The idea for this Private School Guide began as what seemed like a simple project undertaken by parents every year: the quest for the ‘right school’ for my child. Like many parents, I was armed with numerous private school directories and brochures and LOTS of opinions from parents who all told me which were the most ‘popular schools’, but I wanted to make my own informed decisions. So I took the parent tours, went on classroom visits, reviewed the literature provided by each school and spoke to other parents, ét voila! “The Los Angeles Private School Guide” was born.
I am now in my tenth year at the helm. I have a second book in the Whitney Guide series, The Whitney Guide: The Los Angeles Preschool Guide, and I have a third book on public schools, The Los Angeles Public School Guide. The more research I’ve done, the more I’ve understood the variety of reasons for parents’ school choices (financial, educational, geographical, religious, etc.), and that all schools are not created equal. Some of our kids need the challenge of a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum which will admit them into the Ivy League colleges, while others will do just as well in a less-structured, creative environment, which will prepare them for a smaller, artistic school or an Ivy League college as well. When all is said and done, every child should be in the environment where their talents and strengths can be nurtured. As parents we know this all too well. In my case, I had one child in a private school and the other in a public gifted magnet program. Both kids were very happy and I was only paying only one private school tuition!
This guide is written in the hope that it would help you focus in on the school which will be the best fit for both you and your child. It includes descriptions of each school’s physical setting and philosophy, as well as a more in-depth understanding of its teaching methods and programs, more, I hope, than reading the schools’ brochures. Although no two parents will end up with the same short list of schools, I do believe that this guide will save you:
Remember, do not feel pressured into selecting the school that others say will ‘guarantee’ admission to that prestigious university or college. No school can guarantee that. Also, don’t be too concerned about getting your child into the most ‘popular school’ or even the school that is the ‘most difficult’ one to get into (these can change from year to year). Keep an open mind and select the school that best fits your child’s needs.
Also included is some information about different types of public schools, specifically there is one in particular that we will hear a lot more about – the charter school. I wanted to share some of my findings with you because perhaps, like me, there are parents reading this book who cannot afford to send all their children to tuition-charging ones. I hope this is helpful.
Best of luck in your search!