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Sweet! Have a

Delicious Holiday

4 Local Bakeries


20 in December Pg. 16

Great Gifts for the Holidays

Pg. 8

Find the Right Educational Experience for your Child Pg. 27


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Boston Parents Paper | December 2020


December 2020 • Volume 35 • Number 12

4 Family F.Y.I.

• Holiday Injury Prevention..... 4 • Festival of Lights..................... 6 • Take a Flexcation in 2021........... 6

7 Baker’s Gift Guide

Great Gifts for the Holidays

8 11


Celebrating the Holidays During Quarantine

12 4 Local Bakeries

With Amazing Holiday Treats



Boston Parent 841 Worcester Street Suite 344 Natick, MA 01760 • 617-522-1515 Visit us online at

PUBLISHER | Parenting Media, Inc ART DIRECTOR | Debbi Murzyn ASSOCIATE EDITOR | Jean Abernathy ADVERTISING SALES Holly Castro, David Morney


Find the Right Educational Experience for your Child

• Why Consider Private Schools? ......... 27 • Private School Listings....................... 28 • Financial Aid: Basic Information You Should Know................................. 35 • Basic Timeline for Applying to a Private School.............................. 36 Boston Parents Paper is published monthly by Parenting Media Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Copies of Boston Parents Paper are distributed to locations throughout Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts. Past

issues are available on our website, Send letters to the editor or article submissions to editor@ Submit events to our Family Friendly Calendar at

December 2020 |


Family F.Y.I. Holiday Injury Prevention Giana Cofman, Boston Children’s Hospital




hat’s roughly the average amount of money Americans will spend on Christmas gifts in 2020 which is down from quite a bit from 2019 when people spent $1048. This year’s projected online holiday sales are expected to soar to over $189 billion, up an amazing 34% from last. But be warned! It will be harder to buy gifts last minute. Several online retailers are using an earlier cutoff date, around December 17th, to guarantee Christmas arrival. This change occurred because of the incredible amount of shipping delays last year along with additional limitations due to Covid-19. The other big change this year is that more people are shopping early. There were a record number of people who were done with their holiday shopping by the beginning of November. With Amazon’s delayed Prime Day occurring in October prompting other retailers to offer competitive sales, Black Friday came early for many retailers.


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

s we transition from fall festivities to holiday celebrations, one thing that should not change is choosing safe toys for children to play with during the year. In 2018, about 226,100 people visited the emergency room due to toy-related injuries with about 73% of the patients being children under the age of 15. Being cautions when buying toys will help your family have a safe and happy holiday season! Keep these tips in mind as you check items off their wish list. Selecting age-appropriate toys. Age-specific toys can offer guidelines on the safety of the toy and the ability of the child to play with the toy. For young children, it is important to look out for choking hazards. Government regulations specify that children under 3 should not be exposed to parts that are less than 1.25 inches in diameter and 2.25 inches long. If the gift is for an older child, such as bicycles, skateboards, or scooters, don’t forget a helmet with this purchase. Carefully read the label for art materials. If the present includes crayons or paint sets, make sure the packaging is marked with the designation “ASTM D-4236” which signifies that it has been reviewed by a toxicologist. Store toys in a safe box when they’re not being played with. Toy boxes can be dangerous for children when they’re searching for toys. Look for ones with no top or that have lightweight, removable lids. If the box has a hinged lid, be sure that it has lid support that holds the lid open at any angle. Children may get trapped inside toy boxes, so consider getting one that has ventilation holes or a gap between the lid and box. Test the toy’s volume. Noise-inducing hearing loss results from exposure to loud noise. Purchasing noise-canceling headphones or earbuds will reduce the likelihood of the child turning up the volume to cancel out external noise. Check the Sight & Hearing Association’s Noisy Toys study to see if any of the products you are hoping to get are listed. Putting tape over the speaker or removing the batteries instantly makes the toy a safer product to play with as well. Sign up for recall lists. Toys that are recalled should be removed right away. Sites like, Safe Kids Worldwide, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) frequently update which toys have been recalled. Consider toys that will build development skills. When choosing toys for babies and toddlers, consider ones that will build their developmental skills as well as keep their attention. Toys that allow the child to be hands-on and actively participate, like shape sorters, stacking blocks, and baby-safe puzzles, are a great way to develop motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills. The holidays are the perfect time to connect with friends and family. Everyone can have fun watching movies and drinking hot cocoa without worrying about children’s safety with their new toys. Remember these tricks as you move into the new season and have a happy holiday!

continued on page 6 >>>


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Family F.Y.I. <<< continued from pg. 4

Festival of Lights


his year the first night of Hanukkah falls on December 10, ending on December 18, at sunset. The holiday always begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, but never falls on the same day each year on the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah, the Hebrew word for “dedication,” is also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of the Maccabees.

The 2021 Flexcation


id you do a Flexcation in 2020? A Flexcation is a new type of travel born out of the need for families, after having to cancel pre-Covid-19 vacation plans, to get a change of scenery, different from the four walls of their home, where parents work and school age children learn, together, while traveling safely, On Flexcations, parents continue to work and kids continue their studies but at the end of the day, they turn off the laptop and explore the outdoors together as a family. Flexcations are a longer trip than a weekend getaway and allow for families to travel more during the less crowded shoulder seasons. Vrbo, a company which unites travelers with vacation rental properties rental by owners on the Vrbo website, just released the results of an extensive survey to families with children under 18 as to what they plan for vacations in the new year. Already, 8 out of 10 families are


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

planning their Spring and Summer vacations with 61% seeking vacation homes at or near outdoor locations within driving distance from home. Driving distance changes depending on where you live. New Englanders consider driving distance to be within two hours’ drive or a distance of 100-150 miles according to Karen Fuller, senior director of global market research at Vrbo. Also, families are seeking vacation homes that are a destination unto themselves, just in case businesses get locked down again. In 2021, pandemic travel habits will stick around: Road trips with an affinity for the great outdoors, and taking Flexcations show no signs of slowing down. Once travel returns, families are looking to go all out on their future vacations. Countless families canceled vacations in 2020, so they are willing to pull out all the stops when travel returns to normal. Outdoor travel locations will continue to usurp urban trips for the foreseeable future. a

By the Numbers


of families say they are more likely to drive instead of fly on their next trip.


of U.S. families said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one.


of travelers who took a Flexcation this year found the experience refreshing and 67% said they would do it again.


of travelers plan on traveling more than they did pre-COVID and 33% are willing to spend more than they traditionally would.


say they are more likely to take their bucket list trip.


