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Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 AM
 
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Because independent schools like Moravian/Swain do not have to teach to the test they are not beholden to arbitrary state standards...they can instead cater the curriculum to what is best and most relevant their students. I am a product of Southern Lehigh's Spanish Immersion program and public school system; my parents fought for my public education at a time when Spanish Immersion was controversial and I do believe in the value of a free and appropriate education.

HOWEVER, schools like Moravian and Swain can be pioneers and do not get as easily bogged down by PSSA's etc. There's more freedom. That's the nature of private schools and that's why they have a higher price tag.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:23 AM
 
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I agree with what you are saying above. My comment was about this
Quote:
The curriculum is always one year ahead compared to what the PA public schools are studying.
Spanish immersion is no longer controversial or even a subject at school board meetings at Southern Lehigh. It's ingrained in the system.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:30 AM
 
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The curriculum at MA is accelerated and generally described as being one year ahead of academic standards. For example, a 4th grade class would use a 5th grade text and curriculum for core subjects. I'm sure schools like MA & Swain would be happy to share more info about their curricula to anyone that's interested.

Hope this has been helpful.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Gotcha. Pennsylvania is interesting in that we have 500+ school districts, each with it's own school board. While Moravian may in general be ahead of some school districts, I doubt very much that they are "one year ahead" of every grade in every school district. Once students get out of the elementary grades, and even in K-3, they are put into leveled classes for reading and math and than additionally Science and History so there is no overall 4th grade curriculum, per se. There's a broad curriculum, but in fourth grade you are going to have students reading below, at grade and above grade level. Same for math. In HS all of the classes are leveled by ability and grades with the exception of classes like PE, Drivers ed, etc.

Not knocking private schools and if we had an extra few hundred thousand we may well have thought of putting our kids in Moravian, but most people don't have that luxury.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:06 AM
 
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Moravian has a robust financial aid program, FWIW. We are lucky recipients. Our daughter is being challenged daily at Moravian, and I thank God we can afford the freight, which is still steep even with aid. If we lived in a good public school district, I would probably not feel it was necessary to send my kids to Moravian, but it's a hypothetical at this point, so I'm glad we can.

When my daughter first made the switch, she cried every night at the homework load, and was flat out from the time she walked in the door until 11:30 at night, just to get the work done. She's better at time management and focus now -- and there are study halls at school that she looks forward to and actually works in (as opposed to my experience in school with study hall, which was "goof-off time").

We found the expectations to be immense, coming from a public school. The Moravian librarian, who's fairly young, told me she made the switch from a public school to Wyoming Sem in 11th grade and just about died at the difference in workload and expectations. But, she added, when she went on to college, it was a breeze. The level is comparable.

My daughter is taking Chinese; the school offers Spanish, Chinese and French. And Latin is mandatory.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:58 AM
 
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Good post gettingouttahere. If someone is looking for a private school, I would absolutely recommend Moravian or Swain. However, most people can't either afford it, or hope to get financial aid, which is why I try to focus on our very good publics in the area. Foreign languages vary throughout the valley, but immersion, as far as I know is only offered at Moravian now, Swain and Southern Lehigh.

And just an FYI, the OP for this thread hasn't posted since he asked his question back in 2010! Wonder if he/she moved to the area?
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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This is cynical and may not be relevant here, but my question of Moravian vs. a good school district is about the colleges that the top grads are accepted into. I don't know those stats, but will find out when my son is older.

The other thing is that while southern Lehigh offers the program, it is limited and there is more demand than supply. I'm sure Moravian if accommodating every applicant, because the parents pay too much to be denied!
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazerj View Post
This is cynical and may not be relevant here, but my question of Moravian vs. a good school district is about the colleges that the top grads are accepted into. I don't know those stats, but will find out when my son is older.

The other thing is that while southern Lehigh offers the program, it is limited and there is more demand than supply. I'm sure Moravian if accommodating every applicant, because the parents pay too much to be denied!
I'm sure you are right about that blazerj!

College-wise, Frankly, I wouldn't worry about that if you are comparing Moravian to the publics like Parkland, East Penn, Nazareth, Southern Lehigh etc. I've talked to many grads from SL and all have said they were prepared for college, I am sure that's the case with the other schools too. There is probably much better college guidance from Moravian but I've personally not needed much help with that. Again, you should get better service since you are paying for it. Twice, because you are also paying school tax.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:15 PM
 
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I think this is a publicly accessible link:

Moravian Academy ~ Upper School Profile

It lists the colleges attended by the grads over the last four years.
Not a statistically useful list, as it doesn't give percentages or overall totals vs number of kids at MA, but hey, it's a list. (For comparison's sake, and again, it's anecdotal, granted, but I talked to the superintendent of my school district way back when my kid was starting elementary and asked about the types of colleges the graduates attended and how many were accepted at top schools and she could think vaguely of "one" that had gone to an Ivy).
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:00 PM
 
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Great list! I wish our school had one that showed more than just one year: Class of 2013 Post-Graduate Plans
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