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How These Independent Schools Can Help Your Child

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You want the best for your child, and that means providing the best education possible. Boston boasts a long list of independent schools, each with its own unique history, curriculum, and community. From STEAM subjects and international studies to travel opportunities and extracurricular fun, these schools offer valuable resources for preschoolers through high schoolers. Find the right place for your family that will help your child succeed – both inside and outside the classroom.

The Advent School is a premier elementary school located in the heart of Boston. Students from pre-K through grade 6 are immersed in an engaging and rigorous academic environment while learning to be critical thinkers and confident scholars. Advent students develop a true love of learning and a strong foundation for their progression to middle school. Learn more at Advent’s fall and winter open houses on Sunday, October 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Wednesday, December 5 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Austin Preparatory School is a private, independent Catholic day school educating young men and women in grades 6 through 12. Located in Reading, Austin’s program covers seven years, and because of this extended time shared with students, the school has the ability to offer wide-ranging opportunities for academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth. An Austin Prep education is preparation for the journey of life. The unwritten curriculum of veritas, unitas, caritas (truth, unity, love) that Austin Prep imprints on the hearts of graduates guides them on their inner journey. “At Austin Prep, we are on a journey that is life-changing and important. Our patron, St. Augustine, embarked on a journey for the truth. At our core is an institution on the same journey, committed to exemplary teaching and learning,” said Headmaster James Hickey, Ph.D. The school invites you to the middle and upper school open house on Sunday, October 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bay Farm Montessori Academy in Duxbury provides students with the excitement of hands-on learning and small class sizes on a nine-acre tranquil campus. With highly trained Montessori teachers who know how to support each student’s individual learning path, students are equipped with the confidence to challenge themselves and try new things. Attracting students ages 12 months to grade 8 from more than a dozen towns around the South Shore, Bay Farm integrates its challenging academic curriculum with drama, music, and the fine arts. The entire community supports the growth and development of the whole child from inquisitive toddler to empowered and well-adjusted young adult preparing them for the academic, social, and personal challenges of high school and beyond. An open house will be held on Tuesday, October 16 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

As a school for boys, Belmont Hill School understands what makes boys tick—how they think, act, and develop in mind, body, and spirit. Hallmarks of Belmont Hill include its extraordinary faculty, all of whom advise, mentor, coach, and share lunch with students each day. The school emphasizes academic excellence with a strong commitment to athletics and the arts. Belmont Hill provides the finest learning resources, including the state-of-the-art Melvoin Academic Center. The school attracts boys of all backgrounds, and celebrates the diversity of its community and the richness it adds to the learning environment. Need-based admission is funded by more than $5.3 million in financial aid. Belmont Hill offers 16 interscholastic sports and 57 teams that have captured 124 titles since 2000, including three ISL titles and two New England Championships this past year. Boys participate in theater, various ensembles, chorus and glee clubs, and a renowned a cappella group.

Located in Chestnut Hill, Brimmer and May is a co-ed, pre-K through grade 12 independent day school where students experience an innovative education integrating humanities and STEAM through a global lens. The robust curriculum upholds high academic standards, and allows for in-depth interdisciplinary coursework, real-world problem solving, and sophisticated expression and design. The strong and supportive community fosters students who thrive as learners, leaders, and global citizens. With state-of-the-art innovation, STEAM, and maker labs, upgraded library learning commons, award-winning theater, and competitive athletics, students access a learning environment that facilitates collaborative, creative, and focused work. Stop by the campus and learn how Brimmer students are inspired to learn, encouraged to explore, and empowered to lead. Attend the open house on October 21.

The British International School of Boston is committed to helping every student, from 18 months to 18 years, achieve academically, personally, and socially in an inclusive, vibrant community. The diverse student body represents 80-plus heritages, and there is little transience as 75 percent of the community is local. BISB is a top choice for American and international families looking for an inspiring and challenging educational experience. As a member of Nord Anglia Education, a family of premium education schools, BISB students benefit from enriched curricula through collaborations with The Juilliard School, MIT, and UNICEF. All students participate in real-world learning activities, and international trips, including exchanges, service learning in Tanzania, hiking in Switzerland, and climbing expeditions up Kilimanjaro are offered from middle school.

