A Tour of Boston Area Schools

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Boston. Allan Baxter/Getty Images

Boston has always been a center of culture and education. Home of Harvard University and Paul Revere, Boston has undergone a renaissance since the elevated interstate highways were put underground. The downtown has become a gathering place again.

I can almost guarantee that you will find the school you are looking for here. The greater Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area offers a wealth of private K-12 school choices - over sixty institutions. Couple that with over thirty-seven colleges and universities, and you have an intellectual and academic life virtually unmatched by any other American city. And it's all neatly packaged in an historic setting which is manageable, relatively speaking, and easy to get around. Boston is also very accessible from just about anywhere including European countries. Put Boston on your school tour schedule.

If you are looking for a listing of Boston private schools in chart format, Boston Magazine has produced one with the key information and data most parents need.

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Montessori and Waldorf Schools

Inly School
Meehan Family Artsbarn at Inly School. Photo © Inly School

As befits a city with thirty-seven colleges and universities, Boston offers a wide selection of early education options.

Cambridge Montessori School, Cambridge
Grades: PK-9
Comments: Cambridge Montessori School offers the child-centered, independent, self-directed approach to learning for which Montessori schools are renowned. This school takes children right through to 9th grade which is something of a rarity for Montessori schools in the U.S.

Riverbend Montessori School, South Natick
Grades: N-8
Comments: The Eliot Montessori School was established in 1971. It is a small school offering preschool through 8th grade to approximately 120 children.

Harborlight Montessori School, Beverly
Grades: N-8
Comments: Harborlight Montessori School has been serving the north shore area of Boston since 1971. The school is medium size with about 300 students. Small classes and a traditional Montessori approach are features of HMS.

The Kingsley Montessori School, Boston
Grades: PK-6
Comments: The Kingsley Montessori School offers a traditional Montessori program. Its graduates move on to the best schools in the area.

Inly School, Scituate
Grades: N-8
Comments: Inly School serves 16 towns on Boston's south shore with toddler, pre-school, kindergarten, elementary and middle school programs.

Stoneridge Children's Montessori School, Beverly
Grades: N-8
Comments: Stoneridge Children's Montessori School offers a full Montessori program to children from nursery through 8th grade. All teachers are Montessori trained and certified.

The Waldorf School, Lexington
Grades: PK-8
Comments: The Waldorf School offers instruction according to the Steiner method. It serves elementary and middle school aged children.


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Special Needs Schools

Special Needs Schools
A Little Extra Attention. George Doyle/Getty Images

These schools offer specialized instruction for children with learning difficulties and other special needs.

The Carroll School, Lincoln
The Carroll School serves elementary and middle school students who have diagnosed language-based learning difficulties such as dyslexia. The school uses the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading.

Chapel Hill-Chauncey School, Waltham
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall offers programs for students diagnosed with ADD and ADHD as well as dyslexia. The school was founded in 1828 and offers a full college preparatory program.

The Children’s Center for Communication, Beverly
The Children’s Center for Communication is the new name for the organization which includes Beverly School for the Deaf. It offers comprehensive programs for hear-impaired students from age 3-22. It also provides support and training for parents and families of hearing-impaired students.

The Cotting School, Lexington
The Cotting School is a special needs school which can handle just about every special requirement. The school was founded by two doctors. It accommodates mild to severe learning disabilities as well as complex medical conditions.

Landmark School, Prides Crossing

The Landmark School is a special needs school offering programs for students with language-based learning difficulties. Prides Crossing is one of two north shore campuses.

Special Needs Schools

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Denominational Schools

Cambridge Friends School
Cambridge Friends School. Photo © Cambridge Friends School
Brooks School, North Andover
Religious affiliation: EpiscopalGrades: 9-12School Type: Coeducational, day/boarding schoolComments: Brooks School offers rigorous academics as befits a selective school. A wide range of sports including crew and hockey and lots of extracurricular activities round out the picture. 70% of Brooks students board.

Cambridge Friends School, Cambridge
Religious affiliation: Quaker
Grades: PK-8
School Type: Coeducational, day school
Comments: Cambridge Friends School is the only Quaker school in Massachusetts. Diversity is very important at CFS. Antihomophobia and antiracist education are integral parts of the CFS curriculum. As you'd imagine, CFS has high quality academics taught by a highly-qualified, experienced faculty.

Epiphany School, Dorchester
Religious affiliation: Episcopal
Grades: 5-8
School Type: Coeducational, day school
Comments: Epiphany School provides tuition free schooling for children from economically disadvantaged families living in Boston neighborhoods.

