What is an Independent School?
An independent school is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, corporate entity. An independent school owns and governs itself, with a board of trustees who perform fiduciary duties of oversight and strategically set the direction and funding of the school. The terms “private school” and “independent school” are often used synonymously. To be precise, however, independent schools exclude parochial and other schools if there is financial and/or governance dependency on other outside organizations. Independent schools receive revenues through tuition, fundraising, gifts and/or funds from endowments. Authority for day-to-day operations is delegated to the Head of School by their governing Boards of Trustees.
Independence is the unique characteristic of this segment of the education industry, offering schools four freedoms that contribute to their success: the freedom to define their own unique missions; the freedom to admit and keep only those students well-matched to the mission; the freedom to define the qualifications for high quality teachers; and the freedom to determine on their own what to teach and how to assess student achievement and progress. At BDS, we adhere to our mission which is supported by our Board of Trustees, faculty and staff. We might adjust curriculum and programming, for example, to best address the needs of our students and meeting our mission as necessary, free from influences of external entities. This flexibility allows us to deliver the best in educating 21st century students.