The main difference with a private high school compared to elementary or middle school years is that during the first couple terms of their four to six years of education at the high school level, students take required courses in sciences, social studies, mathematics and language arts, with the latter portion of their junior and senior year studies devoted to postsecondary programs or job training.
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Ottawa Private School Expo
If your are looking for a great high school in Ottawa, don't miss the Ottawa Private School Expo in November. Meet with the very best local schools, and Canada's leading boarding schools all in one day, at one location. This includes private high schools in downtown Ottawa, Ottawa-Gatineau, Rockliffe Park, Rockland, Kemptville, Nepean, Kanata, Centrepoint, Centretown, the Glebe, Riverside Park, and Hampton Park.
Benefits of your child attending a private high school in Ottawa
Along with the opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of Canada’s capital while studying in the city, attending an Ottawa private high school provides a number of additional resources and educational philosophies not offered in the public school system to help meet the needs of each individual student.
Smaller class sizes and lower student-to-teacher ratios allow students to have more one-on-one attention with teachers, and strong parent and teacher communication gives parents peace of mind whether their children are boarding or attending day programs, strengthening that sense of school community.
Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate programs, as well as other types of advanced study programs, are also offered at Ottawa high schools giving students additional enrichment opportunities to help them prepare for post-secondary education courses.
Types of Ottawa private high schools
Niche high schools in Ottawa focus on AP and IB programs, gifted programs, or special needs, Montessori, as well as arts or sports, however there are more traditional academic high school options available.
Would your son or daughter be interested in an all-girls or all-boys environment? Single-sex high schools as well as co-educational schools have their own benefits, and faith-based schools (such as Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic) have their own distinct advantages to consider too. All of these choices are available in the Ottawa area.
Choosing the right high school for your child
With so many of these school options available, it may seem difficult to narrow down a select list. But choosing the right school fit doesn’t have to be a stressful process.
Start by considering your son or daughter’s needs first and foremost, eliciting the advice of an advisor or educational consultant if you feel it will be helpful in assessing individual interests and needs, and how certain types of high schools might benefit your child.
Research schools by those factors that are important to your family and involve your preteen or teen in the process. Compare school profiles, visit school websites and annual school fairs like the Our Kids Private School Expos, or plan to visit the school for a private tour or during their Open Houses. Bring your son or daughter along if possible to experience the atmosphere and prepare some questions to ask school officials or current students, as well as the parents of current students. Create a shortlist of a few schools your family is interested in applying to.
Applying to an Ottawa private high school
Keep in mind that the application deadlines at schools vary so be sure to confirm those dates and plan for the interview process (anywhere from November to February) and acceptance period (usually the end of February for many schools).
Application fees are required at all schools and the school will often request copies of documents such as transcripts and report cards, along with other forms that can be submitted by mail.
Part of the application process also includes an interview. “Most schools handle the interview portion of the application process like a conversation or chat,” says educational consultant, Elaine Danson. “This is a chance for the school to learn more about the student and for the student to ask any questions he or she may have about the school.”
As part of this process, students may also be required to take the SSAT. Learn more about applying to a private school with SSAT exams.
Ottawa high school university placement
In private high schools, students generally have access to more resources to help them prepare for university, such as working one on one with counselors to choose a school and navigate the admissions process. Unlike public school counselors who often have hundreds of students to assist, private school advisors are able to focus more closely on the individual student.
Read more about university preparation, trends in private schools, and general high school information in high schools in Canada.
Costs of a private high school
Paying for a private high school in Ottawa will vary depending on the type of school, anywhere from $8,000 or $9,000 to $21,000 or over $50,000. However, there are options available to help pay for tuition, such as scholarships and bursaries or sibling discounts in some cases. Get more information about paying for private school, including financial aid, with these 18 tips.