Admissions Process

We are thrilled that you are interested in The Phoenix School as an option for your child.

Phoenix revolutionized education almost forty years ago when the prevalent teaching methodology was turned on its head, and students were given an active voice and role in the classroom and their education. Today, we continue to pioneer with our innovative, experience-driven learning community. Phoenix provides students with the tools, ideas, and encounters to help them be the best versions of themselves. With teachers as their partners in the PK-8 education equation, students learn to emphasize process over product, executing project-based learning through a robust curriculum.

We invite you to visit our school, as it is truly like no other. When you first step through our doors you will find yourself in an interactive and engaging large, open space that is divided into learning areas filled with a rich array of opportunities for authentic learning for all ages pre kindergarten through 8th grade. A Phoenix education is not limited by its four walls, as our students venture out in the world to use the rich resources of the Salem community, board the train for Boston, or as 5-8th graders, take a flight for their annual Travel Study trip as Phoenix students travel to learn.

Phoenix helps students think critically, explore deeply, work collaboratively, contribute globally, learn from failure, and celebrate success. Beyond the classroom Phoenix students are known for their character, creativity and confidence, with these traits being instilled throughout each day. Our students are bright, inquisitive, intuitive and grow into collaborative leaders, all while engaging the ever important social and emotional skills of respect, kindness and honesty. From our littlest learners to our graduating eighth graders, Phoenix students are shown to respect all people, their rights and their ideas, regardless of their ideas. Our core values are entwined into everything we do on a daily basis from being creativity, having perseverance, being innovative, and having empathy. 

Innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, global citizenship, and problem solving skills are at the forefront of our program. We provide a strong academic foundation in the early years and through eighth grade, ensuring that each of our students continues to thrive in high school, college and beyond for many years to come.

Our parents and family members are active participants in The Phoenix School community. Whether serving on the Board of Trustees or The Phoenix School Parents Association, helping with Halloween parking and parades, there is a place for everyone.

At Phoenix’s core is a dedicated faculty, composed of experienced educators. Our talented teachers stand out for their ability to foster each student’s personal excellence. We do not shy away from the challenges that inevitably come with childhood and adolescence, rather, we embrace these challenges as important steps in the journey.

We invite you to visit The Phoenix School, tour the facility and observe our classes in action. We offer parent tours and Open House events, during which parents can speak with students, teachers and administration, and observe first hand what makes The Phoenix School special.

We look forward to meeting you and your child.

To schedule a tour, or request additional information, please contact Mistral Dodson, Director of Admission. Mistral can be reached in the following ways:

telephone: 978-741-0870 

email: [email protected]

Read on to learn more and apply!

Have you ever met a Phoenix student?

When you do, you’ll want one too…

  • Imagine your 5-8th grader coming face to face with a cave cricket while squeezing through the Masher in a Kentucky cave or examining a sea urchin in the Virgin Islands. Wherever we go, we question, draw, write and do; authentic learning at its best.
  • Imagine your Kindergartener using technology to go into classrooms around the globe, working collaboratively on Edmodo with a team of students from Canada, China, and Czechoslovakia to share ideas that will lead to a greater understanding of different cultures.
  • Imagine a school that is small enough that once a year the entire student body, grades PK-8th, can spend two weeks together creating an original musical, designed to communicate in a creative way information they have studied as a whole school.
  • Imagine your 7th or 8th grader sharing the podium with the President of Salem Rotary as a leader in one of the collaborative projects organized and run by The Phoenix EarlyAct Club, a student run community service club.

I want a Phoenix Student, what next?

Application into the Phoenix School includes the following:

Step 1 - Prospective Parent Visit

There is no better way to learn about a school than to visit, because our hands-on, project based curriculum and one room school house is so unique to anything you have ever seen – you’ll want to experience it in person! We offer a number of different options.

Schedule a tour.
Plan to spend about a half hour so that you have a tour of the school given by a student, meet the heads and faculty, observe and interact with students at work, and meet with Mistral Dodson, Director of Admissions, to answer any specific questions you may have.

Have your child visit.
If you think The Phoenix School is a good fit for your child and you are serious about applying, schedule a day for your child to visit for the day. This option is for students applying for 1st-8th grade only. PK and K applicants will have a visiting time scheduled with the Director of Admissions.

Attend an Exhibition Night and Open House
Join Phoenix parents and students from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at one of our evening Exhibition Nights and Open Houses where students will display, share, and answer questions you might have about the samples of their schoolwork they have chosen to display.

Complete the application form online or print the PDF and return it with the $50 non-refundable application fee. Applications will be processed and student visits scheduled as they are received.

Step 2 - Application
Step 3 - Student Visit

Once you have submitted an application and we have received the Teacher Recommendation form and school records, your application is complete.

PK-K applicants – 2 hour visit
Grades 1-4 applicants – 1 full day visit
Grades 5-8 applicants – 2 consecutive, full days visit

Step 4 - Supporting Information

The following forms are part of the admissions packet. These are also available in printed form at the school if you’d prefer to pick up or have them mailed to you.

