A Christian School
Do you teach other religions?

In history classes, students are introduced to other major world religions. We believe that all people deserve love and respect, regardless of beliefs or religious affiliation. The faculty and staff teach this to students and strive to embody it in our lives.

Is Park Street School operated or run by Park Street Church?

No. Park Street School is an independent school, separately incorporated from Park Street Church or any other church. Its founders attended Park Street Church, and the Preschool is housed on the church campus. Applicant families do not need to attend or join Park Street Church to be considered for enrollment at Park Street School, although you are always welcome to attend if you should wish.

I want my child to develop morals and values, but I am not sure about Christianity. Would my family still fit in at Park Street School?

All families are welcome, regardless of church affiliation or religious practice. We enroll families of any religious practice who would like to attend. We are a Christian school, so do talk about God and Jesus and read stories from the Bible in age-appropriate language. We desire to be transparent with families about what we teach about Christianity, and how we express faith or talk about it. Parents are always welcome to ask questions, or even sit in on a Bible class or chapel. We offer a safe space for students to learn and ask questions about Christianity. Expression of faith — on the part of any child or parent — is voluntary. From the context of this nurturing environment, we hope that each student will graduate with a formation of character and a knowledge of God’s love for him or her.

Does the Park Street School community affect character?

It is the caring, nurturing atmosphere of community at Park Street School that makes us feel safe to take risks. Park Street School is a family in every sense of the word that is comprised of teachers, staff, students, and parents. It’s a place where students are known and valued, challenged and encouraged, believed in and supported. We partner together in fostering character — parent and teacher, parent and parent, student and teacher. We approach learning as an exciting challenge we tackle together. Children are encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort zones and take risks. We treat mistakes as “teachable moments” and help students in their efforts to persist, whether with a problem in math or an issue outside at recess. At the end of the day, we hope our students will take ownership of their learning — character education as well as academics.

Character’s a big topic. How do you teach it?

You are right! Building character is a lifetime lesson. As a Christian school, we believe the Bible has a lot to say about character, mostly because the Bible is ultimately the story about God and what he has done, which shows his character. In the Bible, we are reminded of God’s love for us as he sent his son Jesus to rescue us. We remember that, through God, we can love others well too. We learn how wise God is in showing us how we can forgive others, think about others’ needs before our own, tell the truth, and demonstrate integrity. During these formative years — from Toddler through Grade 6 — students are encouraged in age-appropriate ways to show respect for one another because we are all created uniquely and are each special. We are reminded of God’s kindness to us and how we can be kind to our friends. We are reminded of our many blessings, which encourages us to demonstrate humility, express gratitude, and take responsibility to use and share what we have been given with others. We are reminded that God provides courage when we are presented with tough challenges. We are encouraged, through annual service projects, to consider how we can give regularly to those in need. We are cheered, and not afraid to stretch beyond our comfort zones and take risks, thanks to our supportive environment, which makes us feel loved and safe.

As a Christian school, do you teach evolution in science class?

At Park Street School, we love science! In fact, our graduates have consistently won science fair awards in middle school. We confidently teach evolution, discuss creation, and talk about other views of the beginning and formation of life in order to offer a fair and balanced presentation of current research and evidence.

Do you have to attend church to go to Park Street School?

No. Our students come from various religious backgrounds. Some of our families attend churches of various denominations, while others don’t attend church at all.

What does it mean to be a “Christian” school?

Sharing a great tradition with other local schools including Boston Latin, Boston College, and Harvard University, Park Street School was founded and established by Christians seeking to provide an excellent education to Bostonians. Our faith in Jesus Christ is our cornerstone. From this foundation, we seek to provide an environment of respect, balance, and fairness regarding faith and its questions.

In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, we nurture each child to be who God has made him or her to be by developing an understanding of his or her worth as a unique being created by God. In addition, the formation of Christian character in all students is of utmost importance. Emphasis is placed on compassion, kindness, and respect towards others.

Weekly, Park Street School students engage in a Bible curriculum with a yearly motif. Teachers lead the students in voluntary prayer at morning meeting, and all Park Street School students attend chapel twice a month. Chapel is led by pastors in the Boston area and is a time that fosters a love for God, the Bible, and one another.

