Exploring private and public schools


A view of the Sacred Hearts Academy campus. Class sizes at the Academy are typically smaller than other public and private schools on the island. Photo by Danielle Woo.

Have you ever thought about the difference between private and public schools? Today, I will be talking about that, as well as the similarities, specifically at an all-girls school and co-educational public schools on the mainland and in our very state. Many of us have experience from other private schools, while others may have experience coming from a public school.

Lupe Alindajao, English department head at Sacred Hearts Academy, taught in the public school system on the mainland. She says that it was “very challenging” switching her curriculum to fit the Academy’s method of teaching. Last year was her first time using the well-known platform Google Classroom. As it is her second year teaching at the Academy, she has gotten very used to the smaller classes and the online assignments.

“I was nervous; I didn’t know if a private school’s method of teaching was different from what I was used to in a public school,” she said. 

Sophomore Angelina Lind transferred from Manoa Elementary. She said, “I was scared that I was going to be bullied here because I had the thought that everybody here is rich.” 

That stigma was not the case for her, as she made friends with her classmates very quickly. She said that the Academy definitely has more options for education, including counseling for our futures. Lind is a fan of wearing the sailor uniform every day because she thinks that it is easier than choosing an outfit to wear every day. She is very happy that the Academy also has a wider selection of sports and clubs. She now participates on the track team.

Alindajao was very relieved to find that the classes were smaller than the more than 200 students she was teaching on the mainland. She said that it is easier to bond with her students here, thanks to the small class sizes. She is also a very big fan of the bell schedule. Alindajao believes that the breaks in between classes are relaxing because she has time to mentally prepare for her next class, especially if she is teaching multiple grades and subjects. 

Many people have different opinions on public education and private education. Some favor private education and a few others may favor public education. For Lind, she said that going to a private school has been a privilege and a big opportunity for her to broaden her experience.