Why Choose Tenacre?

Admissions FAQs

List of 11 frequently asked questions.

  • Why does Tenacre choose to remain an elementary school?

    Tenacre is firmly committed to elementary education. While adolescence is an exciting time in a young person’s life, it is also a complex one. We believe that postponing exposure to a middle school environment provides our students ample opportunity to fully develop their individual academic skills and enhance their personal growth in a setting geared specifically towards younger children. As the oldest students at Tenacre, our 6th Graders have the opportunity to take a meaningful leadership role at school, and serve as role models for the younger children.
  • Does Tenacre offer transportation?

    Yes. To assist in achieving geographic diversity, and ensure that we are an inclusive community,  for the past 20 years Tenacre has provided free daily bus service to Boston families living in a variety of neighborhoods. Currently, children from Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roxbury are picked up at their homes each morning and delivered to Tenacre by 8 AM for the start of the school day.
  • What are the major admission entry points at Tenacre?

    Tenacre may enroll students at every grade level.  However, the major entry points are Pre-Kindergarten (18 spots), Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 3.  Additional openings at all grade levels are created through possible attrition each year.
  • Does Tenacre have a sibling acceptance policy?

    Tenacre is a family school that gives preference to applications from current siblings and children of staff in the Pre-Kindergarten year only, but does not guarantee a place for them. In terms of both readiness and skills, siblings must meet the same criteria as non-siblings.  Our overall goal is for every child to have a successful experience at Tenacre.
  • Does Tenacre have an admission wait list?

    Yes. When there are more qualified applicants than spaces, a waiting "pool" of acceptable candidates is established for each grade. We do not rank our wait list, but if or when a space becomes available, the admission committee will review all applicant files to find the best fit for the grade, i.e. gender balance, personality, and ability to enhance the group of already enrolled students, etc.
  • What criteria does Tenacre use to evaluate children?

    Tenacre seeks to enroll students who are eager learners, who exhibit strength, or promise of strength, in a variety of areas. We hope to identify families, not children alone, to whom our philosophy of nurturing and challenging each child, every day is as meaningful as it is to our school. Past academic record, social development and prospects for growth are considered in the admission process, as is the overall composition of each class, including gender, age, diversity and skills.
  • Who will I meet when I come to Tenacre?

    Your visit will include meetings with the Director of Enrollment Management and, in the case of families with Pre-Kindergarten and/or Kindergarten applicants, the Head of School. Families whose children are applying solely to Grades 1 - 6 will meet with our Head of School on the Admission Testing Day in February. We are pleased to show you our school and have you observe some of our teachers and students in action.

    When Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten applicants come for their play groups, parents will have a chance to meet, talk with and ask questions of a current Tenacre Parent Ambassador. Parents of Grades 1 through Grade 6 will have that same opportunity on Admission Day in February.

    We feel it is important that both you and your child spend some time getting to know us.  A good partnership between home and school begins when you understand our approach to education, and we recognize your expectations for your child’s education. 
  • Who will my child meet when they visit Tenacre?

    Your child will meet different people depending upon the particular grade they are applying for.

    Children applying to Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten visit us twice. One visit is with our Learning Specialist, Dr. Karen McDonald, with whom your child will take part in some readiness activities. These visits are generally scheduled for a Tuesday or Thursday morning. The second visit is an informal play-group visit which lasts about an hour. During this visit your child will meet our Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers and other faculty members, participate in individual and group activities and join a circle time for a story. These visits are scheduled with Elizabeth O'Connell (x204) in the Admission Office.

    Applicants to Grades 1 through 6 attend an Admission Morning on Saturday February 1, 2020, 9:00 - 12:00 pm. They will join other applicants to the same grade in a classroom, and work on reading, writing and math activities with a teacher from their current grade, as well as possibly our Math and Reading Coordinators, or other specialists. They will also attend a small academic class (usually Science or Technology) and a P.E. class, where they will meet some of our Special Subject teachers.
  • What if my child is nervous about his/her visits?

    We recognize that it is not unusual for children to feel uncomfortable in a unfamiliar environment. Older children worry about fitting in; younger ones may be reluctant to part from the grown-up who brought them. We want your child’s visit(s) to Tenacre to be fun and informative, whatever their age. Our teachers are experienced at making children feel at home, and want to get to know your child as completely as possible.

    If your three- or four-year old has trouble separating from you during a visit, we will try to reschedule for another day. Having once visited, your son or daughter may feel more comfortable the next time. On the other hand, they may still need you to get them "started” on an activity. That’s fine.
  • Does Tenacre offer financial aid?

    Believing strongly that the cost of an independent school education should not be a deterrent to any prospective student or family, Tenacre has a long-standing policy of offering need-based financial aid to eligible applicants. For the 2020-21 academic year, Tenacre awarded over $1 million in financial aid to 20% of the student body. You will find more detailed information on our Financial Aid page or by calling our Admission Office. We're happy to answer all of your questions.
  • Do you accept late applications?

    Recognizing that there are many reasons why a family may need to submit an application after February 7, 2020, we do accept late applications. We cannot, however, guarantee that we will have openings, or financial aid, beyond our initial round of acceptances.  After April 10 we will be happy to consider a late application if an appropriate space is available.
Tenacre nurtures and challenges each child, every day.