Thursday, September 28 2023 10:33

Brandywine Valley Guide to Private, Independent & Cyber Schools & Arts Education

Written by Marci Tomassone

Our guide to area private, independent and cyber school and arts education open houses

To view as a PDF, click here.


Bryn Mawr

The Baldwin School
701 Montgomery Ave.; 610-525-2700;
At The Baldwin School, students are members of a supportive community where they can learn, grow and develop into confident women. Led by outstanding faculty and staff, their exceptional academics, renowned arts and competitive athletics provide many opportunities to innovate, create, explore and build lifelong friendships. A Baldwin girl can and will lead with curiosity, creativity and confidence!
Open House: Middle & Upper School (Grades 6–12): Oct. 12
Lower School (Grades Pre-K–5): Oct. 20

Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr
480 S. Bryn Mawr Ave.; 610-527-3915;
Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr (SHA) is an independent, Catholic, K-12, girls school. Small by design, SHA is also part of something larger — with 25 Sacred Heart schools in North America and 150+ schools in 41 countries — offering domestic and international exchange programs. Their unique Lower School Multi-Age Classrooms and Upper School dual enrollment with Villanova and Immaculata Universities set them apart, and their graduates attend leading universities.
Red & White Breakfast on the Hill Open House: Oct. 13, Nov. 3, 10, Dec. 1, 9 to 11 am
Lower School Multi-Age Classroom (MAC) Virtual Information Sessions: Oct. 23, Nov. 27, Dec.11, 10 am
Upper School Virtual Information Session: Oct. 25, 6–7 pm
Upper School Shadow Days: Upon request beginning Oct. 12

St. Aloysius Academy
401 S. Bryn Mawr Ave.; 610-525-1670;
Founded in 1895 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Aloysius Academy is the only private, Catholic, all-boys, K–8 school in the Philadelphia five-county area. St. Aloysius Academy provides an engaging and challenging learning environment for boys that recognizes their needs and develops their gifts and talents. Within a faith-based setting, relational learning permeates the caring and formative atmosphere where each student can grow to be the best version of himself.
Open House: Oct. 18, Jan. 31, Mar. 13, 9 am
Schedule a private tour, [email protected]


Friends School Haverford
851 Buck Ln.; 610-642-2334;
The WONDER … of growing a pepper! Students at Friends School Haverford experience in-depth exploration of complex topics. Whether it’s learning about growing food, historical heroes or local ecosystems, an FSH education is a time of wonder. Children leave as confident, critical thinkers with leadership skills to meet the future. Come visit and check out the wonder firsthand. Financial aid is available. Academic Excellence. Quaker Values. Wonder.
Open House: Oct. 14, 10 am to noon; Nov. 9, Dec. 5 & Apr. 27, 9 to 11


Malvern Preparatory School
418 S. Warren Ave.
Malvern Preparatory School is an independent Augustinian school for young men in grades 6 through 12, offering its students a nurturing, Catholic community in which they can grow and become the best possible version of themselves. The curriculum balances rigorous academics, extracurricular commitment, spiritual development and Christian service, providing an experience that places students at the center of learning.
Open House: Oct. 14, 9 am
Entrance Exams: Oct. 21, Nov. 12, Dec. 9, Jan. 7

Villa Maria Academy High School
370 Central Ave.; 610-644-2551;
Villa Maria Academy High School is a Catholic preparatory school located on a beautiful, 45-acre campus. The curriculum is designed to empower young women with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. Students explore their passions on the lacrosse turf, at mock trial debates, in theatrical productions and through service. Cherished traditions connect students to each other, alumnae and 150 years of Villa Maria excellence.
Fall Open House: Oct. 1, 9 am to noon, register online
8th Grade Entrance-Scholarship Exams: Oct. 15
8th Grade Visit Villa Days: Oct. 4 & 24, Nov. 7, 8 & 29
Register at


Media-Providence Friends School
125 W. 3rd St.; 610-565-1960;
A Quaker school for students age 2 through grade 8 that awakens the passion and potential of all individuals, within a welcoming, diverse community led by Quaker values. A close-knit learning community, MPFS offers students big views of the world ahead. In small classes, under the caring tutelage of early childhood, elementary school and adolescent experts who are passionate about teaching, students from diverse backgrounds and faiths grow up together.
Virtual Open House: Oct. 27, Dec. 15, Mar. 1, May 17
RSVP to a Virtual Open House at

Newtown Square

Episcopal Academy
1785 Bishop White Dr.

Episcopal Academy, a Pre-K–12, coeducational, independent day school, offers a classical yet innovative academic program, renowned for excellence in the humanities and sciences and focused on social responsibility and ethical leadership. Episcopal’s commitment to individual attention and to building an engaging, supportive school experience builds self-confidence and fosters a love of learning in all students.
Lower School Open House: Oct. 14
Middle & Upper School Open House: Oct. 15
Register at


Kimberton Waldorf School
410 W. Seven Stars Rd.