Gift Guide

Tools to create your favorite holiday treats. Handheld Vitamix Immersion Blender ®

Perfect for the smoothie lover! This powerful immersion blender takes the mess out of making refreshing smoothies, savory soups or zesty salsa’s at record speed. Cleanup is a breeze with the dishwasher-safe, detachable wand. $149.99, Available at Amazon.

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GoodCook® Sweet Creations Textured Bakeware Perfect for the baker. These solid, scratch resistant nonstick coating bakeware options are textured in a diamond pattern for proper air-flow with bakery-style sidewalls to create straighter edges for professional-looking baked goods. All bakeware items have the size clearly marked of each item! No guessing on if you have the right size cake pan. $8.99 & up, Available at Amazon.

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Gift Guide

By Elena Epstein, Director of the National Parenting Product Awards

The Monkey Mind Meditation Deck Help children become more present, confident, and capable of handling difficult emotions. This vibrant deck offers 30 simple practices to explore the transformative power of mindfulness in a playful way. $17.95, ages 4+, html

Songs Across the Pond This transatlantic alliance, pairing of the acclaimed American kids musician and standout UK family music maker, results in a thoroughly triumphant partnership – a hooky, sunny 60s-flavored rock ‘n’ roll collection that the whole family will enjoy. $13.99,

Under-The-Sea Mermaid Palace Splash into an undersea adventure with exciting play spaces built in, including a royal throne, slides, clamshell bed, seashell vanity, working gate and swing. $49.99, ages 3 – 8,

Robo Wunderkind Explorer Prime Kit Robotics kits that empower children as young as 5 to learn to code through the joy of play. Young inventors can build their own robots and gadgets, customize them with LEGO™, and program them through the intuitive apps. $249, ages 5-14,


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

For more product reviews visit

Gift Guide Insulated Sportee Bottle Made for active toddlers, offers chilled drinking with a big kid look, featuring an insulated base to keep drinks cool and easy-grip sides. $13.99, https://

Ripclear Kid’s Shield

All the Ladies

Makers of the advanced protective film for outdoor sports eyewear have launched a new children’s face shield designed to help protect kids from the COVID-19 virus at school, play and home. Available in pink bunny and panda and lined with 3/4” foam around the forehead to reduce pressure points, and held in place with a soft elastic headband. Has received medical device certification from the FDA. $19.99/5 pack, ages 4-9,

A new collection of songs focused on gender equality, female empowerment & breaking glass ceilings. Written by Joanie Leeds and produced, recorded and performed entirely by women. $10, ages 5-8, http://

Jeepers Peepers ® The “Ask and Answer” Question Game Party Pack Am I a monkey? A hamburger? An astronaut? A car? That’s the question on everyone’s mind – or glasses. A hilarious family game with 208 cards, 12 pairs of glasses, spinner, bingo chips and game ideas. $59.85, ages 6+, view.aspx?pid=JP10&s=jeepers-peepersparty-pack

continued on page 10 >>>

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December 2020 |


Gift Guide <<< continued from pg. 9

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness and sunshine. $16.99, ages 7-10,ée-Watson/dp/154760056X

Band Together Duck is a solo act, but in this delightful book he learns all about the joys of friendship. $14.99, ages 4-8, pubs/magination/band-together

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Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

Celebrating the Holidays By Sarah Lyons


s flu season approaches and the risk for coronavirus continues to rise in most states, families are wondering how to celebrate the holidays this season. According to the CDC “Christmas is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.” Making Christmas feel special will require creativity and even more advanced planning this year. Here are some ideas to spark inspiration to help you plan a memorable lower risk celebration.

Take it outside If weather allows, host your family Christmas outdoors. With social distancing, outdoor events are safer than social interactions indoors. Forgo the typical holiday meal and consider roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on a fire pit and enjoy the fresh air.

Host a cooking challenge If you decide to stay home and would like an alternative to the big traditional Christmas dinner, try and host a cooking challenge at home. Have each family member prepare a meal (or part of a meal) and vote on a winner. Take the photos to social media to see who gets the most votes.

e n i t n a r a u Q During

Downsize One of the best parts of the holidays is spending time with extended family. This year, try downsizing and limit the amount of people you have over for dinner. For the lowest risk, do not have anyone outside of your household. If you do decide to host others, keep it to a few people and have them quarantine prior to attending. Ask others to stay home if they have any flu-like symptoms, fever, or are not feeling well. If possible, be outside.

Travel safely (if at all) The holidays have historically been the biggest travel weeks of the year. This year, avoid travel as much as possible. If you must, use best known practices to keep your family safe. Consider driving instead of flying. Stay in a hotel rather than at a family member’s home. Wear a mask when visiting with family. Wash hands frequently and quarantine before returning to work or school.

Get creative with dinner

It’s hard to miss out on the yearly tradition of gathering with family over dinner. Consider delivering a no contact meal

to friends or family who are alone on the holidays and then hosting a virtual dinner so you can socialize while you eat.

Shop differently The holidays are the biggest shopping weeks of the year, they will look very different this year. Instead of heading out to the stores for your holiday shopping, order online and ask for no contact pickup. When shopping for your holiday meal groceries, try to do so at non-peak hours or shop online for grocery delivery or pickup. As you plan your holiday celebrations please take into consideration the guidelines set by the CDC and your local government. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and be extra careful if you are in the high-risk category. The safest option is to stay home, but if you would like to gather with the lowest risk possible, consider these ideas or get creative and come up with your own way to celebrate this year. a Sarah Lyons is a mother of six, including two-year-old triplet and is a frequent contributor to our magazine .

