Admission Process

Children are considered for admission after parents complete the Admission Application.

Children are typically admitted to Harborlight Montessori at the Children’s House (3 years through Kindergarten) level prior to their enrollment in Harborlight Elementary (grades 1 through 8).  However, each year Harborlight accepts many transfer students who are highly successful at all levels/grades PK through grade 8.

Montessori classrooms incorporate multi-age groupings and whenever possible, children stay with the same teaching team and classmates. To take advantage of this unique learning opportunity, parents are encouraged to plan for a multi-year commitment to the school and enroll their child as early as possible. 

Entry in the lower school programs, Infant & Toddler and Children's Houses guarantees placement in the Elementary level.

Admission Checklist

List of 5 items.

  • 1. Campus Visit

    Open houses and tours offer the opportunity to learn more about the Montessori philosophy, observe classrooms in session, and ask many questions. 


    To schedule a uniquely private tour of the Harborlight campus please contact the Director of Admission Rachel McAlpine at: or call the school 978-922-1008.

    Applications received prior to a campus visit are not considered active until the visit is completed. For families applying into Harborlight pending a move to the area, a virtual visit will be scheduled to move the application into active status.
  • 2. Submit Application

    Once you have visited and determine that you wish to apply to Harborlight Montessori, please submit the Admission Application online.

    Applications are accepted throughout the year. Applying before November 1st for the following year's enrollment is encouraged.
  • 3. Submit Previous Records


    All assessments and screenings for entering students infant thought kindergarten are conducted during the student visit at Harborlight.


    Student report cards for the past year, standardized test results, teacher recommendation forms, as well as a copy of any special education or psychoeducational evaluations, should be submitted to the Admissions Office or uploaded in the application.

    Please give permission to a current or previous teacher to speak with Harborlight Admissions Committee regarding your child's application.

    Click Below for Admissions Recommendation Forms

    Administrator Recommendation Form
    Math Recommendation Form
    English Recommendation Form

    Current Teacher Recommendation Form

    Current Teacher Recommendation Form
  • 4. Student Visit


    Children visit with parents. This is a short classroom visit designed to observe the child's response to Montessori materials and faculty. 

    This visit gives the child the opportunity to become more familiar with the classroom and provides the classroom teachers an opportunity to evaluate the child's ability to engage with the materials and meet program expectations. If separation is possible, parents meet with Admission staff during the visit.

    After the Admission Committee reviews the appropriate records and determines that Harborlight is a potential match for your child, a visit for a full academic day (8:15-2:45) will be scheduled.

    This visit gives the child the opportunity to become more familiar with the school and gives the teachers the opportunity to evaluate the child's commitment to learning and ability to handle the social and academic expectations.

    Parents will be provided an opportunity to meet the teachers, Education Director and Admission Director at another time following the visit day.
    More Information about the Student Visits:

    Harborlight will be hosting Admissions Events for Candidate-students by individual appointment this year. Please register for one of the days and times available after you have submitted the application.

    Each visit for the lower school levels Toddler through Kindergarten will be approximately 45 minutes long. Toddlers will visit the teacher in a classroom together with their parents. All other students (PK-K) will visit unaccompanied whenever appropriate. 

    Lower and Upper School candidate-students for grade levels 1st through 8th will spend one full day shadowing another student at their entering grade level. For example, applicants to 4th grade will shadow a 4th grade student, following along the full schedule from 8:15 arrival to 2:45 dismissal.

    Students are only invited to Visit Days after the full application and all supporting documents have been submitted and reviewed by the Office of Admission. Please refer to your Admission Checklist for details. 

    If you have questions, please contact Rachel McAlpine, Director of Admissions.
  • 5. Admission Decision

    Harborlight’s Admissions Committee reviews each application thoughtfully and thoroughly. All decisions are sent via email upon completion of the application process. 

    Offers of enrollment (especially for our Lower School) are mailed as early as January for the Summer and Academic Year. These offers are sent until the grade/program level is full. 

    Parents confirm their child's enrollment by electronically submitting the Enrollment Agreement with a non-refundable/non-transferable tuition deposit to reserve a space for their child.

    When a decision places an application in a wait pool, the Admissions Team will contact the family when the child is moved from the wait pool to acceptance for future enrollment.

Admission Philosophy:

The Admission Committee includes members of the faculty, academic leadership, and the Director of Admission. Through a process of evaluation, Harborlight strives to maintain diversity among the student community while enrolling families who embrace the school mission and value the Montessori Method. Harborlight seeks to enroll curious, creative, self-motivated learners who thrive in hands-on learning and are adventurous enough to move beyond the classroom walls to experience and apply their learning in the ‘real world’. Eligibility for admission and re-enrollment is determined without regard to a student’s application for financial aid, scholarship, or assistance.
Harborlight Montessori admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or any other status protected by applicable law, and extends to them 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, ancestry, sex, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or any other status protected by applicable law in the administration of its admissions, scholarships, and tuition assistance program, and its educational, athletic, and other school-administered programs.
    • Children's House

What to Expect - Student Visits

List of 2 items.

  • Infant - Toddler and Children’s House

    For prospective students (4 months through K entry)
    On weekday mornings, each individual candidate-student will join current Harborlight students in the classroom. During these visits, Harborlight teachers will greet your child and lead a morning of exploration and connection in order to learn more about your child’s pre-academic skills, interests, and engagement.

    While Children’s House candidate-students play and learn, their parents will join the Admission Director for conversation and connections; for our infant & toddler candidate-student, we ask for one parent/guardian to accompany their child in the classroom.
  • Elementary - Middle School

    For prospective students (grades 1-8)
    Student visits in all grade levels are scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the fall/winter months: October, November, December, January.  All candidate-student will participate in the full day, 8:15am to 2:45pm. During these visits, Harborlight teachers will greet your child and introduce one of our student-ambassadors who will serve as host to your child throughout the day. Your child will shadow their host’s schedule for all classes and instructional time, lunch and recess, and participate fully in all of the day’s activities. There will be one block-period of time when your child will be administered a brief assessment of basic skills. This assessment, together with student work samples collected during the day, will be reviewed as a part of the application’s support documentation in support of an admission and placement decision.

Parent Observations


The Admissions Committee invites you to observe one of the Harborlight classrooms to see the learning opportunities and understand the dynamic links between the teachers, students, curriculum and materials. We want this time in the classroom to be comfortable for you and minimally intrusive for our students, which is why we provide this guide for you to make it a rich and effective observation.

A teacher will greet you as you enter the classroom and invite you to sit in an observation chair where you will be able to view the room. During the time of your visit, the teachers are unlikely to invite you into a conversation because they are providing you with an authentic peek into their work with students. Students may be curious about your presence and approach you. We ask for you to simply acknowledge them with a soft smile and limit the interaction to proving your name and purpose of your visit, “Hello, my name is ____ and I’m here to watch you and your classmates do your work for a short time and then I will leave.”

During your visit you may follow the children to their activities such as music, Spanish, playground time, etc. Shadowing parts of their day, including transitions and lessons, will give you a healthy understanding of the experiences and routines your child will have when enrolled. Following your visit, we recommend you share your notes, considerations, and questions with an academic leader (Head of School, Level Director, Director of Admission) we call this a shared parent interview. The exchange of information is your parent opportunity to interview Harborlight as a potential school as we interview you as a potential parent.

About Harborlight

Harborlight Montessori is an independent, co-educational, day school for children from infant-toddler through grade 8 that is committed to innovative teaching and learning.