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.
View the most popular articles in Why Private School:
The answer to that questions hangs on whether you look at statistics or community. Having 10% of your student population from a certain ethnic group does not necessarily mean a diverse school community. Diversity is more than numbers and statistics. Diversity is an attitude.
 
Teaching children to be tolerant and accepting of people and views which are different from their own is a huge task. It requires teamwork. Parents, administration and teachers set the tone. Nothing will be accomplished without the cooperation of these three groups.
 
Teaching children to be tolerant means getting involved and setting the right kind of example. Getting involved is not the same as sitting on the sidelines and observing what children are saying and doing. Getting involved means addressing issues of tolerance and diversity in the home and in the classroom.
 
The Past
 
Decades ago private schools were infamous for being elitist and exclusive. If you were Jewish or if your skin color was something other than white, you probably were not going to be admitted to a private school if you even dared to apply. Fortunately that has changed. Private schools have come to understand their leadership role in creating an inclusive, accepting community of students, teachers, staff and parents. Now the push is on to heighten that understanding of others and how they live with many fine initiatives such as The Institute for Student Leaders sponsored by NAIS. Private schools are proud of their diversity which truly is fact and not just talk.
 
Affordability
 
Until fairly recently you
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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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What's private school really like? Find out from people who have been there. Lorene Cary's Black Ice makes compelling reading. She was one of the first African-Americans to attend an elite private school. It was a different world from the one she grew up in back in Philadelphia. The classic novel is J.D.Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. As fresh today as it was when written back in 1951, Catcher opens on Holden's last day in prep school. Fast forward a few years and Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep sits atop the New York Times Best Seller List. These books are well worth a read. Enjoy!
 
Academy X by Andrew Trees
ISBN-13: 978-1596911772

Black Ice By Lorene Cary
ISBN-13: 978-0679737452

Casualties of Privilege: Essays on Prep Schools' Hidden Culture  by Louis Crosier
ISBN-13: 78-0962767104 
 
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
ISBN-13: 978-0316769174

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
ISBN-13: 978-0545162074

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
ISBN-13: 978-0812972351

A Separate Peace by John Knowles
ISBN-13: 978-0743253970

Saving Miss Oliver's by Stephen Davenport
ISBN-13: 978-0976925521
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Recent Articles
Why Would I Want to....
Why Would I Want to....
Many parents tend to dismiss the idea of sending their children to private school without exploring it in depth. We explore this and several more related subjects.
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.
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.