Celebrating more than 40 years of educating students, Cape Cod Academy is an independent day school for kindergarten through grade 12, situated on 46 acres in the heart of the Cape. Across the three school divisions, they encourage curiosity, leadership, and academic rigor. The curriculum is not driven by standardized testing, and the classes enable students to develop 21st-century skills that are imperative for future success, including critical thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, and collaboration. The classrooms are led by top-flight faculty who develop new teaching approaches based on the best research and their own experience. They take pride in the fact that 100 percent of graduates attend their select colleges. 

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During adolescence, boys come to conceptualize themselves and define their world. For more than 60 years, Catholic Memorial has unlocked the potential of its students and transformed the lives of its graduates. Young men are deeply relational learners and the connections made with CM faculty are critical to successful and transformational learning. A deep awareness of how young men learn reminds us that boys want to experience subject matter through active engagement, hands-on learning, constructivist opportunities, and dynamic interactions. CM engages and inspires its students through boy-specific pedagogy. The CM faculty engages with students both inside and outside of the classroom. This makes a real difference in the lives of young men. Shaping the lives of boys requires great and giving teachers, coaches, and educators who inspire and guide students with their whole being. Meet the faculty and learn about CM’s boy-specific curriculum at their open house on Sunday, October 14.

The Chestnut Hill School is an independent, coeducational elementary school comprised of a preschool (starting at age 3), an all-day kindergarten, and grades 1 through 6. CHS has maintained its legacy of preparing intellectually skilled, confident leaders since its founding in 1860. The curriculum focuses on encouraging the inherent curiosity of children, inspiring critical thinking, problem-solving, and a genuine love of learning. The educational philosophy emanates from a mission of academic excellence, diversity, and community. The faculty, staff, and students come from more than 30 communities in the Greater Boston area. The school strives to acknowledge differences in backgrounds while celebrating commitments to equity and social justice. Dedicated and talented teachers create an environment that provides a balanced approach to learning, supports the whole child, and is rooted in sound elementary education developmental practice. A host of music, afterschool, and summer programs enrich the extracurricular offerings.  If you’re curious, join their open house on Sunday, November 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Chestnut Hill School at 428 Hammond Street.

Recognized as one of the region’s premier independent schools, Commonwealth School, a co-educational day program for students in grades 9 to 12, is dedicated to adventurous, intellectual, and artistic exploration. Commonwealth’s remarkable location in Boston’s Back Bay gives students unparalleled access to Boston’s resources, fostering meaningful scholarly research, annual independent projects, and community service. Travel abroad and all-school weekends in Maine encourage students to take initiative and learn about the world. Commonwealth’s academic curriculum is rooted in rigorous analysis, discussion, inquiry, and writing. Its expert teachers take pride in helping students develop their interests, follow their curiosity, and advance their skills and thinking. College-level electives include Multivariable Calculus, Russian Thought and Literature, Modern East Asian History, Wave Physics, and more. Each student chooses a faculty advisor, and they meet one-on-one weekly. These close relationships are the foundation of a warm, generous community where individuality and creativity are cherished. With an enrollment of 150 and 36 teachers, students at Commonwealth are uniquely positioned to discover their passions and thrive.

Since 1865, Cushing Academy, located one hour northwest of Boston, continues to uphold both traditions and values that stand the test of time. Offering a challenging academic curriculum and outstanding programs in arts and athletics, Cushing creates a transformative learning experience that helps students in grades 9 through 12 and post-graduates develop into curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. The academy also offers academic support, English as a second language instruction, and a dynamic five-week summer program. Discover why students from more than 30 countries and 30 states choose to become part of the welcoming Cushing Academy community at cushing.org. Visit an open house on Monday, October 8; Monday, November 12; and Saturday, December 1.