Admissions
Does Park Street School offer sibling preference in admissions?

Yes! Our sibling preference policy is very strong. We love our families and want to serve the entire family unit.

Is there a parent and/or child interview in the Admissions process?

We enjoy getting to know the parents of applicants during one-on-one tours of our campuses. For our youngest applicants, we organize small playgroups as an informal way to meet them. Grade 1-6 and Kindergarten applicants come in for an informal evaluation with an admission staff person. Older applicants may also choose to spend a day with a class.

Is my child old enough to enroll?

Our main entry points are Toddler (children must be 2-years-old by September 1 of enrollment year) and Kindergarten (children must be 5-years-old by September 1 of enrollment year).

How do you choose the children you accept?

Meeting children and their families and getting to know them is our favorite part of the admissions process. There are so many wonderful children who walk through our doors and it is an honor to spend time with them and learn about their unique personalities. We are looking for families who love what Park Street School has to offer and who are excited to be a part of our community, and for children who are eager to learn and make friends. We also work hard to put together well-balanced classrooms that represent a nice diversity of gender and ethnicity, as well as temperaments and learning styles.

How long is the wait list and is there an order to it?

We try to keep a reasonably-sized waiting list that has no rank or order to it. As families express interest in taking an open spot, we do our best to match the wait-listed child to make a well balanced class. By this, we mean one that represents a nice diversity of gender and ethnicity, as well as temperaments and learning styles.

What are my child(ren)’s chances of getting an acceptance at your school?

Although we receive more applications than there are spots in our school, for the most part families who see Park Street School as their top choice best fit school are able to gain admittance if not in the first round of Admissions, then off of the waiting list.

What about college placement? Where have your graduates matriculated for university?

Over the past four years, three Park Street School graduates have been accepted to Harvard and two to MIT. In addition, we have graduates from the last four years of college admissions who were accepted to many schools with acceptance rates below 25 percent including Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Columbia University, Middlebury College, Tufts University, University of Southern California, and Williams.

Where have your graduates been accepted for middle school?

We are so proud of our graduates! They’ve been thriving in their next schools — with 100 percent having placed in top independent and exam schools in the Boston area since our first graduating class. From 2014-2017, more than 95 percent of our graduates who applied to Boston Exam Schools earned spots, with 80 percent receiving invitations to Boston Latin School. In addition to exam schools, our graduates are enrolled in over 20 different competitive independent schools throughout the Boston area including Belmont Hill, Boston College High, BB&N, Newton Country Day, Nobles, Roxbury Latin, and Winsor. Learn more (link to PSS Graduates page).

How do I enroll my child in Park Street School?

You can learn more about our application process and apply on our Admissions page.

Assessment
Do you test students at Park Street School?

Yes. Students in Grade 3-6 take the “Comprehensive Testing Program” (CTP-4) — a test created for high-achieving schools by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). This test measures performance in language skills, reading comprehension, writing, and math. It is developed by the same company that develops the SATs and the “Independence School Entrance Exam” (ISEE), which our students will take as they apply to middle and high schools. We are pleased and proud to report that every year, overall in each subject area, our students exceed the average performance of our peer schools.

Testing verifies the strength of our math program. Our sixth grade students’ median national percentile rank for Quantitative Reasoning and for Math Achievement has consistently been higher than the average percentile rank for peer independent schools. Over the last five years (2013-2017), Grade 6 scored an average of 95 percent in Quantitative Reasoning and 94 percent in Math Achievement compared to an average score of 88 percent for Quantitative Reasoning and 81 percent for Math Achievement in peer independent schools.

Curriculum
What is some of the curriculum you use at the Elementary School?

In addition to Core Knowledge and Everyday Mathematics, the Lower Elementary uses fun, research-based curriculum such as Wilson Language Basics’ Fundations as our phonics program, Open Court, Handwriting Without Tears, Everyday Math, and Shurley Grammar. We use Responsive Classroom as the basis for our social and emotional learning curriculum throughout the school.

