Exploring the Benefits of Private Schools

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Enrolling your children in a private school is an investment in their future successes. Private schools provide a nurturing and encouraging environment in which children can thrive and develop a love of learning. If you’re on the fence about enrolling your children, consider the following benefits.

Class Size
One of the most significant benefits of a private school is its smaller class size. Teachers work more closely with students and are able to provide more in-depth feedback and guidance. Since students in a small class do not need to compete for the teacher’s attention, they are generally more engaged in the curriculum. A smaller class size also lends itself to increased peer learning opportunities. Plus, active participation in a small class prepares children for college classes. The benefits of a small class size extend to behavioral issues. According to USA Today, researchers have found students in smaller classes are more focused and engage in fewer problem behaviors.

Challenging Curriculum
When you enroll your children in a private school, they will have access to a challenging curriculum that enables them to learn the value of hard work and dedication. The higher standards of private schools translate into higher test scores. Furthermore, successful completion of engaging and stimulating coursework fosters children’s confidence in their own abilities.

College Acceptance
Private schools often emphasize preparation for college and frequently boast high college acceptance rates. Children at private schools are more likely to achieve high SAT scores. Also, the rigorous academic standards at private schools help children thrive at institutes of higher learning.

Enrichment Opportunities
Private schools typically offer a much broader array of enrichment opportunities than public schools. Your children will have access to a wealth of student clubs and associations, athletic teams, and community service opportunities. Additionally, private schools often offer a wide selection of visual and performing arts classes, such as studio arts and theater arts.

To learn more about the benefits of a private school for your children, please call The Quarry Lane School at (925) 394-4644. We pride ourselves on our small class sizes and enrichment opportunities. Our K-12 college preparatory school is conveniently located in Dublin, CA. 

Why Parents Should Be Closely Involved with Their Child's Preschool Education

Playdough game

A high-quality preschool program provides your children with the opportunity to prepare for lifelong success. Early childhood education builds the foundation of a wide range of skills youngsters need, from early math knowledge to fine motor skills. Parental involvement in education is critical in every stage of life, particularly concerning communication between parents and educators. You can share any concerns you might have with the teacher and discuss how both of you can best help your children succeed.

Preschool teachers can often provide advice for at-home learning activities. By staying connected with the preschool program, you’ll know which particular subject areas your children are working on. Then, you can supplement the material with educational trips to the zoo or children’s museum, or by checking out relevant books from the library. When you stay involved with your children’s education, you’re also sending them a valuable message: education matters.

The preschool educators of The Quarry Lane School are dedicated to working closely with parents. Please call our Pleasanton, CA private school at (925) 462-6300 and schedule a school tour.

How AP Teachers Help Students Succeed

Schoolboy in high school class

Advanced placement (AP) classes offer a challenging curriculum to prepare students for their college studies. Even the most academically gifted students may sometimes experience difficulty with AP coursework. Teachers can help students succeed by being role models who demonstrate the value of hard work and dedication. Successful teachers also instill self-confidence in students’ abilities and make themselves available to students who need help.

If your children are taking AP courses at their private school, watch this video to learn more about teachers’ approaches to the subject matter. You’ll hear a variety of brief interviews with AP teachers who discuss the best ways to help students succeed.

At The Quarry Lane School, all of our educators are highly dedicated to your children’s success. We invite residents of Dublin, CA to call our private school at (925) 394-4644 or visit our website for more information.

What Is the Value of Science Education?

Schoolchildren in a science class

A high-quality science education with personalized attention from esteemed professors is vital for the academic success of children of all ages. Science education becomes increasingly important for teenagers entering high school, as university curricula continue to emphasize quantitative analysis and technological expertise. Here is why you should select a college preparatory school that truly emphasizes mathematics and science.

Real-World Lessons
The teaching of science offers high school students the ability to access a wide range of knowledge and information that enables them to understand how and why the world works the way it does. From biology to chemistry to physics, science explains the mechanics behind complex systems. Students gain a broad and deep understanding of the internal functions of the human body and the basic principles that define the universe itself.

