School Life

Get a glimpse of private school life. Here you'll find a survival guide for parents, brush up on terms and jargon, and learn why extracurricular activities are so important.
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Updated April 09, 2015 |
5 Things Every Parent Should Do
Every private school parent is encouraged to help the school in whatever way he can. Here are some things you can do to make a contribution to your school.
If you are new to the school where you child has just been accepted, you may think that the school functions like a well-oiled machine with little help from outside. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your help and support as a parent is essential and, indeed, expected. Let's look at some ways in which we parents can contribute time, talent and treasure to our children's schools.
 
1. Support your school financially.
 
Depending on where you live and what your schedule is like , supporting the school financially may be all that you can do. If you have the means to make a significant gift, then contact the development office to see how best to use your munificence. Leadership gifts are critical to any school's fund raising success. In any case give what you can. Gifts from parents are an important source of funding for most private schools.
 
2. Be a class parent.
 
Primary schools in particular will appreciate help with all sorts of things. You will be worth your weight in gold if you are the kind of parent who simply does what she is asked to do faithfully and without interfering with the teacher or children. Communicating with the other parents and getting them organized to do whatever the class needs done is part of the role of the ideal class parent. Chaperoning field trips and walks might also be part of your volunteer work. Class parents are especially important these days because so many parents work. If you can help
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Updated March 11, 2016 |
The Private School Survival Guide for Parents
It's a big step sending your darling off to private school. She will probably survive the transition just fine. But how about you?

It's a big step sending your darling off to private school. She will probably survive the transition just fine. But how about you? Will you be able to restrain yourself and avoid being an over-protective parent? Are you going to hover nearby like a helicopter? Let's look at how to make that huge adjustment to not having our little darling at home where we knew where she was and what she was up to. Here is how to cope with private school at four distinct grade levels. Here is your private school survival guide.

Preschool

When you send your baby off to preschool or nursery school, you will go through all kinds of angst. Being concerned is particularly true when your first or only child leaves the nest. However, you can offset much of your anxiety by selecting your preschool or nursery school carefully. The best schools will always be hard to get into. Places at popular schools will be limited. But once the school has accepted her, then determine how you can be helpful without getting in the way. Most schools will welcome your assistance with everything from class activities to fundraising.  Don't wait to be asked. Don't be shy about telling the school that you have experience working in development or marketing or whatever field you offer. Stay involved as a team player rather than as the leader which you are probably accustomed to being. The school will appreciate that display of modesty.

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Updated March 21, 2016 |
Is Your Grandchild Going Away to Private School?
There are several ways in which you can stay connected with your beloved grandchild.
Is your grandchild going away to private school? Perhaps you are wondering how you can fit into his new life away from home. You have always enjoyed watching him grow up. You've gone on trips and vacations together. Just because he's away at school doesn't mean that you can't be close. After all this is the 21st century when it's easy to stay connected.
 
Let's look at some of the special things a grandparent can do to stay connected with a beloved grandchild who's off at school.
 
Email
 
It's kind of old fashioned these days but email is still a pleasant way of keeping in touch. If you are in the least bit literary, it will be good for him to receive nicely crafted emails with news and gossip from back home. It is important for him to hear and be able to reflect on your opinions about issues and events. Email handles that kind of communication extremely well.
 
Just be careful to read your missives carefully before you hit the send button. Remember: you are not there to explain what you mean. So don't be cryptic. He's got plenty to do without wondering what's going on back home. It's also simply bad form
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Updated March 21, 2016 |
Extracurricular Activities: Why They Are so Important
Extracurricular activities are not an extra in a private school. They are an integral part of the program each school offers.

How can extracurricular activities possibly be important? After all, aren't they extras? Unfortunately, in these tough economic times, that is very often the case in public schools where all too often local education leaders view extracurricular activities as extras. As they have faced declining tax revenues, public schools have had to make some drastic cuts in their budgets. School boards have a hard time justifying cutting the number of teachers. They run up against the same problem with course offerings. So, school boards and administrators look for programs which they can eliminate or, at least, reduce expenditures.  Accordingly, they decide to cut the extras.  In the public school world, those extras include extracurricular activities such as a band or orchestra, as well as clubs and other activities.

On the other hand, for private schools, extracurricular activities are an integral part of the school's offerings. Solid academics, a variety of athletic programs and an assortment of extracurricular activities are essentials in private schools. Most private schools believe that you cannot educate a child solely by teaching her academic subjects. While math,  science and all the other subjects are an important part of her schooling, there is much more to education than just academics. That's where sports and extracurricular activities come in. They allow your child to grow. They stimulate her with new ideas and new ways of thinking. They give her a sense of accomplishment and build her confidence. They teach tolerance and encourage teamwork. These are all excellent lessons which

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Updated April 03, 2016 |
Private Schools Jargon and Terms
Private schools have their own jargon just like any activity or affinity group has. Here are some of the more common terms you are likely to encounter as you explore private schools.

Private schools have terms and a language all their own. Similar to most affinity groups, this jargon is second nature to the insiders. Some of the terms which you will encounter have been passed down through the centuries. They come to us from England and other European countries where private or public schools, as they call them, have been around for centuries. That's why you will see words on this list which you will recognize with meanings that you weren't expecting. 

Here are some of the more common terms you are likely to encounter as you explore private schools.

ADD/ADHD

ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is what ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) used to be called. 

Here's what WebMed has to say: "ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition with symptoms such as inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The symptoms differ from person to person. ADHD was formerly called ADD, or attention deficit disorder. Both children and adults can have ADHD, but the symptoms always begin in childhood. Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job." 

If your child exhibits any signs of ADHD, you should have him evaluated thoroughly and professionally. The syndrome is generally treatable. Several private schools specialize in teaching boys and girls with ADHD.

Crew

Crew is the ancient sport of rowing. Rowing in shells is very popular in many private schools. Crew is offered in the fall and spring. Schools participate in regional and international competitions called regattas. Events like

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