Best Private School Programs Poise Students for Success

Best Private School Programs Poise Students for Success

Private Schools: Making the Grade


Statistics Canada's latestYouth in Transition (YIT) Survey provides clear evidence that most high schools are not preparing students properly for university. Approximately 14 per cent of first-year university students in the study dropped out and abandoned their studies. Fifty-five per cent of university professors surveyed in Ontario reported that their students today were less prepared for university work than students just three years earlier. Professors cited a decline in writing and numeric skills, an over-reliance on internet resources, lower maturity levels and poor work habits as some of the main reasons why students are failing to make the grade in post-secondary studies. While public schools grapple with ways to make the system work, the best private schools focus on university preparedness from a young age.


Public school students have even identified their own short comings with the education they receive. They complain of having earned high grades with minimal effort; feeling as though teachers are "hand-holding.” Top students feel teachers gear course material down to the level of the "C” student. With this type of education, it's not surprising that many students are unable to keep up with the demands of post-secondary education. More than one-third of students find their studies "really stressful,” according to the YIT study.


Educating Through Engagement


Families who expect their children to continue on to post-secondary education are assessing their options carefully. While motivated students do well in public school settings, they may not be receiving the quality education they deserve. Even public schools that deliver a good curriculum do not create a culture of excellence, which is one of the key ingredients in encouraging academic achievement.


The best private schools have always been actively engaged in preparing students for their place in the larger world. Many private schools set high standards for the level of education their students receive. Through these high standards, students are confident upon completing their secondary education. With this confidence and preparedness, students graduating from private schools are more likely to succeed in their first year of university.


To this end, top private schools work to instill in students the value of knowledge and achievement. They require students to take responsibility for themselves and their work, while emphasizing the importance of possessing a superior work ethic. Private schools aim to create a highly motivated environment, where students will want to reach their full academic potential. The best private schools contend that attitude, knowledge, skill and responsibility are all essential to academic excellence. 

Challenging courses at private schools set the academic bar high and far surpass provincial requirements. Skills such as reading comprehension and writing for purpose, numeracy and data interpretation are basic for private school students. Many schools offer advanced courses, which resemble university-level classes in scope and method of delivery. Public secondary schools streamline courses and lack a focus on university-level learning. Toronto’s private schools provide realistic marking scales that ensure students know where they stand academically and extra help is always available for students who require it.


Laying the Foundation


The best private schools in Toronto see secondary education - not as an end in itself but as a foundation for life-long learning. University-bound students and their parents will enjoy exploring the possibilities of Toronto’s wide variety of private schools.

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