Admissions Process

Concerned your child isn’t getting the attention they need? Wondering why your child is bored with school? 

Let us bring back the creativity and curiosity of learning for your child.

Phoenix flipped the industrial educational model on its head forty years ago when it decided to start giving students an active voice and role in the classroom and their education. 

At Phoenix we move, we collaborate, and we learn with our minds and our hands.

If you thought you knew what a modern school education looks like – think again.

We continue to pioneer our innovative, experience-driven learning community to give students a cutting-edge educational experience. 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 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.

At Phoenix, students learn to:

  • think critically
  • explore deeply
  • work collaboratively
  • contribute globally
  • learn from failure (FAIL = First Attempts In Learning)
  • celebrate success
  • persevere 

Beyond the classroom, Phoenix students are known for their: 

  • character
  • creativity 
  • confidence

Our students are: 

  • bright
  • inquisitive
  • intuitive 
  • kind
  • respectful
  • inclusive
  • collaborative leaders
  • empathetic

Innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, global citizenship, and problem-solving skills are at the forefront of our program. We provide a strong academic foundation, ensuring that our students continue to thrive in high school, college, and beyond.

We invite you to visit The Phoenix School, tour the facility and observe 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 swimming with sea turtles in the Virgin Islands. Wherever we go, we question, draw, write and do; authentic learning at its best.
  • Imagine your child using technology to collaborate with students from Canada, China, and Czechoslovakia, sharing ideas and learning about each other.
  • Imagine your child’s whole school, from grades TK-8th, together creating an original musical, designed to communicate in a creative way information they have studied.
  • Imagine Phoenix kids 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 to 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 ReleasePhnx_Record_Release_Form_21

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

We understand that independent school education is a big investment for families and that some may need assistance in affording a Brightworks education for their students. This is a reality that we do not take lightly, and we do our best to make The Phoenix School accessible for students and families while balancing the needs of our budget as a nonprofit school in Salem.

Tuition includes all school and project supplies, field trips, expert visits, technology, and our Travel Study program for our 6-8th grade students. Occasionally, there are additional fees associated with special opportunities. It is vital to our program that all students are able to participate in activities, regardless of financial ability. Aftercare comes with an additional fee with additional tuition assistance available.

The Phoenix School is committed to a community that is socio-economically diverse. We are dedicated to providing tuition assistance to families with demonstrated inability to pay for full tuition and currently assist 36% of our families with grants ranging from 10%-100% off the total tuition. 

We encourage families that need assistance to fill out the Financial Aid for School Tuition (FAST), which helps us assess families’ ability to pay for tuition. The system analyzes the numerical information that families submit and recommends total payment for tuition. The tuition assistance committee then works with the admissions team to determine the final tuition grant for each family based on this initial recommendation, taking into account external factors like cost of living and special circumstances. 

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

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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. 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 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

  • Parents 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.

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) which 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 financial aid, do we need to reapply each year?

Yes, since 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 payments = May through February,
  • 4 payments = May, August, November & February,
  • 2 payments = 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.