Debunking Common Myths About Private Schools
These days, there are a lot of common myths about private schools. Popular books, movies and articles depict private boarding schools as stodgy, old-fashioned institutions filled with identical, uniformed students. However, the truth is that private schools can't be so easily pigeonholed. Today, we’re debunking some popular private school misconceptions.
1. Private Schools Are Elitist
In popular media, one of the most common misconceptions about private schools is that they're elitist institutions. While many private institutions catered to upper-class families in the past, that just isn't true anymore. Over the last several decades, private schools have become increasingly inclusive, welcoming students of all backgrounds, abilities and experiences.
At Wilbraham & Monson Academy, we are dedicated to providing a transformational education experience for all students. We create and live in an accepting, engaged community where students form lifelong friendships.
2. Private Schools Do Not Offer Strong Art and Athletic Programs
Art and athletic programs play an influential role in a school's culture just as much as academics. These programs bring the campus community together, whether it's cheering on a sports team or attending a student-led art show. Expressing themselves outside of the classroom is an excellent way for students, faculty and families to bond.
At WMA, our philosophy places a strong emphasis on both athletics and the arts. An active, healthy lifestyle is essential to building a strong body, mind and spirit, as well as strong relationships with fellow students. We also offer courses and extracurriculars in both the fine and performing arts so students can build their confidence and skills through creative pursuits.
3. Private Schools Typically Only Offer Boarding
When most people think of private schools, they probably picture all of the students living on campus as boarders. However, this isn't true at all schools. Some institutions might not offer boarding at all, opting for day programs instead. Others might have both day and boarding programs. There are several reasons a student might choose one over the other, including location, finances and personal preference.
WMA offers both a day school program and a thriving boarding program to fit your family's needs.
4. Private Schools Lack Diversity
Another outdated misconception about private schools is that they're exclusive clubs that lack diversity. This is another myth held over from the past which is no longer accurate. In fact, most private schools actively foster a diverse environment today. A student body made up of different backgrounds, socioeconomic levels and identities is a crucial part of a well-rounded institution. The modern private school is diverse by design.
WMA has a long history of diversity and inclusion. Monson Academy, founded in 1804, enrolled students of color before the American Civil War and was the first American school to enroll Chinese students.
5. Private Schools Have Strict Dress Codes
Many people equate private schools with uniforms and strict dress codes. Yet, private schools are not a monolith and there is no universal policy they all share concerning appearances. While some institutions require students to wear a uniform, many private schools only ask students to adhere to a particular dress code. Some schools have no guidelines at all.
The dress code at WMA is designed to prepare our students for their future. We take pride in the diligence and professionalism of our students and faculty. Our dress code reflects WMA's high standards, attention to detail and belief in our students' potential while still giving students room to express themselves.
6. Private Schools Are Extremely Expensive
If you think the price of private education is intimidating, you're not alone. Assumptions about the costs of private school often give parents pause. However, this is another common private school misconception. Like other myths we've debunked, private school costs vary from school to school and even from one student to another. Many institutions are more affordable than you may think thanks to benefactors and other supporters. Schools are often willing and eager to provide promising students with scholarships or other financial aid assistance if necessary.
WMA is dedicated to providing an outstanding education and private school experience to exceptional students from all economic backgrounds. If you're interested in attending WMA but feel that you may not be able to afford full tuition, please apply for a financial assessment during the admission process to determine if you are eligible for financial aid.
7. Private Schools Are Only for Extremely Gifted Students
One of the most persistent myths about private schools is that they are exclusive institutions for highly academically gifted students only. On the contrary, private schools are designed to help all students succeed. This success includes academic achievement as well as accomplishments in other fields. Well-rounded students make for innovative learners and members of the community. Many private institutions are eager to foster a positive, engaging environment for everyone, regardless of ability.
At WMA, we want our students to thrive during their time here and beyond. Our compassionate, accepting atmosphere ensures that each student will find their place on campus. We encourage all of our students to overcome challenges and reach their potential with the support of our dedicated educators.
8. Private Boarding Schools Lack Supervision and Support
Popular movies might have you believe that students at boarding schools run amok on campus, but that's yet another common myth. Most private boarding schools offer greater supervision than is available at public schools. Private institutions often provide even more support for students as well, both in and outside the classroom. Boarding is a unique opportunity for students to learn, socialize and grow in a healthy and respectful environment.
Boarding opportunities at WMA are available for students in Grades 8 to 12 and postgraduate. Your child's possibilities are endless when it comes to greater challenges, better experiences and closer friends through boarding at WMA.
Learn More About Wilbraham & Monson Academy Today
Wilbraham & Monson Academy is a private, day and boarding school committed to providing our students with an outstanding education and global experiences to last a lifetime. Learn more about WMA today!
Choosing the right high school for your child is as important as it is challenging. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration and a lot of information to sift through when selecting a school. Let’s take a look at some of the most critical factors you should consider when choosing a school for your child.
Extracurricular activities help students in a multitude of ways throughout their high school years. These endeavors are a worthwhile commitment for any student who wants to improve their prospects for college while improving themselves. Take a look at some of the benefits of joining extracurricular activities.
These days, there are a lot of common myths about private schools. Popular books, movies and articles depict private boarding schools as stodgy, old-fashioned institutions filled with identical, uniformed students. However, the truth is that private schools can't be so easily pigeonholed. Today, we’re debunking some popular private school misconceptions
Starting high school is an exciting experience. This chapter of life is full of opportunities to make new friends, find new passions and prepare for college. Whether you're feeling eager, overwhelmed or a little bit of both, here are some tips for first-year high school students to keep in mind throughout the next four years.
