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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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.
Educating the young has been a mission of the Roman Catholic Church for as long as anybody can remember. While curricula and teaching methods have changed dramatically over the years, one thing is immutable: these schools do a great job educating their students as evidenced by the very high pecentage of their graduates who go on to colleges and universities all over the country, indeed, around the world.  With many boarding schools charging $43,000-48,000 for their services, these boarding schools offer good value as such things go. A couple of schools are single sex schools. The rest are co-educational institutions.
 
Many of these schools are operated by Roman Catholic orders such as the Jesuits or Salesians which specialize in teaching. The standards are high. Most schools have uniform or dress codes. Core values are also taught together with plenty of instruction in the Catholic faith. The result is graduates who are firmly anchored on solid spiritual and academic foundations for advancement in later life.
 
Check out the profiles of these schools. Many of them also take day students, so if you live in the area, you can have the best of both worlds.
 
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When critics inveigh against private schools, they tend to pick on issues such as the following.
 
Everybody's Rich
 
 Actually if you look at the beginnings of most private schools, you will discover that their original clientele were not children from wealthy families. Many of the founders of schools back in colonial times - the Phillips family, for example - saw education as the way forward for the infant democracy which was the United States. In order for the nation to survive it needed a literate, educated, proficient population. European crusaders like Dr. Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner - the founder of the Waldorf Schools movement - began their work among the poor and working classes. Their teachings captured the imagination of American middle and upper classes when their movements spread to the United States.
 
Over time as the schools expanded, they became highly prized for what they accomplished so very well, namely providing an excellent academic education, combined with sports and solid core values. Market forces conspired to drive the cost of education up. Social forces conspired to make private schools the place where the elite sent their children. In the 21st century egalitarian ideas once more have the upper hand. Private schools seek out and encourage applicants from every social and economic strata. Diversity rules. Not everybody who attends private school is rich.
 
Compulsory Sports
 
What's not to like about sports? Schooling throughout the centuries has always had a physical education component. Think Olympics. The ancient Romans had their ludi or games. You
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Private schools have their own jargon just like any activity or affinity group has. Some of the terms which you will encounter come to us from England where private or public schools as they call them have been around for centuries. That's why you will see words you know with meaning you weren't expecting. 
 
Here are some of the more common terms you are likely to encounter as you explore private schools.
 
AD/ADHD
 
AD and ADHD are really the same thing: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If your child exhibits any signs of ADHD, you should have him evaluated thoroughly. The syndrome is treatable. Several private schools do an outstanding job of teaching boys and girls with AD/ADHD.
 
Crew
 
Crew is the ancient sport of rowing. Rowing in shells is very popular in many private schools. Crew is offered in the fall and spring. Schools participate in regional and international competitions called regattas. Events like Henley draw rowers from all over the world. Dorm Master
If the term sounds a bit scary, it is actually quite the opposite. A dorm master is a teacher who is in charge of and supervises a residential house of boarding school students. He or she in many ways becomes a surrogate parent providing stability and guidance for the mercurial adolescents in his care. 
 
ESL
 
ESL is an acronym for English as a Second Language. When a student whose mother tongue is Spanish, for example, learns English, he approaches it differently than the student whose
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Recent Articles
Could This Happen To My Child?
August 30, 2015
Scandals in private school are bound to raise questions for those of us thinking about sending our children to private school. Regardless of how sensational these scandals may appear, they are actually few and far between.
Vouchers aka Tax Credits and Scholarship Funds
August 09, 2015
Voucher programs have gained a lot of traction since 1989 when the first voucher program appeared in Milwaukee. We look at how things are playing out in 2015.
Why Would I Want to....
July 12, 2015
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.
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.