At Dedham Country Day, they believe that balance matters in learning and life. They combine academic challenge with support, and pedagogical tradition with innovation. Strong scholastics combined with outstanding arts and athletics create a program that is balanced and whole. At DCD, a premium is placed on both academic and emotional intelligence. Children learn who they are as diverse individuals and how to be part of something bigger. Acceptance is a given, and children find encouragement in every connection they make. It’s a community that nurtures, nudges, and gives. That’s how they grow “whole” children and ultimately adults who will thrive with the intellectual and emotional capacity to contribute to their world and enjoy meaningful lives. Visit the 17-acre campus just minutes from Route 128 in Dedham. You’ll get an immediate sense of how students learn to think creatively and critically. From pre-K through grade 8, you’ll witness them tackling hands-on projects, collaborating, taking risks, solving problems, and, most of all, experiencing joy in learning. Experience their open house on October 28 and classroom observations on October 24 and November 14.

Founded in 1967, Fayerweather Street School is a pre-K through grade 8 school with an emphasis on progressive education. The small class sizes allow the faculty to respond fully to each student’s needs and interests. There is respect for each child’s thoughts and work, honoring individuality while supporting the value of group collaboration. The teachers facilitate opportunities for learning that allow students to grapple with complex problems and develop their capacity to be deep and flexible thinkers. Social justice, respect for differences, and character development are woven throughout the curriculum and play important roles in educating the whole child.

You’ve imagined this world for your child: a nurturing community that instantly becomes a second home; a place where children are eager to unearth new passions and talents; a school that provides endless possibilities for learning and growth—and where students actually have fun while doing so. The Fessenden School is more than an independent boarding and day school for boys in pre-K to grade 9. It’s a journey. An educational playground. A family. Fessenden provides an academic experience that both supports and inspires boys to venture beyond their comfort zones. Additionally, by demonstrating kindness and respect, faculty and staff encourage students to grow, interact, and claim their identities with both confidence and humility. You don’t have to imagine this world any longer. You’re invited this fall for an open house so you and your family can experience the transformative power of a Fessenden education firsthand.

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The Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center at Temple Israel of Boston offers an innovative, high-quality secular and Judaic curriculum where critical thinking is fostered. Children from 1 to 5 years of age thrive and have fun while developing curiosity and a love of learning in a safe, nurturing environment under the guidance of the highest caliber teachers, all holding degrees in early childhood. Based on the developmental model of education, the school meets diverse needs by paying attention to each child’s interests and strengths. The Outdoor Nature Classroom provides additional unique learning opportunities. The philosophy is rooted in respect, individual dignity, and self-worth. Families of all religious and cultural backgrounds are welcomed and embraced. FJECC is centrally located between Boston, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, and Chestnut Hill.

An innovative, independent school on Boston’s South Shore, Inly School inspires students to be creative thinkers and self-motivated, lifelong learners. Inly’s toddler, preschool, full-day kindergarten, elementary, and middle school programs blend proven Montessori curriculum and educational best practices at all levels. When you explore the school, you’ll see how hands-on, experiential learning, world languages for all ages, and an arts-rich, integrated, rigorous academic curriculum prepare Inly students to be independent, forward-thinkers who succeed at their choice of secondary schools, and in real life. In addition to academic excellence, Inly grads receive intangible benefits—confidence, independence, and social and interpersonal responsibilities.

