What are you looking for?
You and your child will want a clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for in a private school even before you’ve begun the search. Here are some general areas to consider.
Has the school been approved by a recognized accrediting body?
What’s the tuition? What about other costs? Are there general fees, how much are books, other activity fees, general student costs? Is financial aid available?
Before- and After-School Programs
Can younger children be dropped off before, or stay after, regular school hours?
College Acceptance Rate
How many of the school’s graduates go on to higher education? What’s the college counseling department at the school like?
Are there Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes? Does the school have co-curricular, athletic, art, music and drama programs? Is there a specific educational program, such as the Montessori or Waldorf method? How about year-round, block or modular scheduling?
The most common entry points are preschool/kindergarten, sixth, seventh and ninth grades. Do many children transfer into the school at a certain grade? Are there ages at which the school does not accept new students?
How long will your morning commute be? What is the physical campus like?
Mission and Philosophy
Have you looked over the school’s mission statement and seen how it is incorporated into the school? Why was the school founded and how has its mission changed over the years?
Do you want a coeducational school or all boys or all girls? Which would work for your child?
Does the school have religious ties? Is it independently governed or overseen by a larger church organization?
How difficult is it to gain admission into the school? If you apply to selective schools, make sure to apply to several.
What’s the total school size, class size and student-teacher ratio? How do they fit with what you know of your child?