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How To Apply

Apply to Beginners

The Steps

List of 6 items.

  • 1. Complete the Inquiry Form

    To get started, please provide us with your contact information by completing our Inquiry Form. Once the form is submitted, we can set up your parent visit.
  • 2. Schedule a Parent Visit

    Visiting campus is the best way to learn about Shady Hill! Parent Visits are required for all families who plan to apply. 

    Parent Visits consist of a campus tour and an interview. The visit is designed for parents only and lasts about 2.5 hours. 

    Please take a look at the Parent Visit Calendar to get a sense of the dates we have available for visits and then contact the Admission Office by phone or email to schedule your appointment. Before coming to campus, please review our Campus Visit Guidelines. 

    You can reach the Admission Office via email at or by phone at (617) 520-5200.
  • 3. Apply Online

    The application deadline for Beginners is December 15, 2019. We recommend submitting your application as early as possible!

    Please note that Beginners applicants must be four years of age by September 1, 2020 in order to be elligible for admission.

    (If you are a current Shady Hill family submitting an application for a Beginner sibling, your application deadline is November 1, 2019; please be in touch with the Admission Office to discuss this process.)

    Our application is available for you to complete and submit online. If you have any difficulties accessing or completing the online application, please reach out to us at (617) 520-5200.

    Families are responsible for:

    Part I. Parent/Guardian Questionnaire
    We ask parents or guardians to provide us with information about their child.

    Part II: Application Fee
    A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required to submit the application. Fee waivers are available to applicants for whom the application fee poses a financial hardship. Please contact the Admission Office for more information. 
  • 4. Initiate Requests for Evaluations and Reports

    In addition to the application form, we require (1) school reports and (2) an evaluation from your child’s current teacher. Both of these are due by January 15, 2020. 

    School reports consist of documents about your child, such as conference write-ups and progress reports, from the current school year and any past school year(s).You will need to provide a signed copy of the Student Record Release Form to your child’s school and confirm with them that they will forward to us all such documents. 

    The AISNE Evaluation Form is a confidential document. You should provide the evaluation form to your child’s teacher and the completed evaluation form must be sent to us directly from your child’s school or teacher. 

    School reports and AISNE evaluations can be sent to our office via email to or through postal mail addressed to Shady Hill School, Admission Office, 178 Coolidge Hill, Cambridge, MA 02138.
  • 5. Complete the Student Visit

    The Student Visit is an opportunity for us to learn more about your child and for you and your family to learn more about Shady Hill! While you are visiting, you can get a better feel for our campus, classrooms, and curriculum. At the same time, your child will spend time playing with peers as well as participating in one-on-one time with one of our teachers. We like to think of the visit as a playdate rather than an assessment! 

    Your child will be assigned to visit in the morning or early afternoon on one of four dates: 

    Saturday, January 4, 2020
    Saturday, January 11, 2020
    Friday, January 17, 2020
    Saturday, January 18, 2020

    Shortly after December 15, we will reach out to all families who have submitted an application (described in Step 3 above) with their child’s assigned visit date.

    We work hard to build balanced groups for each Student Visit and consider many factors as we arrange these. For instance, as much as possible, we separate students from the same preschool keep our gender ratios as balanced as possible. Therefore, we ask that you do not make any special scheduling requests unless your family will be out of town during a specific visit date.  

    If travel presents a serious conflict with any of the dates outlined above, please contact our office as soon as possible at or (617) 520-5200. 

    We thank you in advance for your flexibility regarding Student Visits!
  • 6. Complete the Application Process

    Shady Hill Schools utilizes Student and School Services (SSS) to assess our the needs of families who apply for financial aid. With a $2.9M budget, Shady Hill strives to make the cost of attendance feasible for as many families as possible. Financial aid at Shady Hill is need-based, meaning that families must qualify for aid as determined by tools used by SSS. If you are applying for financial aid, please complete a financial aid application through School and Student Services by January 31, 2020.


After the Student Visit, you can take a deep breath—you’ve completed the application process! The next few months are busy for our office and we will contact you to confirm receipt of all application materials, to alert you if something is missing, or to follow up if we have any questions. Given how busy this time of year is for our office, we ask that you please wait to hear from us rather than reaching out.

Admission and financial aid decisions will be released on March 10.


Please contact the Admission Office by email or by phone (617) 520-5200 with any questions. We look forward to working with you through the application process!
617.520.5260        178 Coolidge Hill    Cambridge MA 02138