The International School of Boston (ISB) is a private, non-profit, preschool through grade 12 dual language school. With a mix of local and international student body and faculty, ISB is one of the oldest, most respected bilingual schools in the United States. ISB students learn in French and English, develop critical thinking skills, and thrive in a multicultural environment. In addition to the American high school diploma, the Upper School offers a choice between two academic tracks leading to the French or the International Baccalaureate, which enables ISB students to apply to any university in the world. Through ISB’s internship program, upper school students can spend one week in a real work environment. They also have the opportunity to study for up to a trimester at a partner school abroad. The younger students take advantage of all that the Greater Boston area has to offer in terms of culture, arts, and history through experiential learning programs. The ISB community is proud of its Blue Terriers Varsity Interscholastic soccer, basketball, and fencing teams.

Jackson Walnut Park is a vibrant learning community for children from toddlers through grade 6, located on a historic Newton campus. By fostering independence and curiosity in the youngest students, and leadership, compassion, and resilience as students grow, a Jackson Walnut Park education develops the whole child. With an authentic accredited Montessori curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers and an outstanding discovery-based elementary school curriculum, graduates of JWP are well prepared to matriculate into the most prestigious secondary schools in the area. You are welcome to visit an open house on Sunday, October 28 or Wednesday, November 7.

Located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay, Kingsley Montessori School is a premier independent day school for students ages 2 through 12. Its unique “Foundational Decade of Learning” is student-centered and focuses on proven Montessori practices. The school strives to make the most of each student’s unique gifts and interests and to empower students to take ownership of their learning so that they may become happy, confident, and successful learners for life.

Located on a beautiful 30-acre campus, the Meadowbrook School is a co-educational independent day school for students in junior kindergarten through grade 8. At Meadowbrook, the mission is to know, love, and challenge every child. Since its founding in 1923, the school has provided a program that emphasizes fundamental skills and promotes creativity within the framework of a broad, challenging curriculum. Meadowbrook’s outstanding teachers bring passion and enthusiasm to the classroom, accompanied by an extraordinary dedication to students’ success and well-being. As part of the challenging STEAM curriculum, Meadowbrook uses technology to enhance learning. A full academic day is supplemented by robust arts and athletics programs. A brand-new building at the center of campus boasts an innovation center, makerspace, spacious classrooms and breakout spaces, and a state-of-the-art library. Visit the open house on October 20. 

Founded in 1843, Miss Porter’s School is a boarding and day school for girls in grades 9 through 12. Located in Farmington, CT, Porter’s educates young women to become informed, bold, resourceful, and ethical global citizens who will shape a changing world. Porter’s is different — historically, intentionally, and successfully. The academic program is engaging, interdisciplinary, highly personalized, and experiential. The liberal arts curriculum, athletics, and co-curricular opportunities prepare students to excel in college and beyond, to seek challenges and break gender barriers, to innovate and create, and to understand what it means to be a leader.

The Newman School is a private school for grades 7 through 12 in Boston’s Back Bay, providing students with a balance of a stimulating and challenging curriculum in a uniquely supportive and encouraging environment. Newman offers both a traditional liberal arts program and the globally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) Program. Designed to promote an international perspective and civic-mindedness, the IB Program is widely regarded as one of the most rigorous high school diploma programs and is highly respected by colleges and universities worldwide. Newman is one of only four private and 14 combined public and private high schools in Massachusetts that offer IB. At Newman, the city becomes the classroom as students study at the Boston Public Library, enjoy rowing crew on the Charles River, playing soccer on the Esplanade, and more.

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Since 1880, Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart has educated girls to be strong leaders in a global society. The school’s mission is rooted in the vision of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, who established schools of the Sacred Heart in 1800 to prepare young women with the courage and confidence to transform the world. The school offers a program for girls of all faiths in grades 5 through 12, with courses through the AP level. Dedicated faculty promote a dynamic learning environment that encourages each girl to develop her talents and character. Through the international Network of Sacred Heart Schools, students take advantage of service trips and curricular exchanges across five continents. Rigorous academics, performing and visual arts, and interscholastic sports build a vibrant school community, while social justice and prayer enrich each student’s experience. Girls are accepted to the most competitive colleges and universities with the goal of living meaningful and joyous lives.

