Hi! We are starting to look at private school options for our kids (5 and 7). Are there any schools in the area we should consider? Our primary focus is finding a school that is well rounded in Academics, leadership and emotion growth. I've heard great things about Pingry and Newark. What are your thoughts about Far Brook and Chatham Day School ? Thank you in advance.
Pingry excellent for academics and sometimes leadership, not so much emotional growth. It has never been known for coziness, but as the parent of two alums I have to say I still think very highly of the academic and social rounding they received. Far Brook very nice but then you need to find an upper school since it is not K-12. Pingry's lower school as you probably known is super-convenient for Chatham, Summit, and slightly less so for Madison because it is a bit farther. Middle and Upper Schools are at Exit 33 off I-78, but it an easy trip even from farther east (lots of kids from Maplewood/South Orange). But of course you know that one of the reasons people move to the suburbs (and your screen name suggests that you have only done so recently or perhaps have not done so yet and are looking in the towns mentioned in the heading) is for good public schools that meet your children's needs. You can always switch to private school at some point in the elementary grades (though main intake years vary from one private school to another). There may be some academic or social challenges involved in that but not insuperable and lot of kids do it. I think it is harder in some ways to make the transition from private to public, because the good private schools really do provide a level of attention that not all public schools can, even the famously good ones.
I should add that for single-sex education Kent Place is a very good option, and Oak Knoll (coed through sixth grade only) has fans too, and both are in Summit. I think Pingry is probably the best all around though.
Far Brook/public HS parent here. I believe grayhill2 has given a good overview (particularly the observation about moving from private to public). I would add that the application deadline for many of the schools mentioned is in January, although some classes are filled on a rolling basis.
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