What Is an Independent School?

DHMC-15Dearborn Heights Montessori Center is an independent school and is a member of AIMS, the Association of Independent Michigan Schools.  Independent schools provide parents with an alternative to public education, define their own mission, and have the freedom to design a quality curriculum which best meets their mission.  Families value the fact that independent schools work hard to create a community where students thrive in smaller classes led by highly qualified teachers who set academic standards consistent with the mission of the school.  Independent schools stress a well-rounded education and encourage parents to be involved in the life of the school.

Independent schools are close-knit communities that are uniquely capable of providing students with individualized attention.  Dearborn Heights Montessori Center is committed to challenging students to stretch their minds by offering rigorous academic programs, but goes beyond academics to develop responsible, independent, and community-oriented students.  Teachers are encouraged to be creative and flexible, allowing them to construct unique learning experiences.

“Independent schools offer a more personalized, customized education, and an environment that is civil and controlled.  Small class sizes, individualized attention, values, manners, and discipline are the most particular factors describing differences perceived between public and independent schools.”  (National Public Opinion Poll of Perceptions of Independent Schools).

Dearborn Heights Montessori Center is independent in its governance and finance, has a stated policy of non-discrimination in admission and employment, and is incorporated on a non-profit basis.  Financial support for DHMC comes primarily from tuition.

The Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS) is an organization that recognizes and supports independent schools in Michigan.  These schools vary in size, philosophy, curriculum, and student body, but share emphasis on the following:

The Student as a Person… to recognize every child’s individuality, stimulate curiosity, and provide the opportunity to develop to his or her highest potential.

The Quality of Education… to provide a rich academic challenge with creative freedom, academic preparation for college, and thoughtful preparation for life.

Individual Attention… to offer superior academic guidance so that a student may progress according to his or her ability, and may develop greater self-discipline and self-confidence.


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