What is the difference between Honors, AP®, IB®, and college classes?

For high school seniors hoping to continue their education at a college or university after graduating, getting accepted to a school of higher learning can be a very competitive process. College admissions committees are looking for students who show an aptitude for scholastics, receive good grades and score well on their SATs, and strive to push the borders of their studies. In some cases, they also factor in community service or extracurricular activities.

To set themselves apart for other candidates, some students will enroll in more challenging study programs while in high school. In addition to their regular coursework, they may enroll in Honors classes, Advanced Placement classes, or take college courses at a local community college. A fourth option is to choose a school that offers an International Baccalaureate programme, which is an advanced curriculum in itself, as opposed to adding coursework to a standardized publicly dictated curriculum.

Let’s take a look at each:
Honors Classes are courses offered by individual schools that provide slightly more advanced content than traditional high school courses. While Honors Classes do look good on a transcript, there is no standardization of the classes or how they are taught.

Advanced Placement courses are authorized and regulated by The College Board, the same group that develops and administers the SAT. Schools that want to offer AP courses must go through an application process that ensures their courses meet AP standards. Individual teachers may also request approval to teach AP courses. Therefore, as a rule, college admission committees generally rank AP courses higher on an application over Honors Classes.

College Classes can be taken by students while still in high school. These courses can be helpful in preparing students for the college experience while also potentially earning credits toward college work, allowing students to skip required courses once they are full-time college students.

The International Baccalaureate is a curriculum founded with a mission of creating a better world through education. It offers coursework that focuses on teaching students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic.

At Strelitz International Academy, we believe the International Baccalaureate is the best way to prepare students from a young age to move on to higher education, and become successful in their chosen career paths. We have invested a significant amount of time and energy into applying to and working with the IB® to be able to become a IB Primary Years Programme school. Contact us to find out more.

The Top Considerations For Choosing Between Private and Public School Education

Pre-pandemic, there were a host of differences between public and private schools that parents needed to weigh before deciding which of the top elementary schools they should send their children. Some of the benefits provided by affordable private schools include:

– Size: Smaller class sizes provide teachers with a greater ability to track each child’s progress, and gives them an opportunity to work more one-on-one with students when they need additional help.

– Curriculum: Private schools have more flexibility in what and how they teach. Through tuition fees and endowments, they also have more resources for enhancing the learning experience through newer methods such as virtual reality, to provide a more “hands-on” tool to learning.

– Success: Public schools generally strive to meet mandated minimum educational requirements to reach accreditation. Private schools are more focused on the student as a whole—not only pushing the boundaries of their educational opportunities, but also about emotional development and creating good citizens of the world.

– Longevity: With smaller class sizes and teaching methods that go beyond memorizing dates and figures from a book, private school students tend to make deeper, longer-lasting relationships with their peers. These relationships are often lifelong, providing opportunities for these students to be able to continue to help each other professionally after graduating from higher educational pursuits.

– Accomplishment: On a national level, private schools enjoy a nearly 100% graduation rate, compared to 80% from public schools. While graduating from high school is not necessarily a measure for success, it does lay the foundation for taking the next steps toward greater accomplishments.

Now that we’re firmly entrenched in the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one other important factor to consider. While public schools in the area are still pondering whether they will be going back to the classrooms this fall, providing lessons online, or some sort of hybrid of the two, Strelitz International Academy is fully planning on being back on campus. We can accomplish this because we have smaller class sizes and can more closely monitor the safety of each of our students.

Distance learning is a great alternative during these uncertain times. However, we still believe nothing can take the place of our highly qualified instructors interacting directly with their students.

The Value of A Private School Education

When it comes to defining “value,” it’s hard to refute statistics. According to reports from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), students who attend private schools are twice as likely to earn a Bachelor’s degree as their public-school counterparts. According to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLGU), those with a Bachelor’s degree earn approximately $32,000 more annually than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma.

You also need to look at the fact that on a national basis, private school graduation rates are near 100%, while public schools are only graduating about 80% of their students. Add all the numbers up and you can plainly see the financial value of attending a private school. However, there are a number of intrinsic benefits of private elementary schools that provide additional value over a public-school education.

For one, public schools are often somewhat hindered by their standardized curricula. Conversely, private schools have the ability to be flexible with what and how they teach, providing private school students with a broader, more well-rounded education that goes beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. Private schools are also better funded through tuition fees and endowments, so they have additional resources that can be used for expanding the educational experience.

Private schools also typically have smaller class sizes than public schools, providing private school teachers with a greater flexibility to assist students individually. Smaller class sizes also tend to make it easier to combine teaching with hands-on activities that help the student better understand lessons and interact more socially with their fellow students. Many of the bonds that form in private schools turn into lifelong friendships that are mutually beneficial to the students as they continue their education and choose careers.

When looking for the best affordable private schools in Hampton Roads, be sure to include Strelitz International Academy as one of your options. We are an International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate school, providing a world-class education for students who want to make a difference locally, nationally, and globally. We’re already committed to being back on campus this fall, so we invite you to visit us and see how we can provide better value when it comes to your child’s education.

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