Welcome to Shore

Common Questions

We have gathered responses to questions commonly asked by families considering Shore and independent schools in general. To learn more, please click on the questions that interest you.

Shore-Specific Questions

List of 22 frequently asked questions.

  • Where do Shore graduates go after Shore?

    Supported by the Office of Secondary School Counseling, Shore graduates successfully matriculate at all kinds of high schools: day, boarding, public, parochial, and independent. A majority of Shore students, after enjoying the classrooms, style and associations of Shore, opt to remain in independent school settings. Those entering public school typically transfer into top academic sections and quickly find their appropriate peer group. In our local, highly competitive day, or day and boarding school options, Shore graduates are well represented. Approximately half of Shore’s graduates choose boarding schools around the northeast. New England’s rich assortment of schools is ideal for the varied interests, passions, and strenghts of Shore graduates! Selection can be tailored on the basis of appropriate personal style and program, and our students are often ready for this new stage of independence. Our ABOUT SHORE section shares more information about where our students head after graduation.
  • How hard is it to get into Shore?

    Three quarters of applicants to Shore are strong students and are qualified for entrance. Two-thirds of those who are qualified will be offered the opportunity to enroll. Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade One and Grade Five continue to be our most accessible points of entry. 
  • To which preschool should I send my child to best prepare for Shore's Pre-K or Kindergarten programs?

    The best preschool setting for your child is one where your child will feel happy, engaged, and safe each day. Shore’s 20 new Kindergarteners and 15 new Pre-K students (our largest new groups, annually) enter from as many as 20 different programs each year. Specific academic preparation is not necessary. Some of our entering students have never attended a preschool; others have attended for one year; some have been in programs from infancy. Programs may be play-oriented or academic in nature; families should choose programs based their own personal tastes and comfort.
  • What is Shore's policy regarding the enrollment of siblings?

    Happily, over 85% of our sibling candidates qualify for enrollment on an annual basis. Candidates of current families receive priority for places available at Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grade One. In Grades Two thorough Nine, they receive priority for half of all available spaces. Siblings qualify for Shore’s program in the same manner as all candidates. Students with siblings at Shore comprise 40 percent of the school's population. 
  • Can I substitute my child's report card for the School Evaluation form?

    Although it may feel awkward asking your child’s current teacher for information that will expedite your child’s departure from his or her current setting, it is a requirement that all school information be communicated directly and confidentially between current school and potential, future school. Considered a Principle of Good Practice, through this direct exchange, teachers are unfailingly supportive of and honest about the students they shepherd each day. Current school information provides one of the cornerstones for effective evaluation. Likewise, personal conversations with teachers offer valuable resources should questions arise during the discussions of a candidate.
  • What if my child cannot be present for one of Shore's scheduled test days?

    Distance or illness occasionally mean having to find an alternative day or means to evaluate a candidate. While having candidates attend admissions testing on scheduled days is both expeditious and fun, the weather in New England and the miseries of flu are not always in our favor. Make-up sessions are quickly scheduled, and Shore makes every effort to be as accommodating as possible. Candidates from outside of the region can be scheduled for testing that coincides with holiday travel or house-hunting expeditions. If access to the student is impossible, testing at a student’s current school may need to be arranged.
  • If my child is put on the Waiting List, what are their chances for entry?

    Shore is eager to enroll candidates from its Waiting Lists, and every candidate in this category is considered comfortably qualified for Shore’s curriculum. At the same time, in an effort to avoid over-enrollment, the school is conservative about how many initial offers it makes beyond spaces available. The most recent admissions year was typical in that 20% of all admissions offers made were made to candidates who began the decision process on the Waiting List. As a PK-9 school that annually enrolls its largest group of new students at Kindergarten, this grade’s Waiting List is our most fluid. We openly encourage interested candidates to wait as long as they have the option to do so, as the odds are strongly in their favor for eventual enrollment!
  • What makes Shore's Pre-K class unique?

    Shore’s Pre-K curriculum is a one or two year program designed for young Kindergarten children and older preschool children. The average age of a typical Pre-K class in September is 4 years, 11 months. A typical age range extends upward to 5-6 at entrance and no child can be younger than 4-3. With an academic curriculum that includes the foundation work for literary and math skills as well as science and art, music, physical education, library, computer and health, the Pre-K class takes time for developmental growth within the richness of a full day schedule. The approach remains strongly experiential and multi-sensory at the same time as children travel campus-wide to take advantage of Shore’s varied facilities and specialist teachers. Structured time is carefully balanced with time for play and exploration. Hugs and excitement abound as students acclimate to the formalities of the traditional school day. Still growing toward a fullness of independence, Pre-K children treasure both the extra attention of their fifth grade “brothers and sisters” and the personal focus provided by the 7:1 student to teacher ratio in this special grade or program.
  • If my child is qualified but cannot enroll, does he or she have to test again the following year?

