Posted in Why Christian School?

Private School Choices in Augusta County, VA

17634685_1489778174375114_1842701402006346194_n(5)Next Sunday, April 23 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm most of the private schools and many home school groups in the Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County, Virginia area will be exhibiting at an open house at the Frontier Culture Museum Octagonal Barn. Families are invited to come and explore the variety of education options available in our area.

Schools include Afton, C.F. Richards, Grace, and Ridgeview Christian Schools, Stuart Hall School, Fishburne Military School and Raw Learning.

Private versus public

Some differences between public and private schools are obvious. But deciding what’s right for your child entails shedding light on the subtle distinctions many parents ignore.

Choosing the right school for your child is a process where there’s no such thing as too much information. A good place to start would be to eliminate all preconceived notions about private and public schools and knowing that’s it’s mainly about the best fit for a child. Private education is often more accessible than people think due to a variety of sources of funding. Of course, there’s no substitute to visiting every short-listed school.

  Private School Public School
Introduction An elementary or secondary school run and supported by private individuals or a corporation rather than by a government or public agency. An elementary or secondary school in the United States supported by public funds and providing free education to children of a community or district.
Government Private schools do not receive tax revenues, so they do not have to follow the same sorts of regulations and bureaucratic processes that govern (and sometimes hinder) public schools. This allows many private schools to be highly specialized, offering differentiated learning, advanced curriculum, or programs geared toward specific religious beliefs.

C.F. Richards Christian School is governed by a local school board made up of committed parents.
Our mission is to be a community of learners who love God and serve others.

Public schools are part of a larger school system, which functions as a part of the government and must follow the rules and regulations set by politicians
Funding Tuition, gifts, endowments, private corporations, fundraising events, Virginia Education Improvement scholarship.

C.F. Richards Christian School is supported by funding from local churches and the Adventist Conference, tuition, donations, and Virginia Education Improvement Scholarships. 

Financed through federal, state, and local taxes,
Education Decided by the school board and sometimes part of a larger school system with required standards.

C.F. Richards is part of the North American Division of Adventist Education, curriculum guides outline skills and concepts to be taught and evaluated to enhance student achievement.

Mandated by state curriculum. In Virginia, driven by the Standards of Learning.
Schedule Schedule is dictated by the school and often matches state requirements Schedule is often a mix of graduation requirements and electives
Teachers May or may not be certified but often hold a graduate degree or higher education. Some schools (Catholic, Adventist, and others) require state or other governing certification.

C.F. Richards teachers are certified, have masters degrees in Education or equivalent.

Teachers must meet all state-mandated requirements and be highly proficient in their subject area (i.e. have at least a BA with a major in their subject). Most teachers have Masters Degrees.
Technology Depends on the school.

C.F. Richards uses current technology regularly to enhance learning.

Depends on the school; can be very modern or relatively outdated.
Testing Private schools may have standardized testing, but are not required to administer the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments.

At C.F. Richards, students take the nationally normed Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Results are used by teachers inform instruction and measure student growth. 

State required testing.
Accreditation Agency Some private schools are accredited by private accreditation agencies.

C.F. Richards is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools, Virginia Council of Private Education (accepted by the Virginia Dept. of Education and  Adventist Education.

State Board of Education.
Admission Criteria Not determined by student address. Anyone may apply to attend a private school, there is no zoning based on the students address. However, granting admission to a student is up to the school authorities and is based on tests and other criteria. School zoning determined by student address. Public schools have to adhere to the curriculum charted out by the district, and cannot deny admission to any child within the residential school zone.
Purpose Depends upon the school philosophy.

C.F. Richards’ mission is to be a community of learners who love God and serve others. Preparing students for the 21st century world and helping them develop a personal relationship with Jesus.

To teach children and spend money provided by the community through taxes and bond initiatives
Denial of admission School reserves the right to deny admission a student if s/he does not meet the eligibility criteria as decided by the school. School cannot deny admission to any student within the designated geographical area of the school.
Transportation Provided by school or to be arranged by student

C.F. Richards supplies transportation from Waynesboro.

Provided by school within designated area
Class size Roughly 16 occupants or less. Very rarely more.

C.F. Richards maintains small class sizes, this allows for differentiated learning and more 1 on 1 teacher/student interaction.

About 20-25 per room.
Social life Students and families develop close relationships.
Opportunities for sports, clubs, community service  and other after-school activities. In a faith based school, families have similar religious beliefs.C.F. Richards has a family atmosphere. There are many school social activities, sports, and service projects within the local community throughout the year.
Larger pool of people allows for more social interaction. Opportunities for sports, clubs, community service groups and other after-school activities.
School Calendar Set by school or school conference Decided by district for all schools in the district
Bullying Handled by the principle or dean of students. Teachers are trained to intervene. Parents, teachers and students work together to solve problems. Teachers are trained to intervene, and most schools now have cameras to help deter bullying. However it is hard to manage classrooms with 25 students and in a litigious society some teachers avoid conflicts.
Special Education Private schools do not have to accept children with special needs. As a result, most private schools do not have special education programs or teachers trained to work with that student population.

At C.F. Richards classroom teachers work to meet the needs of all the students. 

Due to special education laws, public schools must educate all children and provide the necessary programs to meet their special needs. This means that all school districts have special education programs and teachers who are trained to work with special-needs students.
Religious Affiliations Can have religious affiliations

C.F. Richards Christian School is a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Curriculum May create own curriculum or use curriculum based on state or conference standards.

C.F. Richards is part of the North American Division of Adventist Education, curriculum guides outline skills and concepts to be taught and evaluated to enhance student achievement.

Common Core standards; State standards


Principal and middle school teacher of C.F. Richards Christian School in Staunton, Virginia

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