Education Express

Education Express

Learn about the different types of education the NYC metro area has to offer.

Private / independent schools are no different than any other institution communicating with a language, set of terms or jargon that may seem foreign to those unfamiliar with the system.

Here are some of the more common terms you are likely to encounter as you begin or continue to explore private school options.

DefinitionHelpful Links
BoardingPrivate schools where students also live. These residential schools bring together students from all different states and even countries to live and learn in one environment.

The diversity at boarding schools is usually much greater than a private day school because of the residential aspect.
CatholicParochial schools or education ministries of the Catholic Church. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as the core subject within their curriculum.
ChristianA school run on Christian principles or by a Christian organization.
DayA non-residential private school, as opposed to a residential or boarding school.
HighScopeThe HighScope Curriculum uses a carefully designed approach called active participatory learning. Children learn actively by having hands-on experiences with their surroundings, and learning is supported through consistent daily routines and well-organized classrooms. HighScope takes an academic slant with planned experiences in the basic subjects of math, reading, and science. It is based on past and current child development
IndependentA school that operates without state or federal governance, is not government-funded, and has a governing board.
International BaccalaureateThis program offers an education for students from age 3 to 19, that focus on teaching students to think critically and independently, and how to inquire with care and logic. It typically looks like college level work, limited in subject areas, which balances humanities and sciences in an interdisciplinary, global academic program that is both philosophical and practical. This multi-cultural experience emphasizes analytical and conceptual skills and aesthetic understanding for advanced students.
JewishDesigned to provide children of Jewish parents with both a Jewish and a secular education in one school on a full-time basis.
The substance of the “Jewish” component varies from school to school, community to community, and usually depends on the schools’ founders. While some schools may stress Judaism and Torah study others may focus more on history, language, culture, and Zionism.
Language Immersion Offer instruction in both English and a second language throughout the day. The languages used for instruction are referred to as the L1 and the L2 for each student, with L1 being the native language of the student and L2 being the second language to be acquired through immersion programs and techniques. There are different contexts for language immersion, such as age of students, class time spent in the L2, subjects taught, and the level of participation by the native L1 speakers. Bilingual immersion programs are intended to foster proficiency or fluency in multiple languages and therefore maximize these benefits. Even cases in which fluency in the desired language is not fully attained, bilingual immersion programs provide a strong foundation for fluency later in life and help students gain appreciation of languages and cultures that are not their own.
MicroThe reinvention of the one-room schoolhouse, where class size is typically smaller than that in most schools (15 students or less in a classroom) and there are mixed-age level groupings. Generally, micro-schools do not meet all 5 days of the school week, and their schedules look different than a traditional public or private school.
MilitaryThere are over 35 private military schools in the United States. If your son or daughter dreams of a military career, then you ought to consider these fine schools seriously.
Many of these schools are highly selective in nature, with rigorous academics, high expectations for student performance, and a focus on developing strong leaders.
MontessoriNamed for its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori, the Montessori method is based on two simple truths: That children must be respected, and that children spontaneously love learning.  Instruction is based on a child-centered education approach that encourages a child to make “use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.”
PrepShort for preparatory school. The term comes from the mission of schools which are devoted to preparing their students for the rigorous academic work to be encountered at the college level. In the U.S. it refers to K-12 schools with a college preparatory curriculum.
PrivateA school that operates without state or federal governance and is not government-funded. If a private school has a governing board, it may also be referred to as an independent school.
ProgressiveA broad movement for educational reform in the twentieth century. Progressive education is principally associated with John Dewey, but it contains many different and often conflicting ideas. In general, progressive educators view existing schools as too rigid, formal, and detached from real life. They prefer informal classroom arrangements and informal relations between pupils and teachers. They also prefer that schools teach useful subjects (including occupations) and emphasize “learning by doing” rather than instruction purely from textbooks. Some place the developing personality of the child at the center of educational thinking and insist, “teach the child, not the subject.”
QuakerSchools that combine academics and spiritual experience personally rather than through clergy, like priests or ministers.
A hallmark of the Quaker school experience is the basic beliefs that we are all teachers and learners and that each child has unique gifts and talents. Students are called upon to discover their own voices and interests within the framework of rigorous, college-preparatory academics.
Reggio / Reggio EmiliaReggio-inspired schools believe that children can steer and direct their own learning process.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
1. Children must have some say over what they learn; additionally, the senses play a big role in the learning process.
2. Children must be able to touch, move, listen, see and hear in order to fully process something. 
3. Children are encouraged to interact with other children and explore the world through material items and relationships.
4. Children should be encouraged to always express themselves and be given infinite means and opportunities to do so.
Special NeedsSpecial needs schools cover a wide range of learning disabilities including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia and other learning syndromes. Teachers/staff are specially trained and certificated to teach children with learning disabilities. These schools can also be therapeutic in nature and can benefit students who have behavioral and discipline issues.
WaldorfSchools which adhere to the educational philosophy and methods of Rudolf Steiner. Education focuses on learning through the arts and creativity. They are not art schools but instead utilize the arts in their teaching methodology.

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and will continue to be updated as we learn more about new/emerging approaches and philosophies schools adapt. If there are other types of education you would like to see us cover, please let us know by submitting your question to .