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Everything is a Boy Thing

The Fessenden School is an independent boys school near Boston offering a day program for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 9 and a junior boarding school program for Grades 5 - 9. Fessenden balances an expansive and challenging curriculum with character education that is rooted in our core values of honesty, compassion, and respect. When boys leave our doors, they are prepared to succeed academically, pursue their passions, and bring their best out into the world.

Vintage photo of boys playing lacrosse

Fessenden’s History

Founded in 1903, Fessenden was the first boys junior boarding school in the country. Since opening the School's doors to just 11 students during its first year, Fessenden has adapted, grown, and innovated to continue providing a well-rounded education that develops students’ character, mind, and body. The School has been at the forefront of boys' education for 120 years, and remains a leader in private, independent education today. We proudly educate and help raise good young men prepared for the future that lies ahead.

Fessenden's Mission

The Fessenden School cultivates each boy’s talents and develops in balance his character, mind, and body in an inclusive and joyful community. In fulfilling its mission, Fessenden: 

  • Instills honesty, compassion, and respect as a foundation for boys’ growth into young men of character.
  • Fosters a diverse and safe environment in which students, teachers, and families value differences and similarities.
  • Builds a cohesive day and residential community enriched by nurturing relationships.
  • Promotes healthy mental, physical, and socio-emotional development.
  • Challenges and supports students to be resilient, confident individuals who empathize with and serve others.
  • Implements a demanding and innovative curriculum with the goal of inspiring enthusiastic, creative, lifelong learners. 

Fessenden Fun Facts

  • Head of School

    Steve Armstrong Appointed 2018




    West Newton, Mass. 20 minutes from downtown Boston



    School Colors

    Red and Gray


  • Enrollment

    Total Enrollment: 544
    Lower School Enrollment
    or Pre-K - Gr. 4 Enrollment
    Middle School Enrollment
    or Gr. 5 - 6 Enrollment
    Upper School Enrollment
    or Gr. 7 - 9 Enrollment

    Boarding (Gr. 5-9) Enrollment


    Students Hail from

    30 towns in MA
    15 states, 13 countries
  • Athletics Programs


    Upper School Electives


    Musical Groups


    Annual Theatrical Productions


    Student Clubs


    Boarding Trips/Activities Offered Each Weekend


Where can Fessenden take you?

We are continually impressed at how Fessenden students have gone on to follow their passions and contribute in myriad ways, both big and small. From authors, musicians, and athletes to top-level government officials, entrepreneurs, and changemakers, our alumni make a significant impact.

Notable Alums

  • Alberto Bacardi
  • George Howe Colt
  • Lewis Cullman
  • James Franciscus
  • Porter J. Goss
  • Howard Hughes
  • John Irving
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
  • U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy
  • The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy
  • Ben Kurland
  • Christopher Lloyd
  • Douglas Moore
  • Ken Morse
  • Matt Nathanson
  • Alex Oriakhi
  • Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton
  • Alec Sulkin
  • Christopher Tilghman 
  • Brigadier General Peter Zwack

What will your impact be?

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