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The Case for Choosing Parochial School

One local parent shares how she made the decision about her sons' education.


Many NJ parents opt to send their kids to parochial school instead of public or private. Currently 235,524 students attend 1,537 private schools in the state, almost half of which are religiously affiliated, according to Private School Review, a comprehensive directory of private schools all over the country. Rosemary Carroll, the former director of development at New Brunswick Theological Seminary and mom of three grown sons, shares why she, and many other families, opt for a religious education.          

Tradition. For parents who had positive experiences as students at religious schools themselves, it’s familiar territory. So it makes sense to want the same experience for our kids. 

A Dual Education. Parochial schools offer religious, moral and ethical teachings in addition to an academic education. They’re a good option for families who want to raise their children with religion woven into their day-to-day routine. Kids can learn more in a religious classroom than they might at a weekly church or temple service, or in Sunday school.  

Exclusivity.  Some parochial schools are very selective and admit only highly motivated students.  This inspirational student body may help their kid get into a better college. 

 All  three of Carroll’s sons went to public school through eighth grade, but then they branched out. “Our oldest went to public high school and did well there,” she explains. “Our middle son went to an excellent Jesuit prep school and got a terrific education. And our youngest son started off at an all-boys Catholic high school but wasn’t happy. We  switched him to a co-ed Catholic school, and he liked that much better.”

But to each their own, she emphasizes. “So much goes into the decision about where your kids will thrive,” says Carroll. “Choose what feels right for you and your child. At the end of the day, it’s your parenting, along with your expectations and support of your kids’ education, that matter most of all.”

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