December 2020 |



By Alyson Gregory


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

Is there anything more magical than a bakery during the holiday season?


akers and pastry chefs shine bright this most wonderful time of year, cueing their most delectable holiday treats and traditions so you can provision all your parties, big and small (including the pajama kind!). Check out these local sweet spots for treats of all shapes and sizes decked out for every feast on your calendar!



egendary North End Bova’s bakery keeps their doors open 24 hours a day so you can satisfy your sweetest cravings morning, noon, and night! From just bread and coffee in 1926 to flourishing, full-scale bakery, three generations have perfected authentic Italian baking so you can bring everyone’s favorite treats home for the holidays. Want to start a new tradition? Serve the more cream than cake individual Tiramisu cups for an unexpected holiday dessert—just-voted #1 in the country by Phantom Gourmet! Bova’s understands that holidays should truly be filled with cookies— and turns out thousands of assorted holiday offerings including Italian specialty Anise snowballs, Pistachio Macaroons, and Amaretto orange cream filled delights, perfect anytime, anywhere. Get festive with an edible display of Red Velvet whoopie pies or Strawberry Brick cake along with pastries galore. Finally, swap the Peppermint Stick ice cream feast

for a peppermint-filled cannoli platter and challenge the family to a guessing game of how many different ways you can fill a cannoli at Bova’s! Tired of cooking? Order hot and cold prepared food made on location and lay out the freshest-ingredient party subs (up to 6-feet of sandwich) for a well-rounded Italian holiday. And don’t forget the famed Arancini or Rice Balls! Boston, www.

Ginger Betty’s Bakery


ou may have guessed from the name what makes this bakery so sweet—and if it was gingerbread, you’d be right! Sugar and spice and everything nice celebrates its 25th holiday season at Ginger Betty’s bakery in Quincy where the magic of gingerbread comes to life. Celebrate the season with old-fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth ginger snaps and a festive collection of decadent holiday cookies showcasing mittens, ornaments, stockings, snowmen and more! Have a family gingerbread decorating tradition? Skip the storebought package this year and pick up Betty’s favorite cookie kits and assembled DIY gingerbread houses complete with frosting bags and extra candy for eating for a sweet stay-at-home activity. Spread the ginger joy and order holiday gift baskets for friends brimming with goodies in the spirit of Ginger Betty’s motto: Sharing Cookies, Making Friends! Curbside pickup, shipping, and local delivery. Quincy, continued on page 14 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 13

Flour Bakery + Cafe



s this the year of the Chocolate Buche de Noel? Whether it’s the debut or a longstanding family tradition, make it your standout holiday centerpiece with Flour’s famed flourless chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse covered in ganache and decorated with meringue mushrooms and figs covered in chocolate, cocoa nibs, and fresh cranberries. Want to delight your kids? Order the playful melting snowman cookies decorated with a marshmallow head to look like they’re melting and check out this years’ baking kits as part of Joanne’s Flour Love IG Live series for a holly jolly family activity (melted snowman cookies included). Give yourself a housewarming with morning treats and trimmings and sides on your big day—after all you are truly the host with the most this year! Gift packages, pickup, and delivery options online. Boston, www.

Georgetown Cupcake


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

via the Georgetown Cupcake App; Contactless pick-up, delivery, and overnight nationwide shipping. Boston, a Alyson Young Gregory is a native New Yorker, and Bostonbased freelance writer, mother, and Holistic Health Educator specializing in Ayurveda. She loves finding local treasures to share with our community.



nchant all creatures great and small with a dazzling array of holiday cupcakes almost too pretty to eat from specialty bakeshop Georgetown Cupcake. From Hanukkah to New Year’s, these designer beauties will be the crown jewels of all your seasonal celebrations and the most delightful gift for all of your helpers near and far! Ever wonder what Santa’s or Mrs. Claus’ favorite dozen are? Order the December 2020 specialty assortments and find out! Can you guess whose features the ‘Reindeer Munch Crunch’ cupcakes with peppermint chocolate ganache centers and white chocolate buttercream frosting topped with crushed peppermint? And what does chocolate eggnog taste like? Joy to the world for Boston’s own Newbury’s Christmas Collection Dozen and the Winter Wonderland Dozen shimmering and glimmering with sanding sugar and icy blue and white snowflake fondant decorations—possibly even better than visions of sugarplums...Order online or

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hether you have out of town guests to entertain or just want to experience some holiday magic with your family, there’s plenty of ways to make the season merry and bright while staying close to home this December. From winter nature encounters to the latest and greatest light displays, New England holiday traditions abound. Keep the old, start some new, and get festive with your loved ones checking off this holiday bucket list!

Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020


#1 Magic of Lights at Gillette Stadium

Foxborough — What better place to kick off your holiday festivities

than at the home of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots? Boston’s favorite stadium hosts the spectacular Magic of Lights drive-thru experience for the first time ever featuring hallmark displays including the 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland, and Night Before Christmas along with the newly created Blizzard Tunnel! Grab a thermos of hot cocoa, surprise your family, and buckle up for this dazzling mile-long stretch of bright lights and digital animation sure to become your newest family tradition. Runs nightly thru January 2nd. DECEMBER 5, 12

#2 Family Owl Prowl & Night Hike PHOTO COURTESY OF MASS AUDUBON

Milton — Put your nocturnal senses

to the test and step out into the magic of nature at nighttime on a semi-private hike with Naturalist Kathleen Regan to explore the Blue Hills Reservation. The adventure begins outdoors at the Trailside museum where you’ll meet some resident owls, then search for other nocturnal life, and even take your best shot at practicing your owl calls! Registration required.

continued on page 18 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 17



Winter Backyard Birding, 10:30am, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Learn to use binoculars, go on a bird hike and create some seed and fruit art for the birds to enjoy. Registration required. Youth, $7. 617-983-8500;

WEST Valentine Card Making Party, 10am, The Eric Carle Museum, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst. Pop in to make — Curious beavers? Explore special valentines for your about family, friends or classmates. $12 perinpair or trio. theRegistration Troiano recommended. Brookside Trail this walk-about 413-658-1100;


program at near dusk when beavers become active get busy! Become a nature detective 29 and Sunday Matias Latelier, 10:30am, Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., and look to theForest, landscape toCoolidge discover how these The Enchanted 10:30am, Corner Arlington. An hour of magic and surprises from a Chilean Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. a youth to magician and mentalist. Adults, $10; youth, $8. unique mammals alter riversArtbarn, and streams community theater company, presents the tale of a 781-646-4849; create their perfect habitats and protect their family vacation gone wrong. Adults, $13; youth, $10. SOUTH families. Examine a beaver skin and skull, keep 617-734-2501; Tracking the Winter Wild Thing, 9am, Francis William eyes and ears open for a visit, and learn Bird Park, 251 Washington St., Walpole. See Jan. 14 listing. your NORTH Winter Fest, noon tobehavior 3pm, Ward Reservation, funWard facts about beaver you’ll take with Winter Warm Up, 2-6pm, World’s End, Hingham. Get Andover. Explore the property on a guided hike, or outdoors for hiking, sledding, snowshoeing, owl prowls you on all your outdoor adventures. Registration bring your snowshoes and sled to play. Then warm up and tales around the campfire. Adults, $10; youth, free. with refreshments by the fi re. $10 per car. 978-886-5297; required. 781-740-7233; Family Owl Prowl, 7pm, Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton. Practice owl calls and meet some of the DECEMBER 19 museum’s resident owls before going on a night hike to search for them. Registration required. $10. 617-983-8500;

