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Finding the Right AIMS School
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With about 120 AIMS schools in Maryland and Washington, DC, choosing the right school for your child involves a number of decisions. Here are a few school characteristics to consider as you begin the process:


Philosophy and School Culture

Independent schools offer a wide range of educational philosophies. Every independent school should be able to define its goals for educating students. As the parent of a prospective student, you should familiarize yourself with a school's stated goals and how those goals are reflected in policies and daily life. You might ask, "What are the predominant teaching styles employed in the classroom?" Or, "What is the school's approach to discipline?"


Curriculum

Independent schools are academically oriented, but they also focus on the whole child - his or her intellectual, moral, personal, social, and physical development The opportunities they offer for cultural enrichment and participation in the arts, athletics, and social activities help prepare students not only for further education, but also for leading rewarding lives.


Individual Attention

No two children are alike; what works in the classroom for one may not always work for another. Independent schools are designed around that very principle – to understand the individual needs of each child. This commitment to know and serve every student is at the heart of independent schools’ success – it’s why each school has a distinctive educational mission and creative teachers who are freed from standardized approaches to classroom instruction.


Faculty

The faculty plays a central role in the life of an independent school. Teachers' talent, experience, and commitment to the school's philosophy are vital. Faculty members are not only teachers, but also leaders within the school's community; as such, they help make decisions related to curriculum and daily life.


Administration

The head of an independent school is not only responsible for its daily administration. By setting the school's tone, selecting its faculty members, and implementing the philosophy and policies set by the trustees, the head takes the role of leader of an academic community.


Students

Independent schools enroll students who have in common enthusiasm for learning and a commitment to their education. And because most independent schools attract students from wide geographical areas and provide financial aid, their student populations are often asdiverse as those of many neighborhood schools.


Role of Parents

Parents are essential to independent schools. Their support is critical not only to the healthy development of their children, but also to the success of their independent schools. Working together, parents and school professionals exert a strong influence on children to become better educated; they also help them to mature by modeling adult working relationships based upon civility, honesty, and respect. Click here to read "Parents and Independent Schools".


Guidance

An important feature of independent schools is the quality of attention given to each student's academic and personal development. A particular strength is individualized advice and support at each step of the process of searching for secondary school or college placement.

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