Ask Mr. Chips

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Ask Mr. Chips
You have questions about private schools. We have answers.
Professor Photo by Laura Glover
I just discovered that my parents can't afford this year's tuition. What should I do?
You and your parents need to meet with the financial office immediately and work something out. If your marks are really good and you are one of the school's top athletes, anything is possible. Don't delay.
Why is my school blocking access to
Probably because the school administration thinks is a waste of time. But who cares. You can always log on at home and rate your teachers on your own time.

Is it true that private schools are only for rich kids?
No. They used to be years ago. But that's changed. Most schools welcome students no matter what their financial circumstances, as long as they can meet the admissions requirements. Student bodies have become quite diverse.
What are my chances of getting into a prep school for Grade 12? It's March and I am thinking about going this fall?
Good luck. It's awfully late in the year to be 'thinking' about getting into a grade 12 or senior year in any prep school anywhere. But you never know. If you have really good grades and some great references, you might stand a chance. It won't hurt to hire an educational consultant to expedite the process.
I just got caught smoking pot in my dorm room. Will I be expelled?
Most likely you will be expelled. Most schools have pretty tough codes of conduct which you signed as part of the admissions process.
I like always have my cellphone with me. Is it true I can't like use my cellphone at the school I am going to? Like don't I have any rights?
You parked your 'rights' at the door of the private school, honey! Your parents signed a contract with the school. What ever the school rules are regarding cellphone use are the rules you will follow. If you decide not to, you will be disciplined accordingly.
I am frankly appalled at how dowdy the uniforms are at my daughter's school. Can I organize a petition to get the uniform changed?
You can try. But typically the school authorities will take a dim view of such actions. One of the reasons school uniforms are plain, or dowdy as you put it, is to level the playing field. It doesn't matter if your family is rich or of modest means, you all look the same in a plain uniform. Private schools often are remarkably egalitarian.
I am attending my school on full scholarship. Everything is paid for. My room mate comes from a wealthy family. He wants me to come home with him over the break. He said he will pay for everything. Should I go?
Yes. He is extending hospitality and friendship. Accept it in the spirit in which it is given.
My dad just lost his job, He's not sure he can pay next year's tuition. What do I do?
Speak to the school about your situation immediately. If you keep the school informed, it can work with you. If you don't tell the school what's going on, things could get ugly.

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From graduation gifts to preventing teen suicide, this section provides information on a variety of topics affecting high school students. Learn what to do when your child is expelled, you need financial aid or you’re looking for a teaching job. Get expert advice on protecting your teen from substance abuse, finding the right high school and handling personal technology on campus.