#4 Winter Wonders

Stargazing: Jewels of the Night, 7pm, North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. Join — How do animals survive theyou astronomy enthusiast Peter Reed as he guides through the constellations. Registration required. New England winter? Uncover the $13. 781-837-9400;


cold, many wonders of local wildlife at the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary as you ENTERTAINMENT explore tracks in the snow and search for Celebrate clues left behind by birds and animals about everything in winter survival. Learn about the foods they 2017 at eat and how they keep from being eaten! Children 8 & up. Registration required. Rosalita's Puppets 617-633-2832

31 Tuesday WEST Backwards Storytime, 10am, The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Celebrate National Backwards Day with silly stories and activities. Free with admission. 978-264-4200;

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#5 ZooLights

Stoneham — See your favorite animals in a dazzling new light as you stroll

through a winter wonderland twinkling with hundreds of thousands of holiday lights at this beloved Stone Zoo tradition. Be camera-ready for the beautifullyilluminated Yukon Creek, large-scale lantern displays, and nonstop perfect phot backdrops. Santa’s busy in the North Pole, but can you find the reindeer? Advance ticket purchase required. Runs through January 3rd.

continued on page 20 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 19

#7 Family Holiday Stroll & Festive Parade of Trees


North Andover ­Let your

#6 Holiday Trellis at Christopher Columbus Park

Boston — Take an enchanting walk through “the best holiday

decoration in Boston” and immerse yourself in a sea of 50,000 illuminated blue lights adorning the park’s 260-foot trellis. Need ideas for a quick holiday date night? This iconic spot has also been named one of “The Ten Most Romantic Places in Boston”. Regardless of who’s in tow, visit an Italian restaurant and pastry shop in the North End for the perfect holiday rendezvous. 20

Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

community spirit shine as you wander through a specially designed winter lightscape on the grounds of The Stevens-Coolidge Place showcasing dozens of holiday trees decorated by local businesses and organizations. Looking for ways to teach your kids about charity and holiday giving? This year’s event incorporates a food drive to help Neighbors in Need—bring a canned good donation to leave behind when voting for your favorite tree! Good to know: on-site refreshments available for purchase at the Ashdale Farms Snack Shack. Registration required. www.thetrustees.



#8 Powisset Farm’s Haybale Tree Lighting Dover —Inspire some

rustic touches to your holidays this year and delight in a country-style celebration of the season at Powisset Farm’s annual haybale tree lighting event where you can sip hot chocolate and enjoy the magic of the farm after dark. continued on page 22 >>>

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#9 Greater Boston Celebration of Lights THROUGH JANUARY 3

#10 Winter at the Southwick’s Zoo

Southwick — This enchanting Drive

Thru tour will take you through the Frozen Forest where they may spot a few of the fallow deer. Guests will also drive through Whoville to encounter the Grinch himself. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the yeti! Afterwards, park your vehicle and stroll through Santa’s Enchanted Village. Here guests can enjoy a socially distanced meet and greet with Santa Claus as well as entertainment, interactive musical lights, reindeer games, a petting zoo, and more. Concessions will be available in this area, so be sure to warm up with a hot toddy or smores! Weds. - Sat., 4:30 8:30 pm. 22

Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

#11 Smolak Farms

North Andover — What’s a little arctic air when you’re

on the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree with your family? Choose-n-Cut your own at this picturesque New England farm complete with fallow deer where staff will help you secure the perfect Fraser or Balsam tree from the fields. Like what you see in the lot? Choose from over 1,000 fresh cut trees in a range of sizes, stock up on winter decorations, and visit the farm stand for doughnuts, hot chocolate, and an apple crisp to take home.


drive-thru holiday light show this holiday season. Over 1-mile of roadway will be transformed into glittering display of over 1-million led lights and animatronic scenes. The holiday event is designed to give guests a safe, holiday experience from within their own vehicle. Music will play through the vehicle fm radio system enhancing the festivities. Event held nightly. www.


Waltham — Don’t miss this

#13 Reindeer Quest Southborough — Where have all PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TRUSTEES.ORG

the reindeer gone? Pull on some snow pants and go on an outdoor winter quest for the elusive herd of wooden reindeer found along the trails at Chestnut Hill Farm. Place a bell around each one’s neck as you find them and strike a pose with your favorite! What would you name a reindeer? Bells and directions at trailhead parking lot kiosk. Self-guided throughout the month of January.


#12 The Polar Express Train Ride

Buzzards Bay — Climb on board for a round-trip rail journey to

the North Pole and relive a young child’s magical Christmas Eve adventures brought to life on the only officially licensed Polar Express north of New Jersey. Meet santa and his elves, sing with the merry-making cast, and read along with the beloved children’s book— all set to the exciting sounds of the motion picture soundtrack! Children receive a souvenir golden ticket and keepsake to keep the memories alive all holiday season, and this year’s event features a special tent to visit before traveling home for individually wrapped cookies and hot chocolate. Festive jammies please!

continued on page 24 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 23

#14 Urban Adventure Quest family’s very own interactive gameboard for the ultimate Amazing Race adventure! Your two-mile journey begins at Boston Common and takes you across the historic Freedom Trail to the mouthwatering Italian North End for a scavenger hunt full of challenges to complete and clues to solve. Play with your family outdoors with one of the two self-guided Boston Quests courses to choose from. Competitive by nature? This smart phone-guided walking tour even lets you compare your score to others or better yet, form multiple teams to compete with friends! For tickets and infomation visit the website. What secrets and hidden gems will you uncover? Use discount code, BPP20 to receive 20% off tickets.





