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.
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Late Night Show host David Letterman retires at the end of May 2015. With his famous Top Ten lists in mind, here is my list of Top Ten Facts About Private Schools.
 
10. There are schools for just about every need you can imagine.
 
Perhaps this should be number one on the list. In any case it is true. There are private schools for just about any need or requirement you can think of. Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. There are primary schools, K-8 schools, junior boarding schools, Roman Catholic schools, military schools, schools which offer programs for students with learning differences, schools in urban areas, schools out in the country, large schools, small schools, schools with instruction in languages other than English and on and on. With approximately 29,000 private schools in the United States the chances of your finding what you are looking for are pretty good.
 
9. Private schools are more affordable than you think.
 
Private school is an extra expense as well as being a substantial sacrifice for many families. On the other most private schools offer needs-based financial aid. The amount of aid is determined by the individual schools. Some schools even offer a tuition free education if your family financial situation is below a specific threshold.
 
8. Everybody participates in sports in private school.
 
Private schools like to say that they educate the whole child. Requiring everybody to participate in sports is one way to accomplish that goal. In most schools there is a set weekday
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Test your knowledge of private school facts and trivia with these twenty-one questions and answers.

The Questions
 
1. How many private schools are there in the U.S.A.?
2. How many boarding schools are there?
3. Which private school offers the most Advanced Placement courses?
4. Which private school is the most expensive?
5. Which private school did Bill Gates graduate from?
6. How many Montessori schools are there in the U.S.A?
7. Where did Reggio-Emilia schools get there name?
8. Who founded the movement which spawned the modern Waldorf schools?
9. Which is the oldest school in the U.S.A.?
10. What was Maria Montessori's degree in?
11. Who was the founder of what we now call the progressive schools movement?
12. What percentage of American students attend private school?
13. What is the name of the schools established by the last Hawaiian princess?
14. Which New England family founded Exeter and Andover?
15. Which Roman Catholic order established a network of prestigious high schools?
16. What grade does Fifth Form refer to?
17. How many Jewish schools are there in Brooklyn, New York?
18. What does the term crew refer to?
19. What is the oldest private school athletic league?
20. What is the name of the independent school association based in Washington, DC?
21. Which private school has the largest endowment?
 
The Answers:
 
1. How many private schools are there in the U.S.A.?
 
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) does a survey of private schools every two years. Their most recent data from the 2011-2012 survey shows 30,861 schools, 4,494,845 students and 466,467 students in schools which are members
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1. Private schools are really private.
 
By design American private schools are really private. While in most cases they observe applicable state laws with respect to minimum requirements concerning what is taught, private schools are answerable to their boards and their clients, i.e., the families who send students to them.
 
2. Private schools are more affordable than you think.
 
Granted, some private schools are very expensive. Especially boarding schools. However, since they generally seek to attract a diverse student population, most private schools offer generous financial aid packages.
 
3. Several private schools are free.
 
 
Years ago several benefactors established schools which will cost eligible students virtually nothing to attend. In more recent times the Cristo Rey network of schools has made a private school education almost free for families of limited means.
 
4. Some private schools are residential.
 
Residential private schools are known as boarding schools. Your child will attend classes as well as eat and sleep at the school. Professional, experienced adult supervision ensures the safety of your child 24/7.
 
5. Most private schools are day schools.
 
In a day school your child attends classes during normal daytime hours. Extracurricular activities and sports are typically included within that day time schedule.
 
6. Some private schools offer a blend of day and boarding options.
 
Boarding schools located in a town or city often offer a day student option for local families. That can reduce the cost of a private school education significantly.
 
7. Some private schools are religious schools.
 
Roman Catholic, Muslim, Christian, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Seventh Day
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Thinking about sending your child to private school? There are many reasons why you should consider sending your child to private school. What is important as you begin this process is not to reinvent the wheel. Most of us parents have had the same concerns as you are having about your child's education. We all want our children to receive the very best education possible so that they are positioned for success in later life.
 
Start by writing down all the reasons which you can think of for wanting to give your child a private school education. Then compare them with my four top reasons for doing that.
 
1. You want your child to receive specialized instruction from well-qualified instructors. 
 
For example, perhaps she has special needs.You can certainly arrange for your local public school to develop an IEP or Individualized Education Program for your child. This is mandated by a federal law known as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. While your child's needs will certainly be identified and a program of instruction devised for her, you would be wise to explore the options a specialized private school offers. Why? Because depending on the public school district in your area resources often are spread very thin. When you send your child to private school for special needs, she will be taught by credentialled, highly skilled teachers and paraprofessionals throughout the school day. The small class in this photo says it all.
 
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This article is one of three which address the advantages of sending your child to private school. Private schools offer several advantages specific to students of which you as a parent need to be aware. Here are three of them.
 
1. Your child will build a network of friends which she will have for life.
 
Some of you may wonder why I would put this benefit for students at the top of my list. That's because I sincerely believe that networking is the key to success in just about everything these days. Because most private schools are fairly small communities - the typical private high school is about 350 students - your child will have a really good chance of getting to know almost everybody in the school community, especially her classmates. While your child may come from an entirely different background, perhaps even country, from her classmates, she will get to know everybody in the classroom as well as on the playing field and on the stage. With social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and LinkedIn providing instantaneous communications these days, it is fairly easy to keep that high school network of friends going after she graduates. 
 
This close-knit network of friends from school will help open doors for years after she graduates. The bonds of friendship developed in private school are an important advantage for a private school student as she begins her career.
 
Private schools are able to build team spirit and school pride because everybody is on
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