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 February 21, 2018 |
An Overview Of Learning Disabilities
Raising children involves constant attention to their development and progress. Identifying learning disabilities must be part of your plan.

Having raised four children of my own and taught hundreds of others, I always tease new parents about the reality that our children come into our lives without any operating instructions. A smart TV comes with exhaustive instructions on how to set it up and operate it. Your new baby comes with nothing. Much assembly is required. Consequently, we parents have to be constantly vigilant. We must always be aware of how our children are developing from birth until they leave their home. Truthfully, even when they have left home, we keep an eye on them from a distance, don't we?

The purpose of this article is to give you some starting points so that you can explore the subject of learning disabilities thoroughly and efficiently. I have linked to a wide range of sources so that you are exposed to many points of view and expertise. You owe it to yourself and to your child to be fully aware and informed.

As your child develops, you will be watching her development closely. Parenting and Psychology Today are two of hundreds of websites which you have probably already bookmarked as you began your journey as a parent. You and your family doctor will have discussed your child's progress during your regular visits. That's one of the first places you need to go to confirm any concerns you might have. Have a list of questions to ask your health professionals. Having said that,

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Updated February 19, 2018 |
When Do You Send Your Child To Private School?
Think of the school search process as a series of checkpoints, each of which has a due date. We show you when to do the various items in the search process.

You have been thinking about private school for your child for some time now. Finally, you have decided to proceed. Naturally, you will have many questions about how to organize your school search process. Here are some answers to your questions about when to tackle the various steps in the school search process. I hope this will help you plan and execute the process efficiently and with a minimum of angst. If you want more detail on any aspect of the search process, start with How To Search For Schools.

When do you send your child to private school?

At what age to send your child to private school depends on several things. The first thing which you need to consider is the quality of the education available in your local public schools. No matter what grade you are thinking about, start with that consideration first. This step requires you to do some serious research and due diligence. Don't skip this research. 

Begin with the school's reputation. You may have heard good things about a particular public school in your area. That's a start, but take time to look carefully at the school profiles in sites such as Great Schools.  Videos posted on YouTube by private schools will give you a useful point of comparison. Here is an overview of teaching Spanish at The Rectory School.

Then, the next step is to visit the school in person. You

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Updated November 24, 2017 |
Choosing Schools: Reach, Match and Safe Schools
Always answer this question honestly: what is the school looking for? Is my child a match for their requirements? This article shows you how to get that important match right.

As you begin thinking about private schools, you will add schools from various sources to your initial list of potential schools. That’s fine. Accept all suggestions and advice in the early stages of your search for the right school or schools. Friends will suggest schools which their children attend. Family will mention schools that your uncle or aunt attended. And so on. Finally, you will explore on your own. Private School Review is a great place to start because the site is devoted to private K-12 schools. The following screenshot gives you an idea of number of schools within a fifty mile radius of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. (I selected that area because I am familiar with it as I have family there. Also itt is not a major urban area.)

Private schools within 50 miles of zip code 01028

After exploring schools and including all the other suggestions you will receive, you will most likely end up with a list of 5-10 schools. Now, this is where the private school search process becomes tricky. Why is that? Simply because you have to whittle that long list of potential schools down to a more manageable list of 2-3 schools.  Selecting a school is not like buying a watch on Amazon. It’s a lot like buying a house. And just as with buying a house, you have to really like the house.

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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." 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? 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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March 01, 2018
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February 21, 2018
Raising children involves constant attention to their development and progress. Identifying learning disabilities must be part of your plan.
February 19, 2018
Think of the school search process as a series of checkpoints, each of which has a due date. We show you when to do the various items in the search process.
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.