Private school Bucks County offers parents a variety of alternatives to public schools. These schools range from nursery/kindergarten through secondary schools and are available for students of every educational philosophy and religious denomination. The Pennsylvania Department of Education, School Services Office, Private Academic Schools and Nonpublic, Nonlicensed (Operated by a Bona Fide Church or Religious Body) section, is the central source of information regarding these schools.
How many schools are in Bucks County?
Private or independent schools came about mainly to satisfy the desire of wealthy families for their children to be educated in an environment that would reinforce their religious beliefs and values. As a result, most of these schools were founded at the beginning of the twentieth century when circumstances for founding such schools were most propitious. Protestant denominations and Catholic religious orders started many of these schools. Initially these schools were exclusive to their own religious groups but over time most became coeducational and downplayed the emphasis on high society that characterized earlier days.
The schools are located on attractive campuses that are often impressive architecturally. They may have their own libraries, museums and art galleries. Local historical societies often have records of these schools. The Lower Merion Historical Society and the Germantown Historical Society have records of many of these schools, while the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College has the records of several Quaker schools.
These schools may offer advanced courses of study, extracurricular activities and sports programs that are not available at the public schools. They usually provide financial assistance to qualified students through scholarships and grants. They may also provide therapeutic and behavioral interventions and support services for students with special needs such as autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and emotional and behavior disorders.