The Fessenden School

The Fessenden School, West Newton MA, is more than an independent day and boarding school for boys in Pre-K-Grade 9.
It's the perfect intersection of tradition and innovation.  A place where tried and true educational techniques are woven seamlessly into a STEAM-inspired, passion-based curriculum.
A diverse, inclusive, and nurturing community that emphasizes academic excellence and character development.

Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked MA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-9
  • Enrollment: 537 students
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

The Fessenden School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Massachusetts for:

Category
Attribute
Sports offered
School History

School Overview

Religious Affiliation
Grades Offered
Grades Prekindergarten-9
ADD/ADHD Support
Yes
Learning Difference Programs
Yes
Learning Programs Supported
Dyslexia, Language-based or Mild Learning Differences
Year Founded
1903

Student Body

Total Students
537 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
35%
State avg.: 30%
Students by Grade
The Fessenden School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
99 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
5:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
74%
Average Class Size
12 students
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Formal
jacket and tie

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Jan. 15 / rolling
Tuition Notes
See website
% on Financial Aid
24%
Admissions Director
Caleb W. Thomson '79
Admissions Associate
Greg Hendrick
Endowment Size
$65.1 million

Sports

Extracurriculars

Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
15 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.
Arts and Music Programs:
Band, Choir, Digital Media, Film, Musicals, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, String Ensemble, Studio Art, Theater Arts, Theater Production, Visual Arts, Vocal Ensemble, Woodworking, Yearbook

School Notes

  • The Fessenden School is more than an independent day and boarding school for boys in Pre-K-Grade 9. It`s the perfect intersection of tradition and innovation. A place where tried-and-true educational techniques are woven seamlessly into a STEAM-inspired, passion-based curriculum. An inclusive and nurturing community that emphasizes academic excellence and character development.Parents recognize faculty for understanding how boys learn best and for providing the support that children need to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Educational leaders turn to Fessenden for guidance on developing curricula that encourage students to be creative problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and global citizens. Fessenden also has the distinction of being one of only a handful of schools in the world invited to partner with NuVu (an innovation school founded by MIT graduates) to deliver an academic program that prepares students for the world they will inherit.Fessenden embraces a student-centered, teacher-supported approach that promotes interactive exchange over direct instruction, collaboration over competition, and learning for life over learning for school. It is both project- and passion-based, because when a boy taps into a deep-rooted interest, he`s more invested in the process.
  • OUR CORE CURRICULUM:Fessenden is a place where boys grow and expand their minds, finding passions and interests to pique and satisfy their fervent intellectual curiosity. Intellectually, they take greater risks, exploring their passions through student-led projects, collaborative work, and a wide variety of electives. Classes move beyond concrete concepts to abstract learning. Boys unearth information, evaluate and process their findings, and share crafted conclusions with peers using verbal and written communication skills. Regardless of subject or activity, we emphasize process as much as the product-and, as a result, we witness the development of independent learners who are innovative, collaborative, creative, and respectful.We continue to offer resources to help boys master academic life, which includes independently organizing their day, meeting deadlines, and balancing academic and extracurricular activities. Upon graduating from the Upper School, boys are equipped with the knowledge, study skills, and leadership experience they need to smoothly transition and thrive at the secondary school of their choice.
  • OUR BOARDING PROGRAM:The Fessenden boarding experience is specifically designed to provide the academic, social, and emotional support boys need during the critical pre-teen/teen years. With a 2:1 student to adult ratio, Fessenden students experience the individualized mentorship and close supervision they need to successfully navigate their path to young adulthood.During the week, boys work hard in the classroom and play hard on the sports fields, but weekends are reserved for fun with friends and faculty. With 20-25 different activities offered each weekend, it is no wonder that Fessenden`s weekend program is considered one the best in the country.Fessenden attracts students from across the US and around the globe. Boys thrive in this diverse, inclusive, and nurturing community and leave with the critical skills, self-confidence, and worldview needed to succeed in secondary school and beyond.
  • OUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER PROGRAM: Fessenden`s English Language Learner (ELL) academic year program helps students build a foundation of conversational and academic English and solid understanding of the American social and cultural norms.Small classes (of 8-12 students) are tailored specifically to ELL students, who benefit from Fessenden`s approach to developing independent, 21st century learners. With individualized attention and tutoring support, ELL students quickly become equipped to succeed in mainstream academic classrooms at Fessenden, and at top American secondary schools and colleges
  • OUR OUTSTANDING RESIDENTIAL STAFF: Our residential staff brings experience, dedication, and enthusiasm that make a difference for each boy, every day. We believe in being partners in parenting in a way that supports and encourages boys. Our residential staff members aren`t just dorm parents; they`re teachers, advisors, coaches, and mentors. In fact, approximately 75 percent of the Upper School faculty lives on campus. Our residential faculty have been here, on average, more than 25 years-and being able to make a difference in the boys` lives on a daily basis is what keeps them here.
  • OUR APPROACH: Fessenden has offered a day and boarding program to boys for more than 100 years, and we`ve learned a few things in that time-including how to best meet the learning and developmental needs of boys ages 4 to 16. Our approach means we`re committed to helping boys grow through learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. Through boarding, we extend this commitment to the dorm, a faculty family`s home, a weekend trip, and beyond.
  • OUR WEEKEND PROGRAM:We're all about balance-working hard and playing hard, understanding that one reinforces the other. Fessenden`s weekend programming is the best in the country. With 20 to 25 options offered each weekend, boys choose from professional and collegiate sporting events; festivals and cultural happenings in and around Boston, including visits to world-renowned museums and historic sites; world-class music and theatrical performances; skiing, sailing, fishing, and hiking-or maybe just dinner and a movie at a dorm family`s apartment.
  • OUR LOCATION: With a beautiful 41-acre campus less than 15 minutes from Boston`s Logan International, Fessenden offers the space and facilities boys need to explore and learn -and the proximity to one of the most exciting cities in the world. We`re also an easy drive from some of the most popular mountains and ocean destinations in New England.
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Christopher Lloyd - Actor
    • Matt Nathanson - Musician
    • Peter Zwack - Brigadier General
    • John Kerry - U.S. Secretary of State
    • Howard Hughes - Businessman, Engineer, Philanthropist
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are famous alumni from The Fessenden School?
The Fessenden School famous alumni include: Christopher Lloyd, Matt Nathanson, Peter Zwack, John Kerry and Howard Hughes.
What sports does The Fessenden School offer?
The Fessenden School offers 18 interscholastic sports: Baseball, Basketball, Crew, Cross Country, Cycling, Flag Football, Football, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Mountain Biking, Nordic Skiing, Soccer, Squash, Tennis, Track and Field, Weightlifting and Wrestling. The Fessenden School is ranked as one of the top 20% of private schools in Massachusetts for most sports offered.
What is The Fessenden School's ranking?
The Fessenden School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Massachusetts for: Largest student body, Most sports offered and Oldest founding date.
When is the application deadline for The Fessenden School?
The application deadline for The Fessenden School is Jan. 15 / rolling (applications are due on Jan. 15 but additional applications are reviewed year-round as space permits ).

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Quick Stats (2024)

  • Top Ranked MA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-9
  • Enrollment: 537 students
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Middlesex County, MA is $27,573 for elementary schools and $44,615 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Middlesex County, MA is 61% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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