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2023 Guide to Schools: North Region

The Academy at Penguin Hall | 978-468-6200

Girls dancing in school play.

Nestled on a historic estate, surrounded by 50 sprawling acres of beautiful, natural landscape in Wenham, Mass., The Academy at Penguin Hall is the only independent all-girls college preparatory school north of Boston. Their community mission is to educate, enlighten, and empower young women to live and to lead exemplary lives. Their engaging and rigorous curriculum encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, experiential service-learning, effective communication, and collaboration. State-of-the-art science labs and our “Boardroom” prepare students for real-world workplaces. Creativity flourishes through a variety of courses offered in the humanities, arts, music, and theater. Competitive sports and extracurricular activities build leadership skills and bolster confidence beyond the classroom — where students are seen and heard. A personalized college counseling curriculum supports the exploration of right-fit colleges and universities across the globe. Extensive bus transportation routes and a five-day boarding program present viable options for distant commuting families to find better life balance. Visit and register to attend an upcoming information session: Oct. 11, Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 14, and Jan. 9, or call to schedule a personal tour or shadow day.

Acera: The Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity, and Leadership | 781-729

Three boys doing a computer project in the school lab.

Myth: Gifted students don’t need help; they’ll do fine on their own. Fact: Gifted students need guidance from well-trained teachers and parents who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities, be creative and inquire without fear. Acera, a nonprofit K-12 STEAM school in Winchester, believes that gifted students learn by tapping into their intrinsic motivation, with myriad questions and projects about the world. Every student has an individual learning plan, providing a runway that fits each child’s interests and potential. Their innovative program includes small math classes that are organized by ability rather than age, hands-on units in their life sciences lab, mentor-supported passion projects, time outdoors in the Adventure Playground, and creative electives in computing, engineering, architecture, woodworking, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Their approach to education results in highly engaged and happy kids who are motivated to learn and excited to come to school. After school and during summer break, kids can attend Acera’s Enrichment Programs, which were awarded Best in Boston by Boston magazine. Parents can learn more at one of Acera’s monthly Parent Information Sessions, or at the upcoming Open House and Math Festival on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Austin Preparatory School | 781-944-4900

Ballerinas dance on stage at Austin Prep- in the front, one male ballerina holds a female ballerina.

An Austin Prep education is preparation for the journey of life. The school’s mission is to “inspire hearts to unite, minds to inquire, and hands to serve.” It’s not the formal curriculum that prepares students to go the distance, it’s the unwritten curriculum of veritas, unitas, and caritas (truth, unity, love) that Austin Prep imprints on the hearts of graduates that guides them on their inner journey. The school’s academic program for young men and women covers seven years from grade 6 through grade 12. Because of this extended time shared with students, the school has the ability to offer wide-ranging opportunities for academic, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual growth at critical stages of a student’s adolescent development. Austin Prep believes all teachers and administrators share responsibility for students’ formation through direct instruction, the example of their daily behavior, language, and demeanor, and support of students’ participation in the spiritual life of the school. Community has always been at the core of an Augustinian education. Understanding and appreciating this principle of community is one of the most important focuses of Austin Prep’s approach to education. “At Austin Prep, we are on a journey that is life-changing and important,” says Head of School James Hickey, Ph.D. “Our patron, St. Augustine, embarked on a journey for the truth. At our core is an institution on the same journey, committed to exemplary teaching and learning.” An Open House will be held Oct. 22, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Berwick Academy | 207-384-2164

Girl watering plants at school garden.

Berwick’s innovative curriculum and student-directed learning nurture a skills-based approach to education, challenging students through application of real-world skills and empowering them to
reach their potential. The premier Pre-K through grade 12 co-ed independent school in southern
Maine since 1791, Berwick enrolls 550 students on a sprawling campus with faculty who support
learning that is project- and place-based, collaborative, and profoundly interdisciplinary.
Berwick’s co-ed day program serves students from ME, NH, and MA, and is enhanced by a
small residential program for boys. Berwick is easy to travel to, with bus stops in West Newbury,
Newburyport, Portsmouth, Exeter, Stratham, Rye, Hampton, Durham, Newmarket, Dover,
Greenland, Epping, Newfields, Wolfeboro, and many Maine stops. Their focus on wellness, public purpose, and building an authentic community ensures all students are known, receive
individualized attention, and develop moral character. Berwick has a new Flexible Tuition
program that supports enrollment for a wide range of family incomes. Learn about Flexible
Tuition, bus routes, and upcoming Open House events at

Brewster Academy | 603-569-7200

Boat house on river lined with large stones and trees in full bloom.

