Top Private Schools in Los Angeles

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There are some very good public schools in LA County. But if for whatever reason, you are looking into sending your child to a private or parochial school, the city has some top-ranking education choices to choose from -- from experimental art schools to single-sex prep schools.

  • 01 of 08

    Years: 7-12

    Type of School: Co-educational, non-denominational (formerly Episcopalian as Harvard School)

    Median SAT Score: 2058 (class of 2011)

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

    Prior to 1991, Harvard and Westlake were separate schools -- both excellent in their own rights, affiliated and single-sex. When the two already-top educational institutions merged, they formed a sort of super-school of the private sphere: highly competitive, elite and very difficult to get into. Harvard-Westlake ranked 12th in the nation according to Forbes' 2010 'best prep schools' list.

  • 02 of 08

    Years: K-6 (lower school), 7-8 (middle school), 9-12 (upper school)

    Type of School: Co-educational, independent day school

    Median SAT Score: 2060

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 7:1

    Established in 1972, Brentwood is a full-scale (K-12) liberal arts school. It's made up of students from 68 different zip code areas and offers financial aid to 15 percent of its students' families. Beyond its academic strengths, Brentwood is particularly known for its impressive athletics program. It covers following areas: baseball, basketball, cheering, cross country, dance, drill team, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, surf team, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.

  • 03 of 08

    Years: K-12

    Type of School: Co-educational, progressive, independent school

    Highlights: World-renowned chamber orchestra (played the inaugural season of Walt Disney Concert Hall)

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

    This experimental independent school attracts and nurtures students excelling in creative areas. This is evidenced by its famous alums who include: Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Busey. Founded in 1971, it boasts a new, progressive, developmental approach to education.

  • 04 of 08

    Years: 7-12

    Type of School: Girls' college preparatory school

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

    College Acceptance: Of graduates who applied to 'highly selective' universities, 81 percent were admitted (2012)

    Some educators feel strongly that girls in particular benefit from a single-sex education, in that such institutions breed stronger, more confident and able women. Marlborough is one of them and the oldest of its kind in Los Angeles. Founded in 1889, the school emphasizes personal growth and cooperation as cornerstones of its educational philosophy.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Years: 9-12

    Type of School: Catholic independent girls' school

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

    Media SAT Score: 1982

    Like Marlborough, Marymount emphasizes the leg-up that female students get from a single-sex education. The school bases its philosophy partly on a UCLA study that showed that 60 percent of graduates from girls' schools are more intellectually self-confident (versus 54 percent of their co-educationally schooled counterparts). Marymount claims SAT scores "well above the national average" along with its share of students honored as Advanced Placement (AP) scholars.

  • 06 of 08

    Years: 9-12

    Type of School: All-male Jesuit college preparatory school

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 16:1

    College Acceptance: Typically, 99 percent of graduates continue to higher education; 96 percent to four-year colleges

    Highlights: Each January, seniors engage in a required three-week, 85-hour service immersion experience at an agency serving the financially challenged and marginalized

    Founded in 1865, Loyola is the oldest continuously run educational institution in Southern California. Its sister affiliate schools are Marymount and Marlborough. It offers a more reasonable tuition fee than most private/parochial schools. Some 49 percent of its students are Latino, African-Ameican, Asian or Filipino.

  • 07 of 08

    Years: Preschool through 12th grade

    Type of School: Co-educational, bi-lingual French school

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 125 teachers for a student population of approximately 1000

    The Lycée offers a uniquely European-flavored, bi-lingual education. In primary school and high school, students can enroll in the 'French School Program' (in which all classes are taught in French) or the 'English School Program.' The French School Program follows the official curriculum issued by the French Ministry of Education (leading to the Bacalauréat exam).

  • 08 of 08

    Years: K-12

    Type of School: Co-educational independent college preparatory school

    Student/Faculty Ratio: 8:1

    Highlights: An extensive community service program, an arts program that includes collaborations with visiting artists

    Buckley was founded in 1933. Its lower school employs developmental educational methods, while middle and upper school follow a college prep program. The school espouses a philosophy of interconnectivity between academics, the arts, physical development and moral education, executed via a traditional prep school framework.