Why These Parents Chose Private Schools

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"I never thought I would be a private school mom." So says the Vancouver mother of two, Tracey Axelsson, a public school supporter with her son enrolled in their neighbourhood school and her daughter now established in a private school. But a few years ago, when Tracey's daughter Helen was in grade five at their local public school, Helen was tentatively diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Read about her daughter's story, transcribed here from Tracey's CBC Radio interview and edited for clarity:

"She was being yelled at, you know? The teachers are overwrought, they have 28 or more kids in the classroom and they cannot possibly be on top of everybody at all times and making them do what they need and, you know, I heard later on at the end of grade five that she’s being yelled at, and that’s not on. There was not enough support for a student with her energy level and the contributions she could make."

That's when the Axelsson family decided to enrol their daughter in private school instead, which is when things started to improve with smaller class sizes, one-on-one tutoring, and greater teacher supervision.

"Of course that's $7200 [per year] we didn’t have to put on other things, but I’m really frugal, and certainly I’m a mom; I go without for myself [sic] to let my daughter or son have what they need."

Lindsay Kilum is another B.C. mother with a son enrolled in private school in the sixth grade. Her family also made the switch from the public education system to the private sector, and her son's education has improved ever since. For Lindsay's son, being the youngest in a multiple-grades classroom was creating a barrier to his development:
"So for him, I think academically it made him a bit self conscious because he’s evaluating himself all the time against these kids who are a lot older and ready to take on more challenges than he is... when you're sensitive you're just aware of that all the time and that difference and comparing to other kids, and I think overtime that affects kids' self-esteem."
Lindsay also cites smaller classroom sizes as the major impetus behind her decision to make the switch and enrol her son in private school, because all the other schools had classrooms that were wither two large, already full, or had too many grades assigned to one teacher.
While my above transcripts of CBC Radio serve as anecdotal evidence, there is plenty of empirical data to suggest that small class sizes benefit private school students by providing a more inclusive learning environment, greater teacher supervision, as well as more opportunities for children to receive help from their teachers.


Have a wonderful week everyone!
Carrie Nelson
12/9/2016
Source:
Vivian Luck. 6 September 2016, "Why two B.C. parents enrolled their kids in private school", CBC Radio: On The Coast, Episode 300261495 http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2694613049/


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