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Choosing the Right NYC Private School

Admissions season is here! With over 80 independent schools in New York City, there is a dizzying number of options. While we are lucky to live in a city with so many fabulous choices, it can be hard to narrow down your list. No school is one size fits all.

So how exactly do you determine which one will be the right fit? Start by taking a deep breath, and then think about your priorities and consider what type of learning environment is best for your child. Here are some elements to consider:

Single Sex vs. Coed

There are great arguments to be made for both. For example, all-girls schools do not have gendered competition for STEM classes. Without boys in the classroom, girls are more likely to be outspoken and have greater confidence. That said, one could argue that coed schools more closely mirror the real world where boys and girls will learn to work together and respect one another.

Traditional vs. Progressive

Every school has a mission that guides their educational philosophy. Schools can range from the very traditional to the uber progressive in their approach to learning. Traditional schools have a structured classroom environment and tend to be more content driven in their teaching style. Progressive schools focus more on the process, with a lot of experiential learning and collaborative projects.

Religious vs. Secular

In such a big city, all NYC private schools work very hard to foster a sense of community. How they define “community,” though, varies greatly. At some schools, their ethos may be faith based where they balance religious teaching with academics, or even prioritize one over the other. At other schools, the guiding principle might be non-sectarian with some elements of spirituality. And of course, there are others that are completely non-denominational.

These are just a few of the many factors to consider when narrowing down your school list. We recommend that you start visiting the private school websites to begin learning about what makes each school unique. You can also sign up for open houses beginning this fall. Don’t just take your friend’s advice, because the perfect school for their child may not be the right one for yours.

To help you begin, we have created a NYC private school directory with direct links to many of the schools’ websites. This is a great place to start. Another valuable resource would be hiring an NYC educational consultant who knows the culture of each school.

Overwhelmed with deciding which schools are the right ones for you? We are here to help. Reach out to The Admissions Plan and we can begin working together today. And, we will remind you to breathe!


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