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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Summer Programs 2019
A long summer break offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.

A long summer break has been a fixture of the schedule in most private schools seemingly forever. Three months or more offers plenty of time for a wide range of activities for every age group. Here are some of the options available.

Sports camps

Many private schools rent out their facilities to outside organizations which run sports camps. The last time I checked, there seemed to me to be a camp available for almost any sport you could imagine. And they were offered at various age levels too.

Tech summer sessions

Ages ago we called these computer camps. Nowadays they are called tech camps. They will teach your daughter robotics, code, game development, design and much more. IDTech and Emagination Tech camps are just two of the commercial companies offering tech courses on college campuses here in the United States and abroad. 

This video offers a peak at an IDTech summer tech camp.

Your local community college probably has tech camps too. Wake Tech in my area has fifteen tech camp options including such popular offerings as drones, video game design and more. Our sister site, Community College Review has a powerful search tool which will help you find a community college near you.

Day and overnight camps for children with special needs

Your child attends a school for children with special needs. What will you do with him for three months while his school is closed? Not too worry. There are summer camps

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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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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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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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A Guide To Schools Within 10 Miles Of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is home to some of the oldest K-12 schools in the nation.

Philadelphia is home to some of the oldest K-12 schools in the nation. Located strategically on the east coast on the main transportation routes between New York City and Washington, DC, Philadelphia itself offers a wealth of commercial and cultural activities for families. And if the city doesn't have what you are looking for, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland are just minutes away. The following school profiles spotlight private K-12 schools within 10 miles of Philadelphia. Of the 73 schools shown in the search results, I included schools which offer instruction up to Grade 12 and have a student population of over 200 in most cases.

Private schools within 10 miles of Philadelphia

International Christian High School, Philadelphia, PA 

Miles from Philadelphia: 6
Founded in 1968
Number of students: 123
Grades 9-12, day. Coeducational
Religious Affiliation: Christian
Student-teacher ratio: 11:1

The course catalog lists 5 AP courses. For complete details regarding curriculum, sports, extracurricular activities, costs, and other information, see the International Christian High School profile.  

The Haverford School, Haverford, PA 

Miles from Philadelphia: 8.6
Founded in 1884
Number of students: 981
Grades PK-12, day. Boys
Religious Affiliation: Non-sectarian
Student-teacher ratio: 9:1

For complete details regarding curriculum, sports, extracurricular activities, costs, and other information, see The Haverford School profile. 

Friends Select School, Philadelphia, PA 

Miles from Philadelphia: 0.3
Founded in 1689
Number of students: 971
Grades PK-12, day. Coeducational
Religious Affiliation: Quaker
Student-teacher ratio: 10:1

For

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Choosing a Private School

FINDING SCHOOLS