View Poll Results: Which school should we pick?
Catholic school 12 13.33%
Public School 54 60.00%
Public School for Kindergarten Catholic School After 4 4.44%
Other Because there is always an other. 20 22.22%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Public or Private School.

Public or Private School.
I will start out by saying that we are poor. Our oldest child is getting ready to start kindergarten.
There is a public school that we can walk too. Our dd would qualify for free hot lunch and I checked out the menu and I was very impressed with how nutritious the menu is.
There is a catholic school that is 2.3 mi away. The uniforms are very expensive it would cost us about $500 to get her what she needs. I don't think they offer a reduced lunch program and we would have to pack her a lunch each day this would be a big transition because she is used to a hot meal every day and doesn't like cold food. Also DD got a scholarship that covers half her tuition. So we would need to come up with another $2000 to cover the rest of her tuition.

I don't really know much about the education at the public school but I do know that the catholic school is one of the top schools in the state.
What school would you choose?
We also have 2 younger children.

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Old 07-10-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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Re: Public or Private School.

I picked "other"...but we're planning on homeschooling, so I don't know if my vote really counts in this case.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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I would do public. I'm assuming you're Catholic? I don't like religious schools as a general rule, just not my thing. Top school based on what? If it's a 'drill and kill' program I wouldn't do it either. I like programs that focus on multisensory learning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills.

I would meet with both principals to discuss educational philosophy, curriculum, and discipline policy, and go with what will work best for you're child. Just because it's one of the top schools in the state doesn't mean it will work for your child.

Also, around here many private schools are rated better because they can pick and choose who they let in. They don't have to keep kids who cause problems, KWIM? And they also usually have very small special ed populations, which also boosts test scores.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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Re: Public or Private School.

I would do some research on the quality of the teachers at the public school, and the student:teacher ratio. If they meet your standards, then I would go with the public school. I'm a big fan of private school, but not at the expense of going into debt over it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: Public or Private School.

Unless the public schools were really awful, I would go that route rather than spend money I couldn't really afford. You can always supplement whatever she is being taught in the public school if you feel it is not enough.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: Public or Private School.

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Originally Posted by Dawndelion View Post
Unless the public schools were really awful, I would go that route rather than spend money I couldn't really afford. You can always supplement whatever she is being taught in the public school if you feel it is not enough.


Researching actually doesn't do much either.... on paper DS1 PS looks awful compared to the others in the area.... yeah well guess what? a huge chunk of the children are ESL and have all sorts of difficulties at home, but the school itself is awesome. They don't test well, probably never will.... but my own son thrives there. B/c the school is "poor" they have a very individual approach to teaching.... children are evaluated individually and then moved around to various classes for different subjects depending on their abilities. So for example DS1 is just a natural reader - so he goes to work with a handful of students in another classroom for english/reading.... his friend is a slow reader, so he goes to english/reading with a group of students on his level. The "high ranked" schools in the area do NOT take this approach - its a one size fits all type of situation.... i for one DS1 school and am glad i gave it a chance. It's been amazing for him. So try it, see if it works for you, and if it doesn't then evaluate from there what to do.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Public or Private School.

I personally would always pick private schooling over public schooling, even though I am not even Catholic.

It really depends on what your ultimate goals are for your child and what you would like for them to gain thru their education. If finances are the deciding factor, then you really will need to go with public schooling. There will always be additional costs with private schooling and the parents there are expected to come up with whatever is needed for field trips, projects, extra curriculars.
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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Re: Public or Private School.

Unless the public school is bad -and as others have said you'll have to research, see the facilities, meet with the teacher, etc - I would do that.

We plan to send ours to public school for various reasons a) don't want to/can't spend the money on private, b) believe highly in the value of a public education to expose our child to diversity, various learning styles, etc, and c) I simply believe that as a parent and citizen of my community I want to support our school system - if every parent with the means/education/opportunity sent their children to private school, I think that would really devastate the public school system which relies heavily on parent involvement for accountability, support, and change. My husband and I went to public schools and had no issues getting good colleges - I didn't feel that I had gotten a worse education, at least as far as the basics, than those who had gone to private schools.
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Re: Public or Private School.

I may be baised, as my mother was a K teacher and so is my SIL (both public) and I also was raised in public schools.

Do you think the education they may receive will be better in a private school, or are you more interested in the religious aspect of it? We have a friend here who has had her dd in private catholic pre-k last year, and was going to send her to kindie there (as the schools here are terrible everyone says)...BUT, her dd's needs were not being met there and she is now enrolled to go to the same public school as my dd (rising 1st grade) at an advanced learning school that we have LOVED. Also at this school, dance is offered for FREE, as are violin lessons...at the public school!

We have 4 children, we cannot afford, nor do I desire, for them to go to private school. Sure, I could prob cut a lot of corners and make it happen.... that money could be funneled more effectively elsewhere. IF I were to look into private schools, it would be for high school.

For you, are you willing and able to put EACH child through private school? For how long? That's 6k a year....both schools must meet the same requirements for education....personally, I think 6k a year could be better used elsewhere...like a family vacation abroad, what an amazing opportunity that could be to learn of other cultures or maybe missions trip..or various memberships to museums that would better enrich their education..

Additionally, is your family guaranteed that scholarship each year? Can you afford the difference if it isn't, or would she/they have to switch schools?

And holy cow on the uniform cost! What do they have to have that makes it so costly? The public schools here wear uniforms. Shirts are target are $8, and i get gap uniform khakis for about $20 a pair....i let her wear them till about March, then cut/hem them to capris for spring lol!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Public or Private School.

There's no way to generalize. There are huge differences among public schools, and among private schools. The thing you need to do is look at the specific schools involved.

As far as concerns about education, find out what you can about the public school. I got a lot of info from our district website -- general ideas of how they approach things, and most importantly, learning objectives for each subject in each grade. I liked what I saw, and realized that all the scare stories I'd been told about public schools don't matter if they don't apply to the public school my children attend.

Also, I don't think a top school is necessary. I wouldn't want to send my kids to a school that had serious problems, or was severely underfunded. So I could be turned away from a public school if I was seeing any red flags. But in my opinion, the way that parents approach education makes a bigger impact on a student than whether or not the school is the very best. A good student with parents who value learning can get a good education from a decent school.

Remember, part of what can make private schools look so awesome is that they are free to reject students that they can't/don't want to work with. It's not that the teaching or program is necessarily better; part of it is that they are only teaching the easier students to begin with.

Also, I love walking the kids to school! Compared to driving, it is a great way to have a conversation with them and get them mentally transitioned from home to school in the morning. And I love not having to pack a lunch. DS missed the district cut off to start Kindergarten (by 2 days), so I sent him to a private Montessori school last year. I do not miss the commute, or having to pack a lunch every day.

As far as money: my siblings and I all went to a private religious school. My parents were able to afford it, but it made everything else in their budget very tight. We all (the younger 3 of us who were still in school, anyway) transferred to public school my freshman year. All of a sudden, money wasn't tight anymore, and it was really nice. We took some great vacations those last few years I was at home. My parents started having a date night every week, which was good for all of us. Money doesn't buy happiness, but a strained budget definitely causes major problems. IMO, I wouldn't take on expenses like that unless the public school had serious negatives to it.
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