School recommendations (with specific criteria) for grades 6-12
May 11, 2015 10:48 PM   Subscribe

My son (8 years old) currently goes to a private school in Douglas County, Kansas. He and I both love (LOVE) this school, but unfortunately they can only take kids up to age 12. I'm looking to place him somewhere else for grades 6-12.

I work remotely as a database developer and can relocate to anywhere to accommodate the placement. His current school has the following characteristics/benefits which we enjoy and would love to find in a school that he can attend for the rest of his primary education:

Private (no state or federal curriculum, no common core standards)
Year-round operation
Open pick-up/drop-off times
Truly individualized learning
Mixed age classrooms
Data-driven placement/advancement of academics (the student advances only after s/he demonstrates mastery of a topic)

I've tried various school review sites but none allow for searches for the above criteria. Am I chasing the dragon? My son is very ahead of his grade level (he reads at 7th grade level and his math is at level 8.6) and I fear that he will be bored at any school that doesn't specifically teach to the individual child's skill level. But although many schools state that they promote individualized learning, it appears that this is rarely the case. Any suggestions welcome.
posted by mezzanayne to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If by "relocate to anywhere to accommodate the placement" you mean literally anywhere in the continental US, I think it would help you to get suggestions if we had some idea of the annual tuition level at your son's current school.

Also, by "year-round" do you mean the school has a summer term?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:28 AM on May 12, 2015

Have you asked people at the school if they know of other schools that provide the same kind of education? What do the other parents do when their kids graduate from this school? Here is a list of private schools for gifted children.

You may need to explore other options, like sending him to the best public school you can find, and adding enrichment to that. Or, if you can afford to do so, hiring a private tutor who can keep him challenged and who also facilitates his participation in extracurriculars to promote socializing. In other words, you'd be paying someone to homeschool him. Or maybe you could share the cost of a tutor with a couple of other parents.
posted by mareli at 6:31 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Once he hits 12/grade 7 he will be eligible for the summer programs offered at Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Duke, et al, which are generally 3 weeks long and residential. That might be a good alternative to year-round school and would give both of you a change of pace from the school year routine.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify:

Annual tuition at my son's current school is $6900 but I'm willing/able to spend more (depending on location and the cost of living in that area).

By "year round" I mean that the school is in session 12 months a year with no significant summer break.

Many of the children who age out of my son's school go on to another private school in town but it is structured very differently and is religion-based, which is a deal breaker.

Thanks for all of the suggestions so far.
posted by mezzanayne at 7:41 AM on May 12, 2015

Try searching for Sudbury or Free Schools. Here is a list of Sudbury schools.
posted by Shanda at 7:59 AM on May 12, 2015

You could also look for Progressive Education schools. (I attended one that was brilliant and sounds exactly like what you're looking for for your son.)
posted by DarlingBri at 9:28 AM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

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