Boston — Turn the city of Boston into your

12:54 PM

Exxcel Gymnastics and Climbing TM


2015 Catch Olympic fever and see why we were voted Family Favorite two years in a row!




Now Enrolling for Fall Sept. 6th – Dec. 10th

Trial Classes Available Gymnastics • Rock Climbing Circus Arts • Cheerleading Vacation Camps • Birthday Parties Morning Preschool Programs An Exxcel-ent way to start the day! Mom, Dad & Tots – Ages 18 months – 3 years

Exxcel Gymnastics and Climbing Tiny Tumblers Ages 2.5 – 3 years

Give the Gift of Winter Fun Tumble, Turn & Learn Wednesdays & Fridays 9 am – 12 pm (ages 3 - 5 years)

December Vacation Camp

December 21-24 & December 28-31 Ages 4 and up!

9am to 3pm with morning (8-9am) and afternoon (3-4pm) extended day available



Trial Classes Available FALL OPEN HOUSE Saturday, Sept. 10th

Meet our staff and check out our facility. Enjoy open gym activities, zip-line, foam pit, bungee, trampoline, rock wall and more. 2 - 3 pm for ages 18 months - 4 years 3 - 4 pm for ages 5 years and up WINNER TM







Where Kids Matter Most

88 Wells Avenue • Newton • MA


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

88 Wells Avenue • Newton • MA • 02459 617-244-3300 617-244-3300 • •

DECEMBER 16, 17, 19

#16 Preschool Story HourSnowflake Science Worcester — Stimulate your toddler’s mind


and get their body moving with a winterthemed activity hour that includes a handson project, story, and naturalist-led walk at Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. Outdoor learning? Yes, please! Layer up and discover the joys of an outside pavilion turned classroom in wintertime and encourage a connection to nature and the place you live! DECEMBER 9 - 18

#15 Brighter Connected Art Installations Boston — It is a mitzvah (good deed)

on Hanukkah to “publicize the miracle” of the oil that lasted 8 days. Brighter Connected Art Installations is showcasing their collaborative work in 8 windows across Greater Boston neighborhoods with the promise to highlight not only the past miracle of Hanukkah along with the present-day miracle of the strength, resiliency and vibrancy of our Boston Community.

#17 Winterlights at The Bradley Estate

Canton — Looking for a fun and memorable

outdoor family outing to celebrate the season? Bundle up and take a stroll across a natural landscape winter wonderland shimmering with colorful holiday lights and festive displays just outside the city at the historic Bradley Estate. Scented pine forest and holiday music included! Advance ticket purchase required. Runs Tuesday-Sunday through January 2nd.

#18 Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Concord — Be part of the story at this year’s


25th anniversary of the Concord Museum’s beloved Family Trees literary legacy. Admire fancifully decorated wreaths and trees of all shapes and sizes adorned with charm and inspirations from everyone’s favorite acclaimed classic and contemporary children’s books. Visit the museum website for virtual artmaking activities and bookshelf with 28 clickable storybook readings from the 2020 Family Trees Booklist! Pre-reserved tickets required. Seven days a week Through January 3rd.

continued on page 26 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 25


#19 Virtual Boston Common Tree Lighting

Previous years celebration.


Boston — Mayor Martin J. Walsh and The Honourable Karen Casey, Deputy Premier of Nova

Scotia will celebrate the 79th annual tree lighting which will be a virtual event this year. This will be a pre-recorded event, no staging or live activities this year. Follow the @TreeforBoston on social media for up-to-date information and stories about the tree and this year’s virtual celebrations.


Previous years celebration.

#20 Virtual First Night Boston virtual event for New Year’s Eve Celebration and performances to be carried online and broadcast through NBC Boston. NBC10 Boston, NECN, and Telemundo Boston will air performances, interviews, and tributes to front line workers as it brings First Night Boston to thousands of at-home revelers on December 31. Annually a celebration of the artists, musicians, and singers of the Boston arts community, the show will continue with hours of free, at-home entertainment for families and fans of all ages. In addition to the evening and night time broadcasts, colorful performances will air on the event website, a 26

Boston Parents Paper | December 2020


Boston — First Night Boston transitions to a

2020 -2021

Find the Right Educational Experience for your Child

THE PUBLISHERS OF BOSTON PARENTS PAPER TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF FINDING THE RIGHT PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD, FROM START TO FINISH. The following are excepts from the 2020/21 Annual Private School Guide, covering "Why Consider a Private School" and the "Private School Search Timeline" from the award winning guide. The complete 2020/21 Annual Private School Guide leads parents chronologically along the school-selection path, beginning with the value of private education and how to start the process with an emphasis on the all-important application process, including interviewing, testing, and essay writing as well as the ins-and-outs of financial aid. There’s also school profiles and a comprehensive list of regional private schools. Your road to the ideal school just got simpler! Download your copy today of this free resource at

Why Consider a Private School?


any parents feel that their children will thrive better in what they believe is a smaller, safer environment with more room for personal attention. And while public schools must follow a curriculum heavily influenced by state standards, private schools have more freedom to customize lessons to students’ individual ways of learning. Private schools can also point to low studentteacher ratios, freedom from state standards and testing, and lots of extras like music, foreign languages, and art that are underfunded or nonexistent in public schools. Private schools are often well-equipped with current educational

technology to facilitate in class and virtual instruction. Rest assured, promise school experts, there is a school out there to suit every child. There are two primary sorts of private schools— independent schools and parochial schools. INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS are defined as nonprofit private schools with their own governing board of trustees. While most people commonly refer to independent schools as private, lumping them in with parochial and for-profit schools, they are distinct because they are nonprofit and self-governing. PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS, where tuition is typically one-third that of independent schools, offer continued on page 31 >>> December 2020 |


Featured Private Schools

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

Arlington Arlington Catholic High School 16 Medford St Arlington • (781) 646-7770

Lesley Ellis School 34 Winter St. Arlington • (781) 642-1052

9-12 Co-Ed 18:1 435

Catholic Spanish, French, Italian, Latin

$13,750 FA Available


PS - 8 Co-Ed 8:1 211

NonDenominational Spanish

$10,000 - $36,000 FA Available


7-12 Boys Only 7:1 460

NonDenominational Boys Only French, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

$52,000 FA Available

PK - 8 Co-Ed 7:1 185

NonDenominational Latin, Spanish

$16,400 - $36,600 FA Available


PK - 8 Co-Ed 9:1 180

Catholic Spanish

$7,990 FA Available


Belmont Belmont Hill School 350 Prospect Street Belmont • (617) 993-5220

Beverly Glen Urquhart School 74 Hart Street Beverly • (978) 927-1064

The Saints Academy 111 New Balch Street Beverly • (978) 922-0048

Our Vision Nuestra Visión

To create a truly significant and lifelong impact on the lives and passions of the children who will shape the future of our society.

