Getting Started

In this section we offer a look into some of the most important factors of choosing a private school. Investigate single-sex education and read what students have to say, learn more about what is important when choosing a private school, and get valuable advice on transitioning to a new school.
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Single Sex Education at a Glance
Think of single sex education as another option as you consider which school is the right one for your child.
When you think of single sex education as a choice or an option, the subject becomes a little easier to understand in the 21st century. Private schools have offered single sex education for decades. Indeed many of our older schools were founded with the purpose of educating boys or girls separately.

Characteristics of Single Sex Schools
What grades do they offer? Typically single sex schools are high schools offering grades 9 through 12/PG. There are a handful of single sex schools which offer the middle school grades 6 through 9. Even fewer schools offer PK-12. You will also notice that middle school grades go up to grade 9 and high school begins with grade 9 as well. Actually grade 10 is probably the most common entry point for private high schools. That’s one reason for the overlap.

Single sex schools come in both boarding and day versions. There are single sex religious schools, military schools and so on.

The Advantage of Single Sex Education
The proponents and opponents of single sex education have firmly-held views. I think it is fair to say that the actual research into the advantages and disadvantages of single sex education is pretty meagre. I list the primary sources for you to read in depth. That’s why I concluded long ago that single sex education needs to be thought of as a choice. It is not better than coeducation in my opinion. Nor is it worse. It is simply an option for us parents to keep in mind as we...
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Choosing a School: 5 Must Haves
Whether you are just beginning the process of choosing a private school or several months into it, make sure that you keep these five 'must haves' front and center in your thinking.
Perhaps you are just starting to think about private high school for your middle schooler. Or perhaps you have started the process of choosing the right private school and have some questions about how to proceed. These five 'must haves' will hopefully help you focus on the things which are really important when it comes to choosing a private school.
 
1. The best fit
 
Always number one on my list is the fit. Fit trumps everything else simply because fit is all about how your child and the school mesh. If they are not in synch, the result will be an unhappy child. Keep this in mind as you visit schools on your short list. Your child will know instinctively whether or not she likes the school.
 
Now, having pointed out how important fit is, it makes good sense to engineer the visits so that she likes all the schools on your short list. How do you do that? You hire an educational consultant who will identify schools which will be a good fit. That's what an educational consultant does. Consultants take time to get to know you and your child. They know their schools too. As a result the list of schools which a consultant presents you will be on target. Any or all of the schools will potentially be a good fit. One will be the best fit. Visiting schools on a list of schools carefully selected with your needs and requirements in mind will be a pleasure because almost...
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4 Things to Know Before You Choose a Private School
There are way more than four things to know about private school. But this will get you started.
Actually there are many more things to know about private school than the four items I have chosen. But this will get you started. For most of us the idea of sending your child to private school begins with that nagging feeling that she's very bright and needs the very best kind of schooling possible. So you start exploring your options. That leads you to web sites. And it also raises many questions. So the four points I am going to expand on below are really affirmations of what you probably already knew anyway.
 
Private schools are not ranked.  As you explore schools on the web, you quickly realize that there is no way to rank schools. It's perfectly normal to want to send your child to the 'best' school. But how can you identify that school if there is no ranking system? First of all, let's deal with the reality of private schools and ranking. They cannot be ranked. Why? Because they are unique. Take the 400+ boarding schools we have in the U.S. Each one is different. Not better. Not worse. Simply different. Their locations, their facilities, their curricula - all different. The commonality is that they offer an excellent education.
 
You can compare programs, course offerings and a host of other factors using our checklists. Checklist for Comparing Schools: Administration and Faculty and Checklist for Comparing Schools - Curriculum and Instruction are designed to keep all the important points organized. Once you identify what your requirements are, then matching a school with those requirements is the next step in the...
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How to Convince Your Child to Go to Private School
You want your child to go to private school. But how will you convince her to go?
It is a scenario which plays out more often than you might think. You have been looking at your child's high school with a certain amount of trepidation. The school is very large. The students get a relatively good education. But you have that persistent, nagging feeling that your child deserves more. Besides you both work. Frequent business travel has become a regular feature of your life. The bottom line is that you want your child to attend private school. But how are you going to convince her to go along with you? Let's look at some strategies and approaches which work.

Don't dictate what is going to happen.
The quickest way to turn your child against any idea, no matter how rationale and well-intentioned, is to dictate. Telling her that she will be going to private school will probably not get the result you want. Think about her feelins. She has friends. They may not be the friends you might prefer her to have, but they are friends nonetheless. Sending her to private school changes the balance of her comfortable little world. Remember that teens are particularly sensitive to change. Take her out of her comfort  zone and she will be most unhappy.

She must buy into the idea.
The minute she decides that going to private school is a great idea, you will be set. I realize that I sound like a manipulating adult, but that's pretty much what it takes to achieve your goal. Neither can you present the idea...
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IDEA
Use this simple mnemonic to help you organize your search for a private school for your child.
Use this simple mnemonic to help you organize your search for a private school for your child. From start to finish you will probably invest up to 125 hours in this process if you are looking at boarding schools. About 50 hours if you are looking at day schools. Perhaps 25 hours if you are investigating primary and pre-schools. It's a lot of work with a lot of deadlines to fit into your busy schedule. But if you will scope out the various tasks you have to do and work through them step by step, you will get through it.

The most important caution which I or any private school consultant will give you is a very simple one: start the process as far in advance as you possibly can. At least 18 months before the fall of the year you plan your child to attend her new school. If you are forced to find a school at the last minute, it can be done. Not easy but it can be done. You will feel much less stressed when you give yourself as much lead time as you can.

Identify
This is fun because all you have to do is look at web sites. Look at as many as you want to. If you prefer requesting DVD's and catalogs, that's fine. It won't slow you down too much. Tip: only request catalogs from schools which really interest you.

There are a large variety of options even for preschools. The options multiply considerably if...
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Choosing a Private School

GETTING STARTED