Finding the right school for your child can feel overwhelming because it is so important, and it can be a game changer for your child and for your family as a whole. Luckily, the private school application process is a positive one, and the conversations that your family has with prospective schools can be wonderfully constructive. With the goal of reducing the stress around this process, I would love to offer a few tips about identifying the best school for your child to develop as a learner.
- First of all, there is a timeline to this process. Ideally you start considering a search the spring before you apply for the following year. For example, if you want to make a change for 6th grade, then during the spring of 4th grade you begin to get a better sense of your child as a learner.
- Ask yourself some questions about your child:
- What classroom is the best fit for her?
- What teaching style helps your child thrive?
- Pay careful attention to the feedback from your child’s teachers during conferences and build supportive relationships in your current school.
- Begin to visit prospective schools in the fall, register for zooms, sign up for open houses, communication and information gathering is key here.
- Now you are ready to apply (for the following year). Your child might need to take a standardized test, and there will be written aspects to the application that require time and thoughtfulness. Meet deadlines and ask questions along the way!
Remember this process is about finding the right place, the right ‘academic’ home for your student. It is essential that you truly get to know the school by attending open houses, asking questions, and reaching out to the admissions team. Finally, trust your children. Before you share your thoughts on a place, let them share theirs.
I started my practice, The Right Pond, to help families and their students navigate this process as constructively and as thoughtfully as possible.
The Children’s School
The Children’s School. When it comes to education, we celebrate the adage: Don’t save the best for last. Decades of research have proven the early years are the most important in a child’s entire education. More than middle school, high school and college? Yes. Because the period from birth to age 8 is when a foundation for life is created. Deep curiosity. Interests. Passions. Skills. Confidence. Respect for others, oneself and the natural world. Put those together, and it adds up to good habits of heart and mind for a lifetime.
That is why we at The Children’s School have focused on early childhood education for 56 years, with a clear mission—nurturing good habits of heart and mind through an individualized learning program and unsurpassed teaching talent. Head of School Maureen Murphy explains, “In that time, we have melded the very best thinking about children’s astonishing capacity to learn with five decades of working with children ourselves.”
That expertise means that each student is known and supported in our classrooms, courtesy of a 6-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Every student has a learning program designed expressly for them, with careful monitoring and record keeping that allow for swift adjustments if necessary at The Children’s School. It also means your child is immersed in a curriculum rich in music, art, science, movement, technology, books and more books, and a suite of learning materials that beckon children to play, which, as we know, is the basis of all learning for children. Our five-acre sustainable campus and state-of-the-art building and Art Barn enfold students in the wonders of discovering the world and self-expression.
French-American School of New York
Founded in 1980 as a one-classroom preschool, the French-American School of New York (FASNY) has offered the best in bilingual education for local families and expatriate students for more than forty years. In those 40+ years, FASNY has evolved to become an international and bilingual N-12 day school educating more than 700 students on three campuses in Mamaroneck and Larchmont, New York.
It is the only school in the New York metropolitan area accredited to offer both the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and the French baccalaureate and now offers an International Program for grades 1-8 with no previous French required.
German International School New York (GISNY)
Open a world of opportunities for your child with a distinctive bilingual education and a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes the sciences. For over 40 years, German International School New York (GISNY), an independent Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program, cultivates students to develop into curious, analytical, and conscientious global citizens.
GISNY is the only school in the tristate area accredited to offer the NYS High School Diploma and the German International Abitur, a globally recognized diploma, which facilitates access to universities worldwide.
The completion of our science wing this fall with a new state-of-the-art Maker Space allows our students to fully explore projects in the fields of design thinking, life sciences, and artificial intelligence.
Our Pre-K and Kindergarten programs offer a bright, spacious, and nurturing environment, and with our Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program our students enjoy most of their school day outdoors exploring, learning, and playing on our beautiful 20-acre campus. Children entering our Pre-K or Kindergarten programs are not required to speak or understand German and build the foundation of being bilingual by first grade.
Greenwich Catholic School
Greenwich Catholic School is unlike any other school in Fairfield and Westchester County.