Preparing for a boarding school interview through the screen may feel unexpected and even unnatural — but with a few video chat tips for students in mind, you will be ready to leave a lasting impression over Zoom. With the exception of demonstrating a strong handshake, you’ll find you can showcase many of the same skills whether you’re meeting in person or virtually.
Ready to impress? Try bringing these five tips to your next video interview.
One of the greatest benefits of boarding school is the increased independence and self-discipline that students cultivate. Away from the daily guidance of their parents, many students mature quickly in both their academic and personal lives. However, boarding school also comes with its own challenges, including developing healthy habits that students can carry into adulthood. As a top private school in the Northeast, Wilbraham & Monson Academy is here to share our top tips for staying healthy while at boarding school and beyond!
For most children, tackling summer schoolwork isn't their first choice. They'd rather spend their break enjoying the sun and spending time with their friends – and who can blame them? That said, summer schoolwork can be required for students in advance of the next school year. It's essential to make sure children are always motivated. Otherwise, they may not advance as they should.
Of the many people dedicated to Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s transformational student experience, few wear as many “hats” as the staff of the Health Services Department Nurses, advisors, second mothers, confidantes, teachers, guidance counselors, cheerleaders — you name it, they wear it.
- wma spotlight
Between internet browsing, social media and digital conversations, it seems that students are spending more time online than ever before. This is particularly true in today's world, where yet another thing has moved to the virtual realm: school. As students spend hours of their school day online, many parents are wondering how to track their child's online activity.
Transitioning from the four walls of a classroom to learning how to manage online classes can be quite an adjustment. However, it's worth it as online classes are a fantastic way to learn valuable life skills and take ownership of your studies.
School-life balance. You likely know it's important to find that perfect balance where both the academic and personal spheres are being paid their fair dues. But what does a healthy school-life balance actually look like — and how can you achieve it for yourself?
The average student spends about 17 hours a week preparing for classes, which involves completing homework, reading materials and studying for tests. This statistic doesn't even account for other events — like extracurriculars, athletics and family obligations — that also place time strains in your schedule.
A rigorous homework schedule can help children succeed in their classes and create a clear path for the future. However, students who aren't great at prioritizing assignments or creating good study habits can quickly fall behind and feel anxious about the homework they bring home every day.
Boarding school is a thrilling new world. If you're preparing to join one such as Wilbraham & Monson Academy, you're on the cusp of making lifelong friends, learning valuable lessons in and out of the classroom, and discovering new levels of independence. Of course, these exciting changes are often accompanied by natural challenges such as homesickness and nerves. These 10 life hacks for boarding school will help prepare you to overcome any obstacles and thrive from the get-go!
First, let me tell you that you are enough. You are enough. You are enough.
This is a stressful time. A time where you question the foundations of your future and stare into the ambiguous mass before you which is the college process.
Moving away for boarding school is an exciting time and a big transition. Whether your family lives nearby or on the other side of the world, it's natural to feel homesick. Chances are, your friends and classmates feel the same way! Here's a list of simple steps you can take to deal with homesickness in a healthy way and fall in love with your boarding school home.
Your child has decided to attend boarding school in the fall. That's great news! Boarding school gives students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow personally, emotionally and academically. But in the months and weeks leading up to move-in day, it's normal for you and your child to feel both excited and nervous.
Choosing the right school for your child comes down to finding the right fit when it comes to academics, support, faculty, staff, amenities and more.
There are many reasons why you might want to consider changing your child’s school. You may feel another school may better serve your child’s needs and give them important advantages. Or, you may be moving and need to relocate your child’s education, too. Some parents also move to take advantage of a specific program or to move away from a school they feel is not serving its students.
Community fosters growth, growth leads to exploration, exploration yields inspiration and inspiration paves the path to curiosity, passion and purpose. That's why building a sense of community in schools is crucial — that process alone is the root of all academic, personal and social momentum.
If you’re wondering how to choose the right summer camp for your child, start by speaking with your son or daughter about what they are looking for in a camp. Discuss what they expect or hope for from a camp experience. Work together to find the right fit for an enriching experience.
Sending your child to a boarding school is a huge decision. In case you're undecided, we compiled this list of advantages. Here are the top five benefits of going to a boarding school.
If you are in the process of deciding whether to send your child to a boarding school, you're most likely wondering about the benefits of college preparatory programs. You may have questions such as "What percentage of prep school students go to college?" or "Do colleges look at prep schools differently?"
Choosing to send your child to an independent school with a global focus for their high school education is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Are these types of schools worth it? The answer is yes.
If you're just starting the boarding school search, you're likely wondering which boarding school is right for you and your child.
For many families, the process of evaluating the qualities of a good boarding school can be overwhelming. But it doesn't need to be. Read on to learn more about how to decide which boarding school will be the best fit.
Think back to when you were in high school. Had you seen much of the world yet? How do you think a more global view might have affected your ability to problem-solve and understand different perspectives?
Perhaps the question should be, "Why not teach entrepreneurship in high school?" Students between the ages of 14 and 18 (give or take a year) are at an incredibly special cognitive-developmental stage. Their imagination is still blooming, their critical thinking skills are taking off and their curiosity about the world is peaking.
There are many advantages to private school. Along with selectivity comes higher-quality educational materials and unprecedented academic opportunities. One of the main advantages of a private school is gaining access to an organization dedicated to providing your child with the best possible environment.