School Choice Part 2: Private School Education

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – In her three-part series, ABC4’s Education Correspondent Sarah Martin dives deeper into “School Choice” options and what they mean for you and your family.

Let’s talk about private schools and what to expect should you choose this option for your children.

There are well over a hundred private schools in Utah, ranging in price from $2,500 to $60,000 per year.  You can find a full list of those schools at https://www.schools.utah.gov/schoolsdirectory

One of the least expensive private schools is Anchor Christian Academy owned and operated by the Anchor Baptist Church. 

“I think I have a different philosophy when it comes to test scores. I want my children to excel as people and the education will come, ” said Liv Moffat is a mother of three Anchor Academy students.

Moffat says class size, self-directed learning, and character education were on her shopping list when she was searching for schools–what she found was community. “I feel that my children are loved.”

“The objective was to provide a place where church people here could have an education that thy felt was Biblicaly sound but that also gave them an alternative to public school, government education,” said Anchor Christian Academy Principal Clint Amman.

Anchor Christian Academy educates kids from kindergarten all the way through high school; it boast extremely small class sizes and an individualized lesson model.

“The traditional classroom you have a teacher standing at the front and it’s lock step, but we use Accelerated Christian Education and it gives each student the ability to work at their own speed,” explained Amman. “Our students really speak for themselves. Upon graduation we have students at every university in the state; they’re taking those standardized tests and they’re faring well.”

Private schools are not tracked or evaluated by the State Board of Education so it’s challenging to compare schools based on test scores or grades, but you can look at the overall accrediting agency and the track record of graduates.

When evaluating a private school, parents should take a few things into account, the atmosphere, the mission, the cost, the location, but near the top of your list should be accreditation.

Moffat says she feels extremely lucky to have found the school, but it wasn’t without effort.

“You have to take the time to put in the research,” said Moffat. “Going to the school at the corner is the easy solution, so if you want something different for your child, you’re going to have to put the time in.”

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