What We Do Lo Que Hacemos

Pine Village educates and nurtures each child’s individuality within a culturally diverse bilingual community, so that every child develops a true passion for learning and an ability to engage in any environment and community.

The Results Los Resultados Pine Village launches children on a path to global citizenship and offers parents of toddlers and preschoolers a modern approach to child development where the seeds of creativity, acceptance, and inclusion are planted and encouraged to grow.











Our Neighborhood Schools

• Brighton • Brookline • JP - Revere St • JP - South St • Kendall Square

• Needham • Newton Highlands • West Newton • Porter Square • South End

617-416-7763 28

Boston Parents Paper | December 2020



Featured Private Schools

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

Boston Boston Trinity Academy 17 Hale Street Boston • (617) 364-3700

British International School of Boston 416 Pond Street Boston • (617) 522-2261

German International School Boston 57 Holton Street Boston • (617) 783-2600

Kingsley Montessori School 30 Fairfield Street 26 Exeter Street Boston • (617) 226-4900

The Advent School 15 Brimmer Street Boston • (617) 742-0520

6-12 Co-Ed 7:1 240

NonDenominational Latin,French, Spanish

$20,700 - $32-500 FA Available


PK-12 Co-Ed 8:1 440

NonDenominational French, Spanish

$18,600 - $37,400 FA Available


PK-12 Co-Ed 12:1 250

German Schools Abroad German, French, Spanish

$21,400 - $25,875 FA Available


PS-6 Co-Ed 5:1 Toddler; 9:1 PS 8:1 Lower Elem; 12.1 Upper Elem 639

NonDenominational Spanish, Mandarin

$23,000 - $33,200 FA Available


PS-6 Co-Ed 7:1 200

NonDenominational Spanish

$30,880 FA Available


5-12 Co-Ed 6:1 695

Latin, Spanish, French, and Chinese

$51,800 FA Available


PS, K-12 Co-Ed Varies 550

Modern Orthodox Jewish Schoool Hebrew - ; PS-12 Spanish - 8-12

$22,280 - $33,383 FA Available

PreK-8 Co-Ed 15:1 260

Catholic Spanish, Mandarin (Afterschool Club)

$7,200-$10,125 FA Available


$27,580-35,990 FA Available



PreK-8 Co-Ed 4:1 Toddler 10:1 Primary and above 185

Non Denominational Spanish

$23,000 - $34,000 FA Available


PS-12 Co-Ed 6:1 520

NonDenominational French, English, Spanish, German and Chinese

$21,200-$37,300 FA Available

Ministère de l’éducation nationale, CIS, NEASC and IBO

3-22 years Co-Ed 2:1 48

Catholic Spanish

Call for Info. FA Available

PS-6 Co-Ed 5:1 230

NonDenominational Spanish

$24,700- $41,600 FA Available

Braintree Thayer Academy 745 Washington Street Braintree • (781) 843-3580

Brookline Maimonides School 34 Philbrick Road Brookline • (617) 232-4452

St. Mary of the Assumption School 67 Harvard Street Brookline • (617) 566-7184

Cambridge Cambridge Friends School 5 Cadbury Road Cambridge • (617) 354-3880

Cambridge Montessori School 161 Garden Street Cambridge • (617) 492-3410

International School of Boston 45 Matignon Road Cambridge • (617) 499-1451

PreK-8 Co-Ed Varies 150

Chestnut Hill The Campus School at Boston College 235 Beacon St Chestnut Hill • (617) 552-3460

The Chestnut Hill School 428 Hammond Street Cambridge • (617) 566-4394


continued on page 30 >>> December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 29

Featured Private Schools

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

Dedham Noble and Greenough School 10 Campus Drive Dedham • (781) 326-3700

The Rashi School 8000 Great Meadow Road Dedham • (617) 969-4444

7-12 Co-Ed 6:1 630

NonDenominational Spanish, Chinese, French, Latin



K-8 Co-Ed 5.2:1 310

Reform Jewish English, Hebrew, Spanish

$28,900 - $36,225 FA Available


PK-6th grade Co-Ed 14:1 210


$5,600 - $8,000 FA Available


K-8 Co-Ed 4:1 65


$60,100 FA Available


PS-8th Co-Ed 6:1 155


$30,000 FA Available

Toddler-6th grade Co-Ed Varies by Level 91

NonDenominational English, Spanish

$15,200-$22,500 FA Available

Infant -6th Grade Co-Ed Varies 195

NonDenominational Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, English

Varies FA Available

6-12 Co-Ed 5:1 75

NonDenominational Spanish, French

$50 - $32,000 FA Available

6-12 Co-Ed 10:1 300

NonDenominational French, Spanish

$27,800 (Middle School Day) to $62,800 (Traditional Boarding) FA Available


Toddler - 8th grade Co-Ed Varies 194

NonDenominational Spanish

$21,225 - $33,615 FA Available


6-12 Girls Only 8:1 205

Catholic Latin, Spanish, French

$31,386 FA Available

National School of Character NEASC, NAIS AISNE

Dorchester Saint Brendan School 29 Rita Rd Dorchester • (617) 282-3388

East Providence, RI The Wolf School 215 Ferris Avenue East Providence, RI • (401) 432-9940

Foxboro The Sage School 171 Mechanic Street Foxboro • (508) 543-9619

Framingham Summit Montessori School 283 Pleasant St. Framingham • (508) 872-3630


Hingham SELA: The International Private School 75 Sgt William B Terry Drive Hingham • (781) 741-5454

Jamaica Plain Meridian Academy 54 Brookside Avenue Jamaica Plain • (617) 277-1118

Lexington Lexington Christian Academy 48 Bartlett Avenue Lexington • (781) 862-7850

