Should you send your child to public school or to private school? It's a major decision for any family to make and opinions abound on the subject. Toronto has many public schools to consider, along with a large range of private and independent institutions. A good public school can provide a solid education, but the advantages of attending any one of the best private schools in Toronto are undeniable.
Before making a decision, families have to decide what aspects of education are most important to them. Parents often choose the private system because private schools have higher academic standards. Students may have to pass an entrance exam and, once accepted, are expected to perform at higher levels than public school students, thus their consistently higher scores on standardized tests. In order to maintain their reputations, private schools tend to hire exceptional teachers and they offer a wider range of classes with more challenging course-work. As well, low student-to-teacher ratios ensure that students get greater individual attention.
A contributing factor to the success of private schools is the culture of achievement they create, which makes students want to excel. Drop-out rates at private institutions are very low. Almost all Canadian private school graduates go on to university and many become leaders in their chosen fields. Lifelong friendships are formed at private schools and graduates embarking on a career may find a network of former classmates and alumni eager to lend a helping hand.
Another top reason for selecting a private school education centres on values. Private schools strive to instill strong value systems in their students, allowing parents to choose a school that corresponds to their own core values. Respect, tolerance, cooperation and integrity are all cherished values at the best schools in Toronto. Parents also have a much higher level of regular involvement with the direction and activities of the school, resulting in improved communication between home and school and an integrated approach. The private school community is generally more close-knit than those in the public system.
Superior facilities are an added bonus for private school students. Cutting-edge computer equipment, swimming pools, fully equipped lecture halls, music rooms and superb libraries are among the types of facilities that enhance the quality of the private school experience. For a talented musician or athlete, having regular access to a grand piano or an on-site tennis court can be life changing.
A final consideration for private schooling is safety. Discipline at private schools is stricter, swifter and less prolonged. If a student cannot conform to the code of behaviour or is disruptive to classmates, expulsion is an early option. Violence is not tolerated and drug problems are less common among private school students.
Every family has to weigh the benefits of a private school education against the costs incurred for tuition. However, studies suggest that the advantages of a private school education have a measurable impact. The best schools in Toronto give students advantages that can last a lifetime