7 Cutting-Edge Private Schools Preparing Students For College And Beyond

Not every child learns the same way, and choosing the right educational environment is important to their development. Whether the kids are just about to start kindergarten or looking for a unique high school experience, these private schools offer different educational philosophies and areas of emphasis so students can pursue their passions and grow into well-rounded adults. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

7 Private Schools At The Forefront Of Education

School Location Grades Served Philosophy and Emphasis
Staten Island Academy Staten Island, NY Pre-K through 12 Day school with independent curriculum based on Design Thinking Model of Education
Idyllwild Arts Idyllwild, CA 9-12 Residential arts training and college prep
Cathedral Catholic High School San Diego, CA 9-12 Diocesan Catholic college prep
Bullis School Potomac, MD K-12 Student-focused small-class education with an emphasis on community service and leadership
Walnut Hill School for the Arts Natick, MA 9-12 with postgraduate year available Independent boarding and day high school designed for student artists
The Harker School San Jose, CA Preschool through 12 Coeducational, independent day school with four dedicated campuses
Academy of Our Lady of Peace San Diego, CA 9-12 Catholic high school for young women

Exploring Creativity At Idyllwild Arts

The Most Exclusive US Universities

Rank School Location Acceptance Rate SAT Range
1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA 5% 1460-1590
2 Stanford University Stanford, CA 5% 1390-1540
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 7% 1490-1570
4 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA 8% 1530-1590
5 Yale University New Haven, CT 7% 1460-1580
6 Princeton University Princeton, NJ 6% 1430-1570
7 University of Chicago Chicago, IL 8% 1480-1580
8 Columbia University New York, NY 7% 1410-1570
9 Brown University Providence, RI 8% 1400-1570
10 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 9% 1420-1560

An Introduction To The Harker School

In Depth

Kids who have big ambitions shouldn't be held back by a one-size-fits-all educational system. Luckily, there are many private schools that allow children and young adults to explore their passions while gaining the knowledge they need to succeed in their next step, whatever that may be. In no particular order, here are seven leading institutions for motivated learners.

Kicking off the list at #1 is the Staten Island Academy in New York. The only independent school on Staten Island, it has no religious affiliation and is run by a Board of Trustees rather than the state, meaning it is free to develop its own curriculum without the constraints of standardization. The sprawling twelve-acre campus is home to an extended day program for busy working families unable to pick students up in the afternoon.

One unique aspect of the academy is its house system, a longstanding tradition in which students of the Upper School participate in friendly competitions revolving around academics, athletics, and community service for pride and the chance to show off their school spirit. An important initiative of the academy is the Renaissance campaign, a five-year effort to improve resources and facilities, making sure this institution is accessible to all qualified applicants.

An important initiative of the academy is the Renaissance campaign, a five-year effort to improve resources and facilities, making sure this institution is accessible to all qualified applicants.

#2 is the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Riverside County, California. Nestled into a picturesque pine forest in the San Jacinto Mountains, the 205-acre campus is home to enviable facilities, including state-of-the-art classrooms as well as indoor and outdoor theaters, dance and music rehearsal studios, and a sound stage for film production, making this a premiere destination for young artists looking to hone their crafts.

This residential high school is home to 300 students from more than 30 countries pursuing their passions for music, dance, theater, and visual art, as well as creative writing, fashion design, film, digital media, and interdisciplinary studies. 60% of attendees receive financial aid, which is funded largely through donors who recognize the importance of a place that nurtures teens from diverse backgrounds dedicated to achieving their dreams.

In the #3 spot is Cathedral Catholic High School, which has been active in the San Diego area under a variety of names and permutations for more than 60 years. A Diocesan Catholic co-educational institution, CCHS maintains a strong tradition while offering impressive academic programs that see 98% of graduates going on to college.

A Diocesan Catholic co-educational institution, CCHS maintains a strong tradition while offering impressive academic programs that see 98% of graduates going on to college.

The athletic program includes sports as diverse as football, crew, field hockey, rugby, and equestrian. There are academic scholarships available to applicants who score exceptionally well on placement tests. Those who wish to support a Catholic establishment dedicated to providing a college preparatory experience with an emphasis on faith can provide aid through a variety of events that help replenish funds for all departments.

At #4 is Bullis School, an independent K-through-12 institution in Potomac, Maryland serving more than 750 students per year. With a student-to-teacher ratio of seven to one, it provides a learner-focused experience built on developing character and producing leaders in the community. Founded in 1930, Bullis has initiatives emphasizing STEM education and entrepreneurship, putting graduates in a position to succeed.

One aspect of Bullis that sets it apart is its commitment to community service, with enrollees having the option to earn school credit by taking part in meaningful activities that go beyond the campus. A recent addition is the Gerald L. Boarman Discovery Center, a 70,000 square-foot building constructed with an eye on sustainability. Alumni and parents can be seen sporting gear from the school store to show their support for the more than 60 interscholastic teams.

Alumni and parents can be seen sporting gear from the school store to show their support for the more than 60 interscholastic teams.

Coming in at #5 is Walnut Hill School For The Arts. Located 17 miles from Boston in Natick, Massachusetts, Walnut Hill is unique on the East Coast as an independent arts high school, offering a full college preparatory curriculum along with training in dance, music, theater, writing, film, and visual arts. While 95% of students go on to a four-year institution, a postgraduate year is also available for those exploring their artistic options.

With a focus on diversity, Walnut Hill boasts students from more than a dozen countries, and offers affinity groups to support those with a common background working to make a name for themselves in their chosen field. As part of its "Invest In Excellence: Front And Center" project, events are held with performances by artists who can remind alumni and supporters what can happen for creative youth with the right help.

At #6 is The Harker School of San Jose, California. Serving young people from preschool to grade 12, this Silicon Valley mainstay educates more than 2,000 students each year, and has done so since 1893. Each of its four divisions has a dedicated campus, providing a well-rounded education that stimulates a lifelong passion for learning.

Serving young people from preschool to grade 12, this Silicon Valley mainstay educates more than 2,000 students each year, and has done so since 1893.

Prospective enrollees entering grades six and nine can participate in campus visit days where they will be hosted by current students and accompany them to classes to get a sense of what life at Harker is like. Regardless of the child's age, parents can explore the campus through open house admission events. As financial assistance is limited, the school is always in need of donations, which can be done by text message to make giving simple.

Rounding out the list at #7 is the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, which has been educating young women in San Diego for more than 135 years. Rooted in the values of the Catholic Church, religious instruction is at the heart of what Our Lady of Peace is about, along with an evolving curriculum employing technology to put students in a position to succeed in an ever-changing world.

As part of its STEM emphasis, OLP has both a Robotics and Engineering Club and the MicroChicks Robotics Team, which inspire girls to take part in events that show off their ingenuity and problem-solving skills. Students entering the ninth grade or who wish to apply as transfers are encouraged to come to open house events where they can learn more about how the academy incorporates its religious values into a rigorous educational program.