Founded in 1645 and located on 117 acres in West Roxbury, the Roxbury Latin School is a small, independent day school for boys in grades 7 through 12. They are committed to the character development and rigorous academic training of each boy entrusted to their care. The school’s comparatively low tuition, and its policy to admit and enroll students without regard to their parents’ ability to pay, ensures a diverse student body. In designing a vital program, Roxbury Latin is alert to what is best and most effective in educating boys, but they also dare to define what is in their best interest. They care most of all about what kind of person a boy is, and they promise to know and love each boy.

At Shore Country Day School, extraordinary teaching and a transformative approach inspire children for the rest of their lives. Shore faculty members are recognized by parents year after year for their ability to engage every learner in adventurous inquiry, placing students at the center of their own learning. The Shore education emphasizes health, emotional growth, and social connection just as much as academic achievement. Recess, physical education, and team sports are core to Shore’s program, and the school’s Community Code exemplifies a dedication to the well-being of the whole child. Inside the Center for Creativity, robust offerings in studio arts, music, drama, design, and engineering prepare students to thrive in a changing world. Shore’s stunning Innovation Lab is a model that top schools come to study, and its renowned outdoor education program is the most extensive in the region. From an innovative early pre-K program to leadership opportunities in grade 9, students at Shore are uniquely inspired to embrace life with curiosity, compassion, and courage.

“I started the Teddy Bear Club in 1993 because I saw a need to combine the best elements of American preschool programs with some of the wonderful aspects of the French education I received growing up in Paris,” says Teddy Bear Club’s founder, Laura d’Angosse Perlman. “I highly value the focus American preschools place on the development of social skills, creativity, and self-confidence, but I also recognized the potential to further emphasize the more academically focused approach that typifies European education. Additionally, there is a tremendous opportunity to introduce foreign languages to children while they are still at an age when language acquisition occurs completely naturally. TBC was born out of this desire to layer a well-rounded academic curriculum over a socially focused preschool experience in a bilingual French-English environment. Twenty-five years later, our program continues to instill confidence and inspire a lifelong love of learning in our students while building a solid foundation for their future academic success in primary school and beyond.”

Thayer Academy is a co-ed day school in Braintree for grades 5 through 12, founded in 1877. At Thayer, students thrive in an environment distinguished by rigorous academics, a supportive culture, and a vibrant community, which combine to create a truly special student experience. Students are challenged in small, dynamic learning environments designed to foster intellectual and personal growth. With a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, an average class size of 14, and MacBook Air laptops for each student, students and teachers work hard in an atmosphere of true academic collaboration. Tradition and innovation intersect at Thayer, making it an exciting place to learn and grow. During the school day, middle and upper school students have classes in the new Collaborative Design Labs on both campuses where they work on project-based assignments. Students also participate in outdoor education, visual arts, computer science, and robotics. Numerous students participate in Thayer’s musicals, plays, bands, chorus, and dance performances and student-athletes practice and play on two recently installed turf fields on campus, adding to eight existing turf and grass fields. Because of the way students’ days are scheduled, they don’t need to choose at Thayer—they can be performers, artists, athletes, and curious and engaged students.  Get to know some of Thayer’s graduating seniors and see the variety of activities in which they participate and their future plans for college and beyond at thayer.org/seniorprofiles. Easily accessible from public transportation and bus routes from Boston, MetroWest, and the South Shore, Thayer draws students from 76 communities and a wide range of backgrounds, which further enriches the student experience. Arrange a tour of Thayer’s historic campus.

Ursuline Academy, an independent Catholic school in Dedham for young women in grades 7 to 12, inspires students to grow in faith, explore their academic potential, lead with confidence, and help those in need. Ursuline offers a diverse college-preparatory curriculum complemented by robust programs in athletics, the arts, and technology. Students become women who make a difference, balancing who they want to be as individuals with who they are meant to be as global citizens. As a recent graduate said, “One of the things that makes Ursuline so special is its ability to encourage independence while supporting you in whatever you choose to do.” And with 14 sports to choose from, two robotics teams, three drama performances each year, and a multitude of clubs and service opportunities, there is a lot to do! Learn more at the open house on October 28.