    Shore does require that candidates retest in a subsequent admissions year. We want to place every candidate in their best position to flourish. Having up-to-date information is usually the best means to this end. Twelve months’ growth represents considerable change in a child. As well, should a candidate then enroll at Shore, our first hand information about them is fresh and applicable to their upcoming transition into our program.
  • What additional expenses beyond tuition will I have to pay?

    Shore’s comprehensive tuition is designed to be all-inclusive. Fees for classroom supplies, field trips, snacks and lunch, school photos, and the like are already accounted for in the figures listed. Only those supplies that vary by individual need, such as Upper School books or athletic clothing are billed above and beyond Shore’s comprehensive tuition.
  • How difficult is it to be new at Shore when entering at an older grade?

    The school works hard to ensure the comfort of each entering child. New students are welcomed for individual classroom visits, as desired, throughout the spring. During the summer, one of Shore’s current families with a child at the same grade level will formally extend their welcome as a Host Family. Teachers conduct an Open House before the first day of school that new families are encouraged to attend. Once school is underway, teachers are especially mindful of social inclusion, classroom pairings, and academic transitions. Shore’s returning students are remixed into new class configurations each year, and all look forward to getting reacquainted or newly acquainted with classmates in September. Everyone is eager to help incoming students find both comfort and success as soon as possible in their new school!
  • Are there other children from my town who attend Shore?

    Shore attracts students from over 40 different towns and communities. While our largest representations are from Beverly, Hamilton, Manchester and Marblehead, students hail from as far north as Newburyport and Andover, south to Revere, west to Stoneham and east to Rockport. Attending an independent school such as Shore is a tradeoff between the familiarity of a community school and the variety of exposure created by drawing families from so many different settings. Our parents routinely praise the new experiences enjoyed by their children as they are stretched into new communities, families, and activities beyond just those of their own hometown. At the same time, the community of Shore becomes its own hub of attachment and activity for students and parents, alike.
  • How do families handle transportation?

    Supporting students arriving from 40 different communities, Shore families make use of five bus routes originating in Andover, Marblehead, Newburyport, Lynnfield and Gloucester and drive in carpools. Further detail regarding bus routes can be found on this page. With train lines to the north, south, and east, Shore occasionally has older students who utilize rail service and rendezvous with carpools at the Hamilton, North Beverly, Montserrat, or Beverly Depot stations. Shore is happy to help families contact each for help within their geographic area and to avail themselves of parents with years of driving wisdom to share!
  • What distinguishes Shore from other schools?

    Like most independent schools, Shore is founded on the principles of a well-balanced curriculum, the building of academic skills and habits, and the benefits of close associations between students and teachers. In particular, Shore prides itself on academic expectations that are designed for strong students. Faculty development is well funded, and creativity and collegiality abound as our teachers weave students’ learning between departments. Teacher longevity is significant, and children benefit from consistency and tradition. Throughout the community, and articulated by our Community Code, students and faculty strive to broaden themselves as individuals and live productively as a community. Opportunities for contribution blossom from community service and Junior Senate in the Lower School to the teams, clubs, a cappella groups and Independent Studies of the Upper School. Our spirit is joyful and industrious, participatory and giving, happy and creative. Above all, with their skills, experiences, and talents, our students know how to independently take full advantage of a learning environment as they graduate into their high school settings.
  • What kind of involvement is there for parents?

    Fortunately for Shore and its students, parents have a strong tradition of involvement in their children’s education. Teachers and administrators expect to be in communication regarding students, and outside of our biannual parent/teacher conference schedule, parents are welcome to convene with teachers anytime that it is needed. Especially in our early grades, parents often enjoy bringing a special project to the classroom or being an extra set of helping hands for celebrations. We welcome parents to sit in on their child’s daily experience on occasion during the year or simply to join their child for a lunchtime visit.

    Parent volunteerism is strong at Shore, and our program is greatly enhanced by parents’ time, efforts, talents, and contributions. Our library staff is greatly assisted by a well-trained group of library volunteers. Parents help to run our switchboard, organize family weekend events, and strengthen our breadth of thought through our Multicultural Alliance. Our active Parents Association has involvement to offer even our busiest of families!
  • How is discipline handled at Shore?

    While our Community Code delineates the aspirations we hope and expect for all at Shore, growing up is hard work. Transgressions occur from time to time, and our aim to help children grow from their experiences. Within the classrooms of the Lower School or the advisee groups of the Upper School, Shore works hard both to articulate our daily expectations for children and to responsively engage them in problem solving. For individual discipline, children are addressed quickly and personally; our desire is not to remove them from their peer group. Repeated or more serious circumstances will bring a student into the presence of their Division Head and quickly involve parents. With frequent discussions emphasizing our Community Code, Shore is blessed with the support of families who share high behavioral expectations for children, and disciplinary circumstances are few.
  • Does Shore administer the MCAS?

