Private schools are a well-established aspect of British Columbia's education system. This province provides many strong private schools that offer a wide-range of choice, such as boarding, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, special needs, gifted, preschool, and alternative.
For more information about B.C.'s private and independent schools, visit the Our Kids' Vancouver Private School Expo. Here, you can meet administrators and instructors from some of the best private schools from across BC.
This includes schools in Vancouver, including the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA), Lower Mainland, and Tri-Cities (i.e., Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody). It also includes the cities of Victoria, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Kelowna, Delta, Langley, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Summerland, and more.
British Columbia recognizes the distinct advantages of private schools and therefore funds many of them. The provincial government partially funds private schools according to the quality of education that they provide. To receive funding, a school must meet clearly identified criteria, such as employing only provincially certified teachers. More than 85% of BC's private schools receive some provincial funding, thereby increasing their affordability.
The British Columbia Ministry of Education inspects and regulates private schools in the province. All schools in B.C. are accountable to the School Act which identifies their responsibilities and requirements. The Ministry of Education also educates teachers about their classroom duties and boundaries.
British Columbia has many private schools, so you'll have plenty of options to choose from. Below, we describe some of the main types of private and independent schools you’ll find in BC.
Special needs: Many BC schools offer special education programs. This includes schools with dedicated, integrated, and withdrawal special needs classes. BC private schools support students with a wide range of learning, developmental, behavioural, and physical disabilities. This includes dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s, autism, Down syndrome, and more.
Alternative: Alternative schools are more student-centred than traditional or mainstream schools. They tend to emphasize individualized learning, decentralized instruction, and expertiential learning, among other things. A popular alternative school in BC is Montessori.
Advanced academics: BC private schools offer several different kinds of advanced study programs. These schools offer high-level academics, where high-achieving students have the opportunity to study subjects in more depth and breadth, and sometimes at a faster pace. Programs offered include dedicated gifted classes, the International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
Whether you enjoy lively cities, like Vancouver, Victoria, or Kelowna or you prefer living in beautiful natural scenery in British Columbia, you will find a city or town that suits your family's needs and wants. BC is simply a wonderful place to raise a family! Finding the right school is a little more work, but we have resources to help.
You should begin searching for a private school for your child well before your expected time of enrolment (some parents begin looking for a preschool or daycare when their child is still a baby). Such promptness will give you sufficient time to consider a multitude of necessary factors. Here are some considerations:
Many private schools in BC have unique educational philosophies. For instance, there are language-immersion, special needs, Christian, Catholic, AP, and IB schools. You should find out whether those approaches are suited to your child's educational needs.
Will the school help you fund your child's tuition? Private school need not be beyond your financial means, as many institutions allocate funds to scholarships and bursaries. To find out more about paying for private school, you may consult our list of 18 tips for paying private school tuition.
How far is the school from your home? Distance can be important if your children are young or there is limited public transportation. If you want your child to experience a private school's diverse programs (i.e., extracurricular activities), you might need to drive him or her to school at hours that do not fit your schedule.
What do other students and their parents say about the school? Get as much feedback from school parents as possible.
What is the school's reputation? You could contact a Ministry representative to learn about a given school's reputation. You can also check its ranking by the Fraser Institute.
Below, we list the top private schools in BC (British Columbia). Click on a link to learn all about a school, including its location, cost, programs, and curriculum.
St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
|$18,500 to $66,100|
|Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||18500|
Westside Montessori Academy (est. 2008)
Westside Montessori Academy, located at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver offers a true Montessori education to children aged 2.5 to Grade 7. [View profile]
|$5,050 to $10,750||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||5050|
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
|$9,500 to $49,300|
|Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day||9500|
Brookes Shawnigan Lake (est. 2018)
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB World School on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 7 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Calgary
|$5,544 to $47,500||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||5544|
Southpointe Academy (est. 2000)
Southpoint Academy offers enriched curriculum for grades K-12. We provide the IB PYP curriculum and is a candidate school for the IB MYP. College board AP course are available for grades 10-12. [View profile]
|$14,965 to $29,560||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||14965|
Meadowridge School (est. 1985)
Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment. [View profile]
|$21,300 to $31,300||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||21300|
Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School (est. 2005)
Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School in Kelowna, British Columbia offers programmes for grades Preschool to Grade 12 with enrollment of 560 day students and class sizes that range from 16-22 students. [View profile]
|$4,500 to $21,000||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day Homestay||4500|
Claren Academy (est. 2017)
Claren Academy is a technology & creativity focused independent school located in the heart of Vancouver. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Vancouver
|$15,450||Elementary Coed Day||15450|
Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)
