Some of you may have heard of Fiona Whitney and her book, a very special kind of guide: The Whitney Guide.
Whitney moved to Los Angeles from her native England at a young age to work in the film industry but it wasn’t until she had children and was â€œshoppingâ€ for a school for her daughter that her real calling came to her. She did her homework researching every private school in Los Angeles and took all the school tours to collect information to help make her decision. She realized she could share what she had learned with other parents who were also looking for a school for their children. The Whitney Guide was born.
â€œThe book helps parents narrow down their choices by giving them a mother’s down-to-earth impression of each school,â€ Whitney said.
But why choose a private school vs. a public one?
â€œPrivate schools make parents feel safe,â€ she said. â€œMany parents believe that, because they pay for it, it will give their children a better education, and in many instances they are right.â€
Private schools are costly, and tuitions usually range between $3,500 and $28,000 a year. Besides the quality of education children receive for this price tag parents also think of the unspoken benefits of sending their children to private schools.
According to Whitney, paying families are comfortable being around other â€œlike-mindedâ€ families and hope their children will forge life-long relationships that could turn out to be rewarding in the future. It also allows parents to network with other parents.
But choosing a school for your children does not guarantee them a seat. A waiting list can quickly discourage some parents or push them to try to bribe the school.
â€œI have heard [â€¦] stories and it does not surprise me at all,â€ Whitney said. â€œThere are families out there who are used to buying whatever they want. Why not a private school for their child?â€
But bribery does not always work and can often turn into an unnecessary humiliation for the family. Instead, try considering other options:
– Work your relations. Do you know anyone who would have a connection to the school?
– Having a sibling or close relative attending the school can almost guarantee your child a seat.
– Find out more about what the school is looking for and if you can match some of the criteria.
– Sponsors and generous â€œgiversâ€ who have donated to the school have sometimes a better chance to get in.
– Put your child on the waiting list at very young age. Chances are that by the time it’s your turn, your child will be old enough to attend!
For more information on The Whitney Guide, or for a private consultation, visit www.thewhitneyguide.com or call (323) 309-3521.
Some of the Top Private Schools on the Westside
- Archer School for Girls www.archer.org (310) 873-7000
- Berkeley Hall www.berkeleyhall.org (310) 476-6421
- Brentwood www.bwscampus.com (310) 476-9633
- Calmont School www.calmontschool.org (818) 880-8820
- Carlthorp www.carlthorp.org (310) 451-1332
- Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences www.xrds.org (310) 829-7391
- Curtis www.curtisschool.org (310) 476-1251
- Harvard Westlake www.hw.com (310) 274-7281
- John Thomas Dye www.jtdschool.com (310) 476-2811
- LycÃ©e FranÃ§ais www.lyceeonline.org (310) 836-3464
- Marymount www.marymounths.com (310) 472-1205
- Milken Community Schools www.milkenschool.org (310) 440-3500
- Mirman School for Gifted Children www.mirman.org (310) 476-2868
- New Roads www.newroads.org (310) 828-5582
- Notre Dame Academy www.ndala.com (310) 839-5289
- PS #1 Elementary www.psone.org (310) 394-1313
- Seven Arrows www.sevenarrows.com (310) 230-0257
- St. Matthew’s Parish School www.stmatthewsschool.com (310) 454-1350
- Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School www.ues.gseis.ucla.edu (310) 825-1801
- Viewpoint School www.viewpoint.org (818) 340-2901
- The Village School www.village-school.org (310) 459-8411
- Westland School www.westlandschool.org (310) 472-5544
- Westside Waldorf School www.wswaldorf.org (310) 454-7084
- Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School www.wisela.org (310) 476-8561