Esteemed educational and social critic Porter Edward Sargent established The Handbook of Private Schools in 1914, with the aim "to present a comprehensive and composite view of the private school situation as it is today. No attempt has been made on completeness. The effort on the contrary has been to include only the best, drawing the line somewhat above the average."
Today, The Porter Sargent Handbook Series continues its founder's mission: to serve parents, educators and others concerned with the independent and critical evaluation of primary and secondary educational options, leading to a suitable choice for each student.
Today, only 1 in 17 private schools nationwide meet the editors' strict requirements for admission to the Handbook: schools typically board students or enroll students from a wide area, be accredited by one or more of the recognized regional accrediting agencies, have a varied and deep curriculum, and place graduates at competitive institutions.
Admission to the Handbook is at the sole discretion of the editors. Although schools may purchase a Featured School advertisement to supplement their Editorial Listing, it is not required, and in this the Handbook remains unique among directories as the reference of record. Schools listed in the Handbook are the cornerstones of www.PrivateSchoolSearch.com, where the reader can find abbreviated versions of Handbook listings, as well as brief listings for hundreds of other nonpublic schools.
The Guide to Summer Programs was originally the summer camps section of the Handbook. It became its own book in 1924, with the title of Guide to Summer Camps and Summer Schools. It quickly became the definitive reference for residential summer programs in the United States.
Over the years, the Guide has expanded to include English-language summer programs worldwide, extensively indexed by categories including academic programs, special-needs programs, music and arts programs, sports programs, travel programs, and much more. This broadened focus resulted in the slight name change (to the Guide to Summer Programs) in 2010 that better reflects the increasingly varied nature of this biennial resource. Shortened companion listings for Guide programs may be found at www.SummerProgramSearch.com.
F. Porter Sargent took over upon his father's death in 1955, introducing The Directory for Exceptional Children. In 2011, the Directory gave way to a related new title, the Guide to Private Special Education. Selling out its First Edition, the Guide deals solely with private school programs for special-needs children. As a result, the book now meshes well with Porter Sargent Handbooks' focus on nonpublic education for young people. Online listings for Guide programs appear alongside other nonpublic school listings at www.PrivateSchoolSearch.com.
Schools Abroad of Interest to Americans was introduced in 1959, documenting primary, secondary, and postgraduate nonpublic schools outside the 50 US states that provide American or international curricula for English-language students. Although Schools Abroad ceased publication earlier this decade, international nonpublic schools with English-medium instruction and suitable curricula continue to have a home online at www.PrivateSchoolSearch.com.
Jane Culver Sargent was the third publisher of the Handbook Series, stewarding the company from 1975 to 1999.
Today, the Porter Sargent Handbook Series is part of Carnegie Communications, the leader in integrated marketing and enrollment solutions for education.