    Shore does not administer the MCAS. In place of state mandated goals, we adhere to the policies put forth by the National Association of Independent Schools, and our ten-year, institutional evaluation is overseen by the Association of Independent Schools of New England. As with all independent schools, Shore’s curriculum is framed by the intersection of basic skills with stretch and creativity. While accountability and curriculum are enhanced by annual standardized testing that begins at Grade Two, teaching is neither mandated nor constrained by test goals such as the MCAS. Shore utilizes the Comprehensive Testing Program of the ERB in Grades 2-6; students in Grades 7-9 are scheduled for the SSAT each year.
  • When does world language instruction begin?

    Spanish is taught at all grade levels, Pre-K through Grade 9, and Latin is an additional opportunity in Grades 8 and 9. Typically, Shore eighth grade graduates enter high school Spanish level II, and graduates from Grade 9 enter level III. In our youngest grades, emphasis is on oral and cultural experiences as they connect to both the daily and curricular experiences of our students. In our Upper School grades, equal balance is given to the development of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and cultural understanding. In Shore's Lower School after-school program, SEA Shore, students additionally can elect weekly sessions in Chinese or French.
  • At what age are children exposed to technology?

    Technology learning permeates all levels of a Shore education. Each division has well-equipped Macintosh computer labs, and our youngest students enjoy their sessions for artwork, curriculum reinforcement, simulation programs, presentation skills, and writing experiences. Laptops are used for technology instruction in Grades 3-5, and additional laptops are available to students in the Library Resource Center and Science labs. Likewise, the number of SmartBoard-equipped classrooms grows each year. As students move to the Upper School, each new aspect of computer learning is integrated with a specific, departmental or curricular experience.
  • How often is physical education scheduled?

    Pre-K students enjoy physical education classes three days a week, and all grades from Kindergarten through Grade Nine attend physical education or sports four or five days per week. Taking advantage of the physical energy of youngsters, believing that physical health is a lifelong concern, and knowing that teamwork and sportsmanship are as important for schooling as they are for professional lives, Shore requires physical engagement for all. Energy and focus for learning are further enhanced by two daily breaks for recess in all grades, and seventh and eighth graders use the physical stretch of Project Adventure sessions for group problem solving and personal challenge.
  • Why does Shore offer a ninth grade?

    While Shore’s ninth grade originated at a time when various high schools did not begin until grade ten, it has remained a premier and popular setting for the pursuit of one’s freshman year. Shore ninth graders are asked to step up in every way: academically, extracurricularly, and, above all, personally. The confidence and experience of being leaders and role models is great. There is a strong discussion and presentation foundation to class style. Community-wide, ninth graders are offered new opportunities and are asked to take on extra responsibility. Their curriculum contains choices in the arts, language and history, and students' selections of either advanced studio or advanced theatre art places them in a full, major, academic art course that is yearlong in duration. The majority of secondary schools welcome new students at grade ten, and grade ten matriculants enjoy smooth, confident academic and personal transitions. They are ready for an environment of older adolescents, and with the foundation of Shore's Ninth Grade, they are already experienced in navigating the elevated, high school expectations.
  • Does Shore have a Dress Code?

    Yes -- please view our current Dress Code.

Financial Assistance Questions

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • How do I apply for financial assistance if I am separated or divorced?

    For parents applying for financial assistance who are divorced or separated, each parent is required to submit a separate on-line PFS application form for processing to SSS. Every effort must be made to include both parents in the financial assistance process. Shore requires that both natural parents contribute to the cost of education to the extent of their ability, and its decisions are not bound by legal agreements. The School takes into account the uniqueness of each family situation.
  • Will a request for financial assistance create an obstacle to my child's admission?

    Shore strongly encourages admissions applications from families from all walks of life and from all economic circumstances. Every candidate is considered by the Admissions Committee regardless of financial assistance request and without knowledge of financial assistance circumstances. The Financial Assistance Committee works separately and concurrently to determine fair and appropriate levels of assistance for each financial assistance applicant.
  • What portion of the student body receives financial assistance?

    Between 13%-15% percent of Shore’s student body receives financial assistance in any given year.
  • Are financial assistance awards based on financial need or on scholarship merit?

    Budgetary limitations require that all Shore financial assistance awards be based upon financial need and reviewed annually with regard to appropriate academic effort and good citizenship. The school is not able to make awards solely on the basis of academic or personal talent.
  • How much assistance is awarded to students each year?

    Shore awarded approximately $1,300,00 in financial aid for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • What is Shore's tuition?

    For the 2016-2017 school year, Shore’s comprehensive tuition is $18,880 for Pre-K1, $23,000 for Pre-K2, $26,125 for K-Grade 1, $27,215 for Grades 2-4, $31,695 for Grades 5-8 and $37,630 for Grade 9.
  • What happens if I apply for assistance but don't qualify?

