In addition to its rich culture and preserved heritage, the village of Chestnut Hill is well-renowned for its history of academic excellence. With public and private schools ranging from pre-K to the 12th grade, residents with families of all ages will be assured of their access to the top schools. In addition to primary schools and secondary schools located within the Chestnut Hill neighborhood itself, the area is also conveniently located to a number of other educational institutions surrounding Boston including many Ivy Leage and top research universities.
Primary, Intermediate, & Secondary
Founded by Lee Albright in 1971 as an independent school, Apple Orchard School is housed within a renovated barn on Allandale Farm in Brookline and currently serves 98 pre-K and K students ages 2.9 years to 6 years. At Apple Orchard, children get to experience an educational program centered around the area’s active farming community, where they spend much of their time exploring the outdoors and learning from nature and local wildlife. This nature-focused curriculum is designed so that your child can learn and grow through a creative and play-based environment.
Located on a 17-acre campus in Chestnut Hill, Beaver Country Day School serves students in grades 6-12 as an independent college-preparatory day school. The school enrolls around 500 students each year, with the majority of students enrolled in upper school (9-12) than middle school (6-8). Students at Beaver Country Day School can be expected to succeed in their pursuit of higher education, in fact, the school boasts a 100 percent acceptance rate of its students seeking four-year colleges and universities. Founded in 1920, Beaver Country is accredited by the New England Association of Schools; it is currently a member of the Independent Curriculum Group, the Cum Laude Society, and the National Association of Independent Schools.
Founded in 1863 and located on Columbia Point in Dorchester, next to UMass Boston, Boston College High School is a Jesuit-Catholic college-preparatory school that serves boys in grades 7-12. A key strategy in their curriculum for students is an emphasis on social learning and global learning. The Hyde Center for Global Education — a network that spans six continents — has allowed over 200 students to experience their education in a global setting, providing them access to more than 12 different countries, including Argentina, Vietnam, and others. On average, there are roughly 22 students per class at Boston College High School. Here, students have access not only to the best technology, attentive educators, and global opportunities, but they can also get involved with over 100 co-curricular activities — from sports to special-interest groups.
Brimmer and May's private day school serving children in pre-K–12 seeks to balance the best attributes of a larger school in a small, close-knit environment. Set on a 7-acre campus in Chestnut Hill, Brimmer and May have a 6:1 student-faculty ratio with an average class size of 12 students. Originally, Brimmer and May were separate schools that merged in 1939 and later became coeducational in 1992. With over 100 years of combined history, today, Brimmer and May serves just over 400 students and boasts a student body with diverse demographics, made up of 7 percent international students and over one-third of students of color. Some highlights of their curriculum include STEAM, Innovation, and Maker labs, a Design lab, a World Language program for pre-K and up, numerous after-school programs, Creative Arts, STEAM, and Global Studies diploma programs, and much more.
British International School of Boston
British International School of Boston, BISB for short, teaches students from the age of 1.5 to 18 years old from over 80 nationalities. At BISB, you can expect your child to excel with the school’s personalized learning path with an international curriculum, individualized feedback, and ongoing assessments, as well as the ability to earn an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and be set up for success with college applications. With academic results consistently above average, many of their BISB students have been honored with “Top in the USA” awards for achieving excellent grades.
Across from Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Buckingham Browne & Nichols – often referred to by locals as BB&N – is a private, co-ed day school that serves children from pre-K through lower, middle, and upper school. Ranked as one of the top private schools in the U.S., BB&N was founded in 1883 and features three separate campuses throughout Cambridge, with the upper school bordering Charles River. Student-to-teacher ratios fall between 5:1 and 7:1, meaning that despite its 1,000+ student body BB&N still has the capacity to give each child a unique learning experience. This approach is particularly important as the school has built an environment of diversity and inclusion. At BB&N, students of color make up 44 percent of the student body, and more than half of the students are women; furthermore, BB&N’s Global Online Academy ensures that its students get a chance to learn alongside both across the U.S and internationally.
Situated between Hammond Pond and Chestnut Hill Reservoir, The Chestnut Hill School is in the heart of this idyllic village, serving its families for over 150 years. Educating children enrolled from pre-K through grade 6, The Chestnut Hill School’s curriculum is dedicated to giving students a diverse cultural experience in dynamic classrooms, often involving cross-disciplinary studies. This top-rated school has a student body of around 250 children enrolled each year, with an excellent student-to-teacher ratio of 4:1 – as opposed to the national average of 17:1 – with just over 50 full-time teachers and nearly half as many part-time teachers. Celebrating its 50th summer camp season in 2022, Chestnut Hill School also offers its students 9-week summer camp programs, including their STEAM Camp and Creative Arts and Sports Camp.
Located just across the Charles River in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Commonwealth School serves students in grades 9-12. With an average class size of around 150 and over 30 faculty members, this private, coeducational school encourages its student body to explore their artistic and creative sides. Seeking “curious, and highly motivated” students, Commonwealth School leverages its 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio to provide a curriculum that celebrates the school’s diverse demographics – half of the students are POC – as well as its competitive edge and opportunities available for students to succeed both in and out of the classroom, including two yearly, all-school trips, around $1M or over in financial aid granted per year, and an impressive faculty – with nearly all teachers holding advanced degrees. Commonwealth’s students earn a median SAT composite score of 1530, a sure sign that the school focuses equally on academic achievement.
