Differences between Public and Private Schools?

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 6:33am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I wanted to get everyones opinions and/or experiences with public and private schools. Do you feel that a private school is safer or more accomadating than the public school system regarding PA ONLY?

The reason I say PA only and the reason I'm posting this question is b/c I'm currently working on my research to approach the school system and am getting all those nervous and fearful thoughts and worries. When I asked a family member (b/c she has lived her forever) about a certain private school, and told her my reason were basically b/c I feel that a smaller setting with less children might be easier to control and less of a risk than 300 students in a public school in which Cam would be in daily contact with. Well, she thinks b/c Cam is my baby, that I'm just having the "normal" not wanting too let go strings, I told her I felt that was part of it but a big part was the PA.

So I thought I'd pose this question to you all to see what your experiences were...I realize this is my decision with what I feel comfortable with, and that different schools regardless of whether they are private or public are going to have different cooperation levels, but wanted to see who fared better.

Thanks for your responses!

Lana

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 7:01am
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Lana, I also get the "not wanting to let go" business from lots of people. They just have no idea, and I suppose I don't expect them to really understand, I mean, not everyone has to think about things the way we do.
Anyway, my experience with public school was that they had many things to contend with and it was more difficult for me to get to know everyone. Also, there were about 500 kids enrolled. My kids were just faces in the crowd.
My experience with private school has been very different. It is tiny (150 kids) and everyone knows everyone. I am convinced that should Joshua have a reaction, [b]every single person[/b] at that school would know who he was and what was happening. And this is a major part of why my kids go there. Plus, it's fun when just about every child at the school knows who you are! (I'm talking about me! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img])
In addition to this, I was recently invited to give an inservice at the Teacher's Workshop. There are about 20 teachers in the school and I had their rapt attention.
I am definitely in favor of a smaller school! Good luck in your decision.
------------------
Be safe,
~Dawn~

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 7:21am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

We have a small public school, just over 200 students. All the staff and students know my son and our family. I feel very lucky to have this type of environment.
The first principal we had there, however was not very accomodating. We got a new principal just before my sons first anaphylactic reaction. So I requested the whole school be peanut free, and she was great about it. Wanting to educate herself and others immediately. She took a lot of abuse from some igonorant parents, but has always put my sons safety as a top priority (over anyones convenience). She hates bake sales for health reasons. She actually witnessed my sons second reaction which was very scary, and now knows why I'm such a basket case about everything.

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 1:55pm
Dawn's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Just to make things a little more confusing for you...I just remembered that my non pa daughter's kindergarten class, in public school, was amazing. I'm reasonably sure that things would have been handled very well at that particular school. Everyone was open and accomodating about many things. And this was a big school (about 500 kids). She went to a different school for 1st grade, and I am reasonably sure it would have been miserable there because everything was a secret. The secretaries were miserable dried up prunes. I got into a heated debate with the vice principal about being forbidden to walk my child to her classroom - on occasion, the hallway doors were [b]locked[/b] to prevent parents from going down! My point? I think it all boils down to people. A miserable principal might make things difficult. I've learned to get a "feel" from the secretaries and whoever else I meet at a school. (At my kids' current school, I was literally greeted with open arms.)
Just my rambling late night thoughts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]
------------------
Be safe,
~Dawn~

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 4:09pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks Dawn and Cynde for your responses!
Dawn,
You didn't add to my confusion, I appreciate the comparasion. I plan on visiting both the public school and the private and get a feel for both, but still wanted everyone's opinion here, because ya'lls experience and information is so important and invaluable to me.
The school here is quite small too, I was guessing w/300 probably a lot less, it's only K-2nd grade and small town. The private school has a total of probably 20 kids if that.
please please keep the response coming. would like to know how other's have encountered.
Thanks again,
Lana

Posted on: Thu, 01/16/2003 - 11:50pm
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

This is the first year my children are in private school after spending several years in public school, and it has been worth every penny. The sense of caring and concern from the staff is incredible. Every parent involved pays the monthly tuition knowing that it is a peanut/nut free environment,(no bitching or sending dangerous foods on the sly), and the kids are much more caring an thoughtful of one another, (there are no 'cooties' or name calling at this school.)
The best part is what I see in my kids. Growing confidence, enhanced problem solving skills and generally more happy.
Of course, nothing is ever perfect but I've found that this private school is far better a place for my children to spend 5 1/2 hours, five days a week.
Oh yes, my nerves are much more settled also.

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 12:47am
Caterina2's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2001 - 09:00

I agree with Dawn - it all boils down to people and of course the principal and how she enforces the policy. My last 3 years were spent battling with a school principal at a Catholic school. I've recently transferred my PA daughter to our local public school and the people are wonderful. They also already had a solid allergy policy in place and everyone is so cooperative. When I interviewed one of the private schools in our area last September, they didn't have a policy in place and I didn't get a good feeling about working with the school to put a policy in place.

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 12:47am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

I think it really depends on the school.
My older son has attended both private and public schools; by younger only public.
My older son attended a small private school for kindergarden and first grade. It was simply the most unaccomodating environment. The large public school he later attended (and where my younger PA child now attends) is just the opposite. Despite the fact that there are roughly 570 students enrolled, every staff member knows the children. The principal runs a really tight ship, and everything is under control at all times. The classes are small, and the children get individual attention. Whether the issue is health- or learning-related, the children are given every opportunity to succeeed. Moreover, since they get federal funding they are covered under a 504. The same cannot be said for most private schools.
I guess the abbreviated version of this is that I don't think the question is really whether public is better than private, it really depends on the philosophy of the school itself.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 2:23am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

There may be another factor influencing private schools, that I haven't seen mentionned here. Just how long is the waiting list for that school?
The one private school we had selected for my son warned us sternly that they would pick another kid if we were asking for more awareness than what they already had in the school.
Over here, private schools have long waiting lists. You have to register two or three years in advance to even get a chance to go in...

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 2:50am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I wonder if it matters which country, state, province, or county you live in. In Ontario the majority of private schools, (if not all of them), are peanut/nut free. Allergy awareness is considered a important part of any up-to-date education in this province.

Posted on: Fri, 01/17/2003 - 2:01pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Darthcleo,
We live in such a small town that the private and public schools are very small. I doubt there is a waiting list, although I could be wrong.
I realize there are the pros and cons to both that is why I posed this question. The pros and cons I had considered to name just a couple of the most revelant to me are the private schools aren't required to adhere to the Section 504, the public school system is "who you know" small town ways. This is what worries me considerably.
I'm going to be sending my email to the public school's principal on Tues, I have another thread titled "How soon do I approach the school" with a draft letter to the principal, if you all will please pop in there and make any editing I'd sure appreicate it, I want to get that done this weekend and send it off so I can get things rolling. The quicker I meet w/him and see how he is going to respond I know I feel better (or maybe worse [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )
Anyway, thanks again and if anyone else has any respones please keep them coming!
Lana
PS River, if I had to move again, it'd be to Canada. The precautions seem to be so much better than the US to say the least.
[This message has been edited by Cam's Mom (edited January 18, 2003).]

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