Private Schools Column
St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisc., says it has become the first boarding school in the country to equip its students with personal computers.
With a bequest from a deceased alumnus, the school for 200 boys in grades 7 through 12 bought 150 Apple IIE computers for each classroom and dormitory room, and 12 Apple printers, one per dormitory floor.
Each academic department is using software that correlates with its textbooks. Students are using the computers in spelling, math, and science courses, to improve their keyboarding skills, and to prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
In their free time, cadets may check out educational games to play on their computers, which cost a total of more than $150,000.
The 100-year-old school plans eventually to "network" the computers to a main computer with a hard-disk drive, so users can access programs directly.
Two independent schools in Sun Valley, Idaho, with fewer than 200 students combined, raised $1.3 million in four months for a building and renovation project.
The aggressive fundraising campaign was conducted by The Mountain School, an elementary school in Elkhorn with 50 students, and the Ketchum-Sun Valley Community School with 140 students in grades 7-12.
The money was raised between June and October of this year to renovate the Community School and construct a new building on its site for the Mountain School. Officials said the schools plan to merge in four years.
The Saint Mary's College Institute for Catholic Management and Development in Minneapolis has selected four Roman Catholic high schools to participate in a pilot development project.
The four-year project will provide consulting services to the schools in the areas of governance, management and development, and training of lay teachers in the schools' religious identity.
The schools selected were Woodside Priory School, Portola Valley, Calif.; Cabrini High School, New Orleans; McGill Toolen High School, Mobile, Ala.; and Regina High School, Iowa City.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges announced last month that it will begin accreditation of independent and denominational schools enrolling preschool to 9th-grade pupils.
The decision to accredit schools is one that some private-school associations have rejected recently, due to its high cost and complicated procedures. But many private-school officials say accreditation is necessary, in the present competitive climate, to ensure corporate donors, prospective parents, and state education departments of the schools' quality.--kg