The Right Private School for Your Kid


Belmont Hill School
Plugged in: Belmont Hill alumni get together to watch Sox games, eat steak dinners, and listen to guest speakers at more than 60 social events a year, where they trade old jokes and invaluable connections and generally plot ways take over the world. The souped-up alumni portal on the school’s website connects students to graduates who’ve volunteered to serve as career advisers or mentors, and features a searchable database broken down by industry: If an on-the-ball senior wants a lead on a future Goldman Sachs internship, all he has to do is log on to find the contact he needs.

Power meals: At the school’s BlackBerry Breakfast series, hosts invite their fellow alumni and PDA users for early-morning networking sessions at heady locales. This February, Belmont Hill–educated bankers from State Street, Boston Private Bank, and CIBC held court with their peers at 10 Post Office Square. Healthily endowed: All that networking seems to lead to some very lucrative jobs: While most prep schools would be ecstatic if 25 percent of their annual fund donations came from grads, Belmont Hill gets a full half of its pledges from alumni. School stats: Boys only; grades 7–12; day tuition: $27,990; 350 Prospect St., Belmont, 617-484-4410, www.belmont-hill.org.

SECOND HONORS: Catholic Memorial: The scads of Boston power brokers among its alumni and close ties to other Christian Brothers schools give Catholic clout.


Concord Academy
365 valedictorians, zero overwrought speeches: There’s a certain kind of kid who buys only organic candy and wants a Toyota Prius for her first car. And for that kid, Concord Academy is a perfect fit. The school’s grounds, which sit in a row of clapboard houses a short walk from downtown, are the only thing remotely traditional here. Kids get to work with counselors to tailor course loads to their personality and interests, and there’s no published class rank or academic awards, freeing the 300-plus students from grade-grubbing conformity.

Hamlet is so predictable: Concord’s visual and performing arts programs are among the best in the state, consistently turning out polished work from six visual arts studios as well as student-written plays that put the typical high school production of Oklahoma! to shame. King of clubs: Concord boasts more than 40 student clubs—more than one for every 10 kids—covering a panoply of interests: Writers alone have three outlets to choose from, including a humor newspaper cheekily named the Scallion, and along with the obligatory quiz bowl and debate squads, there are more-specialized associations, like the American Anti-Slavery Group and the eBay Club. School stats: Coed; grades 9–12; day / boarding tuition: $30,580 / $37,820; 166 Main St., Concord, 978-402-2200, www.concordacademy.org.

SECOND HONORS: Lawrence Academy: The Independent Immersion Program at Groton’s other private high school eschews letter grades for in-depth written evaluations.