvert, a private Catholic college preparatory high school for boys grades 9 to 12. (Werner also stresses the value of Calvert’s prized individualized program of study.)
The value in private education lies in each school’s sincere goal-oriented desire for students to be successful in their daily lives. Private schools inspire discipline, honor and conscientiousness in their students. Perhaps there is no better gift in life than a private education—well, except maybe a full scholarship!