If you’re thinking of sending your child to private school, you’re not alone. The benefits of private schools over public schools are widely known, especially if you’re hoping to ensure your child has a prestigious education that will lead to success later in life.
It’s no surprise, then, that in the United States today, there are approximately 33,619 private schools that teach 5.4 million students from kindergarten through 12th grade. That’s about 25 percent of the nation’s schools ? but still gives you a huge range of schools to choose from, especially if you live in one of the country’s major urban centers.
Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right private elementary school for your child:
Check the teacher-to-student ratio
One of the major benefits of private schools is the reduced class sizes, ensuring children have more one-on-one time with their teachers. Small class sizes ? think 12 students per class ? are especially important for preschool and elementary school age students. That’s why this ratio should play a big role in your private school decision.
Don’t stress over standardized tests
Standardized testing has taken over many public school curriculums ? and it’s an epidemic that is spreading to the private school sector, as well. A school with high average test scores is certainly a good sign, but it’s not a guarantee ? there’s always a chance that the school is just teaching the material that’s on the test, and nothing else. It’s better to seek out a rigorous, diverse curriculum that will give your child a more holistic education.
Don’t fixate on the school’s name
Just because a school has the word “private” or “charter” in its name doesn’t automatically guarantee the school’s quality. In fact, it’s estimated that only one in five private schools provide a better education than the public schools they’re meant to replace. Speaking to parents in your community and doing web searches of the private schools in your area can help you weed out the bad ones.
Private school can be a great choice for many families hoping to give their kids a high-quality education and a fast track to a bright future. Fortunately, choosing the right one and reaping the benefits of private schools doesn’t have to be a challenge ? all it takes is a little extra research.