Choosing a Private School

This section will provide expert advice, valuable tools, and relevant resources to aid in the decision making process. Learn more about what factors to consider when choosing a private school, what to expect at an open house, and how an educational consultant can help.
View the most popular articles in Choosing a Private School:
What Overseas Parents Need To Know
If you live outside the United States, choosing an American private school can be a confusing process. Here is an overview of the process.
If you live abroad and are thinking about sending your child to an American boarding school, you need to be aware of several things.
 
1. The U.S. has many private schools.
 
First of all, like everything else in the U.S., the sheer number of private K-12 schools in the United States is positively overwhelming. There are over 29,000 private schools. See Private Schools: A Brief Portrait for an overview of the private school scene.
 
In North America “public” denotes a school which receives funding from the federal, state and/or local authorities. Private schools, on the other hand, are generally supported almost exclusively by their own resources: tuition fees, fund-raising campaigns and endowments. They do not, as a rule, accept any form of state funding. To do so would jeopardize their independence. Also, “college” in North America generally denotes a tertiary or university level institution.
 
2. Freedom of choice is a cherished feature of private education.
Secondly, freedom of choice is at the heart of American private education. Many private schools were founded by groups of parents who want their children to be educated according to certain religious or educational principles. Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Seventh Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, and Quaker schools are examples of some of the denominations which sponsor schools. Disciples of Maria Montessori and Rudolph Steiner have gone forth and multiplied. Montessori and Waldorf schools can be found in most communities.

Private schools further subdivide along residential or boarding and non-residential or day school lines. You will find...
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Evaluating and Choosing a Private School
How should parents evaluate and choose a private school? Read about some helpful tips regarding this important decision.
You have your reasons: Maybe your child has special needs that you feel the public school system cannot provide. Perhaps you’re less than satisfied with the academic achievements or the safety records of the public schools where you live. Perhaps you attended private school as a child and you want your children to enjoy the same experience.
 
No matter what the reasons are that you’ve decided to enroll your child into private school the fact remains that deciding which school to send your child to is a tough decision. With so many schools from which to choose, the matter of selecting a school is not simple by any standards. Several aspects of school and child must be considered before arriving to a final decision.
 
This article will help you work out a process with which you can evaluate and choose from private schools. First you need to identify your needs. After you identify and prioritize your needs, then you can survey private schools. After you’ve narrowed your list, you’ll want to set up school visits and interviews. Deciding on that final school can be very much a two way street between your family and the private school. After interviews, you’ll need to prioritize your school list again so that you can make that final decision as offers to enroll your child come in.

Step I: Identify your needs

 
 
It’s important to look within your family and work out your child’s needs before you ever set foot...
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Changing Schools and Moving to New Area
Find out tips and services for changing schools and moving to new area.
Changing schools and moving can be stressful events, even if the entire family is excited about the move. The purpose of this article is to give you a checklist of all the things you may need to think about as you orchestrate your move and what you may need to do when changing schools. We have set up the list of things to do along a timeline, to mirror you own busy schedule as you get your household and school paperwork in order.

As soon as you decide to move

  • Changing Schools?
    • Private schools often have rigorous admissions. As soon as you realize that a move is necessary, you should research the private schools in the area and set up interviews so that you can better ascertain your family's fit for the school.
    • Get on the waiting lists. Even if you cannot get your children into your first choice school because they do not have room, stay on their waiting list. Students drop out, move themselves, etc.
    • Consider using an Educational Consultant from your target destination to help you decide where to try to place your children when you move.
    • Give yourself enough time for your children to take admissions tests if required or placement tests so that the school...
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Recent Articles
Choosing a School: 10 Things Which Matter To Parents
Choosing a School: 10 Things Which Matter To Parents
Never lose sight of why you are planning to send your child to private school. This list of ten considerations will help you focus on the things which matter.
3 Tips for an Effective Private School Job Search
Use these tips to tweak your job search strategies as you seek employment in a private school.
5 Financial Aid DOs and DONTs
Part of the private school selection process is financial aid. We point out five issues about which you should be aware.
Choosing a Private School

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.

Finding Schools

Learn more about how to find and evaluate private schools. Find out why price should not be your only consideration. Get valuable advice on how to save time and money when choosing a school. Learn more about ranking schools and why it may not work.

Evaluating Schools

Here you will find resources and tools to aid in your search and evaluation of private schools. Explore the ranking system and read what schools have to say about it. Learn more about the most important questions to ask and how an education consultant can get answers. Use our checklists to help compare school administration, curriculum and more.