Why An Independent School?

When it comes to choosing a school, parents today have a dizzying array of options.
In addition to their neighborhood public schools, there are public charter and magnet schools, private schools, and parochial schools...not to mention homeschooling. 

With so many options, why would a parent choose to invest thousands of dollars per year in an independent school education? And what even makes a school “independent?” Aren’t all private schools considered independent schools? 

Being armed with accurate information can help parents make the best decision for their family and realize the value of investing in their children’s future. Here are a few questions parents commonly have as they work to choose the right school for their child.

What is an Independent School?
An independent school is one that is independently governed and does not depend on a municipal or state government for funding. An independent school meets its operating expenses by charging tuition, which is often supplemented by fundraising and/or an endowment. Each independent school is guided by its own unique mission and governed by its own board of trustees. An independent school must be accredited by a state or regional accrediting authority. 

Is Every Private School an Independent School?
Not all private schools are independent schools. For example, parochial schools are often governed at the diocesan level rather than at the school level. A parochial school has its own principal, but its curriculum and other policies are likely set by the diocese rather than by the school’s faculty and administration. 

What are the Advantages of Independent Schools?
Independent schools can independently make decisions based on what is best for its students and what is true to its mission. The mission of an independent school sets the school’s course and allows it to serve its own special purpose in its community. The fact that each independent school has a unique mission makes it much more likely for parents to find a school that is just the right fit for their child.

  • Individualized Attention from Teachers
    Private schools are typically smaller than public schools, leading to smaller average class sizes. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students. Since teachers know their students and are aware of a student's strengths and weaknesses, teachers can adapt lessons to students' learning styles and provide help when needed. 
  • Education for the Whole Child 
    Independent schools are committed to students and to providing them with the best possible education – not only in reading, math, and science, but also in collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and citizenship. In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and character development. All students are encouraged and given the opportunity to join a sports team, hold leadership positions, and participate in school clubs. 
  • High Academic Standards
    Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning. Since their teachers know their capabilities, students understand that they are expected to do their best work. They also feel comfortable asking for help and learning how to advocate for themselves. Because of their positive classroom climates, independent schools are places where children can also develop the soft skills necessary for success in our increasingly interconnected and rapidly evolving society.
  • Safe Learning Environment
    Independent schools emphasize personal responsibility and ethics. The lower staff-to-student ratio allows for more faculty involvement with students, which promotes a safe and stable environment. 
  • Strong Sense of Community
    The class size and school size at most independent schools lend themselves to the development of close and powerful relationships: relationships between teachers and students, between teachers and parents, and between families with shared values. 
  • Parental Involvement
    Independent schools know that parents work very hard to make the investment in their children’s educations, and schools are committed to helping parents realize an outstanding return on that investment. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals. Parents have an active role in their child's education and are aware of any potential challenges as they arise. Parents are also given many opportunities to get to know each other through volunteering and school events, increasing their sense of community and belonging.


Ready to Learn More about Mason Prep School?

We would love to speak further with you about the opportunities available for your child at Mason Prep. Request more information or schedule a tour online today. If you have any questions about our school, please email us (admissions@masonprep.org) or call us at 843-805-6015. We look forward to learning more about your family and partnering with you during this exciting time.
Mason Preparatory School is committed to the education of the whole child in preparation for secondary education through the cultivation of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility within a nurturing environment that results in a productive citizen of a global community.