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.
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Updated June 14, 2016 |
What Strength Do You Want Your Child's Religious Education To Be?
Many parents search for an answer to the question "How do I provide the kind of religious education I want for my child?" Religious education is a very personal, subjective matter. We explore some of your options.

Many parents search for an answer to the question "How do I provide the kind of religious education I want for my child?" Religious education is a very personal, subjective matter. When it comes to religious education one size most definitely does not fit all. Each of us has a very clear idea of what we expect. Much of our thinking is driven by the obvious reality that religious education is not an option in our public schools. Religion and Public Schools from the Center for Public Education explains the legal reasons why. So, with this requirement in mind let's explore your options.  

Three Categories of Religious Schools

I have been in your shoes when it comes to deciding what kind of religious education our children should have. We are Episcopalians so we wanted schools which embraced that denomination's teachings. Kent School fit the bill for eldest daughter. Youngest daughter attended Westminster School which again fit our needs at the time. Our sons attended St. Anne's School in Nassau, Bahamas when we lived there. That was an Anglican school, Anglican being the British version of the Episcopal church. 

To make things a little easier for you I have divided religious schools into three broad categories or strengths if you will: light, medium and strong. Essentially all I am doing is categorizing the intensity of the religious instruction and observances which schools in each category offer. Obviously there will be some overlap because private schools are intrinsically unique. That's just

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Updated June 14, 2016 |
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.
In the United States a foreign language private school is a school in which the primary language is not English. 80% of our population speaks English, therefore it follows that private schools which teach in other languages are few and far between.
 
I also want to point out the difference between a K-12 private school which uses a language other than English for teaching and intra-school communications and the proprietary schools which offer instruction in foreign languages. K-12 private schools which teach their students in German or French, for example, offer a comprehensive academic curriculum with specified goals and objectives for their graduates. The proprietary foreign language schools generally aim to have their students achieve fluency at varying levels in a foreign language. For example, you could learn how to speak Spanish in a business setting starting at a beginner's level and working your way up to advanced proficiency.

Reasons Why You Would Consider Foreign Language Schools
 
Now, back to our original question. Why would parents consider a foreign language school for their children? For several reasons the first of which is job-related. Let's say that you are a German national who is an executive with a German firm with locations in the United States. Your firm decides to post you overseas in the New York office. Your children are ages 10 and 12. What will you do about their schooling? You know that the posting in New York is likely to be no more than three to five years
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Updated June 14, 2016 |
Attributes Which Make Military Schools Special
What are the attributes which make 21st century military schools so special? We find out in this article.
I think that any young person who pursues excellence in anything is probably going to come away from that experience with very healthy doses of discipline, structure and purpose. Whether your child wants to be a really good hockey player or the best app writer ever, he will have to decide on his goals and figure out how to get there. That's what military schools are also very good at doing. They offer the kind of rigorous discipline and structure which is every bit as demanding as the kind of athletic preparation a top-ranked runner gets, every bit as focused on teamwork as the members of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra are, for example.
 
Discipline
 
We know that discipline produces good results. It is never enough to be a genius and have a myriad of wonderful ideas and projects nobody else has thought of unless you possess the attribute of discipline. All those wonderful ideas and projects will come to naught without discipline. Fortunately discipline can be taught. Military schools have discipline figured out. They know how to teach discipline. And, no, I am not talking about the popular image of kids in a military school somewhere being yelled at every minute by some nasty drill sergeant. Those days are gone. Military schools these days are filled with students who want to get ahead academically and make something of themselves. Military schools allow that to happen.
 
The kind of discipline which you will find at military schools is the kind which
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Updated February 08, 2017 |
Religious Schools: An Overview
Your religion matters to you. You want your child to attend a school which will combine academics and religious education. Here is an overview of what is available together with some links to denominational web sites.
One of the main reasons many of us parents look at private schools is because we want our children to receive a religious education. I define a religious education for the purposes of this article as an education which adheres more or less to the religious beliefs which we hold dear. In other words if you are Roman Catholic, you will want to think seriously about educating your child in a Roman Catholic school.
 
It has been several years since I examined the data on religious schools in the National Center for Education Statistics Private School Universe Survey. This survey covers academic year 2011-2012.  So I was fascinated to see that out of the 30,000 private schools in the United States approximately 21,000 were described as religiously-oriented schools. About 9,000 schools were what we call non-sectarian or not affiliated with any specific religion.  By comparison there were approximately 99,000 public schools in the 2011-2012 academic year. That would mean that private K-12 schools are educating approximately 30% of school-age children.
 
Let's review the 25 religious categories which the Private Universe Survey documents.
 
Roman Catholic: The Roman Catholic Church has always taken its educational mission seriously. As a result about 7,000 K-12 schools educate 1.9 million students. Catholic schools include parochial schools which are largely K-8 schools and diocesan high schools. These schools are mostly organized and administered at the local and regional level. Add to this mix hundreds of schools which were established by the various religious orders - Jesuit,
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Updated May 25, 2016 |
Your Child Isn't Happy at His Preschool?
What do you do when you realize that your child is unhappy at his preschool?
Despite your best efforts, in depth interviews and hours of due diligence you begin to realize that the school which you thought was so perfect for your preschooler is in fact the wrong one. So, what do you do when things don't work out?
 
I have just been through this stressful situation with one of my grandchildren. (I won't mention which school or name names out of professional courtesy.) It was a gut-wrenching experience for my daughter and son-in-law just as it would be for any set of concerned parents.
 
The warning signs
 
The warning signs of a bad fit are simple to detect: your child is unhappy. She comes home from school in tears or frustrated or both. She doesn't look forward to going to school in the morning. The last thing any parent wants is a four year old who doesn't want to go to school.
 
Red flags by rvw, on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  rvw 
 
You won't necessarily notice that something is wrong. There probably won't be a big blow up at school.  What's more likely to happen is a series of little events over a period of several weeks, perhaps even months. An isolated incident of unhappiness is nothing to be worried about. A trend of daily
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Choosing a Private School

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