Atrium School

  • Atrium School is a progressive school for Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade located in Watertown, MA near the Cambridge line.
  • Established in 1982, we believe that small classes, passionate faculty and a truly engaging, hands-on learning environment can draw out the best in each child.
  • Our graduates emerge curious and capable, truly loving learning, and welcomed by both public and independent next-schools throughout the Boston area.  Our students experience Excellence with Joy each day.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Association of Independent Schools in New England (AISNE)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-8
Year Founded1982
Awards Blue Ribbon School - Selected in n/a

Student Body

Total Students124 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 23%
Students by Grade Atrium School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers25 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio5:1
National avg.: 13:1
Average Class Size10 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineJan. 17 / rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$25,500
Tuition NotesFinancial aid available. Tuition rates available online.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorMason Sand


Total Sports Offered4 sports
SportsCrew, Cross Country, Rock Climbing, Track and FieldCrewCross Country,
Rock ClimbingTrack and Field,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.7 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Running Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Art Studio, Theater Program, Violin

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Cross Country, Rock Climbing, Track and Field

School Notes

  • Nearly 30 years ago, Cambridge-based educator Ginny Kahn envisioned a school where children are nurtured, valued, and challenged: nurtured as individual, creative learners, valued as thoughtful, constructive members of a warm and loving community, and challenged to achieve their fullest potential as they grow and change. She envisioned the Atrium School, an educational community in which we are all encouraged to "wonder, explore, invent, imagine, develop skills, and persevere at challenging work." Working together, Atrium families, teachers, and friends developed the school in Watertown, Massachusetts, where it has become a model for independent, progressive education. We are committed to:
  • Small classes and individual attention: Because early educational experiences set young people on a path for life, the Atrium carefully cultivates each child's love of learning, confidence in his or her own ideas and abilities, respect for others and the environment, and engagement as a citizen of the world. To give each child the attention this effort requires, our class sizes are small, with two full-time teachers in every classroom. Our average classroom student:teacher ratio is 1:8; including specialists, our faculty:teacher ratio is 1:4. The educational program at the Atrium helps children to become invested in their learning and to value and trust in themselves as learners.
  • Hands-on, Progressive educational model: Children learn best by doing and applying. At the Atrium School, direct experience in a meaningful context is core to our educational philosophy and approach. Hands-on explorations enable children to discover new information for themselves, reflect on this knowledge, integrate it into their full spectrum of ideas, build on it, and make further connections. We build our approach on the established foundations of the Progressive education model, which means that we nurture the social development of children as much as we do their cognitive and academic growth. Students develop strategies that nourish their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical self-confidence. With these tools, children are inspired and prepared to take risks in order to achieve higher levels of thinking and learning. Our students become good at working on teams, valuing diversity, multi-tasking, thinking creatively and critically, and showing what they know and understand in a myriad of powerful ways.
  • Innovative, rigorous academics: An emphasis on collaborative and hands-on learning sustains a climate where students learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills. From Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade, the Atrium curriculum provides strong foundations mixed with flexibility, a distinctive structure personalized to each child's own strengths. You can read about the atrium curriculum in detail in the Learning section of our website. Atrium graduates attend and succeed in public and private "next schools" throughout the Boston area.
  • Extraordinary Enrichment: Spanish, violin, and environmental stewardship. We provide powerful contexts to engage each individual. In addition to core subjects, our students in ALL grades learn Spanish, play violin in partnership with New England Conservatory, and study urban wildlife at the adjacent Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
  • Whole Child and welcoming community: By upholding the principles of social justice and educational equity, the Atrium community accepts and teaches responsibility for building a community in which each person's voice can be heard and respected. Children carry with them the teachings of an educational community that encourages its members to see the common threads that run through people's lives. They learn to value the strength and integrity of differences, and to affirm the rights of the individual and the rights of others.

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  • School Location Miles Grades Students
  • Cambridge
    Grades: PK-12 | 1015 students
    0.9 miles
    80 Gerry's Landing Rd
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 547-6100
    0.9 PK-12
  • Cambridge
    Grades: PK-8 | 525 students
    0.8 miles
    178 Coolidge Hill
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 520-5200
    0.8 PK-8
  • Arlington
    Grades: NS-8 | 225 students
    2.7 miles
    34 Winter Street
    Arlington, MA 02474
    (781) 641-1346
    2.7 NS-8
  • Belmont
    Grades: PK-8
    2.5 miles
    55 Day School Lane
    Belmont, MA 02478
    (617) 484-3078
    2.5 PK-8
  • Brookline
    Grades: PK-8 | 535 students
    3.9 miles
    171 Goddard Avenue
    Brookline, MA 02445
    (617) 277-2456
    3.9 PK-8

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
As an educator, I am continually impressed by everything Atrium accomplishes. It is a student-centered, diverse and vibrant community of engaged, inclusive learners where 21st century skills are being taught with creativity and dedication, and the faculty are among the best I have ever encountered. My son has learned and adopted much more sophisticated research and inquiry skills by middle school than my older children did in high school. He truly enjoys school and always is eager to tell me what he learned every day- and better yet, what it has stimulated him to consider and explore outside of school hours. Because I can compare it to the other schools my older children attended, I can attest to what a remarkable learning environment they have cultivated. My only regret is not knowing about it for my older children.
- Posted by
My daughter started at Atrium in Pre-K and is currently in kindergarten. Atrium is a wonderful school filled with enthusiastic, dedicated teachers who genuinely strive to teach children to love learning! It is a warm, welcoming community where each child's individuality is celebrated. The curriculum is rich and thoughtful. Even in Pre-K, students get weekly Spanish, music, art, library and PE. Atrium also has a great after school staff and lots of after school enrichment classes. My daughter loves school! She runs into the building each day, greeting the head of school, and giving high fives to the kids in the older grades. Atrium's mission is "Excellence with Joy," and it does a great job of living up to that mission.
- Posted by
We are very fortunate that both of our sons are at Atrium. As a family we, have been a part of the Atrium community for six years now. Atrium is a place where our boys are truly known, valued for who they are, and appreciated by all members of the community. What`s more is that they know this, and therefore they feel safe enough to take risks in their learning. Their educational experience is undoubtedly a rich and deep one, but what we, as parents, find equally, if not more important, is that they are happy going to school every day. Atrium is a place where students learn alongside a dedicated faculty who not only foster intellectual and academic curiosity but also cultivate a culture of kindness, empathy, innovation, and creativity. As parents, we are happy to be members of a welcoming, warm, inclusive community of adults including our fellow parents, teachers, staff, and administrators. Atrium`s middle school is a rare find; it maintains an progressive ethos while effectively preparing students for whatever lies ahead. Every year, our boys have been deeply engaged and appropriately challenged. We know (and are very thankful) that Atrium students leave Atrium understanding what it takes to be successful students, confident individuals, inquisitive learners, respectful members of a community, and productive citizens. Atrium is a true gem of a school!
- Posted by
Our daughter has been at Atrium since pre-K and is now a thriving 5th grade powerhouse, all due to the excellent education she has received at Atrium School. The community is supportive, the teachers talented and each student is valued for their inherent talents. THE BEST.
- Posted by
Atrium is a warm, nurturing, progressive school where both our children are thriving. We are so grateful to have found this treasure. The teachers are committed and creative, with a deep understanding of their students. Our children are being appropriately challenged academically, and they love going to school every day, because Atrium fosters joy in learning. Most importantly for our family, Atrium respects and celebrates our children for who they are.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Massachusetts is $12,983 for elementary schools and $31,788 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Massachusetts is 71% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).