Tackling Tough Transitions During Grades K-12

4 Things You Need to Know About Private Schools

As a parent, you may feel that private school is the best option for your children. This may be because you don't have faith in your local public school system, or it may be because you want a different type of education experience for your child.

Before you enroll your child in a private school, however, there are a few things you need to know. Use this guide to help determine whether or not a private school is right for your child.

Admissions Testing

Many private schools administer testing as part of the admissions process. This can help to determine if your child meets the academic expectations of the school, and it gives teachers and administrators an idea of where your child stands academically. If your child is nervous about the admissions testing process, you can ask the school which test it uses. You may be able to find practice guidebooks for the tests to help your child study and prepare for testing.

Tuition & Assistance

Private schools may sometimes have expensive tuition, but many schools work with parents and families to help afford those costs. Your child may be eligible for a scholarship, or you may be able to pay tuition on a sliding scale. Be open with the school administrators throughout the admission process, and let them know you are interested in tuition assistance. You may be surprised at the school's willingness to help your child gain acceptance to the school.

School Specialization

Some private schools have specific areas of focus. Some schools have a religious focus, which means your child's education would be in religious studies as well as academic ones. Other schools may offer a specific academic focus. For example, some schools specialize in language immersion. This means that almost all of your child's school days will be spent communicating solely in a different language.

You may feel that a school with a special focus is right for your children, but be sure to get all the details before you enroll. You may prefer a school with half-day language immersion or one that only devotes a few minutes each day to religion. Knowing how the school handles its specialization will help you to make your decision.

Parent Participation

Parent participation expectations can vary from one private school to the next, so be sure to find out what your child's new school expects from you. You may be thrilled to spend time in your child's classroom every day, or you may feel like you don't have enough time to participate because of a busy work schedule. Talk to the school's administrators during the admissions process so you can find out exactly what is expected of you.

Making the decision to send your child to private school can be a great opportunity for your whole family. Be sure you know what to expect before you enroll, and don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions.