Parents want the best education for their children. Public schools provide the basics and some stand way above the rest, but to ensure that your children are learning certain values in a smaller, individualized setting, many parents choose to send their children to a private school. These can be religious-based or non-sectarian.
The Seattle area has 96 private elementary schools serving over 20,000 students. Nearly half of these have religious affiliations, but many do not. Some are just for younger students, and some cover up to 12th grade. Some also incorporate after-care programs to accommodate your work schedule. Tuition costs vary, but the average yearly rate is $18,945. The number of students ranges from just a few dozen to several hundred. Here are some of the best private schools in the Seattle area:
The Bush School
One of the oldest and largest private schools is The Bush School. Founded by Helen Taylor Bush in 1924, this non-sectarian school has 660 students in grades Preschool-12th. The average class size is around 15 students, and they are from all different backgrounds. The school stresses independent and creative thinking, intercultural fluency, and citizenship with excellent academics, arts, and sports. There is also an off-site campus where students can participate in wilderness activities. The Bush School is selective about the students it selects, and tuition ranges from $27,500 for lower grades to $35,255 for high school.
Epiphany School is an independent, non-parochial school for pre-kindergarten to 5th-grade students. Offering a well-rounded education that includes excellent academics, value, and character-based learning in a caring, inclusive environment. This school encourages parental participation. There are 236 students and tuition runs $26,705 per year. Founded in 1958, this is an established school with a great reputation. The average teacher-to-student ratio is 7:1, which is about half the national average, so all students will get the attention they need. There are several extracurricular activities including LEGO engineering, gymnastics, and yoga.
Hamlin Robinson School
If your student is struggling with dyslexia or other language-based learning differences, the Hamlin Robinson School will provide your student with individualized instruction in a multi-sensory approach. The teachers build positive self-esteem and encouragement for students who are discouraged about their challenges. There are 324 students in grades 1-8 and the average class size is 15. Tuition ranges from $25,854 to $28,280 depending on the grade. There are plenty of sports and extra-curricular activities to round out your student’s learning experience. With a nurturing, diverse environment, teachers are well-versed in the latest techniques to encourage your student to thrive.
Bright Water Waldorf School
The Waldorf education originated in Germany in 1919. Since then, Waldorf schools and their philosophy have spread across the world. The Bright Water Waldorf School opened in 1998 to bring this prestigious educational experience to Seattle. Serving 184 students through grade 8, students are exposed to a rich curriculum, innovative teaching methods, individual attention, and a caring community. There is a rich academic experience as well as sports opportunities. Your student will build confidence and receive an outstanding education for $7,900 to $18,375 tuition for the school year. Around 60% of students who apply for admission are accepted.
Holy Rosary School
Around 40% of private schools in Seattle are run by the Catholic Church. Holy Rosary School ranks in the top 20% of private schools in the entire state of Washington. Serving pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, the 482 students enjoy a faith-based education centered on Bible teachings. Faith and prayer are integrated into the curriculum and lifestyle. In addition, Holy Rosary School integrates elements of STEM to give students a technology education that will prepare them for the future. Band, chess club, LEGO Robotics, and Youth Choir round out the student’s experience.
For those students who want individualized attention, Dartmoor school provides one-on-one instruction. Whether your student struggles with a learning challenge or is ahead of the curve, Dartmoor can help. Founded in 1990, Dartmoor has helped thousands of students excel. They serve grades 1-12 and tuition varies. This type of school environment is perfect for athletes and performers as the schedule is flexible and unique to each student.
Seattle Christian School
Founded in 1946, Seattle Christian School is designed for those students and families desiring a strong faith-based educational experience. With 512 students in grades Kindergarten through 12, this school is small enough for individualized attention yet large enough to offer advanced academics and all major sports. Tuition is $11,500 per year with discounts available for those in financial need. Students are well-prepared educationally and spiritually for life.
For another small school option, Academy Schools offers classes of between one and ten students. Teachers play the role of facilitators or coaches to nurture the students out of their comfort zone into their full potential. They believe that every child is gifted and prove this with 100% of their students going on to college. Founded in 1995, this non-sectarian organization is home to 48 students. Yearly tuition ranges from $9,750 to $21,250 depending on grade. Extracurricular activities include Cooking, Robotics, Arts, and Music.
246 students in Preschool through 5th grade attend the Bertschi School. Founded in 1975, their philosophy is to educate children to become compassionate, confident, and creative learners. Tuition is $30,789 per year. The student-to-teacher ratio is 9:1. There is a collaboration between teachers, parents, and students to establish a conducive and tolerant learning environment. Their campus is committed to sustainability and living with nature. In addition to stellar academics, students can study art, technology, dance, and music.
So Many Choices!
Seattle is a mecca for school choice, and these are a few of the best private elementary schools in the area. From Amish to Christian to non-sectarian, you will be able to find the one that fits with your family values. Whether your child is gifted or needs special attention, there are alternatives. While cost may be a factor for some, many schools have financial aid programs. Visit the school and talk to the administration to explore what the school has to offer. The possibilities are abundant, and you are sure to find the perfect fit for you and your child.