A la carte education

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When did choosing what to learn at school and when to learn it become a “thing”? The list of custom amenities and services available to our Boca Raton children seems to be growing by leaps and bounds these days, and education is no longer off limits. The opportunity to craft a student’s schedule around a passion or priority such as a sport, technology or the arts is now a selling point of difference at select private schools in Boca Raton and beyond. And the concept is blowing my mommy mind.

Grandview Preparatory School in east Boca, for example, is launching a new Passion-based Learning program this fall. According to Director of Advancement, Alan Stob, “Our goal is to unlock passions within Grandview students. We provide experiences outside of the classroom meant to ignite these passions and incite a love of learning. Upper School students can work directly with advisors on campus to tailor their schedules in order to make the most of academic time spent on campus, while maximizing time spent training, rehearsing, or practicing a sport or an art such as theater or dance.”

Block scheduling and dual enrollment were rather new concepts when I was in high school, but students and their millennial parents these days are asking for flexibility, and lots of it. Stob further elaborated, “Parents have been asking, and we wanted to be the Boca Raton school to have an answer for them. We are now willing and able to provide scheduling flexibility and broad curriculum options to students whose passions lie outside the walls of the school.”

Other schools, such as North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, are also pushing their students to embrace their interests, encouraging them to pursue them both in and out of the classroom. Lower School Principal, Kathleen Malanowski, told us, “We love seeing what our students can accomplish through their academic studies like Mandarin, strings and robotics, but also through their extra-curricular endeavors.”

For example, North Broward Prep’s hockey players go to the ice rink each morning before class and are then brought back to campus by bus after practice. Malanowski further stated, “Another one of our students is a U.S. Junior Figure Skating Champion, and accommodations are made for him to pursue both his academic and championship dreams.”

Boca moms take note: a private school education might be more expensive these days, but it has certainly evolved since we were an active part of a student body. And if you have a little one like I do, then expect even more big changes to come before our kids enter middle and high school.