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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Cissel

Did You Know?! Fun Facts about Independent Schools

Just because it’s summer vacation for most educators doesn’t mean the learning has to end (read this article for some tips on how to beat “summer slide”)! We’ve done some digging and pulled together some facts about the history, programs, and landscape of different independent schools. The beauty of private schools is that each one is unique, with its own rich traditions, and its own distinct mission. Here at Educator’s Ally, we pride ourselves on knowing our schools and understanding what sets them apart so we can best support them with their faculty and staff hiring. This also ensures that the teachers with whom we work receive a personalized approach to their job searches in independent schools, resulting in the right fit for both our schools and candidates.

Read on for some fun facts that may be surprising or new to you!

  1. According to CAPE (Council for American Private Education) there are over 33,600 private schools in the United States, serving 5.4 million PK-12 students – that means one in four schools in the US is a private school, and one in ten children attends a private school.

  2. According to data from the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, private schools produce an annual savings to taxpayers estimated at $50 billion.

  3. The only zoo in this country located at a high school can be found at Millbrook School, located in Dutchess County, New York.

  4. The oldest private school in the United States is Collegiate School in Manhattan, an all-boys school founded in 1628 by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam.

  5. The oldest boarding school in the US is West Nottingham Academy in Maryland, which was founded in 1744 by the Presbyterian preacher Samuel Finley, who later became the President of the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University).

  6. Students at St. George’s School can choose to study on Geronimo, a 69-foot cutter that sails around various parts of the world.

  7. The most expensive boarding school in the US is the Forman School in Litchfield, CT, with a tuition of $73,730 for the 2017-18 school year.

  8. The most expensive boarding school in the world is Le Rosey in Switzerland – the annual tuition is a whopping $114,000!

  9. The most affordable private high school in the US is Youth Initiative High School in Viroqua, Wisconsin – the tuition is just $7,000 per year.

  10. Lawrenceville boasts the oldest tackle football league in the country, with its houses fielding their own teams and competing against each other. The first season began in 1892.

  11. According to CAPE (Council for American Private Education), 67% of private high school graduates attend four-year colleges, compared to only 40% of public high school grads.

  12. Northfield Mount Hermon has a small farm on campus where students can fulfill their work job requirement. One option includes participating in their spring sugaring operation where the school produces around 600 gallons of maple syrup per year.

  13. The National Center for Education Statistics’ 2007 study revealed that over 75% of private school parents are “very satisfied” with their child’s school, compared with less than half of parents whose children attended a public school.

  14. Cheshire Academy was founded in 1794, only 22 years after Connecticut joined the colonies to rebel against Great Britain.

  15. Independent school classes are smaller than public school classes, with an average class size of 5 students per teacher compared with 15.4 students per teacher. By 2021, the Department of Education predicts those numbers will be 11.4 for private and 14.4 for public schools.

  16. Most independent schools are set up as nonprofit organizations.

  17. The sports rivalry between Phillips Academy Andover and Phillips Exeter Academy is more than just a typical high school rivalry. It’s a rivalry of historic proportions. The two schools boast of having the longest-running football rivalry of any high school in the nation, having first met on the field of battle back in 1878.

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