Located in Brookline, Dexter Southfield School is an independent, college-preparatory day school 5 miles from Downtown Boston. This 36-acre campus features 23,000 square feet of newly developed and renovated academic spaces, including a brand new pre-K–5 lower school complex and an 8,000-square foot Innovation Center for grades 6-8 owed directly to their $15M Building a Better Tomorrow initiative. Students can expect to enjoy top-quality classes, after-school programs, and athletic opportunities at their best-in-class athletic facility, Kraft Fieldhouse and Arena. In addition to their college-prep courses and stellar athletic programs, Dexter Southfield also offers students several curriculum-based opportunities to explore the visual and performing arts, thanks in part to their partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
Founded in 1903, The Fessenden School is both a day school for boys in pre-K-9 as well as a boarding school for boys in grades 5-9 located in West Newton. Intended as a school for the “intellectually gifted,” this 41-acre campus houses 40 faculty and staff families who live on campus and provide a warm, nurturing environment for the boarding community as well as to lower school students who attend the day classes. At Fessenden, educators take the approach that every student is unique and tailors a learning path to his needs, one that celebrates academic achievements, physical accomplishments, creative efforts, social discoveries, and more. Additionally, Fessender offers summer camps for both girls and boys from pre-K to grade 10.
A private, Catholic institution established in 1927, Mount Alvernia Academy is rooted in the teachings and values of St. Francis and St. Clare. This co-ed academy currently has a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio and serves students in Chestnut Hill and nearby towns from pre-K to grade 6. MAA – as it’s known – aspires to nurture students in an inclusive yet challenging academic environment while cultivating a desire for students to develop and share their God-given gifts. Located near the Waban Hill Reservoir and Newton Reservoir, MAA’s student body represents over 35 towns. The academy boasts a 100 percent rate of students that go on to attend competitive secondary schools, and three-fourths are actively involved in after-school enrichment activities.
Established in 1927, Newton’s Mount Alvernia High School is a secondary school for girls that boasts a 1:5 student-to-teacher ratio, a 1:1 Chromebook program, over 6,000 hours of community service served by its student body, and a 100 percent college acceptance rate for all students. Like all of the best-in-class private academies, young women who attend Mount Alvernia High School can expect to see their academic career nurtured and personal pursuits championed with over 123 AP exams available and a strong emphasis on co-curricular activities and athletic participation.
Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Located in Newton on the Loren Towle Estate, Newton Country Day School is a private, all-girls Roman Catholic middle and high school for students in grades 5-12. It is part of the Sacred Heart Network of schools in 21 locations across the United States and in 44 countries abroad. Founded in 1880, Newton Country Day School serves a student body of approximately 400 and strives to educate young women to be strong leaders both in their communities and in a global society. With an 8:1 student-to-teacher ratio, educators are able to act as mentors and guide their students in their individual projects and group activities as well as serving on committees. The curriculum focuses intensely on social justice issues, with all students encouraged to give back to their community through service opportunities. Furthermore, Newton Country Day School sets its students up for success with its advanced technology program, providing all students in grades 9-12 with their own computers to use both at home and in class.
Also known as Nobles, Noble and Greenough School is a day and five-day boarding school in Dedham, just south of Chestnut Hill where its 187-acre campus borders the Charles River. Serving students in grades 7-12, this coeducational, nonsectarian school was founded in 1866 and sees an average of 600 enrollees each year – the majority of whom score well above average on college-entry exams.
In Buttonwood Village of Brookline near Larz Anderson Park, The Park School serves families in the area with students from pre-K-4 in lower school to grades 5-8 in middle school, ages 4 to 14. Despite its 34-acre campus, The Park School is a close-knit community with a curriculum dedicated to both academic excellence and social-emotional growth for every child. The Park School has a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio and sees 100 percent of its culturally and ethnically diverse student body – nearly half of its 500+ students belong to minorities – participating in technical courses related to coding, programming, and robotics, among other special-interest programs. The Park School offers several extra-curricular activities and opportunities for its student body to get active in the community, including 11 varsity sports and events such as the Chop-A-Thon, where students provide nearly 900 pounds of chopped vegetables to the Pine Street Inn.
As Chestnut Hill rests in three municipalities — Brookline, Newton, and Boston — children who live in this neighborhood have a wide range of schools they may be able to attend. In addition to the area's private schools, public schools nearby also see their students achieving top marks and they rank highly each year in lists for best-in-class schools in Massachusetts.
Some of the nearby schools that enroll students living in Chestnut Hill are:
Brookline Early Education Program
John D. Runkle Elementary School
A private, Jesuit research university founded in 1863, Boston College enrolls both full-time undergraduate and graduate students. With an acceptance rate of 26.4% as of 2020, Boston College is one of the most selective colleges in the country.
The law school of Boston College, BCLS was founded in 1929 and is located on the 40-acre Newton campus, less than 2 miles from the main Chestnut Hill campus.
Other Notable Universities Conveniently Located to Chestnut Hill
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Massachusetts Boston
Discover Chestnut Hill with Realtor® Ingvild Brown!
If you're considering a move to the Chestnut Hill, Brookline or Newton and want to know more about the area's best schools, then you're in luck! As a Chestnut Hill area expert, I can guide you in your home search and help you find properties close to schools of interest.
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