The Upper Elementary also uses Shurley Grammar, Fundations, and Keyboarding Without Tears. Third graders use Zaner-Bloser’s Cursive Handwriting. Fourth through sixth grade students are introduced to classical literature and novels that enhance and integrate with Core Knowledge units as well as Vocabulary from Classical Roots. Students in Grade 5 and 6 begin instruction in Office365, the usage of iPads, and are taught how to be digital citizens of integrity.

Do you teach other religions?

In history classes, students are introduced to other major world religions. We believe that all people deserve love and respect, regardless of beliefs or religious affiliation. The faculty and staff teach this to students and strive to embody it in our lives.

What is some of the curriculum you use at the Preschool?

We use fun, research-based, multi-sensory strategies to help children develop early learning skills, including Lively Letters, Open Court for phonics and literacy, Handwriting Without Tears, and Everyday Math. We use Responsive Classroom as the basis for our social and emotional learning curriculum throughout the school.

Does the Park Street School community affect character?

It is the caring, nurturing atmosphere of community at Park Street School that makes us feel safe to take risks. Park Street School is a family in every sense of the word that is comprised of teachers, staff, students, and parents. It’s a place where students are known and valued, challenged and encouraged, believed in and supported. We partner together in fostering character — parent and teacher, parent and parent, student and teacher. We approach learning as an exciting challenge we tackle together. Children are encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort zones and take risks. We treat mistakes as “teachable moments” and help students in their efforts to persist, whether with a problem in math or an issue outside at recess. At the end of the day, we hope our students will take ownership of their learning — character education as well as academics.

Development
Who gives to the Annual Fund?

Parents, students, grandparents, alumni, neighbors, businesses, Board members, faculty, and staff all donate to the Park Street School Annual Fund. Please consider contributing a gift today!

Why is the Annual Fund important?

Park Street School’s Annual Fund enables us to:

  • Attract and retain skilled and dedicated teachers and support their professional development
  • Provide enriching curriculum resources, state-of-the-art technology, music, art, drama, and field trips
  • Offer financial aid to qualified students
  • Maintain our beautiful and historic Beacon Hill facilities
  • Ensure a socioeconomically and geographically diverse student body
  • Bridge the gap between what tuition covers and the actual cost of educating a Park Street School student
What is the Annual Fund?

Like most independent schools, tuition alone does not fully cover the cost of educating our students. The Annual Fund bridges the gap between tuition revenue and expenses each year. Approximately 14 percent of the actual cost of a Park Street School education is subsidized by the Annual Fund.

Elementary School
What is some of the curriculum you use at the Elementary School?

In addition to Core Knowledge and Everyday Mathematics, the Lower Elementary uses fun, research-based curriculum such as Wilson Language Basics’ Fundations as our phonics program, Open Court, Handwriting Without Tears, Everyday Math, and Shurley Grammar. We use Responsive Classroom as the basis for our social and emotional learning curriculum throughout the school.

The Upper Elementary also uses Shurley Grammar, Fundations, and Keyboarding Without Tears. Third graders use Zaner-Bloser’s Cursive Handwriting. Fourth through sixth grade students are introduced to classical literature and novels that enhance and integrate with Core Knowledge units as well as Vocabulary from Classical Roots. Students in Grade 5 and 6 begin instruction in Office365, the usage of iPads, and are taught how to be digital citizens of integrity.

Will students receive homework each night?

Yes. Students at the Elementary School will be assigned homework by their classroom teachers. Homework is given to reinforce the concepts being taught in class. The amount given each week will be appropriate for each grade level. Homework completion is factored into students’ grades. Parents will be notified if more than three assignments are missing within a period of a month.

Where do children go for recess?

Our immediate access to Boston’s best known wide open green spaces makes us a rare downtown school. Our students play in the Boston Common, the Public Garden, and/or at the Esplanade Playspace daily, weather permitting. When weather conditions prevent us from going outside, we utilize our onsite gyms or classrooms for recess.

Financial Aid
Does Park Street School offer Financial Aid?

Yes. Park Street School offers need-based financial assistance to families who qualify. We partner with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and use their School & Student Services (SSS by NAIS), through which you can submit an application for financial aid. It is based on your tax return information. SSS by NAIS estimates the amount you can contribute to school expenses and forwards this estimate to Park Street School. The information you submit is completely confidential and only seen by our financial aid committee.

