Class Acts

Top-notch academics? That’s pretty much a given at Philly’s private high schools. It’s special programs — inside and outside the classroom — that make a certain place stand out as the perfect choice for your child. From advanced science and technology offerings to international exchange and in-depth community service, here’s an honor roll of schools that excel in eight major areas

Performing Arts

Girard College High School
Co-ed boarding, grades 9-12; free. Eligibility restricted to children who have lost one or both parents and demonstrate financial need. 2101 South College Avenue, 215-787-2617,

Girard students have the opportunity to work with two professional dance troupes in residence, the contemporary Miro Dance Theatre and Three Aksha, which performs classical Indian dance. Now in its third year at Girard, Miro — whose approach to dance informs the structure of Girard’s own student company — conducts open studio workshops in which students hone their skills and forge relationships with the pros. — C.B.

Chestnut Hill Academy and Springside School. Boys from Chestnut Hill and girls from Springside work together in a coordinated theater group, Players, to put on performances. The program starts freshman year and employs the same faculty and resources for both schools. Chestnut Hill: Boys-only day, preK-12; tuition $24,550. 500 West Willow Grove Avenue, Chestnut Hill, 215-247-4700, Springside: Girls-only day, preK-12; tuition $23,500. 8000 Cherokee Street, Chestnut Hill, 215-247-7200,

Sanford School. At Sanford, the kids control the airwaves, taking song requests, broadcasting talk shows and covering sporting events on a student-run radio station. Co-ed day, preK-12; tuition $20,500. 6900 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 302-239-5263,

The Haverford School. Haverford’s theater program consistently wins Cappie awards (the high-school equivalent of the Tonys) in the Best Play and Best Musical categories for its fall plays and musical productions. Boys-only day, preK-12; tuition $26,700. 450 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, 610-642-3020,

Kimberton Waldorf School. Founded eight years ago, Kimberton’s circus program is an integrated part of phys ed for younger students and an elective in the upper school. All PE teachers are skilled in circus activities — unicycles, gymnastics, juggling — and students perform in an annual circus. Co-ed day; tuition $17,530. 410 West Seven Stars Road, Phoenixville, 610-933-3635,