Daily Inspiration
Science courses not only give high school students important, tangible proof of obscure facts; they also instill in students a sense of intrigue. As technology continues to develop at a rapid pace and even everyday business functions become more and more globalized, science courses at private schools give students access to the resources they need to devise their own experiments and become the leaders of tomorrow. 

Hands-On Experience
It is never too soon to begin exploring a career in science. Premier high schools today offer specialized, challenging academic tracks for high schoolers who plan to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. With access to state-of-the-art laboratories and competitive internship opportunities with industry professionals at top universities, these students are well on their way to solving complex, real world problems.

The Quarry Lane School is committed to providing our high school students with the science skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. With outstanding faculty, small class sizes, innovative teaching techniques, and hands-on learning opportunities, our college preparatory program is one of the best in California. To find out more about what sets our school apart, contact us at (925) 394-4644, or visit our Dublin, CA location today. 

Harkness Methodology in Summer Academy - Quarry Lane School

At the Quarry Lane School, the Harkness Methodology is a year-round endeavor. Within Summer Academy, students are engaged in this group-led learning system in their daily classes. 

Dr. Gretchen Kellough, Head of English and IB Coordinator has been implementing a new methodology in her International Baccalaureate (IB) English classroom. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Kellough to get the inside scoop on this approach to global learning.


Please describe the Harkness Methodology.

Harkness Methodology is a bottom-up, discussion-based form of teaching. We use it in our pre-IB and IB English classes. It puts the responsibility on the students to generate analysis and answer each other’s questions, rather than the teacher doing all the guiding. Instead of directing their questions to the teacher, students challenge, question, and support each other’s point of view. A teacher using the Harkness Methodology easily speaks for less than 5% of class time. The motivation for using Harkness in our English classrooms is it models for students how to learn. It teaches them to stay close to the text and find proof in the written word for their inferences and literary investigations. It also teaches more vocal students to encourage their quieter peers to speak out, and it requires active listening from all participants. Harkness teaches students to engage with their education. Students who learn via Harkness methodology are more likely to retain information after the tests have passed because they relate it to knowledge they are requiring in other classes or to ideas that already interest them.

Can you describe the look of your classroom while using this style of teaching?

Our Harkness tables allow all the students to face in to each other, which encourages discussion and student-driven participation.  The Harkness tables teach the students to collaborate with each, rather than compete with each other, and this interaction continues beyond the classroom and becomes a cornerstone of our IB program. The teacher is a participant in the Harkness discussion as well. My role is to demonstrate to students how to learn by teaching them how to ask questions and how to find answers. When it comes time to taking tests or quizzes, each Harkness table has pull-out test tables to give the students individual work areas.

Where did you first learn about this style of teaching?

I first learned about Harkness-based discussion when I was looking for ways to better structure discussions and involve the students in my IB English class. I found materials on Harkness Methodology through the Phillips Exeter Academy and learned how to use it in my classroom in a way that incorporated the desired outcomes of the IB curriculum. I created a handout and guide for other English teachers to use it in their classrooms. I find it interesting that about a year after we began using Harkness methodology in our IB English classes at QLS, the IB English program revised its worldwide curriculum to include a Harkness-type discussion as one of the assessment methods for IB English.

How do the students respond to this?

Students initially said, “Please, don’t ever make us do this again.” They realized how hard they had to work when they were in charge of leading the class discussion. However, I saw that they were better able to internalize information and apply it in testing and essay-writing. Harkness models the adage: “"Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I'll remember. Involve me, I'll understand.” It makes sense that the students come to a better understanding when they are the ones generating the discussions and figuring out the answers on their own. It’s similar to what happens in the Applied Science classes.

How does the Harkness Methodology connect to the educational philosophy of Quarry Lane?

The philosophy at Quarry Lane School is “Education is a lifelong commitment” and our mission is to foster a lifelong love of learning. Harkness Methodology gives our students the short-term and long-term skills to be lifelong students. The most effective teaching methodologies are practiced by doing and teaching others. Harkness makes extensive use of these methodologies through its discussion-centered practices. It also fosters a sense of community and connectedness that connects our students long after graduation.

For more information on the Harkness Methodology or the Quarry Lane School, please contact us at (925) 394-4644 or visit our website


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