You can be you at Brewster! Brewster’s mission to prepare diverse thinkers for lives of purpose drives every aspect of academic and campus life in the most positive ways. At their idyllic lakeside campus in Wolfeboro, N.H., students in grades 9 through 12 and post-grads learn in a team setting, where they can do their best without beating each other. They offer university-level athletics facilities and an impressive, completely renovated student center and home for the arts that includes a dance studio, cafe, and black box theater, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, darkroom, ceramics studio, and robotics lab. Then there’s Lake Winnipesaukee: With a half mile of shoreline, a boathouse, and two beaches, Brewster is able to offer students experiences in and on the water unlike any other. With the community’s core values of respect, responsibility, independence, and interdependence front and center, Brewster is a school where academic success, personal growth, community spirit, and joy are shared in equal measure. See for yourself why students say they feel valued there for who they are. Open Houses happening Sept. 20 and Oct. 9. Learn more at or contact the Admissions Office at 603-569-7200 or via email at [email protected].

Glen Urquhart School | 978-927-1064

Students looking at plants in a greenhouse.

A challenging academic program combined with the excitement of discovery makes for an
engaging learning environment for students at the Glen Urquhart School (GUS). Established in
1977 on 23 acres in Beverly Farms, Mass., the campus encourages exploration across its winding nature trails, wetlands, 7,000-square-foot greenhouse, outdoor classrooms, and expansive play spaces. The school has long promoted learning through hands-on participation that encourages students to better understand themselves as learners, while also promoting curiosity, community, respect, social responsibility, and sustainability. An intentional blend of academic and social-emotional skill development, arts, and athletics keeps children engaged physically, intellectually, and emotionally. The GUS curriculum is rooted in academics and brought to life through grade-level themes and experiential learning. Whether it’s a trip to the beach to explore tidal pools or a musical production by the entire eighth-grade class, students are active and involved in their learning. Exploration, challenge, and discovery remain the key philosophy behind Glen Urquhart School, where students from Pre-K through grade 8 are taught to be passionate in their pursuit of knowledge. To learn more about Glen Urquhart School and visit campus, contact [email protected].

Lawrence Academy | 978-448-6535

Aerial view of beautiful school campus in Autumn.

Lawrence Academy (LA), an independent school for grades 9 through 12, is located in Groton, Mass. LA’s mission focuses on recognizing students for who they are, inspiring them to take responsibility for who they want to become, and empowering them to take action for the greater good. The LA community includes an even split of 400 boarding and day students and prides itself on a warm, welcoming, and compassionate culture. Individualized learning and empowerment are cornerstones of the program, a focus that extends to athletics, the arts, clubs, community service, and experiential learning. Skilled at “teaching for understanding,” faculty use innovative methods to help students learn in the way best suited for them. The daily advisory system uses students’ interests, needs, and passions to help build pathways to individual goals and aspirations. The school seeks to see students grow in knowledge, confidence, and empathy and be able to make a meaningful contribution to the world once they leave campus. Fall Open Houses: September, October, and November. To learn about LA and to register for Fall admissions events, visit

Pingree School | 978-468-4415

Pingree School is a vibrant, independent secondary day school located on Boston’s North Shore, serving students from more than 50 towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It’s a community of ambitious learners, empowered to take on new challenges in a balanced and joyful environment. Pingree’s award-winning faculty redefines the classroom experience, keeping the pursuit of knowledge with courage and imagination at the core. With more than 150 full-credit courses and half-credit electives offered, students have the freedom to dive deeply into a familiar subject as well as stretch their knowledge in new interest areas. The state-of-the-art facilities are catalytic spaces where students discover new passions and take existing ones to the next level. At Pingree, you’re just getting started discovering who you are and defining your future. In the classroom, on the athletic fields, and across the stage, Pingree students are supported and guided by a robust community dedicated to helping students to realize their full potential in all that they do. Come see for yourself all that Pingree has to offer at the Fall Open House on Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is not required. Details at

The Putney School | 802-387-5566

Child riding a bike through a forest while wearing black helmet.

