There are a number of private schools to choose from in the Bay Area. It can be overwhelming to look through the details of every private program that is available. Before you spend the next two weeks learning every detail of each private school in the Bay Area, take some time to decide what you want to know. Most people have some essential factors and others that do not matter one way or the other. Get clear on what you want in a private school and on areas in which you will not compromise. Once you know what is most important to you, it will be easy to decide which schools should stay on the list and which ones can go.
A simple place to start your search for a private school is with the location. Are you willing to move in order to put your child in a particular private school? Are you okay with a long commute every morning and afternoon if it means getting your child into a particular school? The answers to these questions will help you set parameters for your search. If you want to stay in your immediate area and have a short commute, it will drastically reduce the number of schools you need to learn more about. The Bay Area is a large geographical area when you start to think about all of the potential private schools your child can attend. If you already have a geographical range in the Bay Area where you want to remain, then narrow your search to that area. Starting with the location you want is the quickest and easiest way to narrow down the options.
Once you have a private school list based on location, the next step is to do some research online. The vast majority of high-quality private programs will have websites that provide information for potential students. You can get important information from the school websites, including what age range of students they accept, the general schedule for the program, subjects and enrichment programs that are offered, and information on admissions. This process will help you take even more schools off the list as you encounter programs that do not offer the options you want.
When you have a shortlist of private programs based on location and your online research, the next step is to schedule a time to observe a class. You need to observe a class at any private school you are seriously considering for your child. There are some things you simply cannot learn with online research. Observing a class will help you gain a true sense of whether or not the program will be a good fit for your child. For many families, the class observation is the factor that helps the most when it comes to choosing a private program.
The Bay Area has plenty of options for families that are looking for a high-quality private school. If you follow the tips outlined above, you will narrow the options down to a manageable number quickly. It is worth your time and effort to learn as much as possible about each private school you are seriously considering. The school your child attends will help shape how he or she approaches learning inside and outside of the classroom. Be thorough in your research efforts, so you choose a school that aligns with your beliefs about education and sets your child up for success in school and life.