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:
Updated May 11, 2017 |
Doing Your Due Diligence
As you narrow the field in your private school search process, you will develop a short list of three to five schools which you will evaluate in detail. Visiting each school is an essential part of your due diligence.

Before you spend $5,000, $15,000, $25,000 or more annually for your child's education in a private school, do your own due diligence. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines due diligence as "research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/due%20diligence In a normal business transaction such as buying a house, you would probably concern yourself with the title search and a house inspection in the first instance. When evaluating private schools for your child, your due diligence will focus on the fit. You want to find the private school which offers the best fit for your needs and requirements. You want to identify a school at which your child will be happy. The due diligence steps which you take in a business transaction inspect and review tangibles. Due diligence for parents evaluating private schools includes tangibles such as the academics, sports, and extracurriculars as well as that all-important intangible which is how the school fits in with your requirements.

Avoid common mistakes.

When you visit schools, please don't make the following common mistakes

  • Being late
  • Being dressed inappropriately
  • Being unprepared
  • Being over-prepared
  • Being rude and disinterested

A little thought and preparation will help you make the best impression possible. 

Visit schools.

Visiting schools is an essential part of evaluating the schools on your short list. There are several ways schools will arrange those visits. 
This part of your due diligence can be great fun. You will set foot on the campus and explore the facilities of a school which you have

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Updated March 01, 2017 |
15 Reasons To Go To St. Swithins
You probably have several reasons why you think a specific school might be a good fit for your needs and requirements. Have you considered all fifteen of these reasons?

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/the-hill-school-profile As you zero in on the best private school for your child, keep this list of reasons for doing so handy.  The question you need to keep asking yourself is whether the fit is right for each of these attributes. You may not get all 15 items scoring 10 out of 10, but try to get as close as you can. Scoring these items is obviously a subjective matter. Remember that the schools which come closest to matching your requirements are the ones to which you should probably apply. Finding the right school is a process with a lot of moving parts. If you get one of these factors wrong, it won't kill the deal. It could, however, make your child's experience less than optimal. Here, then, are fifteen reasons why we think you should consider our school.

1. School size

Most preschools and nursery schools tend to be schools with a population of 75-100 students. Schools offering kindergarten through grade eight usually have a population of 200-500 students. As you search for schools on Private School Review, you will notice that some day schools show a student population of 800-1200 students. Our school includes prekindergarten through grade twelve. We have divided our student population into two divisions. Our elementary grades division and a high school division have their own administration and support staff. We may possibly add a middle school division in the future.

2. Religious emphasis

Private schools offer a wide variety of religious emphasis and education. Use the advanced

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Published January 25, 2017 |
What About A School For Gifted Children?
As you begin to think about sending your child to private school, be sure to look at all your options.

Editor's note: I asked Melissa P. Earls, Head of School of Academy Hill School in Springfield, Massachusetts several questions about teaching gifted children. She very kindly offered the following answers. (I will disclaim that my youngest grandson attends Academy Hill School.)  - Rob Kennedy

1. Why should parents consider sending their child to a school for gifted children?

Not every school is right for every child. And, even if a child is academically advanced, or gifted in any number of ways, a school that offers an enhanced, enriched curriculum with high expectations and increased rigor might not be the right fit. I would never push any school on any student. But, for our learners, and other students like them, Academy Hill is a terrific fit.  We offer several programs that set us apart.  

When looking for a school for a gifted child, it is critical that parents seek out an environment that will continuously engage the child in creative, student-driven tasks. It is important that the school allow core curriculum time and opportunities for students to pursue areas of interest in depth. It is imperative that the pace of instruction matches the student's ability to comprehend content, apply knowledge and acquire skills at faster speeds and with high proficiency.  Because these children are usually eager learners, formative assessments, while necessary in any educational setting, may not be as frequent and certainly do not look the same as they would in other environments.  For example, monthly, quarterly or even annual

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Updated February 08, 2017 |
How To Search For Schools
Private School Review has a robust search engine which will make your private school search process much easier to do. Here are some tips on how to use this tool.

As I prepared to write this article about searching for private K-12 schools, I had a flash back to the fall of 1986 when we started looking at schools for our eldest daughter. There was no email or internet back then, at least that the general public had access to. We knew friends who had gone to private school. At one point I had interviewed to be the Music teacher at a New England boarding school. But that was it. That was all we knew about private high schools. Reaching further back into my memory bank, I remember enrolling our eldest daughter in the now defunct St. Peter's by-the-sea Day School when it first opened in 1971. When we moved to Garden City, we enrolled her in the Waldorf School of Garden City. These two decisions were fairly easy because we knew the schools which came highly recommended by family and friends. No email or web searches were possible, nor were they needed.

Back to our 21st-century private school search. We have some very powerful tools available to us. Unfortunately, these tools can produce results which can be misleading, confusing or, at worst, useless. Search engines require us to filter the data carefully to eliminate information which we don't need. Useful results depend on the manner in which you word the search terms.  Happily, this is not the case with the Private School Review search engine. Our programmers have set up the fields you need to search our

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Updated April 05, 2017 |
5 Signs You Are On The Right Track
It is easy to get side-tracked when you embark on a major project like searching for a private school for your child. Here are five indications that you are doing it correctly.

Here is another way of looking at the private school search process. This checklist highlights the main tasks in what is, for most of us, an eighteen to twenty-month long project. While circumstances will occasionally require you to do everything in a rush at the last minute, we will review progress from the point of view of the more customary time-frame. Work transfers or some other event requiring you to move to a new city never happen conveniently, do they? When you have to find a private school quickly, you will have to telescope the full-length search into a few months. That is doable, and I discuss how to handle that situation in Is It Too Late To Apply?  In the meantime, let's review the five signs that you are on the right track in your private school search process.

You have scanned dozens of private school websites.

In step one, you look at as many private school websites as possible. Start with the powerful search engine right here on Private School Review. We have over 27,000 schools in our database. As a result, you should be able to find plenty of material. The only filters which you might want to use at this early stage are the following:  kind of school, i.e., religious, military and special needs; and the grades offered. Before you start searching, determine the kind of school which you want for your child. If you are looking for

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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.