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Choosing a School

The best private school is the one that fits your child’s needs

Picking a school for your child involves juggling competing priorities and considerations. These can range from the practical (“Is this school on my way to work? Can we afford to pay the tuition? Is after-school care provided?”) to the lofty (“Does the school reflect my family’s values and perspectives on education and child development, and fit with my child’s unique learning needs? Will this school give my child a leg up?”).

This guide helps you identify, categorize, and prioritize these considerations, and helps you maximize your time spent researching and contacting prospective schools.


Video: Choosing a School

6 questions you need to answer when choosing a school


When people begin looking at their private school options, they often begin by asking “Whatis the best school?” Which, as experts agree, is entirely the wrong question. You're not looking for the best school for someone else's child, you're looking for the best school for your child; you're... [Read More]


The school visit


Most private and independent schools welcome the opportunity to provide you with a tour of their school. This step is one of the most important in choosing a school and should be conducted after you have visited private school expos, researched all possible schools and gone to open houses.... [Read More]


Private school rankings and ratings


Private school ranking or rating is a controversial issue that keeps cropping up year after year. Parents are often looking for an easy list that will tell them "the right school for their child." However, every expert on education says that such short cuts are a big mistake.... [Read More]


Questions to ask schools: expos or school visits


Nothing can replace a visit to a private school, in terms of learning about the school's environment, its attitudes and daily life there. School open house events are an excellent opportunity to tour the school and meet teachers, current and prospective students and parents. View alist of private school open houses... [Read More]


Factors in finding the right school: curriculum


A crucial factor in picking a school is its curriculum. “Curriculum” refers to both what is taught and how it’s taught.

When considering the different curricula outlined below, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category. Most schools’ curricula comprise a blend of best practices... [Read More]


Factors in finding the right school: living arrangements


If you have an older child in private school, it's important to decide whether boarding or day school is right for them. There are benefits to both, and many schools offer both boarding and day options.

Readiness for boarding school depends on yourchild’s maturity, interests, and goals. While schools will requ... [Read More]


Factors in finding the right school: gender


The first private schools in Canada reflected the gender roles of the time. They were meantto educate boys for political and military life. As times changed, so did the goals of schools.

Many new schools, especially those founded in the mid- to late-20th century, have been coedsince their inception. Likewise, many older... [Read More]


Feature: Schools as big as the world


International education can mean many things, but for some schools, that term is used at its mostliteral — they promote learning from getting out there and bumping up against the world.

These aren't the kinds of schools that parents perhaps think of first. For many, it's surprising that they even exist. Bu... [Read More]


Must Read: Five steps to choosing the perfect school


Searching for the right school is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, requiring committed preparation. Luckily, parents are not alone. Follow this guide, step by step. And if the road gets rocky, keep your eye on the finish line—your child’s future.While finding the right house is all about location, locat... [Read More]


Build it and they will come ...


Schools change and grow over time, with the oldest schools proving that pointmore than others. Schools are products of their time, thoughthey also respond to the needs of the student bodies. As a result, many schools don't look much like they did when they began, and these six are examples of that. They are all imp... [Read More]


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