Parents/Community
Does the school have a Parent Association?

Yes. Our school has a Parent Association (PA). The PA’s purpose is to support the stated mission and core values of Park Street School on behalf of its parents. The PA meets three mornings throughout the school year, and hosts one evening event with a speaker for all parents. The PA officers and committee co-chairs work hard to promote a sense of community, help to serve as a communication tool between parents and the school’s administration and faculty, and assist with organizing school-wide events.

Is parental involvement encouraged at Park Street School?

Yes. The role of parents in a child’s development is both recognized and valued at Park Street School. We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s education. They are welcome to visit and participate in the classroom, to chaperone field trips, help plan class parties, assist with Open Houses, participate in parent-teacher conferences, serve on various committees, and help with special events. Each class has an appointed classroom parent who assists with coordinating various school events and activities.

Where do your students live?

Fifty percent of our families live within a mile of the school, while seventy-five percent live within one and a half miles of the school. Most families come from the downtown neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, South End, Back Bay, North End, Charlestown, West End, Midtown, Chinatown, and the Leather District, while others come from surrounding neighborhoods/communities.

Preschool
What is some of the curriculum you use at the Preschool?

We use fun, research-based, multi-sensory strategies to help children develop early learning skills, including Lively Letters, Open Court for phonics and literacy, Handwriting Without Tears, and Everyday Math. We use Responsive Classroom as the basis for our social and emotional learning curriculum throughout the school.

Does my child need to be potty-trained?

It is strongly encouraged that all children starting in Preschool, except for those entering the Toddler program, be potty-trained. However, it is not required.

School Life
Do children nap?

At the Preschool, only children who stay for Creative Afternoons will have a rest period after lunch. At the Elementary School, Kindergarten students have a rest time after lunch, which often includes a read aloud story time.

How do I find out what’s going on in my child’s class or in the larger school community?

Parents can access information instantly about their child(ren)’s classroom activities, schedule, and plans through our Park Street School Parent Portal, which also provides access to family contact information and is where parents can update emergency contacts or the list of individuals allowed to pick up their child(ren). In addition to class specific information, all school events, notices, weekly newsletters from classroom teachers, monthly newsletters from specials teachers, Parent Association news and minutes, directory listings, school calendars, and photos live on the secure Parent Portal. In the higher grades at the Elementary School, parents can also see students’ homework assignments and test dates on the Parent Portal. In addition, we host numerous informational events for families throughout the year and send out Schoolroom Notes, our bi-annual all school newsletter, and our annual report.

How do I find out about my child’s progress at school?

Classroom teachers send weekly updates, primarily through our Parent Portal, about classroom happenings, events, and activities. They are also are available daily by e-mail or telephone. In addition, students are assessed throughout the year. Progress reports are published on the Parent Portal three times per year, with parent-teacher conferences for the first and second trimester.

Is there a dress code?

Yes. For students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 at the Elementary School, Park Street School has a standard school uniform. Students are expected to wear the school uniform each day, unless otherwise notified. Grade 6 students are expected to wear blazers for special occasions and for Chapel.

The Preschool does not have a uniform policy.

Does the school provide snacks or lunch?

Park Street School does not provide daily meals or snacks. Parents are to send in two snacks and a lunch each day. Children staying for the after school program will need three snacks.

Is there parking at Park Street School?

No. Park Street School does not provide parking. We offer a drop-off/pick-up system where parents can pull up in their cars in a designated spot and staff members will meet them to escort their children to class. At the Preschool, there is one drop-off spot at One Park Street. At the Elementary School, parents are assigned a drop-off/pick-up location, either on Beacon Street or Mugar Way. For parents bringing in or picking up their children to and from the classroom at the Preschool, parking is available on a limited basis at meters nearby, in the Common Garage, and in the One Beacon Garage. Parents coming into the Elementary School to visit the classrooms during events or while dropping off or picking up their children, must park at the Boston Common Garage or at a metered spot on Beacon, Charles, or Arlington streets.

How do students get to Park Street School?

We encourage parents to take their children to school either by public transportation or walking when possible.

