When I was 12 I told my mother that I wanted to go to a Catholic high school. Dont be silly dear, were not Catholic, she replied as casually as if I had announced that I was flying to the moon. To her it was sheer lunacy: besides the fact that we were Protestant (alright, lapsed Protestants), we lived in a Westchester suburb where the public schools had a stellar reputation. People moved there for the sole reason that their children could attend these venerated public institutions. In addition, my friends who were heading to Catholic school groaned about it the nasty nuns, the dreaded uniforms and (mostly) the lack of young males. So why did I want to go?
Looking back, I can see my main motivation was to lessen the social pressures of high school. I secretly thought that wearing a uniform every day would be wonderful: gone would be the endless hours spent trying on clothes that never seemed to look just right, in the all-important quest to keep up with Biffy and Buffy.
I dont know that I ever got my fashion situation completely straightened out, but I did get a great education at my local public high school. But of course, not every school is right for every student; all children have different temperaments, needs and desires. Even if you live in an outstanding school district, you may come to realize that public school is not working for your child. Perhaps he or she needs smaller classes and more individual attention; perhaps he or she has a particular talent, like dancing or sports, that needs to be nurtured.
Luckily, in the HudsonValley were blessed with a large and varied range of private schools, from parochial schools to military academies to traditional college prep institutions. But figuring out which one is right for your child can be a daunting task. Get a head start with our cover article on page 28. Here, youll find the inside scoop from local students, parents and educators. We also give you the cold, hard facts on more than 30 private schools, including tuition prices, particular strengths and number of AP courses offered. So study up locating the perfect school for your child is worth it!
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief
Senior Editor Polly Sparling is the only member of our editorial staff to attend private schools (she graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Elmsford and MariaReginaHigh School in Hartsdale, both in WestchesterCounty). Attending an all-girls high school gave me self-confidence, Sparling says. I studied hard, made good friends and got into my share of trouble with the nuns.