Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Picking the Right School With Private School Innovator

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Private School Innovator. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. *UPDATE: This company is no longer in business effective June 24, 2015*

Ahhhh! Talk about throwback!
Counting preschool through college, I attended private school for 18 years - more than half of my life thus far. Growing up in Columbus, OH I started out at a Christian school then transferred to an all-girls school followed by an all-women's college. My parents sacrificed a lot for me to have a top-notch education and now that I'm a parent Mr. Lovebird and I have discussed schooling for both our children, Virginia who will be 5 years old in August and Grayson, who will be 1 year old next week. 

Moving up to New Hampshire from New York City-metro has been quite an adjustment and while we were thankful for the subsidized preschool program Virginia attended when she was 3 years old and started at for Pre-K 4, we were thrown for a loop when we had to scramble to find her a school after the year had already started. I went about the process long distance and it was quite daunting. In the end we selected a private school for her, but have kept our options open for future schooling especially as New England has a wealth of outstanding private schools.

Making this process easier for parents, Private School Innovator is a free, private school matchmaker tool that assesses each family's needs, the child's learning style and traits to match you to the ideal school. I've started this process for Virginia and look forward to sharing more about the outcome but here's how the process works:

Prospective families simply visit the Private School Innovator website, create a profile and answer a detailed questionnaire. It was a very straightforward process and it's not just an app - there are real people behind it! I really like how clean the website is from the outset. It's easy to read and simple to follow the steps:

Once you answer the questions a representative follows-up with a phone call to discuss your specific needs including confirmation of some of the answers you provide (ex. geography, religious affiliation, single sex, tuition limits etc.). While New Hampshire isn't yet included in their database, we're close enough to Massachusetts that we're using it for our selection criteria for now. So far it's been a very warm experience and I'm excited to see the selections for Virginia!

I especially like how the steps are laid out visually - it really is a 1-2-3 step process allowing you to customize a thorough profile for your child, receive matches then connect directly to the schools you choose:

Having attended private school as well, Mr. Lovebird and I understand the nuances of the experience as students but now as parents we feel thankful to have an ally like Private School Innovator on our side. We want to be sure to make the right choices for our children and similar to how I grew up, Mr. Lovebird and his siblings didn't all go to the same school. Every school isn't for every child and having the ability to make a choice in schools for our children is something we're very thankful for. 

My high school graduation day
Looking back on my years in private school, they were a truly special experience. I appreciate the community feel of the small schools I attended and still go back to them and have such fond memories (remember when I took Virginia to my middle school/high school?). I look forward to my children having a similar feeling when they think back on their school experience. 

To learn more about Private School Innovator be sure to visit their website and Facebook page and Twitter for the latest news!

What was your school experience like? Did you or your children attend private school?