Best Private Middle Schools in the USA (Find One Near You)

Best Private Middle Schools in the USA (Find One Near You)

When you’re looking for the best private middle school for your child, you’re going to come across several different options, such as:

  • Boarding schools: When your child is enrolled in a boarding school, they’ll typically live in that boarding school for a semester or two at a time. This creates an immersive, away-from-home educational experience for your child.
  • Military schools: A military school also provides room and board, but military schools are generally more focused on preparing a student for a career in a specific branch of the military (though there is no obligation to enlist).
  • Therapeutic schools: Therapeutic schools offer specific and extensive support for students with emotional and behavioral issues. A student attending a therapeutic school will often reside on-site (similar to a boarding school), so the counselors and medical staff can provide on-site therapy and medical care during the semester.
  • International schools: An international school teaches a curriculum from another country, and can sometimes teach the curriculum in the country’s native language. This can be ideal for students with dual-citizenship between two countries or a student who already knows that they want to study, for example, German, Spanish, French, etc., at the college level.
  • Religious schools: A religious school is shaped in part by a specific religion or faith, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, or Judaism. This type of school can be a good fit for your middle schooler if you want them to remain within a specific religious community (or close to certain religious values) during their school year. Note that religious schools are not about conversion or worship, as students of a different faith (or of no faith) can and do attend religious schools, either for academic rigor, structure, similar values, or prestige.

The differences between these options lie not only in the type of school but the social and learning environments they create.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of school and we’ll also list some of the best private middle schools across the United States of America.

This post also covers Fusion Academy, a private middle school and high school modeled on the principle of one-to-one learning. At Fusion, students work one-on-one with their teacher. This highly personalized learning structure is great for middle schoolers with high test scores who are already thinking about future college prep and middle schoolers with alternative learning styles that don’t fare as well in a traditional classroom. Classes can be in person on campus, online with their teacher remotely, or hybrid.

If you’re interested in learning more about Fusion Academy, visit our website to hear directly from parents and students

What Are the Different Types of Private Middle Schools?

Boarding School

A boarding school is a place where students live and study typically for a trimester or a semester at a time. Some boarding schools provide daycare as well, although day students typically go home at the end of the school day. Boarding schools can be all-boys, all-girls, or mixed.

Most boarding schools offer a range of extracurricular facilities where students can develop themselves in their spare time, such as sports fields, swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, athletics tracks, concert halls, robotics workshops, theaters, or libraries.

Since this is probably the first time a middle-school-age child will be living away from home, boarding school offers an opportunity for students to develop a sense of independence and self-reliance.

It might also be beneficial for your child to be away from home if their environment is going through a chaotic period, such as a divorce or a sibling with a mental health crisis.

On the other hand, some middle-schoolers may feel homesick if they’re away from home for long periods.

According to educationdata.org, the average annual tuition at seven-day boarding schools is $66,560. Some boarding schools offer financial aid, but aid availability generally depends on the specific school, the student being enrolled, and their family situation.

Examples

Military School

A military school is an educational institution that prepares students for future service in the military. Even though these schools are private, they’re often sponsored by a particular branch of the US military.

Compared to a typical middle school, military schools generally place more emphasis on physical training, athletics, and discipline. Some families feel that the rigorous training that students undergo at military schools will help them build discipline and fitness habits that will benefit them later in life.

If you’re a parent who wants your child to be in a structured environment with clear rules and a focus on discipline and fitness, military school could be worth considering.

On the other hand, if your child’s interests and habits lie in other areas, or you feel like their personality wouldn’t mesh well with the discipline and structure of military school (for example, more sensitive middle-schoolers with creative or artistic interests), then this may not be the best fit.

Some reports state that the median cost of annual tuition at a military school is $44k.

Examples

Therapeutic School

A therapeutic school is a school that offers support for students with emotional and behavioral issues. These schools generally require students to reside on-site for the duration of their therapy.

A typical therapeutic school provides 24/7 access to nurses, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, and physicians. They’ll all be sharing information and working together to ensure the best outcome for your child.

The time spent in a therapeutic school can help your child develop relationship and self-care skills — knowledge which will likely serve them well into adulthood.

Since most therapeutic schools are residential, it’s not always straightforward for parents to be 100% involved in the daily ups and downs of their child’s mental health journey (particularly if you don’t live nearby).

