The Private School Primer
What makes a high school right for your young student? Great academics? A moral foundation? Terrific arts? Competitive athletics? Here are the traits that distinguish each from the other.
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St. Andrew’s School
At Delaware’s only boarding school, not only the students, but also the faculty and their families, live on a 2,200-acre campus in Middletown, so that they can live and learn together, says Louisa Zendt, director of admission and financial aid. St. Andrew’s is an Episcopal school, but it welcomes students of all faiths—or no faith—and from all socioeconomic backgrounds, she adds. Classes, which range from five students to 16, are held around an oval table to facilitate the Oxford tutorial-style of teaching used at the school. Ninety percent of students participate in after-school sports, and a quarter of them play in the school’s orchestra.
St. Elizabeth High School
Although St. Elizabeth is a parish school, more than 80 percent of students come from outside the parish. The Benedictine tradition, with its emphasis on prayer, hospitality, work, compassion and stability, remains strong at St. Elizabeth. “Because we are small (enrollment is capped at 450), we can really get to know our students and their needs so we can prepare them to meet the expectations of higher education,” says principal Shirley Bounds. Though the school building is old on the outside, it is not old on the inside. “We have kept very current with computers, and technology is integrated throughout the curriculum,” she says.
St. Mark’s High School
What makes St. Mark’s different is its amazing variety of academic and co-curricular offerings, says principal Mark Freund. Students with a wide range of academic abilities can be accommodated, and 98 percent go on to higher education. Prayer, faith and service are integrated throughout the day. Every class begins with a prayer, and there is a strong commitment to service, Freund adds. A team of volunteers goes to New Orleans every summer to help those in need. Recent renovations include fine arts classrooms and studios, $1 million in athletic field improvements, and the addition of an aerobic fitness facility.
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