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 is a therapeutic school? A therapeutic school is a special residential school designed to help troubled children, typically teenagers, with a variety of emotional and other problems. As a rule the child cannot get the consistent treatment she needs in a local school and at home. As a result it makes sense in many cases to send the child away to a highly structured environment where she will receive the treatment she needs 24/7. Most schools also work with their students to get the academics back on track as well.
 
The Admissions Process
 
Admissions under the supervision of a consulting physician or other professional can occur at any convenient time. You don't have to wait for once a year admissions deadlines as you do with normal day or boarding schools. Determine what the problem is. Identify a school which can turn things around. Pay for it. Those are the broad steps you will take to get your child into a therapeutic school.
 
The Diagnosis
 
How do you know for sure if you should consider a therapeutic school for your child? Always consult  with your doctor  and other professionals to discuss the situation if your child has any of the following symptoms or issues:
 
  • Substance abuse
  • Violent or threatening behavior
  • Defies authority
  • Refuses to follow rules or take guidance
  • Poor grades
 
How do the programs work?
 
Each therapeutic school has its own treatment procedures and philosophy. But most concentrate on providing a highly-structured, isolated environment in which your child can learn new behaviors. The schools provide the intensive support and
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Do you know....? If you know the answers to all these questions, you probably teach or work in a private school. Be that as it may, these questions contain links with the answers. Test your knowledge. Dispel some urban legends about private schools. Do you know....?
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Is your child struggling in school? Do you not understand why she is not doing well in school? Does she hate going to school instead of going eagerly each day?
 
At the first sign that their child has a learning disability, many parents go into a state of denial. That will not help the child. The first thing any concerned parent should do is have the child evaluated professionally. You must identify your child's strengths and weakness and proceed accordingly. Only professional learning specialists, pediatricians and psychologists are equipped to do these sorts of evaluations. Based on an evaluation you can explore the many options available to you and your child.

Helping children with learning differences become life-long learners is the mission of the 21st century special needs school. Generations ago these children were left to fend for themselves. Because learning was such a difficult, frustrating experience, many children with learning differemces simply gave up and dropped out of school. But the 21st century special needs schools have highly trained, well-qualified and experieced teachers who have committed themselves to teaching students with a wide variety of learning differences.
  
The Definition Of A Learning Difference
 
What exactly constitutes a learning difference? The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),  a federal law, defines it as follows:

The child does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for
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Parents are in a difficult position when it comes to finding out information about schools. Because they are private schools, they are not subject to the usual sunshine or freedom of information laws. They are under no legal obligation to tell you anything. You need to know exactly what is lurking behind those gorgeous web photos and  enthusiastic classroom shots.
 
The following questions are ones you might want to ask but might feel uncomfortable asking. That's why it's a good thing to hire an educational consultant. She can ask such questions with relative impunity. Plus she will think of dozens of other questions and raise many other issues about schools which will factor into your choice of schools
 
1. Why did those five seniors get expelled just before graduation?
 
Perhaps there was an article in the local press. It doesn't matter. The Internet makes unwelcome publicity widely available in minutes. Naturally you want to know what happened just in case the situation is symptomatic of something more serious. You will probably learn a lot about how the school enforces its code of conduct which you and your child could be signing if you decide to go there.
 
2. Is it true that the school is having financial difficulties?
 
There are plenty of signals that a school is in trouble. Declining enrolments and staff turnover are just two of the more obvious signs. No sense in sending your child to a school which is having problems. Your consultant will have made discreet inquiries
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If you are following our timeline for choosing a private school, you will notice that this process starts almost two years before the fall in which you want your child to start school. The process begins in a leisurely fashion as you gather your thoughts and think about schools. The intensity builds in the final six months before the January admissions deadline most schools seem to have.
 
Here's a recap of the steps you need to follow to find the right school for your child. Work through the process in sequence from beginning to end.
 
 
Is private school right for your child? Learn about the things you should consider and the unique benefits of a private school education. Once you are convinced of  the value of a private school education, then you must determine which private school is going to be best for your requirements.
 
 
It depends on your requirements. But in the end only one thing matters most anyway: the fit. When you get the fit right, you will have a happy child.
 
 
Many parents agonize over sending their child to boarding school or keeping them at home and sending them to day school. There are benefits to both kinds of schools. This is an important choice to make.
 
 
You ought to consider a single sex school as opposed to a traditional coeducational school. Why? Because
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Why Would I Want to....
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So Many Choices
When it comes to choosing a private school, there are so many choices to consider that the project can be a huge challenge to most of us. We offer some help and advice to help you get started.
What About a Foreign Language School?
Sending your child to a foreign language school makes good sense when you have been posted to this country from abroad and in other circumstances as well.
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.