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Question and Answers for How to choose a school


How do I find a private or independent school?

Making a choice may seem daunting, but it's manageable—if you're prepared to invest the necessary time for your child's future and find the best fit. There are no shortcuts, no one-size-fits-all answer. Each child and each family is unique, so the best approach is to do your own first-hand research. Start with the needs and wishes of your child and your family, then visit websites, talk to parents, gather expert advice and contact schools.

Find everything you need and want to know, including a step-by-step guide, about choosing the right school, a glossary of term, ranking schools and a list of questions to ask.


Should I hire an educational consultant?
As most parents acknowledge, it takes a considerable investment of time to find the right private school for their child....read more

What questions should I ask?
Ask about any and every aspect of the school and your child's education that interests or concerns you. General questions...read more

What should I look for in a school?
Family circumstances and the individual needs of your child will impact your choice of private or independent school. For one...read more

Is there a difference between private and independent schools?
Some educators use the terms interchangeably, while others insist clear distinctions exist.

Evolution of the vocabulary and current usage
Thirty years...read more

When should I start searching for a private school?
The earlier you start, the better. At least a year in advance is recommended. You want to give yourself enough...read more

Two of my children are thriving in our local public school, but I believe the needs of my eldest could best be met in another environment. Should I feel guilty if I don't send all my children to private school?
Consider the individual needs of each child. Some parents educate one child in a private school, while a sibling attends...read more

Should I consider a large or small school?
That depends. Look at the entire package a school offers and consider how your child would fit in. An outgoing...read more

What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and how does it help with university acceptance?
The IB Programme is an internationally accepted common curriculum developed and regulated by the
International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)...read more

I'm looking for a list of private schools in Calgary AB. South West or North West only for children with special needs.
The Calgary area has lots of great private and independent schools that cater to kids with Special Needs.
...read more

How do I rank private and independent schools?
Educational experts tend to agree that trying to rank schools, using whatever parameters, is questionable. It's like comparing apples and...read more

Are private and independent schools accredited?
No single body accredits private and independent schools. Credit-granting high schools must be recognized and approved by the provincial ministry...read more

Is there ranking on Canadian private schools?
There is no annual, cross-Canada ranking of private schools. The Fraser Institute publishes
reports (by province, but...read more

What do the tuition fees cover? Will there be extra fees?
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Where can I find a list of reputable educational consultants?
Education consultants can help you assess your child's learning style against your families 'wants' and 'needs' and help you find...read more

Will all boarding schools in Canada be represented, or just a selected few? What can we expect to learn from this expo?
Not all Canadian boarding schools will be represented at the expos, but many will be at each one. A ...read more

Public vs Private: Why choose a private school over a very good public school? What are the benefits?
Choosing a school, whether public or private, should be based on your child's and family's needs. Also, if your child...read more

Is it okay to bring my six year old children to this event?
The Private School Expos are designed for families since choosing a private or independent school is a family decision. So...read more

How can a middle class family afford to send their children to private school when fees are so expensive nowadays?
For more information on the affordability of private schools we have an article on OurKids.net/schools entitled
"Private School...read more

Is there a specific listing of schools in the lower mainland that are focused on learning disabilities?
There are many schools available in most areas of British Columbia (indeed all of Canada). You can find a...read more

Are single-sex schools better for girls than co-educational?
The answer, it seems, depends on your child and how well you feel she will fit in to the school...read more

How do I know if private school is better suited to my son than public school?
Determining if your child would do better in a private school vs a public school can be difficult. There are...read more

How can I choose a good school for my kid?
There are many factors to weigh when attempting to make such an important decision regarding your child’s education. There...read more

What are the regulations govering teacher qualifications in private school? I have heard they are not as strict as public school.
Parents should ask about teacher qualifications when they visit a school. There are not a standard set of teacher qualifications...read more

Why is there no information on private school ratings? When I clicked on your site it said "ratings" after which your site says "we shy away" from rating a particular school. Which is it? Actually I don't think its comparing apples and oranges and if I would consider spending my money on private education I would at least like to feel I made the right decision.
The trouble with rating or ranking private schools is that they do not factor in the specific needs of your...read more

Looking for French Immersion High schools.
There's plenty of French Language schools for high school students, it all depends on the area where you live. In...read more

My son is a gifted child with difficulty of emotional control. Is it better for him to stay in public school to learn more of sociality and then transfer into gifted program of VSB? or go to private school this year (he is in G2 French Immersion).
Deciding when to send a child to private school is very important, but extremely personal. The same decision is not...read more

What are the benefits of enrollment into a private school at JK instead of waiting until grade 1?