Lexington Montessori School 130 Pleasant Street Lexington • (781) 862-8571

Medfield Montrose School 29 North Street Medfield • (508) 359-2423

continued on page 32 >>>


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

<<< continued from page 27

traditional instruction and have solid reputations. Families who are “in-parish,” that is, who live within the schools’ official parish boundaries or volunteer and participate regularly in the parish, get first priority. Otherwise the application procedures are similar to independent schools. When considering private school education, think about these benefits as outlined by the Independent Schools of the San Francisco Bay Area (www.issfba. org): High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, and encourage critical thinking. A larger percentage of students at independent schools are enrolled in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools. Small classes and individual attention. Independent schools have low student-teacher ratios that encourage close connections with students. The median ratio in schools that are members of the National Association of Independent Schools in 2019/20 was 8.5 students to 1 teacher. Excellent teachers. Educators usually teach in their areas of expertise and are passionate about what they do. With more autonomy within the classroom, teachers are able to develop a full

understanding of how each student learns and what motivates and inspires each child. Greater likelihood of a student completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. Independent schools nurture not just students’ intellectual ability and curiosity but also their personal and social growth and civic conscience. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and school leadership experiences. Education for the whole child. Independent schools nurture not just students’ intellectual curiosity but also their personal/ social growth and civic purpose. Opportunities extend well beyond the classroom to athletic competitions, artistic pursuits and school leadership offerings. Inclusiveness. Schools maintain diverse and vibrant student communities and welcome and respect each family. In 2019/20, students of color were 33 percent of total independent school enrollment nationally. A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals for the student. The opportunity to choose a school with a mission. You can select a school whose philosophy, values, and teaching approach is right for your child. 



To Learn More Contact


Lynne Goyuk,


Admissions Coordinator



ON SCERTS MODEL the Wolf School

Private K-8 Special Education School | Open House October 25th |

December 2020 |


<<< continued from page 30

Featured Private Schools

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

Milton Delphi Academy of Boston 564 Blue Hill Avenue Milton • (617) 333-9610

Milton Academy 170 Centre Street Milton • (617) 898-2509

K-8 Co-Ed 5:1 125

NonDenominational Spanish



K-12 Co-Ed 14:1 1047

NonDenominational Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Latin and Classical Greek

$32,000 K $61,920 Upper Boarding

7-12 Boys Only 7:1 375

Independent School League English, Spanish, Latin

$50,570 FA Available

AISNE, ISL, IBSC, NAIS, RCAB, SSATB, College Entrance Examination, Board Education Records Bureau

Toddler-8th Co-Ed 15:1 400

Jewish English, Hebrew, Spanish

$20,000-$30,000 FA Available


Toddler-8th Co-Ed Varies 260

NonDenominational Spanish

$26,200 – $30,600 FA Available


Needham St. Sebastian’s School 1191 Greendale Avenue Needham • (781) 449-5200

Newton Solomon Schechter Day School 60 Stein Circle Newton • (617) 964-7765

Newton Centre Wellan Montessori School 80 Crescent Avenue Newton Centre • (617) 969-4488

Austin Preparatory School Experience Excellence • Average Class Size: 15

• More than 60 Clubs & Activities

• 1:1 iPad Program

• Advisory Program

• Rotating Block Schedule

• 10:1 Student to Faculty Ratio

• Bus Transportation Available

• 21 Advanced Placement Courses

• Newly Renovated Dining Hall

• State-of-the-Art Athletic Facilities

Visit our website for a virtual tour of campus, or contact the Office of Admissions at to arrange for an in-person tour this fall.


INSPIRE. CHALLENGE. EMPOWER. Toddler through Grade 8 Financial Assistance Available TM


Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

We offer a pleasant mix of fun & education to develop young minds!

The Village Pre-School

An independent, Augustinian Catholic school serving young men & women in grades 6 through 12.


Now enrolling children age 3+

• Breakfast, lunch & snack served daily • Two age appropriate playgrounds & large indoor play space • Individual classrooms with well-rounded curriculum including: fieldtrips, computers & music class



Infant (1 month) through PreK Open Year Round Mon–Fri • 7am-5:30pm

Learn more:

25 Cummins Highway, Roslindale


Featured Private Schools

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

Norwood Norwood Montessori School 462 Walpole St Norwood • (818) 497-1698

Saint Catherine of Siena School 249 Nahatan Street Norwood • (781) 769-5354

PK-12th Co-Ed 8:1 85

NonDenominational French, Spanish

$5,650 - $16,700


PS-8 Co-Ed 15:1 275

Catholic Spanish

$7,750-$10,500 FA Available


$9,000 - $17,000



Quincy Adams Montessori School 310 Adams Street Quincy • (617) 773-8200

Toddler-6th Co-Ed Varies 120


Reading Austin Preparatory School 101 Willow Street Reading • (781) 944-4900

6-12 Co-Ed 10:1 730

Catholic Latin, French, Mandarin and Spanish

$24,100 FA Available

K-8 Co-Ed 14:1 197

Catholic Spanish, Mandarin, Latin

K-8: $7,400, Preschool: $700 Bi-weekly FA Available

Roslindale Sacred Heart STEM School 1035 Canterbury Street Roslindale • (617) 323-2500

continued on page 34 >>>

Lesley Ellis Fall 2020 Events


Parent Ed Series Thursday, November 5, 7 p.m. Pandemic Parenting: Mindfulness and self-care strategies during these challenging times with Rebecca Arnold.

Little Learners Series First Thursday of Every month


For parents and young children, ages 2 - 5 years. Join Lesley Ellis teachers as they read stories, sing songs, and explore a variety of fun, educational activities.

These virtual events are open to the public. To register, please email Tricia Moran at A Zoom link will be sent to you. Join us and invite a friend or neighbor, too! Learn more about these events at December 2020 |


<<< continued from previous page 33

Featured Private Schools Village PreSchool 25 Cummins Highway Roslindale • (617) 323-5141

Grades Gender Stud-Fac Ratio Enrollment

Affiliation / Notes Languages

Tuition Range Tuition Assistance

Accreditation/ Associations

PS Co-Ed 10:1 80


$14,300 - $22,100 FA Available

PS-6th Co-Ed 8:1 70

NonDenominational Spanish

$10,500-$11,000 FA Available

K-8 Co-Ed 6:1 25


$25,000 - $27,000 FA Available


K-9 Co-Ed 6:1 475


$26,200 - $44,630 FA Available


PreK-12 Co-Ed 14:1 384

Catholic French, Spanish

$6,100 $15,800 FA Available


3-22 Years Co-Ed 4:1 105


Call for Info.


