Because the Department of Education has jurisdiction over public schools, the requirements for every public school are uniform across the state of Florida. Private schools in Orlando, on the other hand, have more flexibility in fundamental requirements, such as the curriculum, instructors, and the school itself. Requirements, therefore, will vary from school to school, depending on the specific philosophy for each institution.
- Teachers: It is the responsibility of every private school to oversee each aspect of schooling its students, including certifying its teachers, hiring only qualified teachers, and training instructors and administrators. Public schools require a teaching certificate for the grade level or discipline each instructor plans on teaching. Private schools may require advanced teaching degrees for its staff, or for every instructor to be trained above and beyond what is required in the public school system.
- Curriculum: The curriculum is another aspect private schools have the power to change. Curriculum for each grade and subject is chosen specifically to fulfill the mission of each private school. While some schools turn to a commercial curriculum, others create their teaching materials from the ground up, or intersperse a ready-made curriculum with activities chosen to stimulate young minds.
- Fees: Tuition fees may be minimal, only covering the basic necessities to run a school. Other private schools charge higher tuition fees for advanced curriculum, teachers with graduate degrees and above, playground equipment for students with special needs, et cetera. Carefully consider how money is utilized by your top choices of private schools before your decision is finalized since the schools with higher tuition rates may be using their tuition fees in a manner that will greatly enhance your child’s learning experience.
- Testing: Matriculation in a public school is based almost entirely on FSA (Florida’s Standard Assessment) scores and test scores. Emphasis on portfolios and projects is generally low. In contrast, private schools base graduation on a variety of grades, including portfolios, group projects, progression, and test scores. This gives a more complete, well-rounded view of whether material has truly been understood and when advancement to the next lesson is evident.
At Lake Forrest Preparatory School, we believe in a strong connection among students, teachers, and parents. Each must participate for each student’s ultimate education in private schools in Orlando. Lake Forrest invites parents to volunteer and become an integral part of every child’s learning. By working with families, teachers better understand how to educate their students, which stimulates student comprehension. Learn more about Lake Forrest Prep by calling us at 407-331-5144.