While searching online for a list of religious private schools, you may see the school’s religious afflictions on their website. Even though not every school will have a religious affiliation, many do and you may be confused as to what this means for you. One particular type of religious private school that does not have a religious affiliation are the Episcopal schools. They are an independent school who is allowed to create their own curriculum based off of their faith. However, a lot more goes in an Episcopal private school. Here are five things you need to know about Episcopal private schools and the school in Miami that is catching the eyes of many.
Religious Private Schools Vs. Parochial Schools
For many people, they may not know the difference between religious private schools vs parochial schools and for some, they may not have even recognized that a difference exists between the two. A religious private school, solely, is a school that distinguishes themselves to be apart of a particular religion, such as Jewish, Christian, or Episcopal. These types of institutions include their faith in the student’s curriculum alongside the general education. As well, religious private schools are independent of any government or state funding and rely solely on funds earned from the tuition of students. However, a parochial school is a type of private school that is associated closely with one particular church and rely on funds given by that church, not funds gained from tuition. Often times parochial schools are associated with Catholic schools due to many Catholic private schools being a parochial school. The main difference between the two types of private schools is how their money is gained and if they are associated with a particular church.
One of the main factors that makes an Episcopal private school different from, perhaps, other non-religious private schools and many other schools, in general, is their devotion to educating students of the faith and keeping them active in the faith. While learning from the basic subjects that make up their general education, students also have classes to learn of the faith. However, the relationship with the faith is strengthened through weekly chapel sessions where they discuss community issues and at times, issues that may be plaguing students. The sessions are prepared by students and faculty and have opportunities to learn about various ethical or moral problems. It is often seen as a safe space as a result of the students having moments where they can openly ask questions about something they may be discussing. In addition to attending chapel, these schools offer holy days for students of different faiths. A few days they recognize are Yom Kippur, Christmas, Easter, and Passover. They also do observe holy times for Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Episcopal institutions purposefully commemorate these days so that students may learn about others’ religion and develop a sense of knowledge about religions other than their own.
It Is Comprehensive And Inclusive
Independent Episcopal schools are generally based off of the Christian or Episcopalian faith but you do not need to follow the religion traditions and beliefs in order to attend the school. As a matter of fact, these schools often seek students of various backgrounds with diverse traditions. Of course, no school will discriminate based race, religion, or national origin, but they believe the students or faculty who are not Christian/Episcopalian still bring something of significance to school. They wish to allow these students and faculty to gain clarity of their own beliefs or traditions so that they will be able to honor their own religion more faithfully every single day. It is not to push the school’s religion on these people within the institution, but instead, it is to offer them a way to learn about one different from theirs. Episcopal schools, overall, value inclusivity and multiculturalism so that any person of a similar or different faith can attend.
As previously discussed, these schools make it this mission to educate about a multitude of possible religions due to their student population being various religions. Learning about varying faiths and their traditions has been seen to instill values into each and every one student, which many parents find relieving so that their child does not go in the world narrow minded. Episcopal schools embrace every religion and its traditions to promote tolerance and respect for every faith, even while teaching about their own faith. This is a great opportunity to learn about a faith a student may not have known anything about, like learning about the holy days observed by those who practice Islam. However, these institutions do require that the students practice in any of the school’s religious activities such as attending services and participating classes. By doing so, it can assist the children in learning to be comfortable in situations not familiar to them, which is especially beneficial in cities such as Miami, where a multitude of different religions exist.
Remaining Academically Motivated
While Episcopal schools do promote the learning of their primary faith while also making students aware of different faiths, that does not mean that students can slack off on their general education. Students are still required to take a certain amount of credits in various subjects so that they can achieve the mandated graduation requirement. In addition, there are still opportunities to take AP and honor classes to possibly achieve college credit before actually being enrolled in college. As a matter of fact, many of these schools have high academic ranks and have students who take their studies seriously even while learning about different religions.
Overall, Episcopal private schools are great schooling options for children who wish to gain knowledge about various faiths while continuing to be academically motivated. One particular school in the Miami area that offers a great general education and spiritual one is the Palmer Trinity School. It is a school that allows students to go further in their schooling life, offering an abundance of scheduling options involving academics or arts, while also creating a spiritual education for them as well.