The Bright School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), which has more than 1,600 schools as members nationwide. Independent schools offer families a very different experience compared to public schools. These schools, also known as private schools, have several common characteristics but are all different in their missions and philosophies of teaching. “Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning,” according to the NAIS. We encourage you to find the right school that fits the needs of your child.
Independent schools are not part of the public school system and receive no taxpayer funding for their operations. Independent schools are funded by tuition and fundraising efforts. They are not overseen by any governmental entity such as a public school board. Independent schools have heads of schools or principals who report to a Board of Trustees, and they follow certain policies and standards to remain accredited. Bright is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools.
Teachers and Curriculum
Independent schools value the experience and expertise of their teachers. Teachers lead their classrooms and help determine the curriculum for the grade they teach. Within the curriculum, teachers at independent schools, particularly Bright, have the authority to adjust their lesson planning based on the pace and learning style of students. Curriculum at most independent schools includes the arts, physical education, community service and other special experiences.
One common characteristic of independent schools is the ability to have small classes. Independent schools set their own enrollment levels and student-teacher ratios. Small classes allow teachers to focus on individual students throughout the day. Many Bright parents and alumni say relationships with teachers were among the most important aspects of the school. Early childhood grades (JPK-K) at Bright have one teacher and one assistant in a class of 12 to 16 students. The upper grades have one teacher per class.
Independent schools do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion or culture. They embrace and encourage diverse communities.
Families are integral to independent schools. Parents are encouraged to be involved in a variety of activities. Independent schools strive for and welcome open communication with parents.
Because independent schools have high academic standards, not all students who apply are accepted. Applicants undergo assessments to determine whether they are ready for the grade in which they are applying. During the school year, independent schools have very few days of required standardized testing. At Bright, these tests are used to inform teachers about their students’ understanding of certain concepts.