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. Thomas More Academy
Though this is a Catholic, faith-based high school, nearly one-third of its students are non-Catholics. Principal David McKenzie says that students take great pride in the school’s honor code, which goes far beyond academic honesty. “It’s about living life with honor, integrity and respect for others.” So successful is the code that students leave computers and iPods lying around, with no fear of theft. Students take challenging academic courses, as well as courses in music and the visual arts.
Tall Oaks Classical School
To understand how a Tall Oaks’ education is different, it’s important to key in on the word “classical” in the school’s name. It refers not only to classical content, such as Latin, logic and classical literature, but also to the classical method of instruction used at the school, says Janet Baumann, director of admissions and community life. The classical method of instruction recognizes three levels of learning and thinking: the Grammar, the Dialectic and the Rhetoric stages, which correspond to the biblical terms knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The school teaches children “to think biblically, resulting in righteous living in the world.”
The Tatnall School
Recent additions at Tatnall have improved upon an already enviable campus environment. The Laird Performing Arts Center, opened in 2007, has everything a performer or audience could want, including nearly perfect acoustics. The music and multimedia center has a specialized computing lab dedicated to the arts, including digital music composition and video editing. Upgraded science labs and improvements to the campus’ natural setting enhance opportunities for a hands-on science curriculum that begins as early as pre-K.
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