KWS’s expansive 430-acre campus serves as the backdrop for preschool through 12th grade students who benefit from a holistic, experiential and academically rich approach to education. The intentional and carefully aligned curriculum integrates the arts and the natural world every day. Waldorf education preserves the most important elements of childhood and allows imagination and confidence to bloom. Register for Open House.
Open House: Early Childhood: Oct. 14, Apr. 13
Lower School: Oct. 3, Nov. 29, Feb. 1, Mar. 15
High School: Nov. 2, Mar. 5

Renaissance Academy
413 Fairview St.; 610-983-4080;
A tuition-free, college prep, fully-accredited, public charter school for grades K–12. Their mission is to prepare children for success as students, workers and citizens by providing them with a high-quality liberal arts, college preparatory education.
Open Houses: Oct. 10, Jan. 17, Apr. 16, 6:30 pm


The Agnes Irwin School
275 S. Ithan Ave.; 610-801-1869;
What sets The Agnes Irwin School apart is its commitment to the holistic development of each girl — academics, arts and athletics — and encouraging students to make connections in learning, to think outside the box and to forge their own path. AIS is a school where girls cheer each other on, not compete against one another — a community that champions everyone, nurtures relationships and fosters the joy in learning.
All School Open House: Oct. 19, 6 pm; Apr. 17, 8:30 am
Athletic Open House: Nov. 2, 7 pm


The PA Cyber Charter School
Phila. Area Regional Office, 825 Baltimore Pk.
The learning never stops at PA Cyber, one of the nation’s largest, most experienced and most successful online public schools. PA Cyber’s personalized instructional methods and curricula connect students and families with highly qualified teachers and rich academic content. Enrollment is open to any school-age child residing in PA, and the school does not charge tuition.
Online Info Sessions: Visit


Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
560 Sproul Rd.; 610-971-0498;
The Academy of Notre Dame is a premier independent, Catholic, college-preparatory school for girls in grades 6–12. Students thrive in a rich learning environment, featuring global learning opportunities and trips abroad, student wellbeing program, and state-of-the-art centers for the Arts and STEM. Located on 39 acres in Villanova, Notre Dame recently hosted the Sisters in STEM Symposium, welcoming students around the world and hosting a keynote with astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison.
Fall Open House: Oct. 1
Walk-in Wednesdays: Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6
Entrance Exams: Oct. 14, Oct. 21

West Chester

West Chester Friends School
415 N. High St.
Academically enriched, coed elementary education. In the Friends Play School (age 3), Early Childhood (pre-K and K) and grades 1 through 5, students “Listen, Learn, Wonder, Decide.” In Quaker values context: respect, responsibility to community, peaceful conflict resolution. Studio art and art history, music, STEM, Spanish, physical education, technology, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, community service. Flexible Tuition. BC/AC, 7:30 am to 6 pm. Ongoing enrollment. Summer camp open to all.
Call 610-696-2937 or email [email protected] for a tour



Tatnall School
1501 Barley Mill Rd.
At Tatnall, students in Pre-K3–12 experience an exceptional education that unlocks their passion for learning. Every student has opportunities to explore endless possibilities through challenging academic, artistic and athletic programs. The devoted teachers, coaches and community members are the driving force behind the school’s success. The strong bonds formed at Tatnall between students and educators foster devotion to learning, enabling students to unleash their full potential and nurture their great minds.
Call or visit their website to schedule your tour today

Learning Differences and Special Education


Center School
2450 Hamilton Ave.; 215-657-2200
Celebrating 35 years of academic excellence. In 1989, two mothers had a vision to create a learning environment in which students with educational gaps could feel supported and successful, and Center School was born. Students experience incredible educational growth as a result of their renowned, well-respected and effective programming. It’s a small community with low student-teacher ratios. Their faculty has collectively over 150 years of experience, with the majority holding master’s degrees and certifications in meeting the academic and social needs of students.
Call to schedule a personal tour for your family


AIM Academy
1200 River Rd.; 215-483-2461;
AIM provides extraordinary educational opportunities through a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum to children in Gr. 1–12. AIM is the Philadelphia area’s largest school for children with language-based learning differences, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Students experience a rich, research-based curriculum and a range of elective and extracurricular arts, music, club and athletic opportunities. Discover AIM for Innovative Teaching and Fearless Learning.
Virtual Information Sessions: Oct. 13, Nov. 3, Dec. 1, 9 am Oct. 25, Nov. 15, Dec. 13, noon

Multiple Chester County Locations

Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Services
484-798-5752; [email protected]
Enrolling students at all locations: Downingtown, West Chester, Landenberg, Audubon and Glenmoore.
Since 1912, Devereux has offered outstanding and innovative educational programming and now has five PDE Approved Private Schools in Chester County and one PDE Approved Private School in Montgomery County. Small classroom ratios allow for individualized instruction/ support in a safe and therapeutic setting for students with a variety of learning differences. Devereux unlocks and nurtures students’ potential by implementing school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and offering community-based instruction, school-based mental health services and a continuum of related services. PDE 4010 funding available.
Schedule a tour today

Centreville, DE

Centreville Layton School
6201 Kennett Pk.
Centreville Layton School offers a robust educational and cultural experience for students who learn differently. The program identifies the academic and social needs of the individual and provides a curriculum that focuses on problem solving and critical thinking. Through intervention and strengthening learning strategies, the school empowers each student to reach his or her potential. Pre-K–12th grade.
Open House: First Wed. of the month, 9 to 11 am
Virtual Open House: Options available

Arts Education

Darlington Arts Center
977 Shavertown Rd., 610-358-3632;
Darlington Arts Center is a community arts center that connects people by providing Every Art for Everyone. They offer programs to all ages and abilities. From their preschool program to after school classes to creative aging workshops, Darlington has something for everyone. Register for a workshop, class or private lesson in music, art, dance or drama today by visiting their website.
Schedule a tour today

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