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:
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Schools For Children Who Sing
If you have a child who sings, you might want to consider a choir school. In the United States, most of these schools are day schools.

What is a choir school? It is a private school serving the choristers of a cathedral, college or large parish church. The choristers can be boys or girls or boys and girls depending on the institution with which the school is affiliated. The United Kingdom enjoys a long history of this genre of private school.  As the Choir Schools Association notes: 

"Choir Schools are amazing places where young choristers enjoy learning and playing. Their work takes them into stunningly beautiful buildings on a daily basis. There is no better educational and musical training start for boys and girls aged seven years and up who love to sing."

Residential and day choir schools have seen a steady decline in their numbers since the 1950s for three reasons. Two devastating world wars in Britain drastically altered the social and economic landscape in that country. Changing values in modern society throughout the world have seen parents choose alternative forms of education for their children. Finally, the tremendous cost of educating children in a choir school has forced many sponsoring institutions to close their schools.

Why send your child to a choir school?

I remember a parishioner years ago asking me to support her son's application to Saint Thomas' Choir School. He was an only child and, frankly, she was the quintessential velcro mother. I was pleasantly surprised that they were keen on the residential choir school at Saint Thomas Church in New York City. It was a good solution to her circumstance of being

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Mistakes Parents Make When Choosing A Private School
Choosing the right private school for your child is a lengthy process. I want you to achieve the success which you deserve without making these common mistakes other parents have made.

Choosing the right private school for your child is a lengthy process. I want you to achieve the success which you deserve without making these common mistakes other parents have made.

1. Choosing a school which is not a good fit

You know your child better than anybody. Never forget that as you begin the process of choosing a school for your child. As you look at school websites, don't be distracted by those beautiful, professionally-produced presentations. Schools will show you what they want you to see. That's not a bad thing; however, those websites may not necessarily address your specific needs and requirements.  Many times during the process of researching schools you will receive false positives. It's hard not to be impressed by beautiful photos of a campus and its buildings, particularly if it is an older school with impressive grounds and architecture. But don't the cosmetics take your attention away from what is truly important, namely, the curriculum, the sports programs, and the extracurricular activities. Always be asking yourself "How does School X blend these three important components so that my child will benefit from attending this school?" As Geri Coleman Tucker wisely observes in 5 Mistakes Parents Make When Picking a School, "Sure, you want to pick a school that is clean and attractive, with all the newest technology. But remember that looks aren’t everything. Some schools might not have the latest and greatest equipment. But they have engaged and well-trained teachers who can

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Single-Sex Education: An Overview
Sending your child to a single-sex school is one of several options you have when it comes to private schools.
When you think of single-sex education as a choice or an option when you are thinking about sending your child to private school, the subject becomes a little easier to understand in the 21st century. Historically private schools have offered single-sex education for decades. Indeed many of our older K-12 schools were founded with the purpose of educating boys or girls separately. That's the way things were done back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colleges and universities were also set up as single-sex institutions. For example, Harvard University was an all-male university until 1977 when its sister college, Radcliffe, merged with it.
 
Characteristics of single-sex schools
 
How do we define a single-sex school? By definition, a single-sex school is a school which educates boys or girls exclusively. As a general rule classes will not be co-educational. On occasion, neighboring boys and girls schools which have an established relationship will host co-educational classes. 
 
What grades do single-sex schools offer? Typically single-sex schools are high schools offering grades 9 through 12 and a Post Graduate year where available. A handful of single-sex schools offer the middle school grades 6 through 9. Even fewer schools offer PK-12. You will also notice that middle school grades go up to grade 9 and high school begins with grade 9 as well. Actually, grade 10 is probably the most common entry point for private high schools. That’s one reason for the overlap of the grades. 

In the following video the students of Marlborough School, Los Angeles, describe why they like their school so much and show us some of the activities.

There are several
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How To Find A Summer Program
Sending your children to a summer program or camp keeps them active in fun-filled settings. We explore your options.

When you plan your children's summer, you are giving yourself two gifts. The first is engaged, active, happy children. The second gift is the comfort of knowing that you are expanding their knowledge in an informal, supervised learning situation. 

When I was growing up, my parents decamped every summer from Montreal to the shores of Lac Saint Louis about 30 miles west of the city. They rented a cottage across the road from the lake. We took swimming and sailing lessons at the Woodlands Yacht Club, helped with the large garden which provided vegetables and flowers during the short Canadian summer. It was idyllic and safe. The routine was pleasant and predictable. My parents were not rich. In the 1950s a lower-middle-class family of seven could make summers like the ones I have described above happen for a very low cost. Fast forward to the 21st century, that's essentially what the summer camps and summer schools which have sprung up over the past forty years do, namely, to provide an activity-filled day in a safe, well-supervised environment. 

The most important caveat when it comes to selecting a summer program is to make certain that you understand all aspects of what is involved. Know everything about the quality of the activities, the supervision, snacks and meals, and all the other details. Assume nothing. Most schools and churches which run summer camps will be happy to answer your questions. 

Now let's look at some of the options available to you at various

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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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Recent Articles
Test your knowledge of private school facts and trivia with these twenty-one questions and answers.
As you research schools, check the national and state associations. Is the school you are considering a member? If not, why not?
If you have a child who sings, you might want to consider a choir school. In the United States, most of these schools are day schools.
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.