Since 1834, Worcester Academy has been creating life-changing experiences for students, families, and the community. From the hilltop in a historic Worcester neighborhood, the school sees things a little differently than most independent schools. While offering a rigorous curriculum centered on academic achievement and personal empowerment, the academy moves students beyond the expected through a strong values-driven base, a knack for innovation, and an imaginative faculty. Small class sizes keep students engaged and allow for true learning and individualized attention. Students excel academically because they know a strong work ethic and a sense of purpose will boost their success in college and beyond. They are nurtured in those beliefs and they are inspired to “Achieve the Honorable.” The teachers ignite imagination by designing authentic learning opportunities. WA faculty members encourage students to drive their learning through inquiry and real-world problems.

For more than half a century, Xaverian Brothers High School has helped to shape strong young men in the best sense of the word, and they believe strong means more than muscles and will. Strong is respecting others and yourself. It’s taking responsibility and giving credit where it’s due. Strong is speaking out, and it is also holding back. Strong is doing the right thing even when it’s not popular. Strong is having faith in the face of doubt. At Xaverian, boys in grades 7 through 12 will discover the true meaning of strength in an inclusive community where the dignity of each person is respected so that all can thrive. They empower students to achieve beyond their expectations and share their gifts with a world in need. Come to an open house to learn more about the exceptional academic, extracurricular, athletic, and leadership programs. (Grade 9: October 21 from 9 a.m. to noon; Grades 7-8: October 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.)

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The Advent School
adventschool.org | 617-742-0520 | info@adventschool.org

Austin Preparatory School
austinprep.org | 781-944-4900

Bay Farm Montessori Academy
bfarm.org | 781-934-7101 | admissions@bfarm.org

Belmont Hill School
belmonthill.org | 617-484-4410

Brimmer and May School
brimmer.org | 617-738-8695 | admissions@brimmer.org

British International School of Boston
bisboston.org | 617-522-2261 | admissions@bisboston.org

Cape Cod Academy
capecodacademy.org | 508-428-5400

Catholic Memorial
catholicmemorial.org | 617-469-8000

Chestnut Hill School
tchs.org | 617-566-4394

Commonwealth School
commschool.org | 617-266-7525 | admissions@commschool.org

Cushing Academy
cushing.org | 978-827-7000 | admissions@cushing.org

Dedham Country Day
dedhamcountryday.org | 781-329-0850 | admissions@dedhamcountryday.org

Fayerweather Street School
fayerweather.org | 617-876-4746 | admit@fayerweather.org

The Fessenden School
fessenden.org | 617-964-5350

Frances Jacobson Early Childhood Center
fjecc.org | 617-739-6455 | preschooladmin@tisrael.org

Inly School
inlyschool.org | 781-545-5544

International School of Boston
isbos.org | admissions@isbos.org

Jackson Walnut Park Schools
jwpschools.org | info@jwpschools.org

Kingsley Montessori School
kingsley.org | 617-226-4927 | admissions@kingsley.org

Meadowbrook School
meadowbrook-ma.org | 781-894-1193 | admissions@meadowbrook-ma.org

Miss Porter’s School
porters.org | 860-409-3500

The Newman School
newmanboston.org | 617-267-4530 | info@newmanboston.org

Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
newtoncountryday.org | 617-244-4246

Shore Country Day School
shoreschool.org | 978-927-1700

Teddy Bear Club
teddybearclub.org | info@teddybearclub.org

Thayer Academy
thayer.org | 781-664-2221

Ursuline Academy
ursulineacademy.net | 781-326-6161

Worcester Academy
worcesteracademy.org | 508-754-5302

Xavierian Brothers High School
xbhs.com | 781-326-6392