Monday, February 27, 2012

Public or Private

I am all about planning ahead and I thought my research had been very comprehensive but then I had a conversation with my friend this morning at the gym, about the Baby & Kids Show that she went to on the weekend with her husband. She is due in July and is just as much of a planner as me so our conversations tend to come back to her pregnancy and our shared ideas of parenting (cloth diapers, breast feeding, etc) as well as discussions on things we don't exactly see eye to eye on but respect each others view points (specifically natural birth...I say hell no, bring on the drugs...).

I had asked whether it was worth attending, and was not surprised to hear that it was much like the Wedding Show, great for those that haven't done any research on their own but not much new. Although she said there were a few booths of interest. One of them being Balmoral Hall.

Balmoral Hall is an ALL GIRLS private school that offers child care (2-3years), preschool (3-5years), as well as a K-12 program. She is considering putting her daughter, if that is what she has, into their program starting at the preschool level, part time, and then K-12.

I love the idea of offering my future children the best education possible for them in our city and perhaps an all girls school would offer that.

From their website:
At Balmoral Hall School, our goal is not simply to teach an enriched curriculum. Our programs are designed to build confidence, competence and what experts call "connectedness", which refers to being a meaningful part of something other than self. Our mission is to help girls build well-balanced foundations for personal and professional success in a changing world.

Our teachers understand how girls learn. They are dedicated to bringing out the best in each girl, by encouraging her strengths and providing support in areas that are more difficult for her. While our programs are demanding and our expectations high, the atmosphere is co-operative and supportive. It is an environment in which every girl feels free to believe in herself, to speak out and take academic risks.

The success of the BH approach is evident. On average, 99% of our graduates attend the university or college of their choice, and over 75% benefit from scholarships. In addition, our students are more likely to pursue careers in math, science and technology than girls in co-ed public schools."

This is of course ONLY an option if we end up having daughters. The next question is what do we do if we have two kids and ONE of them is a boy? I don't think putting our son in public school and daughter in private seems to be fair but the majority of private schools in our city are predominately CHRISTIAN based programs. As D is agnostic at best and I do not identify with any particular religion, I don't feel that these schools would best represent what we want our children to learn. I don't mind a mild religious undertone, which Balmoral Hall apparently has (as in prayer in the morning) but I don't want my children attending bible classes as part of their curriculum.

There is one other private school, which is co-ed, that I think is an option and that is St. John's Ravenscourt. My main concern is that its tuition is $2000 more/year then Balmoral, which is one thing is the child is only in it for high school but all the way through K-12 makes it quite pricey.

Another option is Montessori for our future sons but that is only offered until grade 4 so we would still need to determine whether they would enter public or private afterwards and currently I only see SJR as a private option for them.

And then there is public schools...which is a whole other bunch of questions.

So now I will be looking into the best options. At least figuring out what will happen for preschool.

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