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Cape Fear 2020: Private school growth

READ MORE: Cape Fear 2020: Private school growth
WILMINGTON -- Sam and Cathy Ibrahim are serious about their children's education. They have four kids who all attend Wilmington Christian Academy -- the largest private religious school in our area. Opting to pay for his children's education instead of taking advantage of public schools isn't cheap. But Sam Ibrahim says he's getting his monies worth. "It's a school that reaffirms what we believe and enforces what we believe, so I feel like the school and the teachers and the administrators work in a partnership and that's what makes it valuable for me." Wilmington Christian Academy Administrator Barren Nobles said, "That's what drives the private school market, is parents looking for an alternative to public education." Nobles is the head administrator at Wilmington Christian Academy. He says the region's population growth has impacted not only his school, but nearly every other private school in the county. "We're all growing," he said. "Tremendous growth, sometimes in the double digits the number of students."
"I liked the setting of a smaller class -- 16 to 17 students in a class is phenomenal."
Private school parent Lisa Wayne
Right now there are 19 non-public schools serving New Hanover County -- 13 religious and six independent. Only a handful of them offer high school education. Wilmington Christian Academy has had to add mobile units to handle the increase in student population. And like many public schools, finding qualified teachers is also an issue Wilmington Christian Academy faces, especially since the school is faith-based. Nobles said, "We want to stay strong with teaching our kids the character and spiritual values that we hold so dear to us from a Christian standpoint; we want our students to go out into a world and uphold those values." Nobles says the pressures of private schools are different from public schools. Instead of dealing with budget constraints from county funding, private schools have to produce a quality education parents will pay for. "Parents are not going to pay for an inferior education," Nobles said. "So private schools have great pressure on them, academically at least, to produce a product that's going to be excellent. Because the parents come in seeking that and are willing to put their finances toward that." Private schools in our area costs between $4,000 and $6,000 a year per student. Lisa Wayne sends her son to New Horizons Elementary School. She says the public school system did not provide what new horizons could. Wayne said, "I liked the setting of a smaller class -- 16 to 17 students in a class is phenomenal." New Horizons teacher Annetta Saggese said, "We really do believe that the smaller the class size the more we can address the issues with each individual." Leaders of both schools said their options to cope with the growth are to either add more names to already lengthy waiting lists or find ways to expand their facilities. Cape Fear Academy -- Wilmington's largest independent private school -- currently has more than 600 students. School officials predict they will have to expand their facility to house more than 800 students by the year 2020. That also means a rise in student tuition costs.

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Public vs Private

If I could afford Private, I would. Hey private school parents, do you get to see your children's test scores after they take a test? My childs school said in order for me to see my child's tests scores I would have to book a conference or provide a written request. My question is...when my child comes home with a low grade on their report card and a note accompanies stating low test scores, why were we the parents not notified of this sooner so we can help our child more? School is so different than in years past. Another thing, they talk about childhood obesity, how many playgrounds do you see with many options of play equipment? Minimal!!!!!

If my children were still young....

....I'd eat PB&J seven days a week to pay their tuition at private/parochial schools. Neal Boortz hits the nail on the head regarding public schools. They stopped "educating" decades ago, and are now far more concerned with indoctrination and brainwashing. American public education is the driving force behind this nation's shift toward Socialism.

Your opinion

I graduated from a public school received a full scholarship to a "public" university 1/2 academic 1/2 athletic...your message is an opinion because there is great education in the public forum. What makes it a beautiful thing is that it didn't cost my parents one dime!

My Opinion

I didn't say a good education can't be attained at a public school. All I'm saying is that a Private Christian education is BETTER. It's very good that you accomplished it. But, how many of your fellow students achieved what you did? I can say that 90% of my son's graduating class is in college. Can you? I doubt it. This is no fluke. Hard work is involved here not only by the student, but the parent and the teacher. All are involved. This you don't get in public school - too many social problems, including the breakdown of the family. I can go on and on. But I think you get the picture.


90% of 10 is still only 9. do go by percentages go by total #. public schools may only have a 60% college rate but out of a thousand or more students in a graduating class that is a whole lot more.

It's Always About Percentages!

I guess they don't teach Statistics in public schools either. If you go to the top law schools in the nation (Harvard, Yale, etc.) They specifically mention the PERCENTAGE of students that pass the Bar exam at the end of their school term (which if you do check is upwards of 98%). This is one reason they are so expensive. if my child is going into Law School, I expect him to be prepared in that Law School to pass the Bar. As a parent I want my child to be in the highest percentage possible to succeed. Not 60%, but 90 plus. By the way I don't realy think it's even that high (60%???). I thought New Hanover and Pender County have a very high rate of high school DROP OUTS! You proved my point. Smaller classes and dedicated parents & teachers raise the PERCENTAGE for a child's success. Also, SAT scores are all about percentages - in comparison to the nation's averages, Private Schools continue to score way above Public School's scores.


More than likely your son's graduating class consisted of 50 or 60 people at the most whereas the public schools consist of a several hundred each. Also private schools don't take students that may need special help.

The trade-off, of course.... that if you graduated any time in the last thirty years, you likely know "1/2" of what you should know. I can understand your feelings, however. The key to effective brainwashing is that the brainwashed never realize that they've been brainwashed! So are you voting for Clinton, Obama, or Nader?

Christian Schools are best!

My son graduated from Wilmington Christian Academy and it is a great school. He was well prepared for college. We plan on having our daughter finish there too. Private Christian schools are the way to go. I would NEVER subject my child to the public school system. Children don't learn there, it is more like they enter a battle ground. I hate that I pay taxes for this!

Are the teachers certified?

Are the teachers certified?