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December 2018

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What Does “College Preparatory School” Really Mean?

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Having kids comes with a never-ending list of worries. Are they eating well? Sleeping enough? Hanging out with good friends? What can I do to get them ready for college? Along with the higher learning questions, you may also worry whether their current education is up to par, or whether their extracurricular activities showcase their interests and talents.

In order to get a better sense of what a college-bound teenager needs, looking at college preparatory schools is a good starting point. But what exactly are they?

What is a College Prep School?

As the name implies, a college prep school gets your kids ready for college. This is an important factor, since not everyone wants to or plans to go to college. So while some kids may be fine with a basic education and move on to a trade school or family business, if you already know that you want your child to pursue a college degree, you may want to look into their school’s curriculum.

There are different types of college prep schools. Some are public magnet schools, while others are charter schools, and some are private. And even within the private realm, there are more specialized ones with a focus on preparing students mainly for the Ivy League and other elite schools.

What are the Benefits of Attending a College Prep School?

College prep schools have additional funding. This means hiring (and retaining) teachers with additional training, often with a degree in the subject they teach. It also means having better sporting facilities, which could make a world of a difference to a child who has the possibility of earning an athletic scholarship. In addition, the coursework may be more challenging than at a traditional school, which is invaluable for students who are aiming to attend an elite university.

Other invaluable benefits of attending a college prep school include:

– Courses that expose them to college majors students may be interested in
– Visiting college campuses
– Guidance counselors that assist students through the college application process
– The possibility of earning college credits while still in high school
– SAT and ACT prep courses
– Assistance in writing college essays
– Extracurricular activities that make the student look more attractive for colleges
– Assistance finding and applying for financial aid

Statistics on the Value of a College Education

While it is true that some people do get well-paying jobs without the need of a college degree, what happens if they lose their job? Would they be able to find another highly paid position, or would they be confronted with the reality that most employers require a college degree?

Pursuing a higher education provides students with a higher earning capacity. Someone with a bachelor’s degree typically earns about 66% more than someone with only a high school diploma. And if the student continues to get a Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral Degree, that earning capacity increases even more.

While college does remain an expensive prospect for many Americans, it’s still one that should be strongly considered. Whether by scholarships, grants, work study programs, or in-state tuition, there are ways to lower costs.

Let us Find the Educational Program That Will Best Help Your Child

At ResponsiveEdⓇ, we understand that each child has the opportunity to thrive, as long as their learning environment caters to their individual needs.

School should be a place where the student is always encouraged to learn and where their potential is always celebrated. That’s why at ResponsiveEd, we are proud to offer all of the above alternatives to traditional school districts.

Give your child the tools they need to succeed in life. Contact us to find out more about our programs. You can fill out our online form or call us at 844-860-9090.

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5 Alternatives to Traditional School Districts

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Once upon a time, most parents sent their kids to whichever public educational facility was located in their school zone. If that was where the government said you had to go, that’s where you went.
Now, more and more people are becoming aware of the fact that it’s impossible to have a one-size-fits-all approach to learning. While some kids thrive in traditional learning environments, others feel disengaged or left behind. It doesn’t mean that they’re educationally-challenged. It may simply mean you have to put some effort into finding out a way that works for them.
As a concerned parent, what can you do to help?

1. Preparatory Schools

Not everyone chooses to go the college route. But for those who do have aspirations of higher education, preparatory schools offer a viable way to get there. They can be either public or private.
Prep schools offer an array of assistance for students as they go through the college application process, including getting involved in extracurricular activities, college counseling, writing essays, researching schools, and looking for financial assistance options.

When researching college preparatory schools, you always want to inquire about which universities their graduates typically attend, whether they offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses and whether their educators follow Common Core Standards.

2. Mastery-Based Programs

Also, known as Proficiency-Based Learning, mastery-based learning allows students to take an alternative approach to achieve educational success. The basis of this philosophy allows students to learn at their own pace. Need more time to learn a concept? Take it. Learned it faster than peers? Move forward with your curriculum.

Students learn through small group discussions and by providing regular updates on their progress. These progress reports present a unique opportunity to find out what skills each individual student possesses; In turn, the curriculum focuses on sharpening the particular skills of that individual. Students also get to bypass standardized tests, since the model is based on the premise that everyone learns differently.

3. Career Technical Education

Career & Technical Education (CTE) is similar to vocational schools in the sense that it is geared towards preparing students to join the workforce. However, unlike vocational schools, students can choose programs for careers that may or may not require a college degree. In the case of many rigorous career programs, it can be academically demanding.

Students can choose to take several related courses to advance their career or job prospects post-graduation. What makes the courses even more valuable is they offer hands-on, practical experience, as well as employability skills so that students are prepared to hit the ground running from their first day on the job.

4. Virtual Learning

While the concept of virtual learning typically conjures images of education via a computer screen, a virtual learning environment (VLE) includes the option of having instruction provided by an actual teacher. Lessons can be provided via online forums, instant messaging, or video chats.

In addition, students can combine the virtual experience with actual in-person interactions with educators: Some classes can be scheduled to take place in an actual classroom.

Students are engaged in an educational curriculum that includes homework and tests so there’s a way to measure their progress. And while it may seem like a futuristic approach to education, there are now schools from kindergarten all the way through high school that offer virtual learning programs.

One of its biggest benefits is since progress is measured in total accuracy by computer-based software, children won’t fall through the cracks or get left behind. Their individual progress will be carefully evaluated and tracked by a system that systematically matches the pace of the child’s learning. This approach is also extremely helpful for families who need the ability to access their child’s education from pretty much anywhere.

5. Classical Education

Classical education fosters analytical thinking. Its model is composed of three steps.
The early years of school focus on teaching facts and laying the foundations for subsequent concepts. It heavily relies on memorization of historical facts, multiplication tables, grammar rules, vocabulary words, etc.

During the second stage, educators entertain the ever-present question of every growing child: “Why?” Why do things happen the way they do? Why do they work the way they do? Kids are walked through the process of understanding underlying factors and are encouraged to understand their own quest for discovery.

During the third stage, students get to focus on the subjects that interest them the most and get to experience a more well-rounded education through internships, travel, and college-training courses.

Let us Find the Educational Program That Will Best Help Your Child

At ResponsiveEdⓇ, we understand that each child has the opportunity to thrive if their learning environment caters to their individual needs. School should be an environment where the student is always encouraged to learn and where their potential is always celebrated. That’s why at ResponsiveEd, we are proud to offer all of the above alternatives to traditional school districts.

Give your child the tools they need to succeed in life. Contact us to find out more about our programs. You can fill out our online form here or call us at 844-860-9090.