Compare Private Schools
How to Choose Private Schools
If you decide to pursue a private school education for your child, there are a number of factors that will help you determine the best choice. As you weigh your options, keep in mind your child’s natural strengths, learning style, and personality. While some kids may excel in small classes where they receive more one-on-one attention, others prefer the diversity and range of opportunities at a larger school. To ease your decision, consider the following:
- School Level. Select a school that corresponds with the proper education level of your child. Some schools span pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, whereas others only cover a few years.
- School Type. This category comprises a number of options, with some particular to grade level, others to course emphasis. Grade-level options include early childhood/day care and regular elementary school. Emphasis specifications include alternative, montessori, special education, special program, and vocational or technical programs. If your child shows a particular early interest or talent in a certain area—the arts, mathematics, or science, for example—then perhaps a special program emphasis is the right choice for you. Or, if your upper-level student has a strong idea of the industry in which he or she would like to work, a vocational school that combines regular education with professional training might be the best choice.
- School Size. There are benefits and drawbacks to both large and small schools. While larger institutions often have the variability of student interest to provide a wider selection of activities, classes, sports, clubs, etc. smaller schools tend to offer a more tight-knit community and closer student-teacher relationships.
- Other Factors. If religious orientation is important to your family, filter schools by your particular denomination or religious preference to find a school that will fit with your values. Another consideration is whether you want to enroll your child in a co-ed or single sex school. Finally, consider whether Boarding Schools are a viable option for your child. If you live near the boarding school, your child can enroll as a day student or as a boarding student.
Consider whether you want a school focused on your child s current grade level (i.e. elementary, secondary), or a school focused on your child’s combined education from 1st grade through 12th grade. The advantages of attending the same school for 10+ years include the relationships you form with teachers and/or mentors and the increased likelihood of forming longtime ties with fellow classmates.
The chart above displays the percentage breakdown of School Level across all Private Schools on StartClass.
School Program Type or Emphasis
This classification refers to the particular program focus. In part, these include:
Alternative schools, as a category, incorporate a number of different types of programs. Some are geared towards meeting the needs of students who struggle to learn in the strict, structured educational environment of other schools. Others simply approach education in a non-traditional manner,
perhaps striving to include art or outdoor activities into the learning process. Since this is such a broad category, if you are considering an alternative school, look into the particulars that classify it as such to ensure that it is the type of school you want.Early Childhood/Day Care Programs run the regular gamut of standard private school, mostly providing early education for young children. Some of these programs are also part of a school that houses an elementary school, and maybe even a high school, so gaining enrollment into the day care may guarantee your child a spot in the school later on, which may be worth it is there is a more competitive application process at higher levels.Regular Elementary/Secondary schools are the standard style of private schools. Start here if your child interacts well with peers, has no pronounced learning differences, and is happy with a generalized curriculum.Special Education schools are best for students with disabilities or prominent learning differences.Special Program Emphasis schools are for children who show early promise in a particular area, such as performing arts, mathematics, or science. Search for schools that nurture your student #039;s particular gifts.
The chart above displays the percentage breakdown of School Program Type or Emphasis across all Private Schools on StartClass.
This reflects the school #039;s religious affiliation. Schools differ in their commitment to religious standards, so visit the campus to find a school that fits with your beliefs and values.
The chart above displays the percentage breakdown of Religious Denomination across all Private Schools on StartClass.
This describes whether the school is comprised of a co-ed, all-male, or all-female student body. Decide whether integration with the opposite sex is important, or if same-sex education is more appropriate for your child.
The chart above displays the percentage breakdown of School Gender across all Private Schools on StartClass.
The total student enrollment of the school. A very small private school is conducive to one-on-one learning, though it could insulate your child from the outside world. Schools with over 200 students can be a good compromise between small private and public institutions.
Distribution of Total Students
A measure of the total students per full-time teacher. This figure can indicate the level of specialized attention you can expect your child to receive from teachers. However, don’t let a high ratio deter you completely—students can still receive individual attention in schools with higher ratios, especially if the student enrolls in honors or AP courses.
Range across all Private Schools