Is a Private School for Your Child?

In the Ohio Valley, parents are lucky to have many choices when it comes to schools for their children. There is a variety of parochial, private and public schools from which to choose.

If you are considering a private school, Justin Zimmerman, headmaster at the Linsly School, has offered some guidelines.

And for prospective students entering grades 5-11 and their families interested in learning more about a Linsly education or who may be considering attending Linsly next year, Experience Linsly Day is set for Saturday, Oct. 20. (Details can be found below.)


“First, look for a supportive, safe community where your child will be known as an individual. Students learn best when they’re in a safe environment and feel known and supported,” Zimmerman recommends. “Adult and peer-to-peer connections are critical to adolescent growth and development. Students need to know they belong. Teachers should be able to identify your child’s strengths, unique abilities and special areas of interest. When teachers know their students, they can connect learning to the students’ interests, identify areas for improvement and engage students in meaningful learning. Communities with smaller class sizes tend to promote these positive relationships.”

He also suggests finding an environment where talented and passionate teachers interact with your child on a daily basis.

“The best schools with the best teachers invest in regular professional development, fund teacher training, and expect teachers to discuss and research best teaching practices and methods. Your children deserve to be in an environment where teachers continually improve and model what good learning looks like. I would even suggest that you ask how often teachers engage in professional development,” he said.

Another consideration is the school’s expectations of your child. For example, Zimmerman suggests that parents ask, “Do the discipline policies align with my expectations as a parent?” … “Does the school actively uphold high expectations for behavior and expect students to be kind, respectful, and appropriate inside and outside of the classroom?”

When looking at schools, parents also should look at extra-curricular opportunities available as well as preparedness for life after high school.

“We know that meaningful engagement inside and outside of the classroom is important. Experiences outside of the classroom help shape a child’s experience,” Zimmerman said. “Will your son or daughter be able to participate in those things at their school? Do you see your child attending a four-year college or university? If so, what resources does the school have to prepare your child for such an opportunity? Will the school help you navigate this process as a family?

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“As parents, it’s up to you to make the best-informed decision possible for your child’s education. Explore your options. Visit schools, observe classes, speak to administrators and make sure you make an informed decision. The education you provide your children is the greatest gift they will ever receive from you,” Zimmerman said.


“The purpose of Experience Linsly Day is to provide families with an opportunity to learn about Linsly and what our school has to offer. Families who attend Experience Linsly Day will learn about Linsly’s curriculum, extracurriculars and financial aid opportunities. They will have a chance to hear from current parents and students and meet teachers and administrators as well as take a campus tour,” explained Stacy Creeley, director of public relations. “The event lasts until about noon and ends with a light brunch.”

“If you’re a parent who is curious about a Linsly education and what it can do for your child, this event provides an informal opportunity to learn about our school and the application process. We welcome families and students to come and meet our faculty and administrators and learn about the Linsly experience.”

Information also will be available about scholarship opportunities and transportation options that Linsly offers to and from Washington, Pa.

Online registration and more information for this event can be found at or by calling 304-233-1436. Walk-ins are welcome.

Experience Linsly Days are held approximately four times a year. The next Experience Linsly Day is Saturday, Nov. 10.

Weelunk is proud to have the Linsly School
as a generous supporter.