Choosing the Right Philadelphia Private School for Your Child

Wondering which Philadelphia private school is right for your student? Read factors on how to determine the learning institution that is best for you.

When considering which Philadelphia private school is best suited for your child, there are several aspects to contemplate before you make your choice.
5 Key Things to Consider

Of course, there are factors that each family needs to consider such as location and budget, but beyond that, being sure that your child is in an environment where they can learn, thrive and be challenged is equally – if not more important. And, just like your child, schools have personalities. 

Here are 5 important areas to consider when choosing the right Philadelphia private school for your son or daughter: 

  • Social Development
  • Student:Teacher Ratios
  • Curriculum
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Preparation for College/University

Wondering which Philadelphia private school is right for your student? Read factors on how to determine the school that is best for your family.

Social Development

Our 10 single-sex grades—Pre-K to 8—and our 4 coed grades—9 to 12—are designed to enhance student learning at each stage of their social and intellectual development and to ensure they are prepared, socially and intellectually, for college and beyond.

For many students, their first few years are a critical time for developing learning habits. Research shows that having a single-sex environment allows for greater focus on building strong learning habits. Students are less likely to be distracted, and are more engaged with their teachers and their peers.  

For girls, having a single-sex environment means they can confidently express themselves without fear of gender stereotypes.   

In The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life For boys, Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens suggest that the attention span of boys can be different than girls. Accordingly, boys might benefit from an environment where they have more frequent breaks. 

Boys’ language skills might also develop at a different pace than girls. Having a single-sex environment for boys can maximize the educational pace to increase their engagement while maintaining their attention. 

Student:Teacher Ratios

One of the main differentiators of a private school is our ability to provide more attention to individual students.

According to an article published in 2011 by The Brookings Institute, smaller class sizes can have significant long-term effects on student achievement.

Unfortunately, budget cuts, mergers and changes in funding might cause the student:teacher ratio to increase – which is opposite to what we would like to see happening.

This is one of the main reasons to consider choosing a Philadelphia private school that has a proactive approach to ensure your son or daughter has the attention they need from teachers.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average student/teacher ratio in the United States at public schools is approximately 15.3.

At Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, the average student-teacher-ratio is 7:1.  This provides your son or daughter more opportunities to ask questions, participate in group exercises, and receive instruction and feedback from the teacher.

Wondering which Philadelphia private school is right for your student? Read factors on how to determine the school that is best for your family.


Although there are many good public schools in the Philadelphia area,  due public funding, they are often under pressure to provide a standardized curriculum.  Standardized curriculum often means that all students regardless of their particular interests, talents, or ability level – follow a similar path. 

In contrast a Philadelphia private school such as Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, has more flexibility to create options for learning that result in a more personalized and varied curriculum. As a measure of that, a student in SCH’s high school has over 100 electives to choose from to customize his/her academic experience.

If your son or daughter has a talent for math, art, writing, music, or sports – they might benefit from particular programs which engage them and encourage their development.

For example, take a look at our overview of The Visual Arts Program 

Additionally, there are more opportunities for in-depth project work by students. Such immersive project-based opportunities allow students to deeply explore their interests while developing a multifaceted understanding of underlying principles.

Encouraging curiosity and engagement are at the heart of the Lower School learning environment. 

Extracurricular Activities

From the earliest years to those in high school, the school day offers a critical time for self-discovery, while at the same time developing self-confidence and a sense of participation within the community.

At a school where students are allowed to pursue their passions with purpose, the sky is the limit to what your son or daughter might be able to experience. A new interest might be sparked at any time.

Perhaps one day, your daughter is outside on a field trip collecting leaves and creating a journal of different types of trees. From this simple experience, she decides she wants to join the eco club and delve deeper into learning about the environment.

Whether in the classroom, during a free-choice activity period, enjoying an after-school enrichment class, or participating or leading an extracurricular activity or clubs, SCH students learn responsibility, creativity, follow-through, resilience and leadership.

Wondering which Philadelphia private school is right for your student? Read factors on how to determine the school that is best for your family.

Preparation for College

As a parent, one of your key concerns might be how well your son or daughter will be prepared for college. 

At SCH, students will find the best fit for their future. In fact, 90% of the Class of 2019 were accepted into the first or second choice college/university.  

This doesn’t happen by accident.  This is the result of hard work, an outstanding academic experience and the support of a dedicated and talented faculty and staff.

Every day our students are asked to think boldly, create, collaborate, and problem solve.  To use their growing knowledge to deepen their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Through the hard work but exciting work of learning, our students grow into self-aware, community-minded, confident young adults, ready to apply their knowledge and talents to making a difference.  And they do.   

Choosing SCH as the Philadelphia private school for your child sets them on the course for becoming successful, knowledgeable, and productive citizens in our global society.

Wondering which Philadelphia private school is right for your student? Read factors on how to determine the school that is best for your family.

Why You Should Choose Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

Our curriculum is tailored to your child’s age, gender, and learning style, which allows them to feel comfortable exploring a variety of subjects.

We believe in equipping children with real-world skills that will help them stand out in a highly competitive environment — without sacrificing play or giving up their passions.

We provide the strongest of foundation--nurturing lifelong learnind while also developing the social and leadership skills necessary to contribute actively to society.

With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.

What’s Next?

You can find the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Lower School Admission Checklist here.

Want to learn more about the SCH community?