- Download our Moving to Boston Guide (PDF)
Boston is arguably the heart of America's education system. It is home to many prestigious academic institutions, including Harvard and MIT, as well as the oldest public education system in the US. Education and schools in Boston are of the highest quality, and parents won't 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 the local school system is highly regarded and well funded. Boston regularly places in the top five city school systems in the US.
Admissions for children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 level are based on a home-based school assignment plan, where parents select multiple schools within their catchment 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 at that school.
The home-based school assignment plan doesn't apply to high schools, and children in high school in Boston can attend any school. There are also publicly funded charter and pilot schools in Boston that have greater control of their curriculum and teaching methods. That said, space in these schools is limited, and competition for placements is fierce.
Read Education and Schools in the USA for more on the national education system.
Private and international schools in Boston
There are many private schools in Boston. These range from the most prestigious prep and religious schools to schools offering more flexible teaching styles.
International schools offer foreign curricula, including French, German and British. Tuition fees are high at private and international schools and vary considerably between schools. While tuition fees at private and international schools may be high, these schools typically offer a more comprehensive range of extracurricular activities and top-class facilities and educators.
Special-needs education in Boston
The city's education system is equipped to provide for students with learning and developmental disabilities. There are multiple federal laws in place in the US to ensure that children with disabilities have fair access to quality education at no cost, regardless of state. All of Boston's public schools boast a Resource/Learning Centre that is equipped to provide specialised and individualised instruction for up to 10 students.
Both public and private schools usually have special programmes in place to support students with learning difficulties. In cases where a learner's disability is too severe for them to benefit from mainstream education, there are special education facilities that can offer students a special-needs programme tailored to meet their specific requirements. There are currently three public special-needs schools serving Boston's students who are living with disabilities.
Tutors in Boston
Thanks to Boston's position as an educational powerhouse in the US, tutoring is popular among parents eager to get their children into the state's best universities. Whether a child has fallen behind in maths class or needs additional support to excel in their college entrance exams, there are plenty of private tutors available in Boston.
It's wise to start by asking the child's school or other parents in the area for a recommendation. Alternatively, one could utilise the services of established tutoring companies. These companies offer an array of packages, from subject-specific intensive programmes to one-on-one home tuition and small group sessions.
Enlisting the services of a private tutor is an excellent opportunity for students to address any gaps in their knowledge, excel at a particular subject, or simply build confidence in their new environment.
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