Belmont Hill School

Belmont Hill School is an independent boys school on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) campus in Belmont, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. The school enrolls approximately 440 students in grades 7-12, separated into the Middle School (grades 7-9) and the Upper School (grades 10-12), and refers to these grades as "Forms" with a Roman Numeral I through VI. While the majority of attending students are day students, there are some who enroll in the school's five-day boarding program, which becomes an option for students in their 9th grade year.

Belmont Hill School
350 Prospect Street


United States
TypePrivate, college-prep, day and boarding
MottoProvidentia, Studium, Fidelitas
(Foresight, Zeal, Loyalty)
Head teacherGregory J. Schneider
Faculty61.3 (FTE) [1]
Enrollment450[1] (2015–16)
Student to teacher ratio7.3:1[1]
CampusSuburban, 32 acres (130,000 m2)
Color(s)Maroon, Blue & White             
Athletics16 sports
57 teams
Athletics conferenceISL, NEPSAC, NEIRA
RivalsSaint Sebastian's School
Roxbury Latin School
Buckingham Browne and Nichols


The school was founded in 1923 by a group of seven incorporators seeking a non-boarding institution for their sons that would allow for small classes and personal accountability. At the time of its incorporation, the location atop Belmont Hill was not yet developed and belonged to the Belmont Hill Trust. With the help of Robert Atkins, an incorporator and member of the Trust, 19 acres (77,000 m2) of undeveloped, rough, and swampy land was purchased in March 1923[2] and Belmont Hill’s first Headmaster, Reginald Heber Howe, was appointed.

Howe, a member of the faculty at the Middlesex School for 20 years, raised money for the necessary facilities. By the fall, renovations to the Headmaster’s house had taken place, along with the construction of an athletic field, a dormitory, and a single academic building, later named the Howe Building. The school finally opened its doors in the fall of 1923 to 43 boys (grades 3-9) and four faculty.[2]

Munro Leaf, author of the children's book The Story of Ferdinand, served on Belmont Hill's faculty as an English teacher beginning in 1929.[2]


Belmont Hill's athletics program offers 16 interscholastic sports, 57 teams, and over 700 athletic contests each year.[3] Almost all Belmont Hill coaches are members of the teaching faculty. Belmont Hill competes in the Independent School League.[4]

Belmont Hill constructed its Jordan Athletic Center in the year 2000 and later installed two new turf fields used for football, lacrosse, and soccer. "The JAC" also contains two basketball courts, a wrestling room, seven squash courts, a free weights and workout facility, and an Olympic-size hockey rink that is converted into four full tennis courts during the non-winter months. Sports offered for middle school and upper school students at Belmont Hill include:

  • Football (5 teams) ISL and New England Champions 2018
  • Soccer (7 teams)
  • Cross Country (3 teams)
  • Hockey (5 teams)
  • Basketball (5 teams)
  • Wrestling (3 teams)
  • Squash (3 teams)(not including a middle school and upper school intramural team) 18 time ISL Champions
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Baseball (5 teams)
  • Lacrosse (5 teams) ISL Champions 2015-2017
  • Crew (4 teams) New England Champions 2003-2010, 2012-2014, 2016
  • Track (3 teams) ISL and New England Champions 2017
  • Tennis (3 teams)
  • Golf
  • Sailing

Visual and performing arts

Belmont Hill offers both curricular and extracurricular tuition in visual arts, music and theater. Students engage in class-related and independent projects in drawing, painting, digital photography, ceramics, mechanical drawing (architecture) print development, music composition, and theatre productions. Student work is displayed throughout the year in the school's Landau Gallery alongside independent professional artists.

The music program at Belmont Hill is carried out in the school's Prenatt Music Center. Students may join a number of performance groups including Jazz Ensemble, Rock Ensemble, Orchestra, Chamber Group, Glee Club, and the B-Flats (an acapella group). The school has close ties with the Berklee College of Music in Boston, allowing the boys to take individual lessons on campus during the week. Serious musicians often enroll in the program’s advanced courses.[5]

Theater productions are held regularly in the school's small Kraft Theatre. Belmont Hill puts on a total of seven productions over the course of the school year including three middle school productions, three upper school productions, and a senior-directed production each spring. These performances are put on in collaboration with the Winsor School and/or Dana Hall School, Belmont Hill's sister schools. Performances during the 2009-10 school year included The Bridge to Terabithia, The Curious Savage, The Foreigner, The Music Man, and Rent.

Extracurricular activities

Students' schedules include a variety of different extracurricular activities. These are broken up into Middle School and Upper School organizations, with leadership positions filled by middle or upper school students accordingly.

Belmont Hill has student-run organizations including a student senate, debate team, school newspaper (The Bell for the Middle School, The Panel for the Upper School), yearbook (The Sundial), and social sciences journal (The Podium). Every other edition of The Panel is produced together with students from the Winsor School.[6] The Belmont Hill Junto, modeled on Benjamin Franklin's original club, is a collection of students who meet weekly for the purpose of mutual improvement. New student clubs and organizations are founded every semester based on interest level.

Over 70% of the student body participates in voluntary clubs and service trips for community service. Groups include SAFE (Students Actively Fostering Equality), Peer Leaders, Sustainability, Meadowbrook Retirement Home, and Investment Group. An extension of the community service program includes an annual week-long spring break trip to different regions throughout the United States. Groups have travelled to New Orleans, Appalachia, and Guadalupe, AZ participating in several service projects.[7]

Global education

Belmont Hill has various programs to study and travel abroad. Typically, students who choose to do so will spend a semester or the entire year during their Junior (Form V) year in these programs which range from:

  • HMI Semester - Colorado
  • Alzar School - Idaho/Chile
  • CITY Term - New York, NY
  • Mountain School - Vermont
  • Island School - Bahamas
  • SYA China
  • SYA Spain
  • SYA France
  • SYA Italy

Enrollment and admission

The application process begins early in the fall, a full year prior to the intended fall of enrollment. Belmont Hill enrolls approximately 50 new students in the 7th grade (Form I) every year, 10-12 in the 8th grade (Form II), and 15-25 in the 9th grade (Form III). On occasion, a few boys may join the school in the 10th grade as well. Graduating classes tend to fluctuate from 80-90 boys, depending on the year, however the school functions with an enrollment of approximately 445 students.

Notable alumni


  1. "Belmont Hill School". Private School Universe Survey. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  2. Duncan, Roger F., The Story of Belmont Hill School, Howard Kirshen Printing Corp., Boston, MA, 1985
  4. "Independent School League". Milton Academy. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2006-10-10.

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