It is not a question of enrolling in any private school as much as it should be a question of...read more

Which Montessori school is better in Calgary? Regular public schools are better or Montessori schools?
Alberta Education does not make comparisons of schools or school authorities. However when it comes to selecting a school,...read more

I'm considering to send my 6yr old boy to a montessori school in Vancouver. The school I've found is either 'Westside Montessori' or 'Roots&Wings Montessori', which means it is not in the list of the schools here this website. Does it mean I've chosen a wrong one? The school I've found in Vancouver is very small size, only 22 students in total (elementary only) and doesn't have any facilities... not even a small office where I could sit and talk with the principal. How do I know I've found a good montessori school?
Westside Montessori does have a listing on our site, you can visit it
here. Though typically each Montessori classroom has...read more

Apart from reading the profiles and interviewing all schools, is there a means of determining the degree to which candidate schools emphasize academics, comparing their admission criteria, and seeing their performance in standardized testing?
Comparing private and independent schools is a difficult task because you must do so against your personal criteria. What is...read more

How to find a school fit for our kids?
There are many factors to weigh when attempting to make such an important decision regarding your child’s education. There...read more

What schools are participating? Are school's teachers going to be on site?
We have a
list of all the schools that will be participating at all four Private School Expos in...read more

How do I find the best independent school for my daughter, aged 4.5?

Although a private education has different benefits to students of every age, many families choose to give their...read more

My daughter is two years old, and I would like to enroll her in a preschool to enrich her education or camp. I would like some information. Maybe a private school that teaches three languages. We already speak four at home. Much appreciated.

Many parents think summer camp or private school in the early years provides a strong foundation in essential skills that...read more

Which curriculum is better - IB (International Baccalaureate) or a traditional high school?

There are a few previously asked questions about the IB program that may answer your question:

What are the advantages...read more

How can I find out the quality of education offered at a school I am considering for my child? Are there there any websites offering reviews or performance evaluations?

Private and independent schools in Ontario have the option of participating in province-wide EQAO testing, which then usually results in...read more

Are there any ADHD-recommended special schools?

Sending a child with ADHD to a school that understands their learning methods can mean the difference between success and...read more

Dear Sir/Mam, I am permanently shifting from India to Brampton in the first week of June 2013. My daughter will be in 2nd grade.Pl help me to get her enrolled in a good school near Brampton.
We have a list of Brampton schools on our site here: http://www.ourkids.net/brampton-private-schools.php and you may find some additional options with...read more

Hi, i am planning to move to Halifax from India. My son is 5 years old and studying in local language. how can i transfer and bring him up to speed to a school in Canada.
To start, you may be interested in learning more about private education in Canada here: http://www.ourkids.net/canadian-private-schools.php with additional information on...read more

to get idea on best school for my kids
To start, you may be interested in learning more about how to find the right school fit for your child...read more

I & my family am a New Comer (PR Holder) on settlement process; yet wanted to enrol my children for private school. 1. Son : Presently shall be in Grade XI 2. Daughter : shall be in Grade 5 (seeking for all Girls School) Is there financial assistance if i can pursue them for private schools. How can I go thru this process and qualify for the compatible school.
To start, you may be interested in learning more about how to find the right school fit for your children...read more

which schools have the smallest class sizes? How can I get my kids into our school of choice?
The easiest way to find a school with small class sizes is to use our Advanced Search tool here: http://www.ourkids.net/school/school-search.php...read more

How do I get my son to go to an English school if he doesn't have a certificate of eligibility?
We have some information on certificate of eligibility on our site here: http://www.ourkids.net/english-language-schools-montreal.php#cert as well as a list of English...read more

therapeutic, small school ontario, quebec
To start, you may be interested in exploring our Advanced School Search tool on the website that help you search...read more

Is there discount for 3.5 year old twins? Can public schools accept 3.5 year old if they born in Feb 2011? Are there French programs for pre-school kids?
To start, there are sibling discounts available from many schools (called sibling bursaries) but it depends on the school, so...read more

We are new immigrates from China ,My daughter is 16s old,She just has finished welcome classes,now she is studying in the Grade3. I want to know whether she is enrolled in private schools?
To start, you may be interested in learning more about private education in Canada here: http://www.ourkids.net/canadian-private-schools.php with additional information on...read more

What are the best questions to ask when trying to find a school that fits? What are things I should look for?
To start, you may be interested in learning more about how to choose the right school for your child with...read more

I have over 50 different questions.
To start, you may be interested in learning more about how to choose the right school for your child with...read more

I have many questions, especially about the application and enrollment process.
You may be interested in learning more about how to find the right school fit for your children with our...read more

What is the activities you do in the school hours. How much is the fee? What is the kids can learn in academic year. Is there any sibling discounts.
Our Advanced School Search tool on the website can also help you search for schools with specific activities and criteria...read more

How to choose a right school for my kid?
To start, you may be interested in learning more about how to find the right school fit for your child...read more

Which school is best for my child and when should he start his school.
You may be interested in learning more about how to find the right school fit for your child with our...read more

I need the list of schools that don't require eligilibility certificate (Law 101) because we are permanent residents at Montreal
There are many schools in the Montreal area that do not require the eligilibility certificate under Bill 101 and 115....read more

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