- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Boston Guide (PDF)
Boston is arguably the heart of America’s education system. Home to many prestigious academic institutions, including Harvard and MIT, as well as the oldest public education system in the US. It goes without saying that education and schools in Boston are top-quality and expats 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 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.
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 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 method; however, space in these schools is limited and competition over placements is fierce.
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.
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