A Guide to Vancouver Private Schools

private school system vancouverIncreasingly, parents from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds are choosing private school in Vancouver so that they can find the school that is perfect for their child.

In the 2009-2010 school year, 69,466 students enrolled in private schools in BC versus 580,486 students enrolled in public schools.*

Some parents look to private school over public school for academic quality, quality of teachers, student encouragement, and smaller classes. Many believe private schools allow their children to become fully engaged in their academics and extracurricular activities, helping them discover their abilities and excel in their post secondary education.

While it is difficult to say exactly how much better the education is in private schools versus public schools, the average class sizes reported in private schools are generally smaller than that of public schools.

The average class size for grades 8 - 12 in public schools is 24.8**, while Vancouver private schools report class average class sizes of anywhere between 10 and 21 for the same grades depending on the school. It is generally easier to provide personalized instruction and encouragement when there are less students to keep track of.

Ultimately, each private school should be evaluated on a per case basis to ensure you're getting the best education for your child.

 

Choosing a Vancouver Private School


There are over a dozen private schools in the Vancouver area. When considering the various options, be sure to find out if the school is both registered with and respected by British Columbia's Ministry of Education.

Find out the reputation of the school, the principal or headmaster and its teachers. If possible, meet with teachers to find out their philosophies and their commitment to children. Look into how up-to-date their technology, sports and education facilities are. Private schools can be quite costly, so it's important to make sure your child is getting the best education for your money.

There are a number of special considerations with regards to each schools programming that will affect your choice.

These include all the following:

> Gender: Some private schools are for boys or girls only while some are mixed.

> Education Level: Some are solely private elementary schools or private high schools. Others offer all levels of education from Kindergarten to high school.

> Boarding: Some private schools offer the option to live on campus.

> Financial: Some private schools offer scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance.

> Religion: Some private schools are tailored for a specific religion.

> Curriculum: Some private schools offer unique options in their curriculum like education in international languages, ESL (English as a Second Language) programs, visual and performing arts, and more.

> After-school Care: Some private schools offer before and after school care for busy parents. Some also offer tutoring services.

> Extra-Curricular Activities: The options offered can vary quite widely from school to school. If your child has a particular interest, whether it's a specific sport or hobby, it may be important enough to you to find a school that has an extra-curricular program for it.

 

Cost of Private Schools in Vancouver


Private school tuition costs range widely depending on 2 factors: where the school is located and what type of private school it is. Vancouver private elementary schools range between $4,800 and $14,000 per year. Vancouver private high schools range between $10,000 and $24,000 per year.

There are also some private schools that receive some government funding that are able to offer yearly tuition rates below $1,400. Naturally, boarding schools are the most expensive overall because the tuition also covers boarding fees.

 

List of Vancouver Area Private Schools


Here are a few of the top private schools in the Vancouver Area:

> Collingwood School in West Vancouver (Co-ed, Kindergarten - Gr. 12)
> Stratford Hall in Vancouver (Co-ed, Kindergarten - Gr. 12)
> Bodwell High School in North Vancouver (Co-ed, Gr. 8 - 12)
> York House School in Vancouver (All Girls, Junior Kindergarten - Gr. 12)
> St. Georges School in Vancouver (All Boys, Gr. 1 - 12)


Sources:

* http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reports/pdfs/student_stats/prov.pdf
** http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/reports/pdfs/class_size/2009/public.pdf

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