It’s Springtime. Birds are chirping. Crocuses are blooming. Flurries are in the air. Oh wait, what? Flurries?! Oh right, we live in Nova Scotia.
Springtime can mean fresh, new beginnings. A clean slate. A change. A new start. It means looking forward to warmer weather and summertime soon ahead. The school year is starting to see the end, snow pants are being left at home, and fun lunch ideas are running out. Sound familiar? Suddenly, you are flooded with Facebook ads, videos, and flyers promoting independent schools who are ‘enrolling now for September’. You think, September!? I’m just beginning to see the end of one school year! I can’t think of the next one, already!
If you’re seeing it on your newsfeed, you may already have shown an interest, considering an alternative school for your child. You’ve browsed the websites, narrowed down your search perhaps; you may have even come in for a tour. The fall just seems eons away. Lots of time to decide. Besides, you want to wait until classes start to take shape, or at least wait until the current school year ends. Why enrol so early?
Well, the automatic assumption might be money. The school would love to collect deposits as soon as possible to purchase supplies needed for the following year. Makes sense. Or perhaps it’s enrollment, they need to enrol a certain amount to make ends before the end of the school year lull. Also, sounds legitimate. Or perhaps it’s all just a marketing ploy to get as many students as possible by opening enrollment up as early as possible. I mean, after all, private schools are also businesses. A scary thought that education and business could overlap like that, but it could be so, I suppose.
However, one reason, or the main reason from our perspective, honestly has nothing to do with finances, enrollment targets, or marketing ploys. The reason is actually quite simple, and more in touch with actual education than you might think.
Schools like our own, who’s mission is to focus on the development of each of their students, to remain small, and truly engage its’ students in learning, will thrive on the fact that they get to know their students well. They know their families, they know the students’ strengths, abilities, interests. The teachers can truly teach because they’ve had time to build lasting relationships with each family. They’ve honestly built and designed a learning environment that is catered to the learning styles of their students. Thus, the earlier a student is enrolled, the longer time there is to get to know one another, which in turns creates the best learning environment for the child. See? In tune with education. Right where schools should be, we think.
So, if you’ve been considering looking into an alternative school for your child but you’ve been putting it off, take this as just food for thought. Any school that truly dedicates itself to having small class sizes will hopefully stay true to that and actually stop enrolling once they’ve hit their cap. It’s not about money. It’s about education. Good education. Small multi-grade class schools, like our own, will actually stop enrolling altogether, each year, once a school cap is reached because it’s not only important to stay true to small class sizes, but for us, to maintain a low student-teacher ratio within the whole school itself. Something to keep in mind.
Next time you see a flyer or ad about enrolling early, stop to consider. If I did apply now, how would that benefit my child’s education for the future? If I waited, how well prepared will the teachers be to work with my child and family, or even, will there be a spot left? Just something to mull over as you watch flurries blowing around outside on this Spring eve. Happy Spring everyone!
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