Queen Margaret's School is an independent day/boarding university preparatory school in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
|$6,250 to $55,200|
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Boarding Day||6250|
Cousteau school is a unique French language school in BC, #1 in the last Fraser Institute ranking. We provide academic excellence from Preschool to Grade 9. Class sizes can be as small as 13 students. [View profile]
|$10,700 to $13,700|
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||10700|
Bodwell High School (est. 1991)
Bodwell High School in North Vancouver is a full boarding school that enrolls 600 students. Tuition starts at $15,500. We provide Education for a Changing World. The school motto is "Strength in Diversity." [View profile]
|$19,150 to $38,450||HighSchools Coed Boarding Day Homestay||19150|
York House School (est. 1932)
York House School provides an exceptional education for girls from JK to Gr. 12. We instill in each girl the belief and confidence that girls can do anything! [View profile]
|$20,600 to $21,400||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day||20600|
Monkey See Monkey Do Montessori (est. 2007)
We have offered high quality programs for children ages 2.5-6 since 2007 in Vancouver, B.C. Our students graduate with a solid academic foundation, good problem solving skills, pro-social behaviour and a love of school. [View profile]
|$4,500 to $7,500|
|Preschool Kindergarten Coed Day||4500|
Roots and Wings Montessori School (est. 1985)
We aim to create a community to enable children to honour and respect their innate goodness, their joy in learning and their responsibility as caring global citizens and stewards of the earth. [View profile]
|$4,830 to $12,000||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||4830|
UWC Canada (est. 1974)
The UWC National Committee of Canada and Pearson College UWC represent the United World Colleges in Canada. We are seeking daring young Canadians who aspire to make the world a better place. [View profile]
|$1 to $58,000|
Brockton School (est. 2004)
Brockton School is an independent, co-ed, non-denominational, IB World School. Brockton hosts an Early Learning Years program, a Junior School, and a Senior School, with students from Junior Kindergarten to grade 12. [View profile]
|$16,400 to $23,700||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||16400|
Madrona School Society (est. 1993)
Madrona School Society is a gifted school in Vancouver. It offers programs for kindergarten to grade nine with an average class size of six to 14 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Vancouver
|$20,000 to $23,000||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||20000|
ArtsCalibre Academy (est. 2011)
ArtsCalibre Academy empowers students through creativity, mindfulness and leadership. We offer Preschool to Grade Eight in 2017/2018, adding one grade per year through to Grade 12. [View profile]
|$4,750 to $5,850||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||4750|
Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)
Shawnigan Lake School is the largest boarding school in Canada. Located in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, we offer a comprehensive program to 500 young men and women in grades 8-12. [View profile]
|$27,200 to $67,900||HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||27200|
Fraser Academy (est. 1982)
Fraser Academy is a leader in the empowerment and education of Grade 1-12 students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Based in Vancouver, we are a fully accredited, independent day school. [View profile]
|$26,250 to $31,250||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||9999999999|
Kelowna Christian School (est. 1978)
Established in 1978, our passion is to provide families with transformative, excellent education that equips and inspires students to be disciples who are world changers that love and serve God and others. [View profile]
|$3,600 to $6,500||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||3600|
Vancouver Waldorf School (est. 1971)
Vancouver Waldorf School offers programs from pre-school through to grade 12 in North Vancouver, BC. Its average class size is 12 to 25 students. [View profile]
|$1,100 to $14,760 /semester||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day Homestay||1100|
British Columbia Christian Academy (est. 1992)
BC Christian Academy offers Christian education from Preschool to Grade 12. Our dedication to academic excellence, strong Christian and moral values and a community built on compassion equip our students for the future. [View profile]
|$3,800 to $14,750||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day Homestay||3800|
The Maria Montessori School (est. 1991)
Authentic Montessori Preschool. Students completing our 3 year program at The Maria Montessori School test extremely well. We balance academics, exploration and skills guided by your child's natural interests. [View profile]
|$3,500 to $3,900||Preschool Kindergarten Coed Day||3500|
Brentwood College School (est. 1923)
Brentwood is a truly co-educational, progressive boarding school for Grades 9 to 12 located on an oceanfront campus on Vancouver Island, BC. Tuition runs from $25,700 to $66,000. [View profile]
|$25,700 to $66,000|
|HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||25700|
Canada Star Secondary School (est. 2016)
Canada Star Secondary's vision is to provide superior academic opportunities that allow our students to develop interests, pursue passions, and to follow the path to success and admission to top-ranked universities. [View profile]
|$14,800||HighSchools Coed Boarding Day Homestay||14800|
Pear Tree Elementary (est. 2015)
Small and intimate by design, progressive by choice, and innovative by necessity, Pear Tree Elementary is redefining what it is to teach and learn in the modern world. [View profile]
|$15,500 to $18,600||Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||15500|
Mulgrave School (est. 1993)
Mulgrave School offers programmes from Preschool to Grade 12 in West Vancouver. Its average class size is 20 students with teacher to student ratios of 1:8. [View profile]
|$17,195 to $21,370||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17195|
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (est. 1973)
KGMS/Maplewood provides supportive individual and small group instruction for students with learning differences. [View profile]
|$22,950 to $23,950||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||9999999999|
Avante School (est. 2009)
Avante School provides a custom tailored learning experience for accelerated success and much less stress. [View profile]
|$6,500 to $13,500||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||6500|
Venture Academy is a therapeutic private school providing educational and clinical support services, individualized instruction and engaging interaction to get students back on track and restore confidence. [View profile]
|not provided||MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay||9999999999|