Although there are many highly rated public high schools throughout Broward County (17 receiving an overall niche grade of A- or better according to Niche.com), in the last year, the County reported 12,000 students leaving the public school system (msn.com). There are a variety of reasons for this including some moving to other districts, getting home-schooling and switching to private school. Heritage enrolls new students each year for reasons including academics, athletics or fine arts.
There are countless benefits in attending a private school over a public school. According to Tenny School, “[Private schools offer] smaller class sizes, more individual attention and a better understanding of how each student prefers to learn. This allows [teachers] to take time and cater lessons to teach in a more personal way.” Heritage offers students multiple pre-professional programs, an opportunity that is not offered at many other schools throughout Florida.
“When I was doing my applications and took the tests to get in, I didn’t think I wanted to go. I was mostly concerned about leaving my friends behind from my old school,” freshman Andy Alper said. “But after I went to the Heritage open house, saw what the school was like and learned about their engineering pre-professional program, I knew it was worth it.”
The move from middle to high school is a big change for students, and transferring to a different school during this switch adds to the challenge. When attending a new school, it can take time for students to learn how to utilize the school’s resources, adjust to the schedule, figure out the layout of the campus and make new friends.
“The hardest part [of coming to Heritage] was definitely agreeing to the decision to leave my friends, and knowing that the work will be more intense to achieve a better outcome,” freshman Drew Bank said. “However, with a better facility, lunch, more opportunities and rules that benefit a school and not a whole state, I know that I made the right choice.”
One aspect that can ease the transfer is the ability to join the clubs Heritage has to offer. Clubs benefit new students by allowing them to meet others with similar interests while doing something they enjoy. From Student Government Association (SGA) to pre-professional societies to the Playtriots Board Game club, there is a club for everyone.
“I would say that the clubs are more engaging [at private school] which creates a group of like-minded people which I really enjoy,” freshman Vyom Mishra said. “Being able to work with other people that have a true passion for a subject or a career makes it more enjoyable to be part of a club/organization.”
There are many differences between public and private schools, but in the end I would say private tops public school. This is due to individual students receiving more attention, more resources available and better, more thorough preparation for college.
“I would say the thoroughness in curriculum and the dedication that the teachers and faculty put into the school [is what persuaded me to come to Heritage]. The school really cares about our futures, and they clearly demonstrate this through their programs. Teachers and faculty stay after school taking time out of their personal life to conduct club meetings and extracurricular lectures with highly competitive programs,” Mishra said. “I can see the formation of close relationships with all my teachers and ultimately this ‘environment’ was where I strived to be in, so that is why I chose to come to Heritage.”