Lexington Christian Academy, Lexington
Religious affiliation: Christian
Grades: 6-12
School Type: Coeducational, day school
Comments: Lexington Christian Academy was founded in 1946. It offers a college preparatory curriculum rooted in core Christian values. The school has about 350 students.

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Catholic Elementary Schools

Mount Alvernia Academy
Mount Alvernia Academy. Photo © Mount Alvernia Academy

East Boston Central Catholic School, East Boston
Grades: K-8
Comments: East Boston Central Catholic School provides a balanced curriculum and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Jackson School, Newton
Grades: K-6
Comments: Jackson School is a small elementary school sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston. The curriculum is comprehensive and rooted in core Catholic values and teachings.

Mount Alvernia Academy, Chestnut Hill
Grades: N-6
Comments: Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception established Mount Alvernia Academy in 1927. It offers rigorous academics combined with traditional Catholic values.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Grammar School, Roxbury
Grades: K-8
Comments: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Grammar School is a small Catholic elementary school which was established in 1889. The school is accredited by NEASC.

Saint Catherine of Genoa Elementary School, Somerville
Grades: K-8
Comments: St. Catherine of Genoa Parish School has served the Somerville area since 1930. The school is accredited by the NEASC.

Saint Mary's School, Winchester
Grades: K-8
Comments: Saint Mary's School, Winchester offers a traditional Catholic education for elementary age children.

Saint Michael School, Lowell
Grades: PK-8
Comments: The Dominican Sisters founded Saint Michael Parish School in 1889. It offers traditional Catholic teaching.

Saint Pius V School, Lynn
Grades: PK-8
Comments: Saint Pius V School has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges since 1995. It offers traditional Catholic teaching.

Saint Theresa School, West Roxbury
Grades: PK-8
Comments: Saint Theresa School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers a traditional Catholic education for primary and middle school students.

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Catholic High Schools

Boston College High
Boston College High. Photo © Boston College High
Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree
Archbishop Williams High School offers a full college preparatory program. AWHS has AP and Honors courses as well as a Virtual High School.

Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody
Bishop Fenwick High School serves the North Shore of Boston with college preparatory and other academic programs. The school was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1959.

Boston College High School, Boston
Boston College High has offered a Jesuit education since 1863. This is a large school (1500 boys) with a wide range of athletics and extracurricular activities. The academics are high quality as you would expect from the Jesuits.

Cathedral High, Boston
Cathedral High School is multi-cultural, private Catholic, college-preparatory high school. The student body reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods CHS serves.

Catholic Memorial High, West Roxbury
The Christian Brothers operate Catholic Memorial High. CMH graduates matriculate to top colleges and universities.

Matignon High School, Cambridge
Founded in 1945 by Cardinal Cushing, Matignon High School offers a rigorous college prep curriculum rooted in traditional Catholic teachings and values.

The Newman School, Boston
The Newman School enjoys a superb city setting on the Back Bay in Boston. It is a small school with superb college preparatory courses enriched by all the amenities Boston affords.

North Cambridge Catholic High School, Cambridge
North Cambridge Catholic High School is a member of the Cristo del Rey Network of schools. Students do work-study to partially offset the cost of their schooling.

Trinity Catholic High School, Newton
Trinity Catholic High School offers college prep, honors and advanced placement courses. The school serves the Newton area with traditional Catholic values and teaching.

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Boys' Schools

Belmont Hill School, Belmont
Belmont Hill School offers a full array of academics including AP courses, honors courses, independent study, study abroad and study at local colleges for credit. 99% of students are day students.

Boston College High School, Boston
Boston College High has offered a Jesuit education since 1863. This is a large school (1500 boys) with a wide range of athletics and extracurricular activities. The academics are high quality as you would expect from the Jesuits.

Catholic Memorial High, West Roxbury
The Christian Brothers operate Catholic Memorial High. With that imprimatur you know that your son will benefit from the high academic standards, traditional Catholic teaching and a warm, caring community of students and teachers. CMH graduates matriculate to top colleges and universities.

The Fenn School, Concord
A small school, The Fenn School provides the three essential components of an education which every boy needs: rigorous academics, lots of activity and exercise in an extensive sports program and the enrichment a variety of extracurricular activities provide.

The Fessenden School, West Newton
50% of The Fessenden's School's 5th through 9th grade students board. The school offers solid academics, sports and a host of extracurricular activities.

