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Picking the Perfect Private School

Choosing a private school for your budding scholar can be nerve-racking. Keep in mind the following questions to ask the school (and yourself).

How will the school suit my child in the long run?

When you visit the school, be sure to consider the years ahead. Find the school that is the best fit for the long haul. Because your child will grow and develop while there, you want to be aware of how the school will change over time. Does it change from a caring, nurturing lower school to a more demanding, competitive middle and upper school? Check out all the divisions of a school before selecting one.

Is my child a good fit for the school?

While you may be tempted to secure admission to the most competitive school possible, be sure that your child is a good fit for the school and that it won’t be too demanding—or too easy—down the road. There are many high-quality private schools in San Diego with a large variety of programs; don’t push your child into a school that doesn’t nurture his/her interests and talents.

Where do the school’s graduates attend college?

Schools usually post a list of where their graduates attend college. While these lists generally cover many years, they will give you an idea of what kinds of colleges the school has connections to, and where you can expect your child to go if he/she attends the school. Be sure to consider the full range of schools—you’ll be impressed!

What are the classes and work like?

When touring San Diego private schools, your child may be allowed to sit in on a class and get an idea of the material covered and the character of the classes. An older child can get a sense of whether the other students seem like him/her and whether he/she feels comfortable in this type of environment. That way, you and your child get a good idea of what daily academic life is like at the school.

Testing the Waters

All potential private-school students are required to take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE), an exam accepted by more than 1,200 independent schools around the world. Administered online or at an approved test site, the ISEE is a critical part of many San Diego private schools’ admission process. Visit for more info.

Picking the Perfect Private School

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