What Makes a Great School?

Good schools ask: How smart are you?
Great schools ask: How are you smart?
Good schools ask: What will you become?
Great schools ask: Who will you become?

You’ll find that great schools are deeply committed to engaging children in the process of building skills, thinking and learning. Great schools design programs to help students discover how they are smart, and enable them to develop strategies to approach other subjects with that in mind. This approach leads to students feeling confident and competent. (Remember, school is the only place that you are required to be great in everything — math, reading, writing, grammar, science, geography, history, world languages, — you get the picture!)

Schools that are deeply committed to engaging students in the process of discovery of self, lead to self-confidence and self-worth. Conversations should not center around: ‘what are you going to be when you grow up?’ Instead: ‘what kind of person will you be, and what will you do in and for the world.’ Character education should be at the heart of an academically rigorous program.

According to the National Association of Independent schools, private elementary schools are shrinking in size and in number across the United States. It seems that parents are saving money for private High Schools and College. I find that puzzling. By the time our children are 14 years old and get to high school, their habits of mind are relatively set. In preschool, elementary and middle school, students learn about themselves and how they relate to the world around them. They begin to identify their passions in life. They form their work habits. By the time they are 14, their love of learning (or lack thereof) is firmly embedded. Waiting for high school, or even college is too late.

So, making an investment in preschool, elementary, and middle school is a wise choice. When you choose to send your child to Inly, you are choosing a “great” school, one which will set your children up for success — both intellectually and emotionally. Your gift will set them up for life!

Donna Milani Luther, Head of School

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