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Specialty schools: schools focused on arts, sports, or academics

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Specialty schools are schools with a specific focus, which can run the gamut from arts to athletics to science to the environment to life skills.


Unique Features:

Specialty schools are schools with a specific focus, which can run the gamut from arts to athletics to science to the environment. The way the specialty can be incorporated into programming really ranges. For instance, at a school where there is a focus on, say, winter sports, the school day will be arranged to allow students optimal time for practices and to travel for competitions. The school might also be located near prime ski and snowboard areas. Whereas with an arts school, a student with a specialty in visual art might take courses in drawing, painting and print making.

Benefits:

If a student is motivated to excel and wants an additional challenge and particular opportunities, that's what specialty schools offer. They provide scheduling that supports development in the specialty, fantastic locations and facilities, and expert coaches and teachers who can nurture students' talents. It also takes a phenomenal amount of drive and discipline to succeed in a specialty, abilities that will help them in other subjects and in their endeavours later in life.

How do I know it's a good fit?

It depends on the child and the school parents have in mind. Some schools are geared toward students who show an exceptional talent or skill in a particular area. Other schools are designed to help kids develop those particular skills. The beauty of independent schools is that they allow families to find a program that's a really good match for the individual child.

—Myra McGovern Director of public information, National Association of Independent Schools

Series: Specialty Schools

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