Middleschool...public or private, and why?

bnicebkindFebruary 16, 2006

It is time for middleschool. Can you give me the pros and cons of public middle school vs. private....and whether you think that the private religious founded schools compare academically to other private, or public schools from an academic perspective. How about from a social perspective?

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I think a lot of it depends on the schools you are choosing from. Sometimes public would be just as good or better than private, and vice versa.

I also think it depends on what you plan to do for high school. It would be better for your child to go through middle and high school with the same friends.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 12:30PM
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I think socks is correct - so much depends on the schools where you are.

Our 2 sons attended public school, and had great experiences, great teachers, and great opportunities like a gifted science program, full music programs (orchestra, band, choir), accelerated high school level classes in algebra and a choice of three foreign languages at high school level.

I know that in our town there are three catholic schools that go through 8th grade, as well as at least two protestant schools. I know that kids from those schools get sent to the public schools for special education and learning needs, as well as opportunities to participate in orchestra and band, which are not offered at the parochial schools.

Not totally sure that it matters about attending middle school and high school together - our high school has three feeder middle schools from three communities, plus the parochial schools, and so there are lots of kids that make new acquaintances and form new bonds at the high school level.

Our middle school has a very strict policy about behavior and dress, so those things are not issues.

Good luck with the decision. I think a lot would hinge not only on the schools where you are, but also on YOUR child's needs and what the schools offer to meet them.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 8:51AM
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I mostly agree with what the people said above. A lot depends on your child and their needs, as well as your reasons for private school.

Socially, middle school is a very difficult time. I drive a school bus and drive all ages. Middle school kids are by far the most difficult and in search of themselves.

While some friendships that start in middle school stay close it isn't always the case. I think they start off high school that way because it is secure, but kids change a lot in those years and sometimes they grow apart.

We did private until high school. No regrets.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 11:52PM
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One thing I know happens in our area is the private religious founded schools are so much smaller when they go to the public HS from there they have more adjustment problems. Many do fine, some not so good therefore a lot of families will change their children at middle school. I do agree with the above posters, it really depends on the area and schools.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 3:32PM
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i think public are the best.. middle school is VERY easy youll think too much of it & when you go to school youll be like what was i soo worried about.. so just calm down dont freak out like i did i was soo worried about middle school that i didnt sleep all night & when i woke up the nect morning i felt very tired. so just chill out & itll be fine.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 8:41PM
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As everyone else has said, you have to evaluate this question based on your own area, and your family's values and needs.

In my area, the public schools are excellant academically (some of the highest rated in the entire country.) Public school teacher salaries are better than private schools pay, so more often than not, private school teachers are the ones who weren't good enough to land a public school job. And as to class size? The local Catholic schools generally have between 30-35 in a classroom. DD's public school has between 12-18 in each grade. Still, there are people who have different goals--who may want the added benefit of religious training, along with an academic education--and the private schools seem to have no trouble finding students, even so. But around here, if you want your child to get accepted to a really good college and to be prepared to do well there, you send your child to public school, or one of the (very) few really high-priced prep schools.

I have friends in other areas of the country, though, who have told me that you cannot send children to public school if you want them to get any kind of education at all. So you really do need to investigate the schools in your area, the qualifications of the teachers, the test results of the students, the percentages of graduates who: go on to college, graduate from college, go on to grad school.

Once you've done that research, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to see which road is best for your child. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 1:05PM
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In our city, there's only *one* fabulous public middle school, and two very good ones (both charter schools) nearby. If you can, you buy a house zoned to the best middle school, because all of the elementary schools that feed it are excellent, and it feeds into a great high school. It's only the middle school layer that's 'dicey'...

For two otherwise identical houses in the same neighborhood, one zoned to the best middle school, the other to a 'OK' middle school -- probably a $100-200K price difference.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 9:54PM
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How about a charter school. Most like a public school but smaller with better ways of teaching mostly. My daughter goes to charter school since public school failed her. She is doing much better in a smaller setting and the core knowledge program is working well. Check out your local charter school you might be surprised.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 5:14PM
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I disagree with the evaluation that private school teachers are the ones who weren't "good enough" to land a public school job, and therefore, aren't as "good" as a public school teacher. Yes, public schools pay more...but...the teaching atmosphere at the private school can be worth the major pay cut. If a teacher's salary is the family's second income, the teacher might be more than happy for a lower wage for better working conditions - private schools do not have to put up with kids who are problems (whereas public schools have to give a free and public education to every child). My daughter just last month started at a private catholic school because the public school failed her. I don't have her there because of the religious aspect - I have her there because, like missybee, my daughter does much better in the smaller setting.

I used to be a public school teacher and quit teaching because of the disrespectful kids and parents (and no-consequences principal) I encountered at the last school I taught at (but I previously taught at a school I loved). A local charter school (Montessori) offered me a job, and I would have loved to have taken it, but I am the main wage earner for my family, so I had to decline. I would have had to take MORE education for the charter school, on top of my experience and state teaching credential.

So, I really think it depends on the kid and the particular school. My daughter had a "drill sargeant" for sixth grade homeroom, math, and science, and between the 3 hours of homework every night, because I had to reteach her, and her teacher's dismissive attitude to us, and the frantic pace of getting to the next class in 4 minutes flat, it didn't work out for my daughter. Talk to parents of kids attending the public school, and the private schools. We were forewarned about the public school, and it was true. And the kids that are in the "gifted" IQ range do quite well there. But my daughter was getting Ds and Fs, despite help from a credentialed mom. At the private catholic school, the pace is not as frenetic, and she got As and Bs on her last report card, and her self esteem is way up. We just registered her for the catholic school for next year, as well.

Oh - by the way - I happen to be a scientist-type in my current job. I did make sure that the catholic school DOES teach evolution. And I made sure that in religion class and social studies, that other religions are tolerated. I just ran into a lady today in the supermarket looking for matzah to teach her christian school class about Passover - and since we were buying matzah for Passover (we're jewish and catholic), we helped her choose the right one. We started talking about her school, and when she started talking about how she liked being able to teach about how buddhism and islam are what the devil throws out there to disguise the truth....I started to glaze over and said my good byes pretty quick. So if you consider religious school, do consider if your beliefs match those of the schools - thankfully, our catholic school celebrates judaism and other religions.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2007 at 11:02PM
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