Are your brainiac sims languishing away in public school? Do your rich sims balk at the idea of their progeny mixing in with the “common folk?” Are you a long-term player that still compares every other sequel to the Sims 2? This Private School mod is for you!
If you’ve played the Sims 2, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Private School. While all young sims are enrolled in Public School by default, in TS2 you had the ability to invite a Private School Headmaster to your home in an attempt to convince them to allow your kids into the prestigious SimCity Academy.
Headmasters could be swayed by way of schmoozing, giving them a tour of your home, feeding them a good meal, and basically sucking up to them a whole lot. Being accepted would grant your sims bonuses that gave them an extra boost in their skills and careers, so it was advantageous for ambitious and knowledge-focused types to attend the academy.
Additionally, houses and meals needed to be fancy and pricey to really impress the Headmaster so if you’re the type of player who categorizes your sims by social class, Private School was an easy way to differentiate the “haves” from the “have nots.” It wasn’t impossible for poorer sims to get accepted but it was definitely more difficult.
Modder Turned Maxis Employee
The Simston Private School Mod was originally created by a modder named SHEnanigans. In mid-2022 she was hired by Maxis, which meant that she was no longer able to make & support mods and so they were released into the community for others to take over. Her Private School Mod was taken on by a creator called a.deep.indigo who has created several mods herself, and so the Private School Mod lives on while SHEnanigans moves to bigger and better things!
Downloading & Installing the Private School Mod
The mod can be found on a.deep.indigo‘s Patreon page. Comments on the post show mixed results with using the mod, so I will do my best to clarify for players on how to get it correctly functioning.
Sadly, because she can’t mod anymore SHEnanigans‘ original version of the files had been scrubbed from the internet. I did find a post about a language translation that mentioned needing the XML injector for the mod to correctly work; in my experience certain aspects of the mod weren’t functional without XML installed. I cannot say for certain that it is required based on my findings but if you find the mod isn’t working correctly, give it a try.
Inviting the Headmaster Over
Adult sims will have a separate Private School Mod category on their cell phone menus that allow them to Schedule a Headmaster Visit. When they perform this action the household will be charged §500 and you’ll receive a notification informing you when the Simston Headmaster will come to see you. There’s not a lot of preparation to be done before his arrival, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure the house is clean and everybody’s needs are met in the hours leading up to the visit.
The Headmaster’s Arrival
A casually-dressed gentleman by the name of Miles A. Head will arrive around the time the notification told you to expect him. You won’t get any special notifications for this beyond him knocking on your front door once he shows up, so if you want to greet him immediately keep your eye on the front of the house as the arrival time rolls around.
You’re welcome to interact with Miles as much as you want before formally greeting him, however the event will not trigger until you select the special ♙Greet Headmaster option on the social menu. Special interactions will be indicated with a helpful chess piece ♙ symbol, though not all interactions needed are Headmaster-specific and thus may not be labeled with the chess piece.
Once you greet him, a challenge menu will pop up similar to the menus you see for dates, social events, and other unique occurrences. It’s up to you to satisfy those challenges in the hopes that you’ll get accepted!
Impressing the Headmaster
Before you get started you should be warned that this event is, like its inspiration, extremely difficult. I tried it 6 times before I was successful at completing all of the tasks in the allotted time; I strongly suggest saving your game shortly before Miles is set to arrive so you can Exit to Main Menu without saving and try again if you fail. The challenge requirements for the event are pretty much the same every time; here are some of the possible options:
Thank For Coming – Since this is a vanilla interaction used during Welcome Wagon events it is not located in the specific Headmaster menu.
Talk Up Kid(s) – This interaction can be found Friendly→Other Sims→Talk Up Another Sim. In my testing only teens & up were available as options to “talk up.”
Eat With Headmaster – Have a sim serve dinner & select “Call to Meal.” Dinner isn’t an available option until 4:00pm so you can’t get started on this task too early, unfortunately.
Discuss Food With Headmaster – I satisfied this challenge with Dine Out interactions such as “Discuss Food Flavors” but there was also an option “Talk About Food” that popped up in my testing which you can also try.
Share Photos With Headmaster – Another one in the Friendly socials menu as it’s also a normal social interaction with other sims.
Discuss Private School Education – This interaction can be found in the special Headmaster menu. Miles will share a little tidbit about the school and its staff.
Make A Toast – When your sim is holding a drink, select the Headmaster and find this interaction in the Friendly menu. I did this by pouring a drink platter from the Globe Bar that came with Vintage Glamour Stuff, calling everyone over to it, and then starting the toast once everyone was in the room, as I found it much faster.
There is an option to Bribe the Headmaster with money but the chances of success are very low. You can also Woohoo with him for immediate acceptance.
Getting Accepted Into Private School
If you are able to complete all the challenges and reach gold event status, teen sims will be accepted into Private School! It took me 6 tries to get it so if you can nail it on your first go, pat yourself on the back.
Once you’re accepted into Private School you need to enroll on the computer. Click the menu that says … and select Enroll in Simston Private School (§1000). According to the mod page sims should change into their Formal wear for school but in my testing, this did not happen. School hours are from 7:00am to 2:00pm and there is no notification to remind you that Private School will be starting soon, though your sim will autonomously head off to school when the time rolls around.
As to whether or not the Private School mod is worth it, that’s up to you. There’s no information on the mod page regarding perks or other advantages for successfully enrolling and in my testing I saw no major differences between the experience and a typical Public School day.
Conflicts, Tips, & Troubleshooting
Please note that this private school mod was tested in a game with other mods installed, and I cannot guarantee that any issues I encountered were not conflicts. The Mod Conflict Detector did not find any issues with the mod files.
- If you’re missing certain interactions, install the XML injector.
- Per the original post, do not add Miles A. Head to a Group during the Headmaster visit. Doing so will remove him as a participant in the visit and break the event.
- If you’re having trouble finding specific interactions, make sure to check the special ♙Headmaster menu. Some events will have a Tooltip explaining where to find them if you hover over the challenge entry.
- Socialization is incredibly finicky. In my testing only social interactions from other adults would count towards the goal, and stacking conversational interactions didn’t register. My best results came from alternating between Friendly and Funny interactions with a single adult sim.
- Miles really liked going outside, and I often stopped him mid-exit to interact with him. I’m unsure if he was attempting to leave the lot entirely.
- If you fail the event and try again the next day, the option to ♙Greet Headmaster is missing. As I’ve stated previously, you’re better off saving shortly before he’s due to arrive and then exiting to the main menu without saving if you want to try again.
- Due to the spelling of Miles’ name I was unable to successfully use Relationship Cheats on him for a shortcut to Woohoo. In my version of the game he is not exploring romantically so I was unable to seduce him the old-fashioned way. Your mileage may vary.
- If you have High School Years installed you may run into conflicts if you try attending school with a sim who is enrolled in Simston. I do not have this EP so I was unable to check this myself.
After 6 tries I’ve found that the best chances of acing the challenge involve having a sim constantly interacting with Miles to fill the main socialization needs while another sim ran around to do the peripheral tasks such as cooking dinner, pouring drinks, etc. And once a challenge entry triggers, immediately cancel the action and move onto the next one because your window of time is very tight. Hopefully with these tips you’ll have better luck than I did getting accepted!
Private School is a feature missed by many long-term players of the Sims franchise. It’s another way to make one’s youth more interesting and a good challenge for those who like a bit of difficulty in their game, which TS4 isn’t really known for. If you’re looking for a new challenge or miss the old days, you might have a lot of fun with the Private School Mod!