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Types of Schools: What's a good private school

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Know what to look for when choosing a school

No private school can be all things to all students. The best question you can ask: what is a good school for your child?

You are in the best position to answer this question, based on the needs of your child and your family’s priorities.

Consider your child’s academic strengths, learning style, personality, interests, athletic, music or artistic abilities. Will he or she flourish in a small indpendent school or adapt well to a busy boarding school? Is a single-sex or coed setting more suitable for your child? What about boarding school?

Consider your family priorities. Is a particular religious or cultural setting important? Are you seeking a specific educational approach? Only you can answer these key questions and discover, through careful research, what would be the right school for your child.

Assess your schooling needs

Private and independent schools come in a variety of flavours. You’ll have to assess your child’s needs and school considerations such as:

  • Fewer than 20 students or hundreds of students
  • Elementary and/or middle school and/or secondary school (high school) grades
  • Urban or rural
  • Day, boarding or a combination
  • Single-sex or coed
  • Catering to specific needs, such as gifted students or those with learning disabilities, or welcoming a broad spectrum of students
  • Specialty focus — known for arts and music or athletics
  • Decades old or newly opened
  • Philosophy — Montessori, Waldorf, Faith-based, Traditional

Common ground in private schools

Parents turn to the private education system because it offers more choice and the opportunity for children to flourish in their strengths and work at their weaknesses. The reason is different for every family, however some common ground that is true for all schools is:

  • Students at private/independent schools are there because their families have made an intentional choice.
  • Schools are looking to attract students and families that will fit well into the institution's community. The goal is contented and successful students.
  • Private schools in Canada tend to focus on limiting class sizes.


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