The Benefits of a PreK- 5 School
When choosing an independent school for your child, you may look for a place that goes from Kindergarten through High School. It’s no secret that the independent or private school admissions process is complex and time-consuming, and many people only want to go through it once. While a K-12 school is a good fit for some children, for others, it isn’t the best option. Some students are not suited to attend just one school, and there are many benefits to having your child attend a PreK-5 school before transitioning to a different middle school.
- Focus on Young Children- At a PreK-5 school, the focus is on young children. Curriculum and instruction are developmentally appropriate and meet the needs of young students. Your child is guided through crucial and foundational years by professionals who are devoted to the development of young children.
- Change is Good- Change is healthy for all of us. For students entering middle school, it gives them a fresh start. It requires them to work on their social skills, meet new people, and make new friends. Just imagine sending your child to college after having been at the same school, with the same people, for 13 years. Additionally, changing schools is an opportunity for your whole family to experience a new school community and culture.
- Kids Can Be Kids- At a school that only goes through Fifth Grade, like The Fay School, students get to maintain their innocence a bit longer. They simply get to be kids! There is no pressure from middle or high schoolers on campus, and students feel comfortable and confident being themselves. If they’re lucky, they even get to be leaders on campus at a young age!
- Resources- At a PreK-5 school, all the school’s resources are going to your child. Resources aren’t divided among lower, middle, and high school, in which case the high school typically consumes most of the funds with what is left trickling down to the lower school. Just think how much the athletics or fine arts department at a K-12 school demands. At a school like The Fay School, we are able to say, “yes” when a teacher requests something that will benefit student learning, we are able to enhance our campus with things like a Chicken Coop and a Bouldering Wall, and we get to provide our students with experiences like LEAD it Forward, Fay's leadership and team-building program.
- Leadership Opportunities at a Young Age- Many students at PreK-5 schools are given leadership opportunities often reserved for Eighth Graders or seniors at a K-12 school. When Fifth Graders are the seniors on campus, they are encouraged to use their voices and lead, and they do it well! The Fay School’s fifth-grade leaders planned and executed our Prospective Parent Open Houses this year!
- You and the School Know Your Child Well- When it is time to transition to a middle school for Sixth Grade, you have a much better understanding of who your child is, what his or her strengths are, and what type of school environment is the right fit for your child. It is often hard to know what is going to be right for your child in middle or high school when they are three or four, so this allows time for you to determine what type of school best suits your child. Besides, The Fay School is an active participant in helping your family find your next school-home through our Middle School Counseling Program, so you are not going through the process alone!
- Innovative and Adaptable: At a smaller PreK-5 school, like The Fay School, the school can more easily innovate and adapt to the always evolving educational landscape, even in times of turmoil. During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, for example, our team was able to launch a successful Academic Continuity Plan. After running the program for two weeks, Fay sent a parent survey out to see what adjustments the school could make to enhance our students’ remote-learning experience further. This was made possible in large part due to the size of the school and its ability to adapt and innovate rapidly while facing much uncertainty.
To learn more about what The Fay School can offer your young student, contact our Director of Admissions, Ali Lyman.
About the Author: This is Ali’s first year as Fay’s Director of Admissions after serving in Fay's classrooms for over ten years. When she is not talking about all things Fay with prospective parents, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her dog, Finn!