Does this website list all of the private schools in the greater Dallas area?
No. The 16 schools listed on this site all belong to the Independent School Admission Association of Dallas and are accredited by ISAS.
What are independent schools?
Independent schools are independent in:
Philosophy: each is driven by a unique mission.
The way they are managed and financed: each is governed by an independent board of trustees and each is primarily supported through tuition payments and charitable contributions. They are accountable to their communities and are accredited by state-approved accrediting bodies.
Independent schools come in all shapes and sizes. Independent schools include elementary and secondary schools; day and boarding schools; single-sex and coeducational schools. Some independent schools are religiously affiliated and others are not. They vary in size and educational approach.
Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs, without state mandates on curriculum, textbooks, and testing.
Mission-driven education. Whether co-ed or single sex, day school or boarding school, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching.
The wide diversity among independent schools allows you to find a school that is a great fit for your student.
High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.
More students in independent schools enroll in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.
Small classes that allow for individual attention. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.
Excellent teachers. Independent school instructors usually teach in their areas of expertise. They strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation.
Graduates of independent schools have a greater likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.
Education for the whole child. In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ personal and social growth and civic conscience.
Outside the classroom, students participate in school-sponsored athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and leadership experiences.
Inclusiveness. Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.
A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
As a parent, you can actively engage in your student’s education, because the staff and teachers want and value your participation.
How do I decide which school is the right choice for my child?
As a parent, you know that all children are not alike. Each child has his or her own special talents, interests, developmental patterns, and emotional needs. A school that is right for one may not be the best choice for another. Visiting schools is the best way to help you understand more about the school and community. You can also spend time reading their website, admission materials, and social media feeds as well as talking to families that attend.
When you are selecting a school, ask yourself questions such as these:
- Is the curriculum appropriate for my child’s talents and goals?
- Will the school challenge without being overwhelming?
- Will my child be comfortable in the school’s environment?
- Are there opportunities for my child to pursue special interests?
- Will my child learn the values that are important to our family?
How do I find out what the admission process is for each school?
Visit each school’s website and read the information about the admissions process. Or, call the office directly and ask for the information. The process is usually laid out in a step-by-step format. Most schools have a similar process, the various websites provide dates and requirements.
Will my child have to take a test to get into a private school?
Most private schools require some form of testing prior to admittance. Many schools share their testing results with one another. Consult each school website for details. Schools admitting younger students may administer age-appropriate assessments or CATS testing. Schools admitting older students may require the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) or other standardized tests. You can visit the ISEE website at www.iseetest.org for further information. You may also be required to schedule an interview with the admission office. See the schools’ websites for details.
When does the application process take place?
Each school will have their own deadlines, but most ISAAD schools work a year in advance. Applications are typically available around Labor Day with deadlines varying from early December through January. Applicants are notified in March. Please check each school’s website for more detailed information.
How do I afford the tuition at a private school?
Contact each school directly so that you can learn about the full range of financial options available. Most private schools offer financial aid to families that demonstrate need. The money for these grants comes directly from the school’s budget and demonstrates the school’s commitment to having a diverse student population. Another common option is a monthly payment plan. These plans allow families to spread out their tuition payments over a period of eight to ten months. Occasionally, schools offer loan programs. No matter which of these options you decide to pursue, following deadlines for submitting the necessary documentation is essential.