    Students are considered for admission to Shore regardless of financial circumstances. Whether or not a student's family applies or qualifies for assistance and whether or not Shore is in a budgetary position to meet financial need has no bearing on the Admissions Committee's consideration of candidates for available spaces.
  • How and when do I complete financial assistance application forms?

    Families interested in financial assistance should indicate their interest on their initial admissions application or by phone/email to the Admissions Office. All forms and procedures are available on-line. Forms need to be completed just once in any admissions year and may then be submitted to multiple schools. Currently enrolled families continue to submit forms on an annual basis by January 15.
  • How are calculations made and what will my contribution be?

    Shore subscribes to School and Student Service for Financial Aid in Princeton, New Jersey. Families submit a Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) on-line, which gives detailed financial information to the Service, which, in turn, supplies Shore with data concerning the family's ability to contribute to their child's education. The computation is based on a formula nationally accepted by independent schools. The need assessment is based upon income and family expenses, assets and liabilities, family size, parents’ ages, cost of living and the number of children for whom a family must pay tuition.
    When a PFS is submitted to SSS the resulting formulations are provided to Shore or any other schools you have designated as recipients. Shore’s Financial Assistance Committee then reviews this information, combines it with tax and any explanatory material you have provided and formulates an individual calculation of funds that a family can contribute toward tuition. The amount of a financial assistance award is designed to bridge the gap between a family’s contribution and Shore’s tuition.
  • Are there helpful hints for completing financial assistance forms?

    File your forms in a timely fashion; Shore’s due date is January 15 for currently enrolled students and February 1 for admissions applicants. Read and follow the directions for each section with care. Complete every line designated on the Parents Financial Statement, even if your entry is 0. Provide a complete, written response for every line where explanation is required. Call Student and School Service or Shore’s Chief Financial Officer if you are uncertain as to how to complete any sections.
  • What are Shore's financial assistance policies?

    We hold to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) guiding principle that the responsibility of financing a private education rests primarily with the student’s family. Since it is an expectation that both parents will finance their children’s education to the extent that they are able, in the case of divorced or separated parents, both natural parents are required to complete financial assistance applications. The income and assets of both parents are taken into consideration. If either parent has remarried, we will also take into consideration the spouse’s contributions to the household along with any obligations to his or her own children. All individual financial information is held in the strictest confidence.
  • What if my tax return is filed late?

    Send your most recently completed 1040 Tax Return. If your current year return is not yet available, please send a copy of your previous year's return and forward a copy of the current return as soon as it is completed. All financial assistance awards for the upcoming fall are contingent upon the receipt of the current year return.
  • When will we be notified about our assistance offer?

    Financial assistance decisions are communicated in accordance with the timetable for offers of admission. Shore’s admissions notifications are typically mailed to candidates during the second full week of March. For financial assistance candidates receiving offers of admission, assistance notification would arrive concurrently. For financial assistance candidates who are placed on a waiting list for enrollment, financial assistance information is communicated at the time that a space for enrollment becomes available. Currently enrolled students receive news of financial assistance awards in February and may delay their return of re-enrollment contracts until such news is received.
  • Do we have to apply for assistance every year and can we count on assistance continuing in subsequent years?

    Yes, all financial assistance families, whether currently enrolled students or candidates for admission, must file a new application each year. Unless there is a significant change in demonstrated need, however, a family may expect to have their assistance renewed at approximately the same level of funding as in previous years.
  • If we do not receive assistance in our first year at Shore, is it possible to receive assistance in future years?

    A full Shore education spans ten or eleven years, and Shore is strongly committed to the continuation of its students’ enrollment. Families’ financial circumstances may change over time. Families facing unexpected financial need are encouraged to engage in the financial assistance process and to promptly contact Shore’s Chief Financial Officer.
  • Who sees my financial information?

    Every parent’s financial information is held in the strictest confidence. Only members of the Financial Assistance Committee have access to financial assistance forms, and outside of the Admissions, Finance and Head of School’s offices, there is no general knowledge shared as to which Shore students are recipients of financial assistance.
  • Where does financial assistance funding come from?

    In fact, all of Shore’s students benefit from a form of financial assistance, as actual tuition covers 86% of the cost of educating a student each year. The school’s Annual Fund, parent fundraisers, and endowment income all combine to make up the balance. The school’s operating budget provides 97% of the financial assistance funding. The school’s endowment generates 3% of the financial assistance funding, and new resources are constantly sought to meet the needs of the qualified students we strive to enroll.

Private School Questions

Shore is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE).  The web sites of both organizations contain information for families looking to discover more about independent schools.  Each site has a section for Frequently Asked Questions, and Shore encourages prospective families to deepen their explorations by visiting these additional resources.