5 Shattered Myths About Private Christian High Schools
As a parent, you know that high school will be a momentous time in your teen’s life. As they enjoy the last bit of childhood and look ahead to the future with great anticipation, the right environment makes all the difference.
Parents have many frustrations with public schools today. Some feel that the academics are more watered down than ever before. Others are concerned about safety and social challenges. Christian families are especially concerned about conflicting worldviews being taught at school.
With one or many of these factors in mind, you might be wondering if a private, Christian school would provide a better setting for your child to learn, grow, and build community during these critical years. And you’re in good company. Many families consider switching to a private school at the high school level. With so many new opportunities to explore and college on the horizon, parents want to feel confident their child’s school is preparing them for a bright future.
Today, we’re addressing five common myths that often prevent parents from taking the next step toward Christian education.
1. Teachers at private Christian schools are less qualified than public school teachers.
This is a common misconception!
Public schools require teachers to hold state certifications. That doesn’t mean that private school teachers don’t have an equivalent or higher level of expertise, experience, and academic credentials. It simply means private schools have the flexibility to allow their teachers to be certified through other educational organizations.
Often, private schools prioritize finding teachers with advanced degrees in their respective fields. Because they have more flexibility in choosing curriculum and teachers, students are instructed by teachers who are subject matter experts.
Always ask the school you’re considering what qualifications and characteristics they look for in teachers. At Wake Christian Academy, all teachers are certified and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but many have master’s degrees. All department heads have doctoral degrees, and every faculty member participates in professional development each year to stay up-to-date with best practices.
Most importantly, we care about the values our teachers and staff bring to the table. They are passionate about their work, firm in their Christian faith, and dedicated to nurturing their students’ character alongside their academic abilities.
2. Private Christian education is too expensive.
When you’re first beginning to explore private school options, you may experience a bit of “sticker shock.” After all, public school is free. Why should you adjust your family’s lifestyle to accommodate this new line item in the budget?
But WCA’s enrolled families agree that the return on investment on their children’s private school education is worthwhile. Whether it’s the smaller class sizes, a more positive, Christ-centered community, or added opportunities in leadership, service, and extracurriculars, families find that their teens thrive in private school.
Before you write off private school as too expensive, be sure to explore financial aid opportunities. Many schools offer variable tuition models, scholarships, discounts, and other forms of tuition assistance, WCA included.
3. My teen won’t be real-world ready if they’ve been sheltered in a Christian bubble.
Private school is not about sheltering; it’s about shepherding. You want your teen to benefit from enriching social experiences and learn how to live in the real world. At the same time, they’re learning how to discern truth from error as they develop their identity in Christ.
In private Christian schools, students are mentored by trusted adults, given opportunities to lead others, participate in community service events, and travel domestically and abroad. They are far from sheltered or “stuck in a bubble.”
WCA parents also appreciate the intentional care and protection provided to students from the day they set foot on campus to the time they graduate. A positive school culture is intentionally fostered so students can realize what Christ-centered community looks like. When our graduates step out into the real world, they are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be culture changers.
4. My teenager won’t have as many opportunities at a private Christian school
You’ve often heard that public schools can offer more extracurricular opportunities such as athletics, fine arts, leadership programs, and clubs. This is not always the case, so be sure to ask the right questions on your school tours to get a full understanding of the opportunities your child will have.
Many parents are surprised by the number of opportunities available to private school students. More often than not, because private Christian schools have fewer students, your child will be able to be involved in a wide variety of activities. In sports, students in private schools often get more playing time, and in the arts, more performance opportunities.
Smaller class sizes mean more leadership roles, richer discussions, and tailored offerings. At WCA, we have launched many electives and clubs in response to our students’ unique gifts and talents.
5. A private Christian school will hinder my child from attending a prestigious school
Every parent wants their child to have a leg up when it comes to the college admissions process. That won’t happen by simply submitting an application from a public or private school.
Consider the following statistic from one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in the country. According to the entering class of 2021 at Yale, 37% attended a non-public school, and 7% of those students attended a religious school. That’s pretty impressive when you consider that only 9% of U.S. students attend a private school.
It all boils down to choosing the environment where your child can achieve their potential inside the classroom and out. Admission boards are looking for solid grades, involvement in college-prep coursework (such as Honors, AP, and College Placement classes), volunteer work, and involvement in extracurriculars.
Where will your child become the most successful and well-rounded student? And where will they receive the most individualized attention during the college-prep process?
Thanks to an intentional four-year planning process, WCA graduates have been accepted into more than 100 colleges and universities worldwide. Wherever they go when they leave our campus, we know they will impact the world for Christ.
See What Life Would Be Like for Your Teen at WCA
If you’re exploring private Christian high schools, we encourage you to schedule a tour at Wake Christian Academy and see for yourself why parents choose to partner with us during these pivotal years. We look forward to sharing more about our curriculum, activities, and college planning process!