Private schools abound in county

Education: Nonpublic alternatives offer parents and students in Anne Arundel a choice.

May 16, 2004|By Suzanne White | Suzanne White,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Small class sizes, extra attention, cultural enrichment and the possibility of a specialized curriculum are among the reason some Anne Arundel County parents opt for one of the many private schools in the area.

Among the most prominent:

Aleph-Bet Jewish Day School, 1125 Spa Road, Annapolis. Kindergarten to grade five. Enrollment: 61 students. Contact: 410-263-9044; www.aleph bet.org.

This coeducational elementary school offers a program of general studies balanced with a grounding in Jewish history, language, tradition and values.

The core curriculum is supplemented with instruction in music, art, physical education and drama. The kindergarten program is full-day. Before- and after-school care is available on the premises. Tuition: $7,300.

Archbishop Spalding High School, 8080 New Cut Road, Severn. Grades nine to 12. Enrollment: 1,000 students. Contact: 410-969-9105; www.archbi shopspalding.org.

This Catholic, college preparatory secondary school has 47 classrooms, including four recently renovated science labs. The Library Media Center has about 14,000 volumes.

The auditorium, with seating capacity for 1,200, is home to the school's theater and music productions.

Spalding has five playing fields and plans are under way to build more. A new academic and athletic center that will house eight new classrooms and a new gymnasium with a seating capacity for 1,100 is slated for completion by next year. Tuition: $8,200.

Chesapeake Academy, 1185 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Arnold. Preschool to Grade 5. Enrollment: 311 students. Contact: 410-647-9612; www.chesapeakeacademy.com. While the academy insists that its students master the academic basics, it also emphasizes the social, artistic, athletic and moral components of a child's growth.

Classes in art, music, physical education, computer, library, Spanish are offered. Fourth- and fifth-graders choose among strings, chorus, drama, video production or advanced art.

Emphasis is also placed on manners and kindness, while encouraging children to take responsibility for their actions. Tuition: $4,805-$9,810.

Chesapeake Montessori School, 30 Old Mill Bottom Road, Annapolis. Contact: 410-757-4740; Eighteen months to grade five. Enrollment: 120 students. Contact: www.chesa peakemontessori.com.

Every Montessori class at the co-educational school has mixed-age groups, allowing children to learn by watching and teaching others. Primary classes offer phonics, writing, vocabulary and math materials and encourage physical independence.

Children in elementary studies learn reading, grammar, writing, math, geometry, geography, biology, history, art, music, French and physical education. Most lessons are individual in primary classes.

Elementary studies are taught in small groups. Tuition: $5,760- $8,560.

Gibson Island Country School, 5191 Mountain Road, Pasadena. Prekindergarten to grade five. Enrollment: 95 students. Contact: 410-255-5370; www.gics.org.

Offering a waterfront setting, this small co-educational elementary school has a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 8. Curriculum includes language arts, French, mathematics, science, social studies, music and physical education. Library and computers at all levels.

Extracurricular activities involve community service, field trips and waterfront studies. Financial assistance, bus service, after-school care and tours available. Tuition: $6,400-$9,700.

Indian Creek School, 680 Evergreen Road, Crownsville. Prekindergarten to grade nine. Enrollment: 75 students. Contact: 410-987-0342 or 301-621- 7167; www.indiancreekschool. com.

Indian Creek is opening an upper school in the fall. Middle school students enjoy a 15-to-1 student-teacher ratio. There is an array of clubs and after-school activities. Computer labs, gymnasium with rock climbing wall, summer camps, cultural arts residences and bus service. Annual open house in November. Tuition: $9,615 to $16,330.

Key School, 534 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis. Prekindergarten to grade 12. Enrollment: 720 students. Contact: 410-263-9231; www.keyschool.org.

Situated on a 15-acre campus in Annapolis, the co-educational school was founded in 1958 by tutors from St. John's College.

The school has a strong academic curriculum that encourages intellectual rigor, independent thought and creativity. Financial aid and transportation available. Tuition: $9,220- $18,385.

Severn School, 201 Water St., Severna Park. Grades six to 12. Contact: 560 students. Contact: 410-647-7700; www.severn school.com.

This independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school serves a diverse student population. The 19-acre campus in the heart of Severna Park features a new upper school academic building with state-of-the art science and computer labs, a performing and fine arts program and new facilities for library research and independent study. Tuition: $16,000.

St. Paul's Lutheran School, 308 Oak Manor Drive, Glen Burnie. Preschool to grade eight. Enrollment: 430 students. Contact: 410-766-5790; www.stpauls gb.org.

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