If your child has been at a therapeutic school for several months, reintegrating back into a regular school can sometimes be challenging — even if it’s a great school. In some communities, sending a child to a therapeutic school can also carry with it a sense of shame and social stigma.

We’ve found that parents sometimes like to use our school, Fusion Academy, discussed below, as a landing pad in situations like this to make the adjustment smoother.

Enrollment in therapeutic schools typically costs around $8k a month, with typical stays lasting 6–12 months.

Examples

International School

International schools teach a curriculum from another country, sometimes in that other country’s language or bilingually. Students tend to come from a range of different nations.

If you’re able to find a school that offers classes in languages other than English, for example in Chinese or Spanish, there’s a chance that your child will gain some knowledge of another language.

Some parents also feel that their son or daughter will develop a more cosmopolitan outlook on life as a result of interacting with a multicultural student body. Other parents might perceive the international school culture as too much of a bubble.

Parents who don’t like Common Core might also be attracted to international schools because they offer access to educational programs from other countries. For example, your middle schooler could be set on a path that would see them take the International Baccalaureate (IB) a few years from now. In this sense, some parents might view an international school as a good college preparatory school.

Many families who send their children to international school move around frequently, sometimes from country to country. Some parents might find value in a community like this since it’s constantly changing and your child is exposed to new perspectives.

On the other hand, some children might find it difficult to form long-lasting friendships.

One challenge of finding the right international school for your child is that they’re generally only available in metropolitan school districts with diverse populations. As such, if you’re in a rural area, it might be harder to locate a suitable international school.

International school fees vary substantially from institution to institution but are generally in the region of $20k–$60k per school year.

Examples

Religious School

A religious school is an educational institution where the learning is based around a particular faith, often Catholicism, Protestantism, or Judaism. For example, it’s natural for a Catholic family to want to send their child to a Catholic school since students are encouraged to act in accordance with faith-based values.

Religious schools often pride themselves on the level of pastoral support they offer students, particularly those with mental health difficulties. It’s not uncommon for religious schools to employ multiple pastors for this purpose.

Religious schools are typically cheaper than the other alternatives we’ve listed here, with annual tuition fees generally in the range of $10k–$20k.

Examples

Next, we’ll explore our own private school, Fusion Academy, and the benefits of its unique model of one-to-one learning.

Flexible, 1-to-1 Learning: Fusion Academy

Fusion Academy homepage: The World's Most Personalized Private School

Fusion Academy is a private middle school and high school that supports students from the 6th grade to the 12th grade with a unique, one-to-one learning model.

We offer 80 campuses nationwide, as well as online classes as part of Fusion Global Academy. Hybrid set-ups that combine in-person classes with online learning are also possible, so your child can get maximum flexibility, based on their needs and schedule.

Middle School Education That’s Personalized to Your Child

A typical private school has small classes compared to a public school. This smaller student-teacher ratio is advantageous, as students get more hands-on, focused attention from teachers than they would in the public school system.

Fusion takes this principle further. Classes at Fusion are one-to-one, meaning one teacher and one student. As a result, teachers can match the pace of the class to the student’s individual needs. 

Each child gets a lead teacher who makes them a custom schedule, an academic plan, and a social plan. Lead teachers set goals for your child every quarter.

This is great for middle schoolers with high test scores who are already thinking about future college prep — studies have found that personalized learning enables school students to progress two to three times faster than their peers academically.

It’s also beneficial for students who have fallen behind academically — whether due to a learning difference like ADHD, lack of attention in their previous school, or any other reason. If your child is behind their grade level, the personalized attention they’ll receive in a one-on-one environment will help them grasp difficult concepts and make progress much more easily.

Fusion’s personalized learning model is so effective, not just because a teacher at Fusion works with one student at a time, but because teachers here also typically only have a roster of 6–8 students per day. This is much less than teachers at even the best private schools, who are likely to see upwards of 100 students per day.

Beyond the classes themselves, the entire learning experience at Fusion is customizable to the unique needs of your child and your family in a way that most schools can’t match.

For example, a typical private middle school has set term lengths and set holidays. But at Fusion, your child can start and stop whenever you like, even mid-way through a term.