Student Evaluation PK-1st
Student Evaluation 2nd-5th
Student Evaluation 6th-8th – MATH
Student Evaluation 6th-8th – ENGLISH

Teacher Recommendation form for PK – 1
Teacher Recommendation form for grades 2-5
Teacher Recommendation form for grades 6-8 Math
Teacher Recommendation form for grades 6-8 English
Record Release Form

Step 5 - Parent Interview

After the visit and the receipt of School Records and the Teacher Recommendation Form, we will schedule a Parent Interview. This is the time we will explore whether or not we all feel there would be a good match between what The Phoenix School offers and the needs of your child and the goals and values of your family. Parents will receive written notification of our decision. To accept and reserve a place for the next school year, a non-refundable $1000 deposit is due upon acceptance of a place. Deposits for financial aid applicants are determined as a percentage of tuition charges.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affording Phoenix ~ An Investment in Education

A Phoenix education is an investment in your child’s academic and personal development that does not depreciate over time. In fact, this investment grows in value throughout the course of their lifetime as they pursue their advanced education, a rewarding career and most importantly, enjoys a balanced and satisfying life. Here at Phoenix we understand an independent school education represents a significant investment in your children’s future. Our unique educational philosophy emphasizes both critical and creative thinking—developing well-rounded children whose academic success is fueled by creative exploration, joyful curiosity, and a sense of belonging within a community of diverse perspectives and talents.

We encourage all families to explore the value of a Phoenix education for their children, regardless of their ability to afford the entire tuition. Tuition for The Phoenix School offers an unparalleled value among private schools on the North Shore. Tuition for the school year includes students high quality school supplies and equipment, along with the study travel program for our 6-8th grade students. 

At Phoenix, we recognize that when choosing a private, independent school, finances play an important role in the decision. The Phoenix School strives to make its educational experience attainable to as many families as possible. 

If you have further questions, click here to view our Admissions Frequently Asked Questions, email [email protected] or call 978 741-0870.


A Phoenix education is a substantial investment in your child’s future, but financial need should not discourage you from applying for admissions. The Phoenix School provides a need-based financial aid program in order to help make a Phoenix education a possibility for qualified applicants regardless of their families’ financial circumstances. Our goal is to enroll a student body that represents a cross-section of the greater North Shore area. The Phoenix School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation.

2022-23 Tuition

TK, K, 1st, and 2nd grades: $26,200
3rd, 4th and 5th grades: $27,100
6th, 7th, and 8th grades: $28,400

A completed financial aid application is required of all families requesting financial assistance. The Financial Aid Committee reviews each request individually, using the information received from FAST and other supporting information you have provided, and makes awards based on the financial aid budget set by the Board of Trustees. Admissions decisions are made separate from financial aid decisions.

Financial Aid

Apply for Financial Aid

Financial aid is available and awards are based on a family’s demonstrated financial need as determined by FAST Grant and Aid Assessment Service. We encourage all families to explore the value of a Phoenix education for their children, regardless of their ability to afford the entire tuition. Our tuition assistance program complements 529 plan use, family gifting options, and need-based financial aid opportunities which can make a Phoenix education a reality for families across a wide economic range. To apply for financial aid, please visit the FAST Portal and complete your application.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

• Parent may request financial aid materials by checking the financial aid box on the admissions application or by contacting Phoenix directly.
• The Phoenix School must receive a completed financial aid application on or before February 15th.
• The Financial Aid Committee will review each request in late February and make its decision. You will be notified along with the admissions decision in early March or on a rolling basis if applying for admission in the current academic year.

Is my family eligible for financial aid?

Financial aid is monetary assistance provided by The Phoenix School to reduce educational costs to families based on financial need. Eligibility is based on many factors, so you should always investigate the possibility of receiving financial aid if you feel you cannot pay all the costs yourself. There is no specific income level at which a family is no longer eligible for aid.

What determines whether or not a student qualifies for financial aid?

All financial aid grants are based on financial need. Each request for aid is assessed individually. The Phoenix School uses FAST to process financial data. The need assessment is based on family income and expenses, assets and liabilities, family size, and the number of children attending tuition charging schools. Each year families qualify for more financial aid than is available.

What is FAST and what role does it play in determining a financial aid award?

The Phoenix School uses Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST). This service (FAST) computes the parents’ financial statement and recommends an appropriate tuition contribution from the family. The School determines eligibility for admission and re-enrollment without regard to a student’s application for financial aid. Confidentiality of financial aid applications, records, and decisions is assured.

What if we have not completed our tax return by the February 15th deadline? Will this delay a financial aid decision?

No, you should complete all of the required forms for FAST, and submit them by January 30th to ensure the school’s Feb.15th deadline for a complete application. The Financial Aid Committee will accept last year’s tax return as a basis, and the financial aid award will be contingent upon receiving a copy of your completed tax return for the current year.

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

In the case of divorced or separated parents, both parents are expected to complete financial aid applications. The income and assets of both parents are taken into consideration. All individual financial information is held in the strictest confidence.

After receiving a financial aid, do we need to reapply each year?

Yes, because family finances can change, families must apply for financial aid each year. Unless there is a significant change in a family’s financial situation, the Financial Aid Committee strives to award a level similar to the previous year’s grant.

If we have not previously received financial aid, is it possible to receive aid in future years?

Phoenix is strongly committed to the continuation of its students’ enrollment. We recognize that a family’s financial circumstances may change over time. Any Phoenix family facing unexpected financial need is encouraged to engage in the financial aid process.

Does The Phoenix School offer merit scholarships?

All Phoenix students are admitted on merit. There are no financial rewards for merit.

Do financial aid grants cover the full cost of tuition?

No. The Financial Aid Committee makes the grant decisions for each family based on need. Each family contributes financially according to their ability to do so.

Does The Phoenix School offer a payment plan?

Absolutely – we work hard to accommodate all mission appropriate families. Families may opt to pay their tuition…

10 payment = May through February, 
4 payment = May, August, November & February, 
2 payment = June & December, 
1 payment = July
There is a non-refundable deposit due upon acceptance of the Reservation Agreement.

Where does financial aid funding come from?

In fact, all of Phoenix’s students are the beneficiaries of a form of financial assistance, as actual tuition does not cover the cost of educating a student each year. The school’s Annual Fund, parent fundraisers, and grant income all combine to make up the balance. The school’s operating budget provides 100% of the financial aid funding.

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