Boston is arguably the heart of America’s education system. Home to many prestigious academic institutions, including Harvard and MIT, and the oldest public education system in the US, it goes without saying that education and schools in Boston are top quality and expats will not struggle to find a suitable school for their child. There are a variety of schools in Boston to choose from, including public, charter, pilot, private and international schools.
Public schools in Boston
Boston takes pride in its public education and it follows that the local school system is well regarded and well-funded. Boston is home to the first American public school and regularly places in the top five city school systems in the US. Generally, Boston public schools are great places for expat children.
Children in kindergarten to grade 8 are subject to a home-based school assignment plan, whereby parents identify a list of their chosen schools within their geographic area and register accordingly. Placement at a school is then determined according to an algorithm, similar to a lottery, so parents are not guaranteed their child will be placed in their first choice of school. It’s best to apply as early as possible to ensure the widest choice of schools. Children with siblings in a particular school are given priority.
The home-based school assignment plan doesn’t apply to high schools and children in high school in Boston have the option of attending a school of their choice anywhere in the city.
There are also publicly funded charter and pilot schools in Boston that have greater control of their curriculum and teaching style; however, space in these schools is limited and competition is tight to get a spot.
The first step to enrolment in a public school in Boston is registration - which can be done online. Highly regarded public schools are Match Charter High School, Boston Latin, Excel Academy Charter School, Manassah E Bradley and Fenway High School.
Private and international schools in Boston
There are many private schools in Boston. These range from the most prestigious prep and religious schools to more flexible educational styles.
Some international schools continue overseas curricula including French, German and English. Tuition fees are very high at private and international schools and vary considerably between schools, but are generally around USD 20,000 a year. Financial aid is often given to students who are accepted but cannot afford the full tuition.