Both the Preschool and the Elementary School are located within walking distance from the MBTA Red and Green Lines. The Red line stations are located at Park Street and Charles/MGH. The Green line stations are located at Park Street and Arlington Street. Students, 11 years of age and under, may ride the MBTA (except commuter rail zones 3-8) for free when accompanied by an adult. The area is also served by the MBTA Bus Routes 43 and 55, both of which stop at the intersection of Beacon Street and Charles Street.

We do offer a drop-off/pick-up system where parents can pull up in their cars in a designated spot and staff members will meet them to escort their children to class. Parents are not to park at either drop-off or pick-up locations. Carpooling with other neighborhood families is a nice option, and the administration is happy to facilitate introductions.

Private School Busing for Boston Residents

According to the criteria established by the Boston School Department, transportation services are provided to many private school students in the Boston area. Many students (Grades 1-6 and Kindergarten) who are Boston residents and live at least one mile from the school are eligible to ride the bus to Park Street School’s Elementary School. Transportation services are provided only on days when Boston’s public schools are in session. Park Street School staff members are at the designated bus stop to assist in transporting the children between the bus stop and their classrooms during the drop-off and pick-up each day.

Where do your students live?

Fifty percent of our families live within a mile of the school, while seventy-five percent live within one and a half miles of the school. Most families come from the downtown neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, South End, Back Bay, North End, Charlestown, West End, Midtown, Chinatown, and the Leather District, while others come from surrounding neighborhoods/communities.

Who will teach my child at Park Street School?

Park Street School hires qualified teachers who exhibit creativity, energy, and a nurturing spirit. All of our teachers and associate teachers hold Bachelor’s degrees, and many have completed or are in process of completing master’s degrees. Our Administration and lead teachers at the Preschool meet or exceed the requirements laid out by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Do children take field trips?

Yes. We love field trips! Starting with our Toddler classes, we venture out into Boston to explore and learn. In order to take advantage of the rich cultural, historical, and educational opportunities of Boston and the surrounding areas, several field trips are scheduled during the school year. Our youngest learners visit the Cambridge Street Fire Station to meet some of our Community Helpers, stop in at the post office to see how letters get from one place to another, or walk to the “T” as we explore different types of transportation. Our older students visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Lung Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, Symphony Hall, the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, the Japanese House at the Children’s Museum, or even the monuments that are steps away in the Boston Common and Public Garden. There are simply too many outings to list! We invite you to imagine the many ways Boston is our largest classroom.

Do children go outside during school?

At the Preschool, since most students are only here until noon, we utilize the gymnasium daily to foster development of various large motor skills. As weather and time permits, our children also play and explore in the Boston Common and Public Garden.

At the Elementary School, in good weather, teachers might choose to take students out to the Public Garden for snack time or during reading time. See Recess for additional information.

Do you offer after school care?

Yes. At the Elementary School, our after school program is from 3:30 p.m to 5:30 p.m. Students enjoy a snack and time either outdoors or in the gym for either scheduled free time or group games. Then, they transition into quiet time to either work on homework or engage in board games or art projects. All activities are supervised by Park Street School faculty.

At the Preschool, we extend our engaging curriculum into the afternoons through Creative Afternoons from noon to 3:15 p.m. for children aged 2.9 and older. Students enjoy lunch together followed by rest time. After rest time, they are guided by our Preschool faculty to explore science, the arts, further develop their fine and large motor skills, and enjoy discovering the world around them.

What are the hours of school?

Elementary School classes begin at 8:15 a.m., with students arriving at school beginning at 8:00 a.m. The school day ends at 3:15 p.m.

At the Preschool, students arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. and can either leave at noon, or stay for our Creative Afternoons after school program, which ends at 3:15 p.m.

What is the student to teacher ratio? How many students are in a class?

Our student to teacher ratio is low. The average student to teacher ratio at the Elementary School is 9:1, while at the Preschool it is 6.5:1. For most of the grades, there are two homerooms per grade.

Does Park Street School follow Boston’s Public School Calendar or an Independent School Model?

Park Street School follows an independent school model with two weeks for Spring Break in March, rather than February and April week-long breaks. For more specific information, please visit our Calendar page.