Our daughter was barely a year old when several well-intentioned friends asked my husband and me if we would be sending her to private school. “Private school?” we repeated incredulously. “She can’t even walk yet, and she doesn’t really talk or know her ABCs!” How were we to even consider any kind of school, private or otherwise, when we had just survived her first year?
Many parents are, however, considering private school for their children. According to www.statisticbrain.com, approximately 10 percent of all U.S. students are enrolled in private schools, and there are about 33,366 private schools in the U.S. (comprising 25 percent of the total number of U.S. schools).
Should you decide that private school is the right choice for your child (no matter his or her age) and your family, here are some of the options in Fairfield County:
New Canaan Country School
635 Frogtown Rd., New Canaan
New Canaan Country School’s learning environment at each level is deliberately designed to balance the right combination of academics with socialization and support. The ultimate outcome of this intentional journey is children who are academically prepared, grounded and happy. New Canaan Country School is an independent, co-educational, day school for students age 3 – Grade 9. Located on 75-acres in New Canaan, the school serves students in Fairfield and Westchester counties.
Eagle Hill Southport School
214 Main St., Southport
At Eagle Hill Southport School learning takes flights. Students soar, surrounded by a supportive community and challenged by expert faculty. Our approach taps students’ potential, allowing their natural curiosity and their creative thinking to reach new heights.
Eagle Hill Southport School (EHSS) is for children ages 6-15 with language-based learning differences and ADHD. It is a co-educational school for elementary- and middle-school students that is dedicated to creating an environment that recognizes individual strengths, promotes independent thinking, develops self-esteem and self-advocacy, and supports a successful transition for continued academic achievement. Students can safely take risks and are championed by a faculty that is student-focused and uses research and evidence-based approaches. A summer program is available for students ages 5-14 for skill-building and learning strategies.
At EHSS, our vision is a world where people with language-based learning differences and ADHD are embraced for their strengths and potential, and where all teachers have access to training in best educational practices and current research. Our mission is to provide transformative educational experiences that have lifelong impact on our students as well as thought leadership that engages the learning differences community.
223 W Mountain Rd, Ridgefield
At Ridgefield Academy, every child is known, needed, valued, and supported. Our teachers engage students in grades K-8 in a challenging, well-rounded educational program that includes work in STEM fields, the humanities, the digital and traditional arts, and athletics. Students are encouraged to discover their talents and follow their interests wherever they may lead, and our state-of-the-art facilities support students in that process. Along the way, children grow in confidence, learn to make decisions for themselves, to take risks, to be resourceful and resilient, and to give back to their community.
Pear Tree Point School
90 Pear Tree Point Rd., Darien
The mission of Pear Tree Point School is to provide a challenging and stimulating academic program in a nurturing environment for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Pear Tree Point School develops each child’s academic potential, character and self-confidence through achievement, the Core Virtues program and in partnership with parents.
Individual attention, small classes and a personal touch make Pear Tree Point School feel like a family, with its members supporting and caring for each other throughout the day. As a current student wrote, “PTPS is special because it has amazing classes and it is so fun to learn here.”
200 High Street, Milford
Inspired by the Mercy Tradition, Lauralton Hall empowers young women to pursue their highest potential through lifelong learning, compassionate service, and responsible leadership in a global society. Connecticut’s first Catholic College-Prep school for girls, Lauralton Hall was founded in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy.
Lauralton Hall offers a rigorous academic experience, with a curriculum that spans World Languages, Humanities, Business, Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Arts and so much more. The school’s curriculum prepares students for the rigors of college study, with demanding Honors and Advanced Placement classes offered in all academic disciplines.
Faculty and administration are dedicated to working together to create a nurturing environment that balances freedom with responsibility, challenging academics with spiritual growth and traditional values with cutting edge curriculum. A Lauralton Hall education empowers young women to pursue a fulfilling spiritual and intellectual life in the 21st century. Here each student will learn to take risks and forge friendships that will last forever.
Greens Farms Academy
35 Beachside Ave, Westport
GFA engages students as partners in an innovative, inclusive, and globally minded community to prepare them for a life of purpose. A pre-K-12 coed day school, GFA stretches students intellectually, pushing them to make connections across disciplines, ideas, and global themes.
