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  1. Private Schools
February 21, 2024

The 10 best private schools in North America in 2024

As featured in the Spear's Schools Index 2024

By Spear's

The Spear’s Schools Index 2024 brings together the world’s 100 leading private schools. Among them are 10 of the best private schools in North America.

Although both Canada and the US are represented, there is a clear geographical trend among this group of elite schools: 80 per cent are located in New York and New England. It is not a coincidence that this is also where all eight of the Ivy Leagues are found – many of these schools prepare students for further study at the world’s very best universities.

[See also: The most expensive private schools in America]

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The two outliers from the North Eastern cluster are Ransom Everglades School, in Miami, Florida, and Toronto’s Upper Canada College, which is the only Canadian school to be included in the Spear’s Schools Index 2024. The former caters for the children of HNW families who have relocated to one of America’s fastest growing millionaire hotspots; the latter is an independent all-boys school that is among the most prestigious in the country. 

Best schools in North America: the new names to know 

There are seven new additions to the top 10 list for 2024:

Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut

Founded in 1890, this Connecticut boarding school took its present name and began a co-educational system with the 1971 merger of The Choate School for boys and Rosemary Hall for girls. The result is a popular school for 861 students aged 14–18. Alumni include JFK, Edward Albee and the actresses Glenn Close and Jamie Lee Miller. 

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Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Horace Mann School, Bronx, New York

A total of 1,793 students aged 3-18 are educated across the main Horace Mann School campus in Riverdale, the Bronx, and the nursery on the Upper East Side. The co-educational school has produced ambassadors, attorneys general and Pulitzer Prize winners. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Collegiate School, Manhattan, New York

Collegiate School is preparing to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2028, but its facilities are state-of-the-art. After relocating to a new site in 2018, Collegiate’s 666 male students have access to a nine-storey campus in the heart of New York City. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Riverdale Country School, Bronx, New York 

Riverdale Country School in the upmarket Bronx neighbourhood of Riverdale caters to 1,260 students aged 4-18. This co-educational school often ranks among the top schools in the United States and students are accepted at Ivy Leagues and other leading universities. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Ransom Everglades School, Miami, Florida

The only school in Florida to make the list, Ransom Everglades School educates 1,168 students aged 11-18. Split across two campuses (Ransom and Everglades), the school boasts 70 sports teams and has been ranked the best school in the state. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

The Taft School, Watertown, Connecticut

A drone shot showing the grounds and buildings of the Taft School
Taft’s motto, Non ut sibi ministretur sed ut ministret; (Not to be served, but to serve)

This co-educational boarding school for 580 students aged 11-18 is located on a beautiful 226-acre estate that offers world-class facilities including a 45,000 sq ft science and maths centre, two ice hokey rinks and an 18-hole golf course. The Taft School prides itself on its academic excellence and offers students one-on-one teaching. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Trinity School, Manhattan, New York 

This co-educational day school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is the fifth oldest in the United States. Today, it educated 1,040 students aged 4-18. Its Classics department is nationally famous and a large proportion of the student body study two languages. 

Read the full profile on Spears500.com

Methodology

Spear’s has worked closely with the expert team at Thuso to refine the methodology underpinning the index, and to convene an expert panel of leading international educationalists to contribute their knowledge and insight to the research and selection process.

[See also: Introducing the Spear’s Schools Index 2024]

The Spear’s Research Unit collected data and information directly from candidate schools, using a combination of online forms and interviews. This was supplemented with additional research and by intelligence and insight from Thuso and the panel of expert educationalists.

The Spear’s Schools Index 2024 has also been underpinned by the following key principles:

  • While examination results and academic attainment is a key consideration, it is not the only thing that matters. Leading schools are not necessarily the most ‘academic’: A wide range of social, cultural, and pastoral factors have been weighed in finalising the index. In some cases, some schools with strong academics have been omitted where they fall short in relation to these wider considerations.
  • Families are increasingly ‘mobile’, with new ‘global cities’ emerging as key hubs: This is particularly the case for cities such as Dubai, as well as established regional hubs in Europe, Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia, and the Pacific.
  • Reputation and standing are not insignificant: The reputation and standing of a school shape and influence its character, the parents and pupils it attracts, and its position both regionally, and internationally.

Building on these principles, Spear’s, in collaboration with Thuso, brought together an Expert Advisory Panel, jointly chaired by Matthew Goldie-Scot, managing director at Thuso Group, and Ian Douglas, Spear’s head of research. Further information about the composition of the panel is available here.

Best private schools in North America: the complete list

Click on individual schools to read their full profiles on Spears500.com. All schools have been awarded Top Flight ranking. Schools listed in alphabetical order

As featured in the Spear's Schools Index 2024

Topics in this article :
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