We do more than educate your child. We help mold them into strong, confident leaders who think critically, act compassionately, and are prepared to be responsible global citizens.
Each child at Greenwich Catholic is known, cared for, and supported by every member of our strong community.
With unrivaled academics and athletics, comparatively low tuition, and a solid track record of getting our graduates into their first choice high school, Greenwich Catholic sets each student up for success.
We are a co-educational day school in Greenwich, Connecticut, where students in PreK 3 through Grade 8 learn and thrive.
Green Meadow Waldorf School
If you are looking for a private school for your children, look no further! Nestled on 11 acres in the heart of Rockland County, Green Meadow Waldorf School (GMWS) offers a curriculum that engenders in its young people the academic, social, artistic, and practical abilities that will enable them to become self-reliant and generous individuals capable of meeting whatever challenges they face in the future.
GMWS provides a Nursery-12th grade education with unique offerings like Parent & Child classes, Forest Kindergarten, and Farm Kindergarten. Our small class sizes, outdoor learning experiences and world language program are some of the features that set us apart.
The Harvey School
The Harvey School personalizes an educational journey to be as unique as each individual student. Students have unlimited opportunity to unlock their potential and chase what fulfills them, instilling a desire for greater knowledge, broader perspectives, and cultural awareness.
At Harvey, helping students find their “thing” has everything to do with trust. When students connect with their teachers, they dream big, try new things, and take risks. The result: extraordinary personal and intellectual growth. Because joy matters. Harvey equips students with everything they need to live meaningfully, happily, and successfully. Harvey’s diverse, inclusive, and welcoming community includes students from over 100 communities in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and international students from seven countries.
Located on a beautiful 125-acre hilltop campus in Katonah, New York, Harvey provides a coeducational college-preparatory program in grades 6-12 that cultivates academic excellence, artistic exploration, athletic achievement, and service to others. There’s nothing more powerful than a student who believes they can make a difference.
Iona Preparatory School
For more than 100 years, Iona Preparatory has been the premier, all-boys, PK-12 Catholic school in Westchester County. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, we develop young men into dedicated leaders who strive for spiritual, intellectual, and physical excellence. Our exceptional academics and college preparatory program empower students to become leaders in the workplace, in their communities and in the world. For students seeking to develop academic abilities, deepen faith, cultivate character, and make lifelong connections, we invite you to discover the Iona Prep difference.
Iona Preparatory Lower School offers a well-rounded program that promotes the harmonious growth of the whole person, fosters higher-order thinking, and prepares students prekindergarten through eighth grade for lifelong learning. That learning continues at Iona Preparatory Upper School, which is home to the Superior Talent Enrichment Program that has been expanded to include science, as well as the humanities; a rigorous three-year Science Research Program; and is now the fifth Westchester secondary school to offer the AP Capstone Diploma, along with 17 AP courses.
It is education for higher expectations, and there is no better investment you can make in your son’s future success than an Iona Preparatory education. Graduates have earned more than $130 million in academic, merit-based scholarships over the past five years—more than $24 million alone by the Class of 2021—to schools such as Boston College, Duke, Johns Hopkins, RPI, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Iona Prep is the two-time defending LoHud Tom Whelan Private School of the Year, winning a combined eight division, league, city or state titles in 2020-2021. Our 30 athletic teams across 15 sports rise to the highest level of competition in the Catholic High School Athletic Association. More than 50 student-run clubs and activities allow students to explore new interests and step outside of their comfort zones.
Open Houses: Sunday, Oct. 17, 12-3 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m. (Grades 9-12);
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Grades 6-7); and Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (PK-4-Grade 5).
Click here to register now!
The Leffell School
The Leffell School is the best of both worlds. Our nurturing Jewish community offers an enriching academic environment, state-of-the-art engineering and entrepreneurship programs, athletics and arts activities, and outstanding college placement.
