High School Issues

Learn more about high school academics, discipline policies and other issues relevant to private schools. Here we cover dress codes, explain the difference between AP and IB courses and discuss teen suicide. You’ll also find information on study abroad programs, codes of conduct and the best graduation gifts.
View the most popular articles in High School Issues:
Updated April 20, 2017 |
College Counseling in Private High Schools
Private high schools offer strong college counseling programs which are ongoing and fully integrated into the daily activities.
"Which colleges should I apply to, Mom?" That is a question which is going to be very much on your child's mind as she begins her junior year. Of course, you have been worrying about which college she should go to almost since she was a toddler. But now this important question is very much on her radar. Fortunately for both of you this is another instance where sending your child to private school will give her an advantage over most public high schools. Why? Because college counseling is not a function and job responsibility which private schools take lightly. Nor are private schools likely to cut staff in this area. Remember when you were choosing a private school for your child? You reviewed the colleges where various schools' graduates had been accepted and/or were attending. You remember thinking that the colleges listed for the graduates of the school where you decided to send your child were pretty much the kind of tertiary level institutions you had in mind for her anyway. 
 
This short video illustrates the private school counseling experience from a student's perspective.
 
 
There are several advantages a private school can offer over most public schools. For example, small class sizes and individual attention are givens. Sports programs and extracurricular activities also make the list. But what about college advising? In the first place getting a solid college preparation is probably one of the reasons you sent your child to private school. You read
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Updated April 11, 2017 |
Some schools offer trips abroad, even semesters abroad. Think Global School students live abroad. Joann McPike explains the concept and workings of the school she founded.
Joann McPike, the founder of THINK Global School, graciously answered some questions which I posed about the school. ~ Rob Kennedy
 
Explain why you took the reins rather than find some institution which you could guide and shape according to your ideals and goals?
 
My husband and I love to travel, we have always taken our son Alexander with us whenever we went anywhere. We took his school work with us. It was Alexander's never ending questions and comments that started showing us the benefit of travel to opening the minds of youngsters.
 
We started looking at boarding schools all over the world for when he had to go to high school and although there are some amazing schools out there, we couldn't find one that would provide the different points of view that we felt were necessary to have a truly open mind.
 
As to why I didn't find an institution that we could guide and shape... I assume you mean an existing school? I guess I thought it would be more difficult to try to convince a school board to do something so out of the ordinary than to start a school from scratch. Most people feel safe in the status quo, then there are a few risk takers who want to shake things up a little. I guess I am one of those people who want to shake things up a little... as are the courageous parents who took a leap of faith and sent their children get
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Updated June 13, 2016 |
Handbooks
A private school handbook is essentially a set of guidelines for life in the school community.
A private school handbook is essentially a set of guidelines for life in the school community. The reason why I am devoting an entire article here on Private School Review is to underscore the importance of handbooks. Both you and your child need to understand that the school's handbook is linked to the contract which you signed with the school. Private schools are not like public schools in this very important regard: students have rights in a public school; but they do not have rights in a private school. They are governed by what is known as contract law. That contract which you signed with the school spells out all the obligations of the parties to that contract. Somewhere buried in the fine print will be a statement to the effect that one of your child's obligations is to abide by the rules and regulations of the school and its community as set forth in the school's handbook and elsewhere.
 
Most handbooks are comprehensive, very detailed documents which seek to cover every conceivable aspect of school life. They are generally rather lengthy documents too as you will see when you review the examples listed at the end of this article. Take time to review your school's handbook. Discuss and confirm that your child understands the seriousness of this document. While the school will explain the content of its handbook at the beginning of school, assume nothing. Make sure that she understands that failure to abide by the terms of the
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Updated August 16, 2015 |
The Safety Factor
There are several reasons why private schools are safe places for children. More here.
As you well know, there are several reasons why you are considering private school for your child. Her safety is on your list, albeit, somewhere below other considerations such as the academics, athletics and extracurricular activities when you first start thinking about schools. Safety is not usually an issue in private schools. Indeed school violence is not often found in private schools. In fact the only examples of which I am aware in recent years consist of a few scattered incidents of hazing and cyber-bullying. I won't scare you with examples of school violence in public schools. You see and read about these incidents every day both at home and abroad. Instead let's explore some of the reasons and factors which make private schools safe places for your child. Then you can check that box on your list of questions about private schools.
 
Discipline Codes
 
One of the most important reasons why private schools tend to be safe places for your children is because they all have discipline codes. These discipline codes are enforceable and indeed are enforced simply because you and your child entered into a legal contract with the school when you agreed to send your child to the school. As a result, when a student violates the code, there will be consequences up to and including expulsion. In a public school students have constitutional rights. In a public school due process normally must be followed before any serious disciplinary consequences can occur. That due process can
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
Should You Consider Sending Your Child to a New School?
You have just heard about a new private school opening soon in your area. Should you consider sending your child there? A look at the pros and cons of such a decision.
The Best School $75 Million Can Buy caught my eye. A new private school is always exciting news for this veteran observer of the private school scene both here at home and abroad. But the opening of a new private for-profit school in an under-served market such as New York City? Wow! That takes guts, tons of money and superb planning and execution of that plan. And you know what? Based on what I read, it's going to be a school funded by experienced business people and run by seasoned education professionals. That's what any private school in the 21st century needs in order to be successful. Solid funding and skilled management.  
Now, to that interesting question. "Should you consider sending your child to a new school?" I am not being evasive, but my answer is a simple "It depends". It depends on several things. Let's look at some of the factors which will help you decide.
 
Does the new school meet your educational requirements?
 
Does the school offer what you require for your child's education? New York City has a strong demand for places in private schools and a very low inventory of available places. Several Roman Catholic elementary and high schools have been forced to close in recent years. Demand for places is also driven by a robust mix of high income families with school age children and demanding parents who want the very best K-12 education for their children
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High School Issues

Academics

A comprehensive look at high school academics. We cover grades, AP and IB courses, and the post graduate year. Learn the secrets of A+ students. Explore summer abroad programs, read interviews with experts and get valuable tips on excelling academically.

Discipline

A brief look into high school discipline policies. From codes of conduct to uniforms and dress code, we'll provide information on the latest practices in private schools.

Other Issues

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.