Malden Catholic High School, Malden
Malden Catholic High School is a large college preparatory institution run by the Xaverian Brothers. The school offers a full range of academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

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Girls' Schools

Newton Country Day School
Newton Country Day School, Newton, MA. Thomas Kelley/Wikimedia Commons
Dana Hall School, Wellesley
Dana Hall School was founded in 1881 was a preparatory school for Wellesley College. It is now one of the country's leading independent girls' schools.

Fontbonne Academy, Milton
A strong academic program and 100 hours of community service are hallmarks of Fontbonne Academy's program.

Dexter Southfield School, Brookline
Dexter Southfield School is a boys' school and a girls' school. The schools share the same headmaster and many administrative and teaching staff.

Montrose School, Natick
Montrose School is a small girls' school offering a college preparatory education with a Catholic emphasis.

Mother Caroline Academy, Dorchester
Mother Caroline Academy serves about 60 girls from families of limited means in the Dorchester area of greater Boston.

Mount Alvernia High School, Newton
It offers a solid college preparatory curriculum in the Franciscan tradition.

Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton
Operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, high academic standards and a host of extracurricular and sports activities are features of this selective school.

Newton Country Day School, Newton
Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart is a Catholic girls' school affiliated with the Sacred Heart worldwide schools network. It has been educating girls in the Boston area since 1880.

Notre Dame Academy, Hingham
NDA offers a fine academic program rooted in traditional Catholic teachings and values.

Presentation of Mary Academy, Methuen
The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary operate the Academy for young women which bears their name.

The Woodward School, Quincy
The Woodward School is a leader in educating young women for serious college academics.

The Winsor School, Boston
The Winsor School is one of the country's selective schools. Only 16% of applicants were accepted in 2008.

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Jewish Schools

Solomon Schecter School
South Area Solomon Schecter Day School. Photo © Solomon Schecter School

Gann Academy, Waltham
Gann Academy is a small private high school offer a college preparatory curriculum rooted in the Jewish faith. The school offers AP courses and study abroad options.

Jewish Community Day School, Watertown
Jewish Community Day School is not affiliated with any one branch of Judaism. It teaches core Jewish values as part of a rigorous academic program.

Maimonides School, Brookline
Maimonides School was founded in 1937. It has a faculty of over 150 professionals including 6 ordained rabbis. The school offers serious college preparatory studies combined with Jewish teachings as well as a host of enrichment activities.

The Rashi School, Newton
The Rashi School is the only Reform Jewish day school in New England. It serves 300 students from 30 communities offering an excellent academic program rooted in Jewish traditions and values.

Solomon Schecter Day School, Boston
Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston operates 2 campuses in Newton. The school serves 500 students and was founded in 1961.

Torah Academy, Brookline
Torah Academy offers single gender classes from 2nd grade onwards. This is a Jewish school in the orthodox tradition.

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Independent Schools

Commonwealth School, Boston, MA
Commonwealth School, Boston, MA. Photo © Commonwealth School

Beaver Country Day School, Chestnut Hill
Beaver Country Day School is one of the nation's oldest and leading progressive schools.

Boston University Academy, Boston
Boston University Academy is a small school with very high academic achievements.

Brimmer and May School, Chestnut Hill
Brimmer and May School is a small school with just over 400 students.

British School, Boston
The British School of Boston opened in 2000. It is an International Baccalaureate school which caters to an international clientele of students and families.

Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, Cambridge
Buckingham Browne and Nichols School has Boston as its backyard. The school has about 1,000 students and offers rigorous academic programs.

The Chestnut Hill School, Chestnut Hill
The Chestnut Hill School offers a wide array of academic and extracurricular programs.


Commonwealth School, Boston
Commonwealth School is a small independent school offering a challenging college preparatory program. The school is located in the Back Bay area.

Milton Academy, Milton
Milton Academy is a large private school located about 8 miles south of Boston. It is a selective school replete with all the academic courses, sports programs and extracurricular activities you would expect of one of the nation's oldest schools.

Noble and Greenough School, Dedham
Noble and Greenough is a very selective school. So have the right stuff to be accepted to enjoy the rigorous college prep curriculum, great sports and all the other features which this great school affords. Students can board in 9th through 12th grades.

Thayer Academy, Braintree
Thayer Academy was established with a bequest from General Sylvanus Thayer. Thayer was the Father of the U.S. Military Academy and founder of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. The school which bears his name offers strong academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick
Walnut Hill School for the Arts is affiliated with the prestigious New England Conservatory. It seeks talented, passionate students who are exposed to some of the finest musicians and artists in the world.