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Benefits of a Private School Education

An exceptional education starts with a solid foundation, but that includes more than just academics. Confidence, personal development and leadership skills are all essential when it comes to your child’s future success. Your motivation as a parent, to seek the best possible start to your child’s life, is the top reason why you should pursue private education. 

As the largest private school system in the state of South Dakota, Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools consists of eight schools in Sioux Falls serving preschool through 12th grade. Here are some of the top benefits and why a private school education may be right for your family.

1.   Higher Academic Standards

Statistics show that private schools challenge students and hold them to a higher academic standard. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, private high schools list more vigorous graduation requirements than their public school counterparts, requiring more coursework to be completed. The results showing better performance on tests and higher levels of written, verbal and mathematical abilities.

The O’Gorman High School Class of 2022 had an average ACT composite score of 25.4 compared to the state of South Dakota’s at 21.5. Bishop O’Gorman Catholic School students consistently score well above the local, state and national averages on nationally normed achievement assessments. 

Elizabeth Juarez, Enrichment Teacher at Holy Spirit Elementary, describes one of the reasons she loves working at Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools, “I also work here for the rigor. I find that I can do more with my students here than I have in the past. We get to do higher level reading activities, we do more challenging math and the kids are not afraid of that. They want the challenge and they ask for harder things.”

2.   Safe Learning Environment

The lower teacher to student ratio allows more attention and observation in the classes while the faculty involvement creates a beneficial school environment that places a higher focus on personal responsibility. Academic achievement, positive relationships between staff and students, and encouraging parental and community involvement all contribute to a safe learning environment

Our teachers are able to get to know each student, adjust their own teaching styles as needed and work with the students to achieve success. Not only does the quality of the educational experience increase with a safe learning environment, but so does the student's comfort, confidence and overall ability to achieve. 

Heather Nelson, O’Gorman Junior High Band Teacher, creates positive relationships with her students by being able to incorporate faith into her passion for music, “Because we can share every aspect of our life, then we form a better bond and we are more like a family. I can’t imagine teaching anywhere else.”

3.   Faith-Based Learning

Rooted in faith, Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools provides an opportunity for students to be surrounded by a community that follows the same set of morals and values. 

Our mission is to form a community of faith and learning by promoting a Catholic way of life through Gospel values and academic excellence. Campus Ministry plays a big part in developing students’ foundation in faith. Students are encouraged to participate in mass and sacraments, Christian service volunteer hours, retreats and campus ministry events. Our priests and Sisters and Brothers of Pro Ecclesia Sancta are available and involved in all eight of our schools.

Kira Stiles, 6th Grade Teacher at St. Mary Elementary, explains what it means to have faith be an everyday part of learning, “My Catholic faith is such an important part of my life and I love being able to share that with my students. I get to pray with them, go to mass with them and most importantly teach them about our Catholic faith.”

4.   Community

School pride and a strong community is a compelling advantage of Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools. With the higher academic standards, the sense of pride starts from the moment a parent begins the application process. The opportunity for involvement from all grades in events and fundraisers amplifies the sense of community among not only the students, but parents as well. 

Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools has multiple events throughout the year that bring together not only the individual school, but the entire system of eight schools. When you enroll at any of our schools, you become a Knight. Eight Schools, One Community! 

5.   Extracurricular Activities

Most private schools have highly developed athletic programs and highly valued performing arts programs. Extracurricular opportunities allow your child to develop new interests, learn valuable skills and gain a higher sense of community by being part of a team. 

O’Gorman High School offers over 30 clubs and organizations for students in addition to the performing arts and sanctioned sports: Art Club, Band, Boys & Girls State, Campus Ministry, Centered, Chess Club, Choir/Show Choir, Classics Club, Debate, E-Sports, Educators Rising, Endow, Environmental Awareness Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Gaming Club, History Club, HOSA - Future Health Professionals, Impact, Knights for a Cure, Knights Legend Yearbook, Knights Scroll Newspaper, Knitting Club, Multicultural Club, National Honor Society, Oral Interpretation, Orchestra, Quiz Bowl, SADD/TATU, Spike Ball Club, Student Ambassadors, Student Council, Students for Life, and Ultimate Frisbee.

O’Gorman High School petitions up to compete in Class AA, the state’s largest division for extracurricular activities. O’Gorman has won more state athletic championships than any other high school in its class at 121 championships! This success in extra-curricular activities is due, in part, to the fact that over 90% of the students participate in at least one extra-curricular activity. With 23 athletic groups being offered at O’Gorman, which is more than any other high school in the state, student-athletes are able to compete in a wide variety of sports.

6.   Parental Involvement

Our administration highly encourages open communication between parents and faculty. With regular parent-teacher contact, welcomed parent involvement and parent participation in school events and fundraising, parents feel more involved in their child’s education and more aware of potential challenges that could arise. 

7.   Tuition Assistance and Grants

Most private schools allow financial aid options to make private education an affordable alternative to public schools. 

Thanks to the financial commitment of the Catholic parishes of Sioux Falls, tuition for each student is made more affordable through parish subsidies. Additionally, Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools and its Foundation award more than $2 million annually in financial assistance through grants and scholarships. 

We encourage families of all income levels to apply. The cost of tuition should never be a determining factor of whether or not your student should apply if the school seems like the right fit for your family.

 

Choosing the best possible start to your child’s life doesn’t seem like an easy task as a parent, yet we at Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools make it effortless for you. Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools has been providing fastidious, faith-based, private school education since 1961. With our small classroom sizes, passionate staff and traditional values curriculum, you can expect a top-level education at Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools. But don’t take our word for it, hear what our teachers say are the reasons they choose to teach at Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools. 

 

 

If you’d like to experience what a day in the life of a Knight is like at one of the Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools, schedule a tour or attend one of our open houses!