5-12 Girls Only 6:1 461

NonDenominational Spanish, French, Mandarin, Latin

$51,500 FA Available


K-9 Co-Ed 9:1 140


$26,000-$28,000 FA Available

Royalston The Village School 253 S. Royalston Road Royalston • (978) 249-3505

Salem The Phoenix School 89 Margin Street Salem • (978) 741-0870

Southborough Fay School 48 Main Street Southborough • (508) 490-8201

Tyngsboro Academy of Notre Dame Tyngsboro 180 Middlesex Road Tyngsboro • (978) 649-7611

Walpole League School of Boston 300 Boston Providence Highway Walpole • (508) 850-3900

Wellesley Dana Hall School 45 Dana Road Wellesley • (781) 235-3010

Winchester Acera: The Massachusetts School of Science, Creativity and Leadership 5 Lowell Avenue Winchester • (781) 729-3489

Online now at Celebrating 34 Years of Excellence

Accepting Applications

Infant • Toddler • Preschool • Pre-Kindergarten


Full- & Part-Time Childcare • 2 mos. To 5 yrs. Open 8:00am – 6:00pm Infant Care Is Now Available! On-site drop off parking • Fenced-in roof-top playspace Outstanding Teacher-Child Ratios Professionally qualified Early Education Teachers State Transportation Building 10 Park Plaza, Boston MA 02116 • Open to General Public • EEC Licensed #8117338



Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

childcare & preschool GUIDE From Babies to Toddlers to Preschool


Check out more schools in our Childcare & Preschool Guide online now!

Financial Aid:



very private school has its own policies about who receives financial aid, what types of aid are awarded, and how much aid a particular family will receive. In most cases, the financial aid office cannot tell you if your family will qualify for financial aid until you submit an application that allows the school to evaluate your unique situation. HOW SCHOOLS DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL AID

To determine your eligibility for financial aid, you must submit an application form and financial statements. There is no income limit that automatically makes your family ineligible for financial aid. Financial aid officers take into account your income, assets, and expenses, including educational costs for other children. Bottom line: If you feel your family cannot afford to pay the full cost, regardless of your income, it’s worth the effort to submit a financial aid application. WHEN TO APPLY

Every school has its own financial aid schedule, and the deadlines are different for schools with rolling admissions. In general, most financial aid applications are due in January or February. Check with your school of choice for the deadline. You will receive a financial aid deci-

sion shortly after your child is admitted to a particular school. TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE

Grants are the most common

type of financial aid offered by private schools. They are awarded annually to students who demonstrate financial need, and students must reapply each year. Grant money comes from the school’s budget and does not have to be paid back.

Merit scholarships awarded by the school are rare and are usually reserved for students who have a special talent that the school is seeking, such as art, music, or academics. Generally, scholarships are based on financial need. They may be awarded once, annually, or as long as the student meets the scholarship criteria. Scholarships from outside organizations are also rare, and often awarded by local chapters of national groups like the Ro-

tary Club. Ask the school for a list of organizations that have provided scholarships to their students in the past, and check the list on Each scholarship program will have its own eligibility rules, application, and deadlines. Tuition loans are personal loans provided by a private lender. You must apply directly to the lender, and your loan amount and interest rate will depend on the lender’s credit requirements. Some use loans to pay for expenses not covered by a grant. Tuition Payment Plans allow you to make monthly payments rather than writing one or two large checks each year. Schools offer payment plans through a third-party financial services company, which charges a relatively small fee. Sibling discounts are designed to help families with more than one child enrolled in the same school. Many schools are shrinking these discounts, or phasing them out altogether. Even so, it’s worth asking if this situation applies to you. Most families pay for tuition through a combination of these options. The school’s financial aid officer can help you create a financing plan that fits your family’s needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and explore all the options available to you. a Reprinted with the permission from National Association of Independent Schools, December 2020 |


Basic Timeline FOR APPLYING TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL While each school follows its own schedule, here is a typical admissions timeline. Many schools are transitioning to virtual admission events and individual tours.




• Continue scheduling tours, • Pay attention to deadinterviews, class visits, and lines: Most applications are standardized or school-based due in January or Febru• Define your ideal school tests ary, along with test scores, • Find schools that match your • Visit schools, virtually if necreferences, transcripts, and child’s needs financial aid forms essary, during open houses, • Research and ask questions attend information sessions, of schools on your preliminary and take tours list • Finalize the list of schools to • Don’t miss deadlines: Most schools’ applications are due which you will apply in February at the latest • Take required standardized • Browse schools’ websites • Visit schools and/or have admission tests to learn more about their your child participate in a programs and philosophies student shadow day • Request admissions and • Continue scheduling tours, financial aid material by phone interviews, class visits, and or online standardized or school-based • Watch for school decisions • Review admissions materials starting in mid-March tests to determine which schools to • Continue to watch for open • Watch for financial aid visit decisions houses you may want to • Create a calendar of pertiattend • If your student is accepted nent admission and financial • Request teacher recommenby multiple schools, decide aid deadlines for the schools which school your child will dations from your child’s curto which you are considering attend rent school applying • Start working on applications, • Ask elementary schools about financial aid forms, student their test schedules and make • Sign and return enrollment questionnaires, and essays appointments contracts and send deposits • Register for any standardized tests required for admission • Continue to watch for any • Review the test websites to open house or school events learn about procedures and • Attend events and activities of interest test dates, see sample quesfor new parents and • Request transcripts at the end tions, and purchase test-prepstudents a of your child’s first aration books semester Reprinted with permission from the • Call schools to schedule • Complete applications, ques- National Association of Independent Schools, individual tours, class visits, tionnaires, and essays interviews, and “shadow days” • Note application deadlines. if available Some schools have December deadlines. (of the year before you want your child to attend)








Boston Parents Paper | December 2020

May to September

IS IT JUST A “PHASE”— OR SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS? If your child is struggling, Borderline Personality Disorder may be the cause. We will find the answers, together.


December 2020 |


Online & In-Person Fall Math Classes


The Russian School of Mathematics is an award-winning, afterschool math enrichment program for K-12 students; we help children of all levels build a solid math foundation and develop critical-thinking and problem solving skills. All courses are taught in a live, interactive, virtual classroom setting. Hybrid and in-person courses may also be available; please inquire with the office for more information!

RSM is “among the top 10 schools in the world.� -Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

14 Locations in MA!

Schedule a FREE Math Evaluation!

Fall Classes Now Enrolling! 38

Boston Parents Paper | December 2020