Kinds of Schools

Private schools are just as varied as public schools. From Catholic to progressive, military to special needs, private schools offer a lot of options. Take a comprehensive look into the many types of private schools, weigh the pros and cons of each, and get helpful tips on choosing one that works best for your child.
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Perhaps you have come to this site because you have just found out that your son has dyslexia. Now you are wondering what your education options are. Perhaps you are reading this article because you have decided that your child needs the best teachers available to help her with her learning differences. She is very bright and highly motivated. That's not the issue. She just learns differently. Or maybe your child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and is having difficulty learning in her present class setting.
 
Hundreds of thoughts flash past, but the reality is that you know that your child needs to be in a school which offers experienced specialist teachers who can show him how to cope with his syndrome. You also know that he will succeed in a small class setting with plenty of personal attention.
 
Forget any stigma when it comes to choosing a school for special needs. These schools are great. They have spent years perfecting their learning strategies. They understand young people like your son. They know what needs to be done. I know. My eldest son read at several grades below his grade level. The one on one instruction which he received in the wonderful special needs school he attended fixed that. Here is a brief look at one of the great special needs schools, The Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut.
 
 
Special needs schools know how to teach children who have been diagnosed autism, deafness and blindness
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What is an alternative school? For most of us the term alternative school means a school with a non-traditional program. Its students could be 'gifted' or 'troubled' or have special learning needs.
 
Schools For The Gifted
Many schools for the gifted offer enrichment in academic subjects. Others specialize in the arts. Most of the students in these schools excel at their school work and in their artistic endeavors. They thrive in a school setting where they don't have to waste time on non-essential courses. The extra time gained is spent on music lessons, rehearsals and studio time.
 
Schools for Troubled Teens
 
Schools for troubled teens are often styled 'therapeutic' schools. Their students have been unable to succeed academically in regular schools. Perhaps discipline is a problem.  Or the child has an eating disorder or is suicidal. The program at a therapeutic school tends to be highly structured so that a child learns how to cope. Some therapeutic schools deal with substance abuse issues. Children who are addicted to drugs and alcohol can find the professional help and counseling they need to change their lives.  Other schools specialize in emotional growth issues.
Admission to these schools is on an 'as needed' basis. You won't have to wait until a certain date to admit your child. Some schools have minimum stays in order to ensure the effectiveness of their programs.
 

Schools for At Risk Teens
Several cities offer 'street schools' modeled after the highly successful Denver Street School. The 
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Does the term 'military school' conjure up images of a place where you send troubled young men or boys who can't keep their hands off a gun? Well, if it does, you are wrong. America's military prep schools carry on a proud tradition of academic and personal excellence which has withstood the assaults of negative media attention and changing fashions in education. Furthermore, many military schools are now co-ed reflecting the changes in the role of women in our armed forces at the national level.

A military school education embraces stucture, team work, and a solid focus on self-discipline. And they are not just for men either. Several schools are co-educational. Technology plays a major role in military schools these days, reflecting the enormous changes technology has wrought across the entire defense spectrum in America today.

Military school graduates have gone on to be our nation's leaders. They have paid the price for defending our freedom.

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
As who had heard God’s message from afar;
All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.

Stanza II from O Valiant Hearts by John S. Ark-wright
 
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Photo by L Downing
The oldest American private school is Collegiate School in Manhattan founded in 1628. Not surprisingly, the oldest schools are concentrated in the east in what were the original thirteen colonies. Most of the founders of these early schools were principled men with lofty ideals and purposes. Take John Phillips, for example.
 
"The founder of Phillips Exeter Academy defined its mission more than two centuries ago. 'Above all,' John Phillips stated, 'it is expected that the attention of instructors to the disposition of the minds and morals of the youth under their charge will exceed every other care; well considering that though goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.' ....Academy Mission Statement
 
The Ursuline Academy was founded in New Orleans in 1727 because the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula were "Convinced that the education of women was essential to the development of a civilized, spiritual and just society." These schools are a lasting tribute to the vision of these early founders.
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Schools for the artistically gifted child are in short supply. If you have a daughter inclined to things thespian or a son who sings, then you ought to consider a school which makes the arts its raison d'etre, a place where the arts are not just a pleasant extra curricular activity.
 
These specialist private schools arrange their academic day around serious time for the arts. Plenty of rehearsal time is a must. Exciting recital and performance opportunities abound. Expert instruction is de rigeur. On with the show!
 
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