The Putney School was built by progressive education. Project-based learning might be fashionable now, but more than 75 years ago, The Putney School decided that traditional education wasn’t good enough. Today, Putney is a co-educational independent boarding school that still works exactly like their founder intended. In southeastern Vermont, they continue to teach students in grades 9 through 12 how to think creatively, act confidently, and prepare for a successful and meaningful life. On 500 acres filled with ambition and opportunity, they empower every student to take charge of their education. They pursue their passions through rigorous, expansive academic programs. They practice responsibility and resilience by working jobs around the school. They stay active, embrace curiosity, and follow their artistic impulses. Whether they’re learning another language, exploring dance, or spending a semester abroad, students get life-fulfilling experiences as they gain knowledge and friendships. The Putney School works. Their way of thinking, doing, and learning can’t be found anywhere else. The result? A person who is wholeheartedly, adventurously, and undeniably Putney — a highly engaged citizen ready to do right by themselves and the world. Want to learn more? Contact the admissions team.

Shore Country Day School | 978-927-1700

Four girls swinging on tire swing in park.

Spark curiosity. Embrace challenge. Be inspired for life. Shore Country Day School offers a joyful, adventurous learning environment, where children step outside of their comfort zones, become creative problem solvers, and develop a genuine love for learning. Recess, physical education, and team sports are core to Shore’s program, and the school’s Community Code exemplifies a deep dedication to the well-being of the whole child. Inside the Center for Creativity, robust offerings in studio arts, music, drama, design, and engineering prepare students to thrive in a changing world that values agile thinking. Students engage in hands-on learning inside their classrooms, in the state-of-the-art Innovation Lab, and through the renowned outdoor education and service learning programs. With mentorship from caring teachers and coaches, students discover the excitement of experiencing the world with curiosity, compassion, and courage. Shore, located in Beverly, Mass., is a Pre-K through grade 9 independent school, with after school care options and five bus routes throughout the North Shore. Learn more and schedule your tour at

Tower School | 781-631-5800

Three boys holding freshly harvested produce.

Tower School’s engaging Pre-K through grade 8 curriculum provides exciting, hands-on, and outdoor learning experiences that make the most of the school’s abundant natural resources; nurture the development of critical thinking and creativity; and develop skills in engineering, programming, and entrepreneurship. The school is also equally ambitious for students’ childhoods, and honors that with a robust social-emotional curriculum throughout the grades, plus daily time for joyful curiosity and essential physical activity. Students grow to become articulate, kind, confident, self-motivated learners who develop the skills for academic and personal achievement throughout their lives. Families are invited to visit Tower throughout the year to learn about the school’s mission, academic program, and extraordinary community of learners and families. Families are also encouraged to discuss their goals for their children’s education — an essential step for finding the ideal school for your family. Visit online to register for events, or to request a one-on-one conversation with an admissions team member. Fall events on Oct. 27 include a tour of Tower’s unique outdoor learning environments for students, including wetlands, pollinator gardens, woods, coastline, and greenhouse. On Nov. 16 and 17 Tower is holding a presentation on the Secondary School counseling program during their open house. Additional information can be found at

Waring school | 978-927-8793

Three students participating in discussion in classroom.

Waring School is a grades 6 through 12 day school in Beverly, about 30 minutes north of Boston. The Waring student embraces intellectual risk-taking and develops critical thinking and agency, cultivating a unique voice to serve the community, locally, and globally. Through immersive travel and shared, mixed-age experiences, the Waring community catalyzes personal and collective stewardship, creating active, engaged, compassionate citizens. Waring features a robust liberal arts curriculum across all grades, and students emerge articulate, empathetic, inquisitive global citizens who are introspective and curious about themselves and the world around them — young adults who know that risk-taking leads to learning and growth. In 2023, Waring School’s First Tech Challenge Robotics Team was first in the world, winning the Inspire Award at the FTC world championships in Houston. The team will travel to Singapore in October to represent the US at the First Global Competition. At Waring School, students have the opportunity to be athletes, roboticists, debaters, thespians, linguists, passionate students of literature and history, mathematicians, musicians, scholars, and friends. Sign up for Open Houses on Oct. 21 and Nov. 10, and visit the beautiful campus in Beverly. Email [email protected] with inquiries and to schedule a tour, or to register for an open house. 


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