Why Private School

A comprehensive look at private schools and why they might be right for your child. Explore the history of private school education, weigh the pros and cons of public vs. private school, and get valuable advice on making the best choice for your child. Learn more about the various types of private schools from military to progressive and review directories from a variety of resources including private school associations and offline publications.
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What is a lab school? It is a K-12 school or school with some variation of those grades which typically is operated by a university or college. Sometimes it is called a demonstration school. A few lab schools are not affiliated with any institution of higher learning.
 
The school is a lab or laboratory school because teachers in training and the faculty of the college's education department usually have a hand in teaching and running the school. Like scientists experimenting in their labs, these educators use the lab school as their place to try out theories and methods. They also provide student teachers a controlled situation where they can learn the art of teaching.
 
Most lab schools are progressive schools as well. What are the differences between traditional and progressive schools? This chart from the Wingras School in Madison, Wisconsin illustrates the main differences. Lab schools adopt the progressive philosophy as part of their child-centric approach to education. The flexibility inherent in the progressive approach works well with student teachers who are just coming to grips with how children learn.
 

The list of schools which follows includes only private lab schools. Many state and public universities operate their lab schools in conjunction with the local school district. As such they do not charge tuition or charge very little tuition. The private lab schools do charge tuition.
 
A.E. Phillips Laboratory School, Ruston, LA
Grades: K-8
Program: "The school's purpose is to educate students in a wholesome, challenging environment that . . .read more
Two television series about private schools have received a certain amount of buzz recently. Gossip Girl  airs on CWNYC Prep is on Bravo.
 
Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl is based on the novels of Cecily von Ziegesar.  Ms. von Ziegsar herself is a graduate of Nightingale-Bamford, a Manhattan girls' school. The Gossip Girl series made it to the best seller lists in 2002. It chronicles the lives and exploits of the wealthy teens attending The Constance Billard School for Girls. Gossip Girl premiered on CW in 2007.

What's to Like

 

The cinematography is fabulous. You will have plenty of New York City vistas, shops and restaurants, as well as those incredible Park Avenue apartments to soak up. HDTV makes it a breath-taking experience without doubt.

 

 

The fact that the show really does not depict what actually goes on in a fine old Manhattan girls' school. That's a good thing. Because we can only imagine what those poor teachers and administrators have to deal with on a daily basis. New York is a vibrant, exciting city, but it can be terribly rough and 'in your face'. It takes a very tough teacher to face some of those parents and children in a conference room discussing little Rebecca's failing grade in calculus, that's for sure.

The clothes. No American city does clothes better than New York. And these kids know how to wear those clothes. And where to wear them. Fashionistas will . . .read more
These titles are books which private school teachers and administrators have shared with each other on various lists and groups. One or two are quick reads. Most are pretty meaty. They all deserve a place in your collection. Parents need to read many of these books in order to understand what really goes on in the classroom.

 

  • Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity (Live Girls)
    By Ophira Edut (Editor), Rebecca Walker ISBN: 1580050166 "In more than 20 candid and humorous essays, a diverse group of women explore how they have chosen to ignore, subvert, or redefine the standard of beauty. These women break down modern culture's feminine ideal and reinvent it for themselves."

 

  • After Long Silence
    By Helen Fremont. ISBN: 0385333706 "In her mid-30s Helen Fremont discovered that, although she had been raised in the Midwest as a Catholic, she was in fact the daughter of Polish Jews whose families had been exterminated in the Holocaust."
  • The Age of American Unreason
    By Susan Jacoby ISBN: 9780375423741 "A scathing, witty indictment of American modern-day culture examines the current disdain for logic and evidence fostered by the mass media, religious fundamentalism, poor public education, a lack of fair-minded intellectuals, and a lazy, credulous public, condemning our addiction to infotainment, from TV to the Web, and assessing its repercussions for the country as a whole."
  • A Separate Peace
    by John Knowles ISBN: 0743253973 "At a New England boarding school during World War II, a group . . .read more
How about living on a working farm for a semester? Or investigating marine life  in The Bahamas? Perhaps you grew up on a farm and are hankering to explore a major city like New York? A semester school offers those experiences and more.

 

Semester schools offer enrichment to your high school experience. The semester school, like its big cousin, the year abroad, offers you a chance to experience different worlds, different environments and different cultures or gives you time to do some substantive research.  And you can, in most cases, enjoy this incredible experience without leaving the country. The Island School located in Eleuthera, Bahamas and Swiss Semester located in Switzerland are the two exceptions on the list of programs below.

 

 

The cost? From no cost to several thousands of dollars not including extras. Is there financial aid? Yes. Ask the individual program providers for complete details.

 

 

When do you go? Typically students like to spend part of their junior year away from their home school. It's practical and doesn't interfere much with the academic sequence, testing, college applications and all the other features of your senior year.

 

 

 

Progressive schools have been around since the early 1900's. Some educators think that progressives are rebels against traditional rote learning. The progressive educators like to think of themselves as reformers. The truth is somewhere in between the two points of view.
 
The movement has an interesting history. Read about John Dewey (1859-1952), the modern founder of the movement in the U.S. You can only wonder what might have happened to public education had some of his ideas taken root. As it is, progressive educators and schools which employ their philosophies are pretty much confined to the private sector. A list of private schools which embrace the progressive ideals, teachings and curricula is given below.

 

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Why Private School

About Private Schools

An in depth look at private schools, including history, a comparison to public education, and a glimpse of what's being taught. Learn about the benefits of attending private school, to both students and parents. Explore private schools options when living abroad, and debunk many of the myths regarding private school education.

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.

School Life

Get a glimpse of private school life. Here you'll find a survival guide for parents, brush up on terms and jargon, and learn why extracurricular activities are so important.

Directories

We offer several directories to aid in your choice of a private school. Included are quick links to national, regional and state associations, a list of offline resources to aid in our decision, and local school directories for several metropolitan areas.