By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Choosing a school for your child is a huge decision, one that stands to impact his or her development on a variety of levels. Schools provide more than an academic education: they also provide an environment that will influence your child’s cultural perspective and social skills, her career aspirations and understanding of the world. Fortunately, local families have diverse educational options, including both public and
- Parents should begin their research by learning about the difference between public and private institutions – and from there, pinpoint the unique features of each in order to make an informed choice and find the best fit for their children.
Independent schools: understanding the difference between public and private institutions
Independent schools are defined by their own educational mission statements, meaning that each of the approximately 2,000 independent schools throughout the nation offer a unique philosophy and approach to teaching at pre-kindergarten through high school levels. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) reports that over 70,000 students are currently enrolled at independent institutions across the country, each of which operates under a commitment to providing a safe environment for young people to learn and grow while simultaneously instilling core values like leadership, responsibility and citizenship.
This diversity is one of the main features distinguishing independent schools from public institutions. Other differences within the independent school model include the board of trustees, which governs an independent school as it sees fit and without reference to the public school board, and also funding, which generally comes from a combination of tuition payments, charitable contributions and endowment revenue as opposed to public funds. Together, these features make it possible for independent institutions to allot resources toward projects and programs that suit their individual missions and specialties.
Celebrating one hundred years of independent education in San Diego
For the last one hundred years,
has served the San Diego community as a premier independent institution known for its commitment to inspired thinking, academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character. A simple mission distinguishes the educational program at Parker: to graduate students equipped to serve as citizens of the world. By encouraging students to engage in the development of their education, ethics and values, and by teaching them to balance academics and extracurricular activities for a well-rounded lifestyle, Parker has met and exceeded this goal over the past century. To learn more about our school and find out if Francis Parker School is right for your child, contact us today at