Military High Schools – Will Your Child Fit In?

The term “military high school” can be quite self-explanatory. It’s almost the same as a private high school, except that it follows after a military tradition. The purpose of this is to get the best of what military academies have to offer and apply this on high school students in order to help them develop important values such as camaraderie, nationalism, discipline, and responsibility, among others.

These schools have the usual core subjects and extracurricular activities present in traditional high schools, but with additional military-inspired activities. It’s not unusual for high school military schools to have extracurricular activities like riflery, JROTC, marching band and similar activities, or for core subjects to include courses about naval navigation, rocketry, military history, and similar courses.

While some private schools require students to wear uniforms, most military high schools will require students to wear military-inspired uniforms and be called “cadets”. Different school staff will also have military titles, and different parts of the school will have military-inspired names.

You’ll also find some military high schools which focus more on a branch of military service. For example, there are schools that provide extra courses for different military branches like navy, but focus more on aviation. Students can get extra courses in aviation science, have actual on-hands experience flying a plane and get their pilot’s license by the time they graduate in high school.

Going to a military school does not guarantee a slot in military universities or colleges, but it’s a good way to have an edge in terms of knowledge in different parts of the military tradition. Not all students who go to these kinds of high school really plan to pursue a military career, but the fact remains that these schools provide students with excellent education, a structured environment, and the discipline and drive that will help them succeed in the next phase of their academic and personal lives.

Military schools have a great track record for college matriculation as well as developing students who are athletically gifted. Students are not forced to take part in military-inspired extracurricular activities. For example, most schools do not require all students to join JROTC. Students with different interests can still flourish in military schools. After all, when students learn to be responsible for themselves and strive for excellence, they pick up important life skills along the way that are beneficial to any field that they choose.

Students are also not treated like regular cadets in a military training camp. They do go out on weekends, get calls from home, have internet access and are connected to the outside world. They aren’t cloistered and kept from the world outside school. Most of them are actively involved in community service efforts.

The question of whether your child will fit in depends on whether his/her personality and needs can be best served by military schools. If your teen has other needs, like teens with ADHD/ADD, learning differences and disabilities, it’s best to find out if the school has facilities to accommodate and help your child with his/her specific challenges. Not all military high schools will be able to provide this. If your child has a need for intensive therapy and counseling, other alternatives are probably more suited to fit that, such as therapeutic boarding schools.

Public and Private Schools Should Learn From One Another In Improving Support for Their High Schools

I was reading the sports section of USA Today the other week and the listing of top 25 High School Football Teams in the country. It was interesting to note that seven of the top 25 high school teams (or 28%) were private or parochial schools.

This led me to research how this compared with recent USA Today’s rankings of top high school teams in other sports. Here’s what I found.

In Boys’ Basketball, a whopping 16 of the top 25 high school teams (or 64%) were private or parochial schools. In Girls’ Basketball, six of the top 25 (or 24%) were private or parochial schools. And in Baseball, nine of the top 25 (or 36%) were private or parochial schools.

Why is this, I wondered?

Is it because there are more private and parochial schools in the country? That’s definitely not the case because according to Department of Education statistics, there are approximately 2,000 private and parochial high schools in the country compared with roughly 30,000 public schools. In other words, just 6% of all high schools in the country are private or parochial. The other 94% in the country are public schools.

Could it be then that the average private or parochial school is larger in terms of enrollment than their public school counterparts? Nope. The average enrollment in a private school is between one-half to one-third of the average enrollment in a public secondary school.

What then accounts for the superiority of private schools versus public high schools in sports relative to the number of schools and their enrollment numbers?

In my experience in attending and/or working with both private and public high schools, I would submit to you that there are four main things that private schools routinely do that public schools don’t, rarely do or don’t do as well:

1. Private schools regularly cultivate a sense of superiority.

Private secondary schools have done an exceptional job of positioning themselves as superior. This has led to the perception that they are. And as they say, perception is or can become reality.

2. Private schools regularly cultivate, communicate with and engage all of their various constituencies.

Private schools, as a practical matter, have to regularly reach out to and engage all of their constituencies – current students and parents, prospective students and parents, alumni and alumni parents and others as well. As a result, there is a much greater sense and depth of loyalty and tradition in private high schools than there is in most public today.

3. Private schools regularly recruit students.

As a matter of survival, private high schools have also had to regularly showcase their programs and schools and recruit potential students whereas most public don’t and don’t feel they have to.

4. Private schools regularly and more professionally raise funds from all of their various constituencies.

Private high schools have also had to, as a matter of survival, routinely raise funds from all of their various constituencies. Most have even hired staff members that are specifically trained and devoted to doing this. Consequently, they approach fundraising in a more professional way than public schools do today. As a result, they raise more money than public schools do, which has enabled them to somewhat level the playing field – resource wise so-to-speak – with their public school counterparts. In addition, because this money is voluntarily given, there is a greater sense of commitment to the schools and programs contributed to by their constituents.

Public schools can and should learn from this. To raise their games so-to-speak, they should take these plays from their private high school counterparts’ playbooks and emulate them.

Similarly, private schools should learn from their public school counterparts, and they should start to form booster clubs and raise funds for each of their various extra-curricular activities. This won’t take away support from people’s overall supportiveness. It can and will only add to it.

In short, high schools and their booster clubs should learn from and emulate one another in terms of what each does well. This can and will lead to the improved success of their schools and arts and athletic programs as well.

How to Get an Accredited High School Diploma Online

When you earn an accredited high school diploma online, you could earn 30% more than someone who hasn’t finished high school. That’s more than $8,600 per year! Also, you are 70% more likely to be employed and have a better job. Your career opportunities can be unlimited.

But before you start, don’t believe a school is accredited just because they say so. There’s a little homework on accreditation that you need to do. Your online high school diploma will only be respected by employers and accepted by colleges if it comes from an accredited school.

One school advertises online – take a test and summarize your experiences. With a small payment you are guaranteed a diploma in 15 days. It’s hard to see how anyone could fall for that scam, but not all “fakes” are that obvious.

Some schools claim to be accredited by an agency that’s just a worthless set of initials.

What is accreditation? It’s the process of reviewing a school to see if it meets standards set by an outside agency. When a school meets minimum criteria, it’s granted accreditation. And that agency has to be approved by either the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Both organizations keep a website with a list of legitimate accreditors.

Accreditation is done to protect students, employers and schools.

Many online schools are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). This agency is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

But if you are going on to a university, talk to every university you are thinking of attending first. Make sure they accept the credits from the school you are considering. They also have to approve your choice of courses.

When selecting an online high school, your best idea is to choose an online school that is accredited by one of the six regional accreditors. These regional agencies are recognized by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Most brick-and-mortar public and private universities are accredited by these regional accreditors. They are listed as:

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)

A degree from an online school that is accredited by one of these six associations is good anywhere. Employers and universities will accept your diploma.

If there is a local charter high school, you may be able the take your online classes free and paid for by the government. Some states also have online public high schools that are free to residents. Your computer and internet fees may even be paid for.

Online high schools that are University-affiliated are becoming more popular in online education. The university programs are high quality and offer good value for your money. Gifted students can also take more advanced placement classes for college credit than a regular high school may allow. You do have to verify accreditation with any school you intend to attend.

You don’t have to be isolated from the social life and athletics of your class. Most high schools will allow students that home school to participate in extra-curricular activities and sports.

Attending class in your pajamas while listening to music at home may appeal to you too.

Now if you have the discipline and motivation, you can earn an accredited High School diploma online.