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Are you searching for the best middle school or high school for your child? This is one of the most important transitions in a child’s life and needs to be deeply considered before a final decision is made. From future life skills to connections to college preparation, middle school and high school are designed from the ground up to give your child the best head start they can possibly get. Not sure where to start looking? You’re not alone. A little research is the first step of many you’ll take in ensuring your child’s future.

How Many Schools Are There?

The United States is a massive country, sending millions of children to school on a daily basis. There are an estimated 30,000 private schools alone, serving over five million students from preschool to high school. The average national SAT scores are 497 in reading, 514 in math and 489 in writing — independent schools consistently score higher than the national average, making them popular choices for parents deeply invested in their child’s future success.

How Are Public Schools?

Choosing whether or not to send your child to a public school is a personal decision. Many parents choose public schools for their affordability, location and flexible scheduling — the majority of public schools are located near downtown and highly populated areas of the given city or town, making it easy for families to move back and forth throughout the week. A common issue with public schools, however, are large classes and a decreased sense of safety. If you want your child to have a more consistent learning environment, consider sending them to a private high school.

How Are Private Schools?

On the other hand, more and more families are turning to the benefits of private schooling when sending their child to middle school or high school. Private schools have nearly twice as much enrollment in large cities compared to public schools, though by design they have smaller class sizes and overall populations. Many parents choose private schools for their combination of more intimate learning environments and safe design — a Fraser Institute study saw over 70% of parents surveyed with children in the private school system agreeing that their learning environment was a safe one. For children with mental illness or physical disability, the efficiency of a private middle school cannot be understated.

What About Special Needs?

If your child has additional needs or chronic illness, a private school may be the right option in giving them everything they need to succeed. Special needs can include, but are certainly not limited to, attention deficit disorder (shortened to ADD), chronic anxiety, depression, physical disability, dyslexia and social anxiety. Small class sizes means your child will receive more one-on-one attention from their teacher and staff, helping their unique needs be consistently met.

Which School Should I Send My Child To?

Whether it’s a middle school or the last year of high school, this decision will significantly impact your child’s ability to succeed in college and beyond. Of the over 300,000 private high school graduates back in 2010, over 65% attended four-year colleges by the following year. This high rate of continued education has been attributed to the unique nature of private schools and their ability to give children the most consistent and personalized educational experience around. When choosing a middle school or high school for your child, think first of the elements they’ll need to be the best they can be.

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