We aren’t at all sure about going private, but as tour season kicked off, we were still curious to see some private elementary schools. What might, for good or bad, set these schools apart?
Answering that question, though, meant figuring out which schools to tour. We were curious, and wanted to see a mix of academic styles and educational approaches. But we’re not so deep in tour-junkie mode that we wanted to see everything. Since we have some important logistical constraints (like a dual southbound commute), we kept a fair number of private schools off our tour list:
- Single-sex schools. We have an older girl and a younger boy, and can’t face the idea of doing this whole process again in two years. We also aren’t looking at Catholic-affiliated schools, which nixed the Convent-Stuart Hall combo.
- Schools too far off our commute path to be practical for the next decade or so. Since we live northwest-ish (as in north of Noriega and west of Webster), that eliminated schools like Live Oak, Adda Clevenger, and Synergy.
- Schools that are relatively new and still finding their feet. Since we’re in learning mode, not “Gotta go to private school or bust” mode, we preferred to see long-running programs in the city with established parent communities we could turn to with questions. For us, that meant leaving Stratford, Alta Vista, and Escuela Marin Prep off our list.
I fully realize that the schools we opted against touring are a promising fit for other families, so if anyone out there has visited any of these campuses and would like to share their impressions here, please do. If you are interested in the single-sex options, you’ll also find discussions about them on The School Boards site.
Even after eliminating all of the above from our tour list, there remained a wide range of campuses to consider, including San Francisco Friends, Marin Country Day, French American International, Chinese American International, and Presidio Hill. We’ve also toured one parochial school, Zion Lutheran. I’ll post about some of these tours soon.
If you’ve been touring private schools, where did you decide to tour, and why?