There are a lot of reasons for wanting to send your child to a private school. Almost all research into how well students do in school says that when the teacher to student ratio is lower, the students do better. About 87% of all private schools in the United States have less than 300 students enrolled and attending them at any given time. While getting your child into a private school may not guarantee they will get into Harvard or Yale, it can give them a leg up. If you are thinking about this for your child, you may wonder, “Where are the private schools near me? How should I pick one?” That is not always an easy task but finding the right school is possible. Here are some things you can do to get the right one for your family:
- Talk to people you know. If you have kids, you know other people with children, you know people who have gone through the process of finding a place for their children to get a private school education. Talk to them, not only about they and their child like the private school but ask how they found that school. Ask them what questions they asked and if they wish there were other questions they wish they had gotten answered. Ask if there is anything they do not like about the school they ended up going with.
- Talk to your pediatrician. Your pediatrician deals with a lot of parents. They may also speak to the teachers and administrators at the private schools in your area. If you do go to then with the question, “Do you know of any private schools near me?” they may be able to give you a ton of information beyond the location of good private schools in your area. They know your child and may have specific advice based on that information.
- Get your child involved in the process. You may think you know what your child and know what is best for your child but it is still worth it to have a real conversation about what things interest them at school and what kinds of other interests they would like to pursue. Make them an active participant in the process and you will find that whatever school you both do pick will work better for everyone. After all, they are the one who is going to the school.
- Look online. Go to a search engine and type in “private schools near me” and you may be surprised what you find. Google has added a “near me” feature to its search engine for this very reason. Searching by geography can be a very effective way to find what you need. Moreover, there is pretty much nothing that cannot be found online. You can also get a lot of information about the schools in your area. This can also be a bonding experience for you and your child. You can look through the web pages for the schools that interest you.
- Visit the schools. Check out the schools in person. Even if you are not thinking about sending your child to go to the school immediately, you should take the time to call the private schools and make an appointment to take tours. While you are there, take a tour of the campus, check out the dorm rooms (if they have them), check out the athletic facilities, classrooms, and dining spaces. Talk to the teachers and the staff. See how they interact with each other and the students.
- Talk to the students and parents who have chosen the school. When you are at the school, you should also talk to both the students and the parents about how they found the school and what they like best (and least) about the school. They have the best inside track into what it is like to go there and what the academics and extra-curricular programs are like. They can also give you an idea of how the school community is put together.
If you are asking “what are the best private schools near me?”, you will find them if you do your homework.