Do your kids skip to school?

Children skip up the gravel path to The Common School every morning. They can’t wait to get to class. Ask why, and they’ll probably tell you, ‘school is fun.’ But if they spoke ‘adult,’ their answer would sound something like this: ‘In an age when increasing academic pressure is squelching creativity and playful habits of mind, The Common School is a refreshing alternative.’ But ‘fun’ sounds better; don’t you agree?

The Common School Difference

The Common School’s mission is to engage students in a transformative, progressive education that cultivates a love of learning, critical thinking, compassion for others, and a deep commitment to social justice and the environment.

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Guided by the philosophy that meaningful education must cultivate the imagination and instill an appreciation for learning as an engaging, joyful pursuit, The Common School creates a safe and stimulating atmosphere for learning that encourages children to trust in themselves and others, honor differences, question, take risks, collaborate, assume responsibility, and discover individual areas of strength and interest. As progressive educators, our teachers respect children’s individual differences, recognize their natural curiosity and capacity for growth, and are committed to authenticity in the activities that shape their learning. A curriculum organized around thematic, in-depth studies integrates many aspects of the classroom experience, with opportunities for rigorous inquiry, hands-on exploration and creative expression, quiet reflection, celebration and play.


• Enrollment: 115-120
• Common School families come from Amherst and more than a dozen communities across the Pioneer Valley
• Children of color represent about 21% of the student body
• Approximately 35% of students receive financial aid; average award is 40% of tuition


Students are grouped in six mixed-age classes:

Students typically spend two years in a class of 17 to 24 students with the same teachers.


The Common School is accredited by the Association of Independent Schools of New England and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. The Common School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its admission policies, educational programs, hiring practices, financial aid or other school-administered programs.