With concentrations offered in STEAM and Global Studies, a school-wide commitment to sustainability, an innovative approach to technology, a state-of-the-art theater, and a strong athletics program, students have an opportunity to pursue their passions. In a small class setting, GFA students are taught to develop strength of character through empathy, social responsibility, and integrity.
St. Mary School
183 High Ridge Ave, Ridgefield
“Work hard. Be kind. Smile.” This familiar phrase is the students’ version of the Saint Mary School mission statement. It is visibly displayed in every classroom. Students and staff are reminded of it at the conclusion of the daily Pledge of Allegiance and morning prayer. But more importantly, it is alive in the hallways and classrooms of Saint Mary School, and it is that hard-to-describe essence that makes Saint Mary such a special place. Saint Mary School teaches preschool 3’s through grade 8. In addition to core academic classes, the school offers French, Spanish, technology, music, art, band, strings, and more.
The Unquowa School
981 Stratfield Rd, Fairfield
The Mission of The Unquowa School is to develop, educate and prepare our family of children with an unafraid spirit to achieve their personal best in a changing world. Unquowa provides a vibrant learning community where traditional curriculum is delivered with a progressive approach. Children in preschool through eighth grade learn in an atmosphere which balances a robust classroom environment with connected hands-on experience. In addition to core academics, every student is engaged in the study of multiple foreign languages, performing and visual arts, athletics, makerspace activities, environmental science, mindfulness, and in-depth service learning. The academic foundation and habits of mind developed at Unquowa prepare students to thrive in both independent and public high schools.
66 Gatehouse Rd., Stamford
It’s Fusion Academy’s mission to help every student flourish – emotionally, socially and academically. We believe that positive relationships are the key to unlocking the potential in every kid. We believe in the power of a one-to-one classroom to ignite a student’s passion for learning. We create a supportive community of learning where every child can find success and connect meaningfully to others. At Fusion, we prepare students to meet the world head on with confidence and competence.
377 North Wilton Rd., New Canaan
St. Luke’s School delivers an education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead. We believe and teach that true success and satisfaction come from serving others. That philosophy attracts a certain kind of family, and those families create an uplifting community where students are able to go above and beyond. Great schools have engaged, diverse, moral students and faculty united by common purpose — dynamic thinking and deep learning — or learning that lasts. This is why St. Luke’s classes focus on student-driven learning that truly engages and inspires young minds.
Fairfield Country Day School
2970 Bronson Rd., Fairfield
At Fairfield Country Day School, “We Know Boys.” For 79 years, FCDS has specialized in educating boys from pre-K through Grade 9. Our students engage with each other and their teachers in meaningful interactions that shape the boys’ total learning experience. Our vigorous and age-appropriate curriculum gives every boy the balance of academics, visual and performing arts, athletics, and technology.
Our dedicated faculty know that boys are active learners and they deliver their curriculum in an interactive, dynamic way. Relationships matter at FCDS. Our faculty are not only teachers — they are coaches, advisors, and leaders who connect with our boys daily in the classrooms, on the field, and around the lunch tables.
FCDS graduates go on to attend many of the top boarding and day schools. The boys are known for being academically well prepared, as well as being critical thinkers, effective communicators, and leaders — young men of integrity, scholarship and respect.
St. Aloysius School
33 South Ave., New Canaan
St. Aloysius School, a 2010 National Blue Ribbon Award winner, continues its 60-year history of promoting academic excellence in a faith-filled environment that is strengthened by community and family collaboration. Caring staff offer challenging academics including 21st Century STEM skills, technology-infused instruction, and an integrated curriculum to foster real-world applications of learning. Enrichment includes Spanish, gym, art, and music, as well as after-school athletics and clubs. In addition, frequent volunteer and service opportunities allow students to live their faith.
Our students regularly qualify for the John’s Hopkins Talented Youth programs, and our school is ranked among the top 50 private schools nationally.
1450 Newfield Avenue, Stamford
King School is a pre-k through-grade-12 co-ed, independent day school. Our faculty provides a challenging academic program rooted in a personalized approach to teaching and learning. Students thrive within a culture of integrity, kindness, perseverance, and respect. King graduates succeed in the top colleges and universities and pursue lives of ongoing inquiry and accomplishment.