The question and answer on the Bay Area Private Schools site says it all:
Q. Is there a ranking on California private schools?
A. There is no ranking on private elementary schools. Since the key to rewarding private school education is finding a good match for your child's specific needs, parents should not make their decision solely based on test scores and reputation.
So, the answer to every parent's question "Which is the best school for my child?" is a very ambiguous attorney's answer: "It depends!" What does it depend on? It depends on your requirements.
This video offers an overview of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
What are your requirements?
You and your child will have different requirements, of course. You will be looking at test scores of a school's graduates, the colleges to which they matriculate, the quality of the faculty, how competitive the admissions are, and so on. Typical adult benchmarks.
She's more concerned with what kind of kids go to the school, what her social life will be like, whether she can bring her horse to school, how much homework there is, and how difficult the work is. Typical teenage concerns.
What you must do to determine the best school for your child is to examine and discuss all the things which matter to you both. This is not a discussion that can take place while stopped at a traffic light after field hockey practice. Set aside some quality time in a neutral location - a quiet booth in a diner will do just fine - and explore the issues with your child. You will develop a list of items that will help you define the ideal school. Proceed from that common ground.
A much more important question than "Which is the best school for my child?" is "At which school will my child be happiest?" Sending a child off to a private school is a tremendous step. She needs to understand the enormous opportunity your decision entails. She will have a chance to develop learning habits and skills which will set the course for the rest of her adult life. She will become part of a community that truly cares about her, wants only the best for her, and sets standards of excellence to which she can aspire. The bottom line is that the best school for your child is the one at which she will be the happiest
This video offers an overview of Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles.
See for yourself.
Whenever it is practical, schools expect you and your child to visit the school. They want to meet you. They want you to experience their school and its community. They want to know that their school is a good fit for your child both from your perspective and theirs.
Make sure the fit is right.
The school wants your child to be happy at their school just as much as you want him to be happy there. Over the years the school has interviewed thousands of young people and their parents. It has a pretty good idea of the kind of personality which will fit into their school community. That's very important for them because their community is small and close-knit. Your child cannot hide or escape notice in a private school. That is usually a good thing for all concerned as everybody wants only the best for your child. A happy child generally is a successful member of our school community.
This video offers an overview of Detroit Country Day School, Detroit.
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