Diana Schutt, Director of Lower School Admissions
914-948-3111, ext. 4370
Jackie Grosser, Director of Upper School Admissions
914-948-8333 ext. 8001
Open House: Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 9:30am
Lower School Open House Sunday, November 14 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Visit Leffell School for more information and admission
The Long Ridge School
With a unique focus on nursery and elementary education, The Long Ridge School is a warm, joyful environment where students excel through progressive, inquiry-based, personalized learning. When you visit our expansive, idyllic campus, you’ll find an inclusive community, where teachers, students, and parents of all backgrounds work together to guide children toward becoming compassionate global citizens.
Teachers at the Long Ridge School nurture each child’s strengths and interests—instilling confidence and leadership skills; fostering academic, social, and emotional development; and collaboratively building for each student the foundation for a fulfilling future.
“Affording an Independent School Education: Demystifying the Financial Aid Process”
Ridgefield Academy/Landmark Preschool is a preschool – Grade 8 program by design. The intellectually inspiring curriculum fosters joyful learning and uplifts each student to rise to their authentic self. Students benefit from small classes, individualized attention, and a vibrant, connected community that encourages them to take risks and speak their mind.
Families are invited to learn more about Ridgefield Academy and Landmark Preschool by attending a virtual or in-person Admissions event, or contacting Director of Enrollment Dave Suter at (203) 894-1800 x112 to schedule an individual Admissions appointment
Rye Country Day School
Rye Country Day School is a Pre-K through Grade 12 co-educational, college preparatory school serving 900+ students from Westchester and Fairfield Counties and New York City. Providing an excellent education using both traditional and innovative approaches, RCDS offers a challenging program that stimulates individuals to achieve their maximum potential through academic, athletic, creative, and social endeavors.
The School promotes moral responsibility and strength of character within a respectful, diverse, and nurturing learning community. Rye Country Day students are engaged, passionate learners, who exemplify the School’s commitment to teaching empathy, critical thinking, active citizenship, and service. The RCDS motto, Not for Self, but for Service, guides teachers, students, and families and stresses the core belief in the potential of each individual to have a positive, lasting impact.
Prospective families are invited to attend one of these upcoming virtual Open House events to meet administrators and faculty, hear from students, and learn more about the RCDS community.
Lower School (Pre-K – Grade 4): Sunday, 10/17, at 12 p.m.
Middle School (Grades 5 – 8): Sunday, 10/24, at 12 p.m.
Upper School (Grades 9 – 12): Sunday, 10/31, at 12 p.m.
For more information and admission visit Rye Country Day now!
Preschool: The mission of the Barat Center for Early Childhood Education at Sacred Heart Greenwich is to honor the young child through an appreciation of their developmental and transitional needs in a Reggio Emilia-inspired program. The children are active contributors to their own learning because of their innate and beautiful sense of wonder. Long-term projects in phonological and phonemic awareness, emergent literacy, number sense, and fine and gross motor development are guided by the curiosities and questions of the students.
Barat Center students regularly spend time outdoors through the immersive Mustard Seeds exploration program, receive weekly chess lessons, and begin multiple weekdays with violin lessons. The program also takes advantage of being connected to a full K-12 learning environment at Sacred Heart Greenwich by introducing Barat Center students to enriching offerings such as world languages, art, music, and technology. K-12: Located on a beautiful 110-acre campus in Greenwich, Sacred Heart is an all-girls’ Catholic, independent college-preparatory day school that offers a rigorous academic program that challenges students to take on a variety of leadership roles on campus and beyond. Sacred Heart Greenwich provides an empowering learning environment for girls and young women from kindergarten through twelfth grade to prepare them to become confident, intelligent, and compassionate global leaders. Faith, community, growth, intellect, justice: These criteria define the Sacred Heart Greenwich experience for each student.
Upper School Open House: Thursday, October 21 2021 at 5:30 pm.
All School open House: Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 9:00 am
For more information please visit, shgreenwich.org,
The Windward School
The Windward School is a premier independent day school for children with dyslexia or other language-based learning disability. WIth two campuses in White Plains and one campus on the Upper East Side of New York City, Windward remediates a student’s dyslexia or LBLD in preparation for a return to a mainstream school environment.