What Should Parents Consider While Choosing a Private Middle School?

Many families are enrolling their children in private school. Read the top seven questions every parent should ask before choosing a private middle school.

Private middle school admissions committees do not simply look at test scores and transcripts. They look at the student as a whole: interests, natural abilities, social skills, and academic goals. But they are not the only people asking questions.

What questions should parents ask when choosing a private middle school? 

This article will help you determine which private middle school is best suited for your child.


The Benefits of a Private Middle School Education

Middle school can be a daunting experience, especially if a student feels lost, afraid, or overwhelmed. 

Increasingly, parents are enrolling their children in a private middle school because they prefer the academic rigor, the sense of community, and the fact that students have more opportunities to excel in a smaller setting.

Choosing the right school is never easy, mainly because schools vary wildly in terms of programs, expectations, and results. 

As a vigilant parent, you should ask a few key questions to help you decide which school is the best fit for your child.

Seven Questions to Ask When Choosing a Private Middle School

Private school admissions teams want applicants to be successful at their school. 

And as a parent, you want to know that the school will give your child a chance to thrive in a challenging, encouraging environment. 

Here are seven questions every parent should ask:

1. Where is the school located?

You might be looking at top-tier institutions, but if the school is too far from home, your child is likely going to miss out on events and activities that help build confidence and relationships.

  • As a parent, you should explore several good schools in neighborhoods that are convenient for your family while still offering a top rate educational experience. 

  • If distance is an issue, you might want to look at first-rate schools that offer bus transportation.

2. Will the school accommodate my child’s learning style?

Every class is an exciting fusion of learning styles: there are students who are auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners, to name three. 

Additionally, there may be students with diagnosed learning differences, such as dyslexia. With proper guidance and support, an enhanced blend of learning styles can create an energized educational experience.

As a parent, you should ask how teachers engage students with different learning styles. Look for a broad range of activities that align with your daughter’s learning style.

3. How big are the classes?

Most private middle schools have small classes, which means that teachers have a chance to know the students and their families. It also means that teachers can provide individualized instruction when necessary.

  • As a parent, you should ask about the school's student-teacher ratio. California's public schools have a ratio of 23:1, while Marlborough has a ratio of 8:1.

4. How do the students feel about the school?

Students are remarkably candid. They will tell you what they like about the school, and what they dislike. 

  • As a parent, feel free to ask if you can talk to a few students at the private middle school. Listen for comments that suggest students feel safe. Are they thriving? Do they see their teachers as mentors and allies?

5. Does the school offer inspiring, interesting courses?

Private middle schools often take a holistic approach to education. They integrate subjects like English, History, Art, and World Language, and the result is a broader understanding of culture.

  • As a parent, you should ask about the course of study that prepares middle school students for high school.

6. How does the school socialize new students?

Some private middle schools include a group activity session as part of their application process. This experience gives prospective students a chance to collaborate and problem solve.

  • As a parent, encourage your daughter to participate in activities that allow her to get to know her peers.

  • Take advantage of open houses, campus tours, half-day shadow visits, athletic events, and performances so you can see the school in action.

7. What does the school value most?

Private middle schools often stress academic excellence, but they do so with an underlying belief that each person has a responsibility to society.

  • As a parent, be sure to read the private middle school’s mission statement and core values.

  • Look for references to qualities, like high ethical standards, diversity, leadership, confidence, integrity, and community.

What Private Middle School Looks Like for Your Child

A private middle school can give your child a chance to thrive in a secure, positive environment.

Students attending a private middle school are more likely to develop grit, leadership, courage, and compassion because they have ample opportunities to try new things. 

Students can play sports. They can act, dance, or sing. They can join the debate club. 

Besides their involvement in school life, middle school students can develop lifelong friendships.


Why Choose Marlborough

For over a century, Marlborough has been serving girls in grades 7 - 12. We are a private, college-preparatory secondary school, located in the heart of Los Angeles, California. Our middle school includes grades 7 through 9.

These students take a variety of innovative courses, like Maker’s Space 1.0, Robotics, Drawing,Animation with Code, Mindfulness Through Movement, Theater Games and Improvisational Techniques.

Marlborough has a rich tradition of helping girls find their voice. The school has a special Big Sister/Little Sister/Twin Sister program to welcome new students to campus. One student said she wanted new students to "feel as though they have older girls on campus who have walked in their shoes and can be there not only as a peer supporter, but also as a friend.


Next Steps

If you want your daughter to embrace learning and find her voice, consider the benefits of a private middle school education.

Want to know more about the Marlborough experience?


Contact us today

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