10 Private Elementary Schools Within 20 Minutes of Boston

If you live in Boston, one of the perks of enrolling your child in a private school, rather than taking your chances in the Boston Public Schools lottery, is the ability to expand your school search beyond the city limits.

The city of Boston offers many excellent educational opportunities for students starting in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten. But by adding the areas immediately outside the city to your search, you can maximize your chances of finding the perfect fit your child.

No matter which Boston neighborhood you call home, there is a high-quality private elementary school an easy commute away.

Here are the details on some of the most respected private elementary schools within a 20-minute drive of Boston (keeping in mind, of course, with the notorious Boston-area traffic, 20 minutes can quickly balloon into 45).

(Note: Driving times were calculated using Google Maps, starting in Boston’s popular Back Bay neighborhood, and ignoring traffic. “About” content was excerpted from each school’s website.)

The Fessenden School

About: The Fessenden School, located in West Newton, Mass., is a private boys’ day school, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 9, which offers boarding options for Grades 5-9. For more than 100 years, The Fessenden School has provided state-of-the-art facilities, curriculum, and programs specifically designed to meet the educational needs of boys.


Grades offered: Pre-K through ninth (boys only).

Address: 250 Waltham Street, West Newton, MA 02465

Driving time: 19 minutes.

The Park School

About: “The Park School has offered an exceptional independent education to boys and girls in pre-kindergarten through ninth grade since 1888. Today, our diverse student body of over 560 students comes from the Boston metropolitan area to a beautiful 34-acre campus in Brookline, Massachusetts near Jamaica Pond.”

Grades offered: Pre-K through ninth.

Address: 171 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445

Driving time: 15 minutes.

Dexter Southfield School

About: “Dexter Southfield School helps boys and girls develop their individual talents and build an ethical foundation for life. Through a classical education and single-sex programs, students learn to lead with confidence and serve with compassion, living by the motto, ‘Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow.’”

Grades offered: Pre-K through twelfth.

Address: 20 Newton Street, Brookline, MA 02445

Driving time: 16 minutes.

Brimmer and May School

About: “Brimmer and May is a Pre-K to 12 coeducational day school that upholds high academic standards while implementing innovative ideas. We develop lifelong learners who are informed, engaged, and ethical citizens and leaders in our diverse world.”

Grades offered: Pre-K through twelfth.

Address: 69 Middlesex Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Driving time: 17 minutes.

The Chestnut Hill School

About: “Like many well-established independent schools, Chestnut Hill strives to provide a balance between academic rigor and extracurricular enrichment. …The school is comprised of a preschool program (starting at age 3), an all-day Kindergarten, and Grades One through Six.”

Grades offered: Preschool through sixth.

Address: 428 Hammond St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Driving time: 18 minutes.

Atrium School

About: “Founded in 1982, Atrium is a progressive, independent co-ed day school. …Atrium’s balanced program incorporates arts, hands-on projects, and collaborative work in an environment that is creative, nurturing, and driven by values of social justice and equity.”

Grades offered: Pre-K through eighth.

Address: 69 Grove Street, Watertown, MA 02472

Driving time: 15 minutes.

Lesley Ellis School

About: “We are an independent school that offers children from Preschool to Grade 8 an innovative educational experience in an outstanding academic program.”

Grades offered: Preschool through eighth.

Address: 41 Foster Street Arlington, MA 02474

Driving time: 20 minutes.

Milton Academy

About: “Milton Academy cultivates in its students a passion for learning and a respect for others. Embracing diversity and the pursuit of excellence, we create a community in which individuals develop competence, confidence and character. …Milton Academy is an independent college preparatory K–12 school, boarding and day in grades 9–12.”

Grades offered: Kindergarten through twelfth.

Address: 170 Centre Street, Milton, MA 02186

Driving time: 16 minutes.

The Meadowbrook School of Weston

About: “Meadowbrook is a nationally-recognized, independent, JK-8 day school located in Weston, Mass. Our educational philosophy is based on exceptional teaching, innovative learning, and a welcoming community.”

Grades offered: Junior kindergarten through eighth.

Address: 10 Farm Rd. Weston, MA 02493

Driving time: 20 minutes.

Belmont Day School

About: “Belmont Day School strives to be a diverse community dedicated to academic excellence and intellectual discipline where students feel secure, experience the joys of learning, and know their accomplishments are valued.”

Grades offered: Pre-K through eighth.

Address: 55 Day School Lane , Belmont, MA 02478

Driving time: 20 minutes.

Take a Tour

If you plan on visiting any of the schools on this list (or any other private pre-K or kindergarten), you’ll find our Pre-K & Kindergarten Private School Visit Checklist very useful. It will help you make the most of your short time on campus with the 14 most important questions to ask.

Download the Pre-K & Kindergarten Private School Visit Checklist

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