My answer was so long I answered OP in a PM. If anybody is interested in a discussion I’m happy to post it here too but I didn’t want to derail the conversation from the financial discussion.
EDIT TO ADD MY PM TO STEVE DB ON REQUEST:
I understand where you’re coming from, and I think I can at least partially give advice, altough from a financial standpoint it seems your children will grow up on the other spectrum from me which is good for them and you!
I think the swiss school system is good. There is a lot of room for improvement, but generally. There is not a focus (at least while I was growing up, I am in my thirties now) on reading comprehension, creativity or individuality. I studied the french revolution about a billions times, but we never touched upon 20th century history. We never learned about financial literacy. Just to name a few examples.
On the other hand it’s a great system for anybody to work themselves up (I grew up in a school system with 6 primary, 2-3 Oberstufe and then depending on your goals 4 years of Mittelstufe/Gymnasium, Zurich is a little different). It’s actually the perfect system for a late bloomer. I did good to great in grades 1 - 6, average to bad 7 - 8 but somehow passed the exam to get into Gymnasium. Did very bad at Gymnasium at first, so that I had to repeat a grade and then excelled to finish my masters in medicine. I guess it clicked then and there. I have friends who did vocational training in carpentry, went to get their Matura later on and are now doctors. The door is never closed here in regards to schooling which I think is awesome.
This is all dependent on the parents too. I have great parents who put their happiness and free time way below mine. They supported me through the struggles and the years of schooling. Paid for extra tutoring when I struggled. Paid for music lessons, english lessons, sports when they both worked two jobs. I knew kids who were thrown to the wayside because they couldn’t manage the system and had no home help.
I grew up bilingual with my mother tongue at home and german at school. I am by no means a natural language learner. To this day I only know a “petit peu” of french even though I had it for 8 years in school. English was picked up in school, but mostly from media for me. But I have been one of the best english speakers in my grades throughout. Most Matura/University graduates are pretty fluent in english here in Switzerland. Kids start English in 3rd grade now that will only improve. German will never be a problem to pick up if you’re here from kindergarten on.
I did an internship in the US and only needed the TOEFL to get in. I didn’t try to get into a US university though. But even if they get an american high school diploma out of the private school, they will have to take the SATs, no? They might not need a english certificate.
I’m not trying to sway you from either school. I think I have a huge bias against private schools.