Choosing a private school for your child to attend can be an overwhelming task. There are over 34,000 private schools in the U.S. It would be best if you considered a combination of factors before settling on “the one.”
Placing your child in a conducive learning environment not only encourages them to thrive but allows them to foster their unique talents. The early developmental years up to teen age are crucial in a child’s life. So take your time before you settle on where your child will be spending a considerable chunk of their time.
In this article, we take a look at what you should consider when choosing a private school for your child.
What to Consider Before Shortlisting Private Schools
A typical school day has students spending 6.7 hours on average in school. With this in mind, you need to consider three things before you shortlist a few private schools for further vetting.
- The School’s Ideologies and Accreditation
Every private school has a philosophy that they firmly believe in and instill in their students. Apart from the educational program, it would help if you looked at the religious ideologies and extra-curricular activities that the school offers. You will need to consider whether these ideologies align with what your family believes in and practices.
Many accredited universities and colleges only accept students from an accredited high school. So before you enroll your child at an unaccredited private school, consider the impact this may have on their college prospects.
- Your Child’s Needs
What specific needs does your child have as you enroll them at a new school? A few questions you need to ask before choosing a private school include:
- If your child plays a sport, is the school keen on developing sports talent?
- If your child is artsy, does the school have an active arts and drama program?
- If your child is a minority, does the school support and reflect ethnic diversity?
- Will your child thrive better in a small or large school?
- Is your child a special needs child?
Choosing the right environment for your child to learn is key to their healthy development. Please do your best to ensure that the school you select will nurture your child’s talents and cater to their specific needs.
- Your Budget
Many private school fees fall within the range of 5,000 to 14,000 dollars, depending on the grade. Boarding schools tend to be more expensive due to boarding fees, while religious schools generally have lower tuition rates. More prestigious boarding schools can charge up to 50,000 dollars for tuition.
After carefully analyzing these factors, you can create a shortlist of private schools that you should vet before making the final decision.
Make a School Visit
Once you shortlist a few private schools that pique your interest, you need to make plans to visit the school for further clarity. The best time to visit is during the break period, where you can observe the school environment.
A few things you need to pay keen attention to during the visit include:
- How the kids interact with each other and with teachers
- If the student population is diverse
- The learning material that teachers use tells you a lot about a school’s culture
- Does the school’s brochure reflect what is actually at the school?
- The sports and extra-curricular facilities available
- The class sizes and the student-teacher ratio
Another significant benefit of visiting the school is that you get a feel of how convenient the location is. If your child will be boarding, this may be a non-issue. However, if your child will have to commute, you need to consider the proximity of the school to public transport, or your workplace/home if you will be picking and dropping them.
Hire a Consultant
If you are new to an area or would like more input on the best choices for a private school, hire an education consultant. They will ask the right questions for you and save you a lot of time. Ultimately they will recommend a school according to your particular needs.
Bearing all these tips in mind, you should now have a clear picture of what kind of private school you want your child to attend. With a little patience and careful consideration, you will be able to get the right fit.