Choosing independent schools in San Diego: a guide for prospective students and their parents


By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School

Selecting a school for your child can be a challenging process, and rightly so. After all, your child’s school stands to influence everything from his academic experience to his creative influences, his peer group to his ethics, values and overall worldview. When making the choice to go with public or

independent schools in San Diego

, it is important to first understand the difference between public and private institutions, and to determine which type of environment will be the best fit for your child. From there, the next step is to research each school and figure out which one offers the resources, programs and special features most likely to serve your child during his academic career.

Independent vs. public schools: understanding the difference

Both independent and public schools are committed to providing a safe and constructive environment for education. However, when it comes to the specific way in which that mission is carried out, independent schools offer greater diversity and specialization due to several key institutional differences.

First, each independent school is governed by its own board of trustees, as opposed to a public school board. This enables each institution to maintain freedom and control over its individual mission, and to initiate programs and projects that further the school’s unique values and teaching philosophy. Secondly, independent schools are not supported by public funds. Instead, they operate on a combination of tuition payments, charitable contributions and endowment revenue.

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) reports that there are currently about 2,000 independent schools across the country, with over 70,000 students enrolled in programs ranging form pre-kindergarten to high school. All independent schools strive to instill the importance of good citizenship, personal responsibility, leadership and a strong work ethic while also providing the tools for academic excellence.

A legacy of independent education in San Diego: celebrating one hundred years at Francis Parker School

Francis Parker School

is an independent institution with one hundred years’ experience providing quality education to local students. Our graduates exemplify the core principles of our mission: inspired thinking, academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character. We encourage all our students to strike a balance between academics and extracurricular activities, between work inside and outside the classroom; and as a result, we are proud to say that our graduates are equipped not only to succeed, but to serve as informed citizens of the world. To learn more about our mission at Parker and determine if our school is the right fit for your child, visit us online today at