Choosing a Private High School

For many families, a private high school is the best option for students. Families select private high schools for many reasons including more rigorous academics, less competition, small student body and more individualized attention. While there are wonderful private schools and academies, all private schools are not created equally. Before trusting that a private school is the next step for your family, be sure you research the program extensively to learn if it is a good match for your student.

Examine the Curriculum
Every school program has a curriculum, and that curriculum should be available to parents and community members. Dig through the courses offered and look for the degree of depth and difficulty in the programs. For example, if you’re considering private school for a college bound student who wants to major in engineering, the private high school should absolutely offer college level math and science courses. Students competing for those college spots from public schools and other private schools are taking advanced math and science courses, not selecting a school that has a similar level of rigor is placing your child at a disadvantage.

Look at Fine Arts Programs
Private schools often excel in fine arts programs. If you have a child who loves music and arts, be sure that the school you’re selecting in noteworthy in your area, state or the nation for its program in music, theater or arts. While many private schools have a tremendous program, others have eliminated the programs in favor of other courses. A well developed fine arts program tells you the school is focused on your child’s full development and offers a balance of courses to meet the needs of every child.

Determine Teaching Qualifications
In most cases, public schools are required to have teachers with a full college degree including additional courses and tests to become certified in their area. This is not true of many private schools. While a teaching certification might not be a top consideration for a teacher working with sculpture or marketing, it is a huge consideration if you’re hoping your child will be receiving the same level or high level of education as students in large programs.

A student learning under a certified teacher will be privy to high levels of education and experience. Teachers without a full college degree and certification might not be able to offer that level of experience and might not cover topics with the same level of depth and understanding, again placing your child at a disadvantage.