You have decided that you want your child to attend the best private school available. Fantastic, but how do you determine which school is best for your child?
Choosing the right private school for your child is an important decision. The learning foundation your child builds will stay with them throughout their school experience and extend into how they navigate life once their school days are over.
This article offers a few valuable tips for choosing the right private school for your child.
The academic program is likely a top priority in your decision-making. After all, you are choosing a school! Private, especially independent private schools, can vary significantly in the types of programs offered. Make sure you have a sense of the kind of academic program you are looking for while leaving room to adjust your expectations based on what you learn in your search.
At Holy Trinity Episcopal School, our academic program for all students (3K – 5th grade) includes:
- A strong core program with an emphasis on Literacy and Math development
- A STEM-based Science program with the use of our Genius Lab
- Physical Education every day
- Spanish, Art, and Music classes
- Religious Studies and weekly Chapel
Running a family can be challenging, especially when there are multiple schedules and obligations to consider. Therefore, checking on how practical it is to attend a school is an important tip.
When considering logistics, you may want to check on the following:
- Does the school provide student transportation?
- Does the school have a before and after-school program?
- What ways can you, as the parent, be involved in your child’s school?
Every family instills in their children a set of core values that help them navigate life. When exploring private school options, you should find out what core values the school emphasizes, how the school models these with students, and check that your family’s values and the school’s values are aligned enough to establish a strong school/home partnership.
At Holy Trinity, our core values are Respect, Compassion, and Integrity. We model these values in how we communicate with each other and use them as the foundation to help children learn how to make good choices. These core values are also emphasized as part of our community service projects and acts of kindness initiatives.
At some point, learning becomes tough. Every student experiences the challenge of how to manage a difficult subject matter or skill development. Sometimes, the challenge is less academic than social or emotional. In choosing a school, look for systems in place that support students and families during these challenging times.
- How responsive is the teacher to email and phone calls?
- Is the administration available to help and meet with me if needed?
- Do the teachers have the autonomy and flexibility to adjust and offer paths to learning based on my child’s needs?
- What types of learning needs is the school resourced to address, and what may require additional resources from home?
One way students can be supported is based on how much time a teacher can spend making the learning experience more personalized. Class size is a significant factor in how time is managed in class. Typically, smaller class sizes lead to more personalized attention, more responsive communication, and better access to the teacher.
Holy Trinity Episcopal School is purposefully structured to maintain small class sizes that emphasize building strong relationships with students and families. Our classes are capped to no more than 14-18 students per class (depending on the grade level).
Tuition and Affordability
In most cases, especially with non-profit private independent schools like Holy Trinity, tuition is the primary source of revenue and is necessary to cover most of the operating budget. The largest piece of that budget is salaries for a highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff.
Private school is an investment in your child’s future. When deciding on which school is best for your family, considering costs and value is essential. One piece of advice we strongly suggest is to consider the value of what the school offers more than the cost. In other words, do not let tuition determine your interest. Let the program, values, and experience determine interest first.
Here are some additional tips for considering tuition and affordability:
- What is included in tuition, and what other fees (application, enrollment, supplies, technology, activities, etc.) may be associated with attending the school?
- What payment plan options are available?
- How is tuition paid (check, online, etc.)?
- Are there additional fees for payment plans?
- Does the school have a tuition assistance program for qualified families? If so, how does that work in the enrollment process?
Choosing the Best Private School Requires a bit of Homework
Finally, there are many ways you can learn about a private school that will help you get a good sense of whether it is a good fit for your family.
These are some of our recommendations:
- Visit the school’s website and explore. Often, schools have links to items such as family handbooks that can be useful. These sites also tend to provide plenty of information related to the items we list in this article.
- Read current recommendations online and talk to families who have attended (or currently attend) the school. In addition, avoid advice and opinions about a school from someone who has not been a part of the school is often misleading or misinformed.
- Visit the school and tour the campus.
- Attend an Open House or another public event on campus.
- If the school uses them, check out the school’s social media accounts and YouTube channel.
- Speak with teachers and administrators at the school.
HTES – The Best Private School for Your Child
Choosing the best private school for your child can be a tough choice with many factors to consider. Ultimately, the best choice is the one that aligns with the needs and expectations of your child and family.
At Holy Trinity Episcopal School, our mission is to prepare students for higher education and meaningful life experiences by emphasizing strong academics, spiritual development, and social responsibility. More than just a college preparatory school, Holy Trinity is a “life preparatory” school that is committed to modeling our core values. Students at Holy Trinity are engaged, valued, and supported, not to mention, they genuinely love to learn and love our school.