Apply to Shady Hill

We encourage families to begin the admission process in the fall before the desired year of entry. An early start to the process helps assure optimum flexibility for necessary appointments. Please scroll down this page to view all components of the application process. 

Students applying for Beginners Fall 2020 enrollment must by 4 years old by September 1, 2020 (DOB 9/1/2015 - 8/31/2016).

Deadlines for Fall 2020 Enrollment are as follows:

Applying To Application & Fee Student Assessment Supporting Information
Beginners & Kindergarten December 15 January 4
January 11
January 17
January 18
January 15
Grades 1 & higher January 4 January 27 January 15

Shady Hill abides by common notification dates with area independent schools. The Admission Office mails decision letters on March 10. Admission Offers must be must accepted or declined by April 10.

The School:

  • Knows and honors the individual character and spirit of each child
  • Respects the pace of childhood and understands that true exploration takes time
  • Creates a safe environment that allows children to be curious, take risks, and make mistakes
  • Challenges prejudice, respects difference, and recognizes that multiple perspectives inform human experience
  • Encourages children to be independent thinkers who can transform ideas into meaningful action
  • Advocates learning through cooperation and collaboration
  • Designs and uses Central Subject, an interdisciplinary curriculum with a deep focus on a single theme or year-long topic
  • Emphasizes contact with primary sources and actual materials
  • Cultivates the power of creative thinking and academic excellence
  • Promotes the leadership of teachers and invests in their professional development
  • Offers an inspiring teacher training course for those preparing to enter the profession
  • Forges a lively, interdependent community of students, teachers, parents, alumni and administrators who work together to achieve the school's mission. 
Revised by Board of Trustees, April 2009

Steps to Apply to Shady Hill

List of 7 items.

  • OPEN HOUSE (optional)

    Attend our Open House! The Open House will feature program overviews, classroom visits, and informal conversations with Shady Hill faculty and parents. Attendance at the Open House is not required but provides an important opportunity to learn about our programs. Parents and children are welcome to attend.

    Our Open House for fall 2020 entry, which is for families interested in both our Lower School and Middle School programs, will be held on Sunday October 27th 2019. The exact time of each session will be announced early September. We look forward to seeing you there!
  • PARENT VISIT (required)

    Parent Visits are scheduled from mid-October through the application deadlines. Please consult our Parent Visit Calendar, located in the top right corner of this page, for possible dates and call the Admission Office at 617-520-5200 to schedule a visit. Given the limited number of appointment times available, we are only able to schedule one visit per family. Families applying for multiple children do not need to schedule separate visits. During your visit, which will last about two and a half hours, you will tour the campus with a parent volunteer, attend a short information session on the Shady Hill curriculum, and meet personally with a member of our admission team.
    Read More
  • APPLICATION (required)

    All application materials are available on the right hand side of this page (you may need to scroll up).  Complete the electronic application* (preferred) or fill out and return the PDF version with the $50 non-refundable fee by the following deadlines: 

    Beginners and Kindergarten: December 15
    Grades 1-7: January 4

    *$50 application fee paid electronically with online application. Please contact our office (617-520-5200 or to request an application fee waiver.
  • SUPPORTING INFORMATION (required) - see sidebar

    Sign the Student Record Release Form (scroll up and to the right on this page) and give it to your child’s current school so they may forward us a copy of your child’s complete school records. Also, give the appropriate grade-specific AISNE Student Evaluation Form to your child’s current teacher after December 1 and ask that it be sent directly to us by January 15. It is helpful to provide teachers with a stamped, addressed envelope.
  • STUDENT VISIT (required)

    Beginners and Kindergarten Applicants: Upon receipt of your application, the Admission Office will contact you to schedule a one-hour small group visit in January. 

    Please note the following visit dates scheduled for January 2020:
    Saturday, January 4
    Saturday, January 11
    Friday, January 17
    Saturday, January 18

    We ask that you hold availability for each of these dates until we receive your application and schedule your visit. If special circumstances prevent you from attending on a specific day, please let us know. Applications received prior to the deadline have some flexibility in scheduling. 

    Applicants to Grades 1-7: Applicants attend Admissions Day on the morning of Monday, January 27, 2020, with the following schedule:
    Applicants to Grades 1-4: Arrive 9:00 AM, Dismiss 11:30 AM
    Applicants to Grade 5: Arrive 8:00 AM, Dismiss 11:30 AM
    Applicants to Grades 6 & 7: Arrive 8:00 AM, Dismiss 12:30 PM

    In case of extreme weather, our back-up Admissions Day for Grades 1-7 is Wednesday, January 20, 2020.

    ISEE or SSAT (required)
    Students applying to Grades 6 and 7 must take one standardized test: either the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT).  
    • Registration information for the ISEE can be found at (our school code is #222616)
    • Registration information for the SSAT can be found at (our school code is #7306)
    STUDENT QUESTIONNAIRE (required) - This short, handwritten piece allows us to get to know our oldest applicants better.

    Note: if your child is applying to grades 6 and higher, you will see that the AISNE forms are separated in two: Math and English. If your child has the same teacher for both of these subjects, please have the classroom teacher fill out both forms as they ask for specific curricular information.

    Applicants to Grades 6 and 7 are invited to spend a morning with us at a mutually convenient time. Because we understand that it may be difficult for students to take time away from school, this visit is not required. 

    Shady Hill is committed to socioeconomic diversity and encourages any family who may be stretched by tuition to apply for need-based assistance. The Financial Aid application is considered separate from the Admission Application and must be submitted by February 1.

    Click here to see a description of how to apply for financial aid.
The School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its educational, admissions, financial aid, athletic and other policies and programs.
Parent Visit Calendar
Note: Dates marked in orange are for families applying to Beginners - Grade 4; dates marked in green are for families applying to Grades 5 - 8.
Applying for Fall 2020

The application process for Fall 2020 Enrollment beings in September 2019! You will start the process by contacting Katrina Morris, Admission Assistant, at 617-520-5200 or at, to schedule a Parent Visit.

Although application deadlines are not for another few months, please feel free to familiarize yourself with our application form and with other steps in the process. We look forward to working with you!

Student Record Release (required for all applicants)

Grade-Specific Forms

Note: Forms marked with an asterisk (*) can be submitted electronically. Please email completed forms as PDF files to and indicate "candidate materials" in the subject line. Teacher evaluations and report cards must come directly from the school or teacher. 
617.520.5260        178 Coolidge Hill    Cambridge MA 02138