This means your family can go on vacation whenever it suits you. Your child can take as many or as few classes as you like. You could even put your child in Fusion for a few months a year and use a hybrid approach if your work requires you to be in a particular location.

A Social and Fun School Experience

When parents hear about the one-to-one learning at Fusion, they’re sometimes worried that their child will miss out on socialization.

But while the instruction is one-to-one, the school environment at Fusion campuses is designed to promote socialization and the building of friendships, arguably even more so than in traditional large public or private schools (where some students can feel lost or isolated in a sea of other students).

Fusion Academy Impact Data: Academic Engagement and Positive Relationships Before & After Fusion Academy

In fact, our motto is “Love, Motivate, Teach”, which is intended to emphasize the importance of supporting students in other ways besides just teaching.

Specifically, our teachers are trained to spot opportunities to connect like-minded students and encourage natural friendships. For example, perhaps one student likes chess, and so a teacher might encourage a more introverted child to go and play with them.

We also intentionally build an hour-long lunch break into each student’s schedule. This means that students don’t have to rush to the lunch room and wolf down food so that they can make it to their next class on time. Instead, the lunch break can act as a time to sit with friends and have a proper conversation.

Each Fusion campus also has two different types of Homework Cafés.

One of them is a social place where students can participate in clubs and activities that are built into the school day. These can be board games, video games, or anything else that they’re interested in.

The other is a quiet place where you can get your homework done. We find that parents and students appreciate that school is finished at school and home time can be spent recharging and spending time with family.

Students studying in the Homework Café with their teacher

Students studying in the Homework Café at Fusion Academy

Friday afternoons are often given over to extended social activities. These include the field trips and community service opportunities that you might encounter in a more traditional school, but also activities that reflect the children’s own creative interests, such as a D&D club.

Premium Support for Children with Alternative Learning Styles

Children with learning differences often struggle in a traditional school environment. They’re often overstimulated by the chaos and sounds of larger class sizes, while also understimulated by not being allowed to move or fidget during class.

As part of our philosophy of tailoring the learning process to students’ needs and preferences, we go out of our way to support children with learning differences such as dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD.

Fusion’s one-to-one classes provide a safe space for these children to get their sensory needs met — without feeling embarrassed or like they’re distracting other students.

For example, unlike in traditional schools, children are allowed to use fidget spinners during class to comfort themselves. You’ll sometimes even see students running laps around campus to burn off steam!

For children who are in therapy for anxiety or depression, Fusion teachers can even work together with the child’s therapist to ensure that they know what’s going on in the child’s emotional life and can customize the learning accordingly. Of course, this requires the full written consent of all parties.

Many campuses also offer high-quality music and art studios to allow students to express themselves creatively. Some of our teachers come from a music or art therapy background, which is particularly valuable for our students with special education needs.

Fusion music studio in Louisville, Colorado

Fusion music studio in Louisville, CO

Find the Fusion Campus That Fits Your Family

Your child can attend Fusion Academy in-person, online, or in a hybrid setting.

If you’re interested in the in-person option, visit our website to browse all Fusion campuses by state, as shown on the following map:

Fusion Academy: Find a Campus Near You

If you’re interested in the online option, click here to learn about Fusion Global Academy. This is a fully accredited private school with virtual classes for students in grades 6–12.

Teachers and students interact one-to-one remotely in real-time, and there’s even a digital Homework Café!

Again, most Fusion campuses offer support for a hybrid model. If you’re unsure whether this is the case at your local Fusion campus, feel free to reach out to us.

Top Middle Schools by State

If you’d like to explore some of the other top middle schools in the US, here’s a list that we’ve arranged alphabetically by state:

Arizona

California

San Francisco Bay Area

Los Angeles Area

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Missouri

New Jersey

New York

New York City Area

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Tennessee

Texas

Houston Area

Virginia

Washington

Wisconsin

Find the Best Private Middle School for Your Child

We hope that you’ve found this exploration of the best private middle schools valuable and that you’ll use this article as a resource to make the best decision for your family.

The personalized learning model that Fusion offers is truly unique, offering premium support for all different learning styles. One-to-one classes ensure that your child’s learning will be matched to their individual needs, while clubs, activities, and the social Homework Café make it easy for your child to connect with like-minded friends.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how Fusion Academy offers a private middle school environment with one-on-one, flexible learning.

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