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Pondering the Private School Advantage

Small, mentoring environments foster active participation, making it difficult to hide from challenge or get lost in the shuffle, giving teachers time to assess student progress daily.

Small, mentoring environments foster active participation, making it difficult to hide from challenge or get lost in the shuffle, giving teachers time to assess student progress daily.

Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions a parent will make for their child, so they must do their homework to find a good fit - be it public, private or charter.

Upon investigating the alternatives, there are a number of reasons to consider a private school; personalized attention, academic rigor, vibrant community, civic engagement, and safe environment; perhaps best of all students and parents choose to be there, which creates a fulfilling experience overall. 

The Colorado Springs School and Fountain Valley School represent superior private school options, each offering unique curricular advantages for their students. 

The Colorado Springs School

Boasting a beautiful campus, which includes a historic replica of the Grand Trianon of Versailles, The Colorado Springs School (CSS) at the Claremont estate, is not only an inspiring physical space to learn, but has served students with quality education for over half a century. Known for comprehensive academics and unique experiential learning programs, graduates gain responsibility and independence, while learning the importance of collaboration. 

Head of School, Aaron Schubach, defines three Rs to include “rigor, relevance and relationships,” as foundational to the school’s approach. “CSS has long been celebrated for its small classes, masterful faculty, and an engaging and relevant curriculum.”

Critical thinking and college preparation begin early at CSS. Students regularly measure learning by submitting their best work to digital portfolios, and receive frequent advisor feedback.

“This process stimulates personal awareness that, by upper grades, translates into CSS graduates entering college with majors of their choice and finishing on time,” Schubach explains.

Signature ‘Experience Centered Seminars’ align with classroom academics, and send students on expeditions locally and globally, to develop leadership, resilience, and ingenuity that come only by ‘doing’.  

From an 8th grade walkabout through the desert of Utah, to an Iron Pour seminar exploring the science of fire and the art of iron-pouring; “These interdisciplinary projects bring deeper education and enable students to synthesize and retain information longer than in traditional, passive learning environments,” Schubach observes. “It is rewarding to see students find their voice, and turn their strengths into a real world purpose.”  

Fountain Valley School

Established in 1930, Fountain Valley School (FVS) offers boarding and day school serving grades 9 through 12, with a diverse student population represented by 26 states and 18 countries. The campus occupies an 1100-acre high prairie preserve with expansive, inspiring views. 

Head of School, William Webb notes, “You will discover an educational community that is both traditional and progressive, that takes full advantage of its location in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and yet embraces a global perspective.”

A Global Scholar Diploma (GSD) challenges students to develop an international perspective through a four-year program where a semester-long capstone project is completed. Areas of focus have included, “Effects of Greece’s Distinguished Past on its Future” and “Political and Scientific Struggles Surrounding the Last Continent.”

Fountain Valley School is also a Round Square school, a consortium of 150 schools across the world and one of nine in the U.S. The membership “builds on a long history of global awareness and liberal arts education,” says FVS Director of Global Education Dr. Susan Carrese, and represents “another pillar in our GSD program that deepens our experiential components.”

Fountain Valley students have gone on exchanges to South Africa, Peru and Australia with upcoming exchanges to Argentina, France and Switzerland. In turn, FVS hosts students from these same schools. 

Academics at FVS are known to be rigorous, offering 21 Advanced Placement courses across all disciplines. The curriculum develops intellectual stamina that prepares students for the finest colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad.