Education has always been a cornerstone of American society, and the state of Massachusetts has played a significant role in facilitating its growth and development. From establishing the first public school to developing the first teacher training program, the state has a huge history of educational innovation and achievement.
Massachusetts is home to some of the most prestigious schools in the nation, with excellent academic performances and unique course offerings. The large public school system, serving over 896,000 K-12 students, also has numerous massive school campuses.
This post will explore the thirteen biggest schools in the state, from elementary level through college. You’ll learn about the different academic opportunities, extracurricular activities, faculty size and experience, student population, and class size, among other factors.
Here are the 13 largest schools in Massachusetts based on student population.
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School
770 Salem Street, Malden, MA 02148
Located in Malden, Massachusetts, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is a top-performing public, tuition-free charter school. The school has four campuses with over 1,608 kids in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The kindergartners are at 536 Eastern Avenue, while grades one through eight attend 770 Salem Street.
More than half of the student body is within the elementary section. Mystic Valley aims to provide a solid academic foundation for each child, offering a comprehensive curriculum that prepares the students for high school. The structured intensive program offered through Direct Instruction builds progressively on concepts learned in previous series and grades.
The school’s unique approach to education pays off, with 61% of students attaining proficiency in math. 66% gain proficiency in English, per the results from state-mandated assessments. Despite its huge student population, Mystic Valley maintains a low student-teacher ratio of 12:1.
The students receive personalized instruction that facilities proper learning and growth. All full-time teachers at Mystic Valley are certified. The school is an excellent pick for families living in Malden looking for an academically rigorous environment for their children.
Foxborough Regional Charter School
35 Commercial St, Foxborough, MA 02035
Foxborough Regional Charter School is a high-performing public charter school serving families in Foxborough. The school is one of the largest schools in the state, with roughly 1,689 kids in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Most kids are in the elementary section, with a separate campus for K-4 students.
The school offers an enriching and rigorous curriculum with various learning experiences in every content area and grade level. Students' performance in state assessment tests is above average, with 39% of the kids attaining proficiency in math and 51% in English.
Foxborough Regional Charter School is intentional in its drive to maintain small class sizes, employing 133 full-time teachers and five full-time counselors. The school thus has one teacher for every thirteen kids.
The faculty is highly experienced, with 81% having taught for over three years and 90% of the full-time staff holding professional certifications. The school does have a full-time nurse, law enforcement officer, and social worker among its staff.
Brooke Charter School, Roslindale
190 Cummins Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131
As part of the Brooke Charter Schools serving students in Boston and Chelsea, the Brooke Roslindale Campus is one of the largest public schools in the state. The top-performing school is home to roughly 2,223 kids in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The elementary and middle school sections make up the bulk of the student body.
Brooke Roslindale is one of the best-performing schools in the state, with Niche.com ranking it second among public schools in Suffolk County. According to state assessment test scores, 76% of the students attain proficiency in math and 74% in reading. Brooke Roslindale offers the PLTW launch curriculum for students interested in STEM education.
The school has roughly 180 full-time teachers and one full-time counselor. This translates to one teacher for every twelve kids, an incredible achievement for a school its size. 71% of the teachers are certified, and 85% have over three years of teaching experience.
Tec Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School
141 Mansion Dr #300, Walpole, MA 02032
Tec Connections Academy is a public, tuition-free, online academy that offers a unique learning experience for students who wish greater control over their education. The school is home to over 2,940 kids in kindergarten through twelfth grade, making it one of the largest school systems in the state.
Tec Connections Academy delivers online classes through dynamic videos, texts, and audio that appeal to kids’ curiosity and build on their fundamental skills. The teachers at the school are state certified and specially trained in online learning.
The school’s unique approach to learning allows students to pace their learning process. 22% of students gain proficiency in math and 38% in reading. The school also has a gifted and advanced program for intellectually-gifted kids that wish to accelerate their learning process.
Tec Connections Academy has roughly 87 full-time teachers and six full-time counselors. 71% of the instructors at Tec Connections are certified. Additionally, 98.3% have over three years of teaching experience. The school also has a full-time social worker on staff.
Winthrop L. Chenery Middle School
95 Washington St, Belmont, MA 02478
Winthrop L. Chenery Middle is an excellent choice for families searching for a top-performing school within the Belmont Public Schools District. The school is one of the largest middle schools in the state, with over 1,371 kids in fifth through eighth grade.
The school’s mission is to inspire and support the student’s emotional, intellectual, and social growth and well-being. The school does an excellent job academically, with 82% performing at or above their grade level in math and 80% in reading.
The school’s staff and faculty size is extensive, with over 214 members. 84 of these are full-time teachers, with Chenery Middle enjoying a student-teacher ratio of 17:1. 99% of the full-time teachers are certified. Additionally, 98% of the teachers have over three years of teaching experience.
In addition to the common core subjects, students can enroll in elective programs in technology engineering, music, world languages, and physical education. The school also runs the BASEC @ Chenery after-school program that provides unique educational support for students that need it.
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School
120 Fisher Ave, Roxbury, MA 02120
Roxbury Preparatory Charter School is an average-performing public charter school founded in 1999. It serves roughly 1,521 students in fifth through twelfth grade. The school has a 96% minority enrollment, playing a crucial role in closing the diversity gap in education access in the state.
The school utilizes an award-winning instructional model that supports the student’s academic and personal growth. Official state assessments show that 50% of the students attain proficiency in math and 45% in reading.
The school has a free and open enrollment policy and is open to all Massachusetts families. Roxbury maintains a low student-teacher ratio, with one teacher for every twelve kids. The school also has a full-time nurse to cater to the kids’ medical needs.
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School
90 High Rock St, Lynn, MA 01902
KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School is an above-average public charter school under the KIPP family schools umbrella. The school serves roughly 1,614 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. A third of the student population is within the KIPP Lynn middle school campus.
The school’s charter places an intense focus on rigorous academic preparation and continuous character development. Students at the school perform better than their peers across the state, with 57% attaining proficiency in English and math. The school also has the PLTW Gateway curriculum for kids interested in STEM.
The school is intentionally diverse, playing a vital role in reducing the diversity gap within the state’s school system. Minority enrollment at the school is 94%, with all students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
The school has over 110 full-time teachers, with an average student-teacher ratio of 14:1. 87% of the teachers at the school are state-certified. The school also has a full-time nurse, psychologist, and social worker on staff.
Lowell High School
50 Father Morissette Blvd, Lowell, MA 01852
One of the largest high schools in Massachusetts is Lowell High School, with a population of 3,048 students in ninth through twelfth grade. The school is under the Lowell School District and prides itself in offering a comprehensive college-preparatory curriculum. Students undertake coursework in advanced placement, dual enrollment, high honors, honors, and traditional diplomas.
The school has an 84% four-year high school graduation rate, with 63% of the graduates pursuing a college or vocational training program. The school has an average SAT score of 1056, speaking highly of its college preparatory program. Lowell High offers eleven AP courses, with 12% of the students enrolling.
The school offers an early college/dual enrollment program in partnership with Middlesex Community College, allowing students to earn college credits while still in high school. 7% of the students participate in the program.
The school has over 213 full-time instructors, with an average student-teacher ratio of 14:1. 91% of the teachers have taught for over three years. Additionally, 88% have professional certifications.
Lawrence High School
70-71 N Parish Rd, Lawrence, MA 01843
Founded in 1901, Lawrence High School is the second-largest public high school in the state. It is home to over 3,104 students in ninth through twelfth grade. The school is part of the Lawrence Public Schools.
Lawrence High educational programs are broken into eight constituent academies in its huge complex: Lower School 9th Grade, Lower School 10th Grade, ENLANCE, Abbott Lawrence Academy, Upper School Academy, International High School, High School Learning Center, and Rise. Each academy serves a unique student population, depending on their educational needs and grade level.
The school has an 84% graduation rate, with 55% of graduates proceeding to college or vocational training. Lawrence High offers 20 advanced placement courses, which attract an 8% participation rate. The school also allows students to earn college credits through the dual enrollment program in which 5% of the students participate.
The school has over 246 full-time teachers, with an average student-teacher ratio of 13:1. 84% of the teachers have over three years of teaching experience. Additionally, 90% of the full-time instructors are state-certified.
Brockton High School
470 Forest Ave, Brockton, MA 02301
Brockton High is the largest public high school in Massachusetts and is among the largest K-12 schools in the nation. The school is home to over 4,300 students in grades 9-12. The school takes pride in offering rigorous educational programs and extracurricular activities that encourage self-discovery. It also has a nationally celebrated band and choir program.
The school’s instruction focuses on enabling students to demonstrate literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking, and reasoning. 84% of the students enrolled graduate after four years, with 55% proceeding to college or vocational training. The students have an average SAT score of 1,019.
The school offers 21 advanced placement courses and two STEM programs. 8% of the students enroll in the AP courses. The STEM programs are under the Project Lead The Way curricula for Engineering and Computer Science. 8% of the students also participate in the International Baccalaureate program, with an opportunity to earn college credits.
5 James Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Located in Cambridge, MA, Harvard University is a prestigious, public, four-year college offering undergrad and graduate programs. Founded in 1636, the school claims to be the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It serves roughly 31,345 students, making it the third-largest learning institution in the state by student population.
Harvard is one of the most competitive universities to apply to, with an acceptance rate of roughly 4%. Students admitted to the school typically have an incredibly high GPA and typically graduate top of their class. The average unweighted GPA is 4.22.
The annual list price for Havard students is $78,028, regardless of the student’s residency. It includes an average yearly tuition cost of $51,143. 58% of undergrad students at Havard benefit from financial aid, with an average aid package of $57,877 per student.
Notable Harvard Alumni
As one of the world's most renowned and well-known schools, Harvard University has an enormous list of notable alumni. Names on this list include:
- John Adams, second President of the United States
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist and philosopher
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
- J. Robert Oppenheimer, lead physicist on the Manhattan Project
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
- Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States
- Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
- Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States
- Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
- Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
181 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public, four-year research university that’s the flagship university of the University of Massachusetts system. Founded in 1863 as an Agricultural College, the school currently serves 32,045 students, making it the second-largest learning institution.
The university has a 66% acceptance rate. The admissions process is mildly competitive, with the school admitting students who are in the top 15% in standardized admissions tests. Students admitted have an average unweighted GPA of 3.99.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst charges an annual in-state tuition of $15,791. Out-of-state students have to pay $36,316 in tuition fees, with the total costs running upwards of $53,000. 84% of full-time students benefit from aid programs, with an average aid package of $10,892 per student.
Notable University of Massachusetts, Amherst Alumni
As one of Massachusetts's biggest colleges, it's no wonder that this school has a long list of notable alumni. They include:
- Betty Shabazz, civil rights activist
- Julius Erving, Basketball Hall of Famer
- Stan Rosenberg, 93rd President of the Massachusetts Senate
- Russell Hulse, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
- Jack Welch, former President and CEO of General Electric
- Steven Sinofsky, former President of Windows at Microsoft
- Anshuman Jain, former co-CEO and co-chairman of Deutsche Bank
- Jody Daniels, current Chief of the Army Reserve
- Zhou Qifeng, 13th President of Peking University
233 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Boston University is a private four-year research university with two primary campuses at the heart of Boston. It is the largest institution of learning in Massachusetts, with a student population of 36,104.
The school has a 19% acceptance rate, with the admissions process being highly competitive. The school admits students typically within the top 6% in standardized admissions tests.
The school charges an annual tuition fee of $58,560, regardless of residency status. The total expenses may rise to over $79,606. 52% of full-time undergraduates receive financial aid, with an average aid package of $45,724 per student.
Notable Boston University Alumni
As one of Massachusetts's oldest and largest colleges, Boston University has a number of notable alumni. They include:
- J. Allard, Vice President of Microsoft
- Jim Brett, former CEO of J. Crew
- David Edgerton, co-founder of Burger King
- Edgar J. Helms, founder of Goodwill Industries
- Paul Irwin, former CEO of the Humane Society of the United States
- Ken Lin, founder and CEO of Credit Karma
- Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights activist
- David I. Walsh, 46th governor of Massachusetts
- Barbara Pariente, former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
- Uzo Aduba, award-winning actress
Finding the Right School in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is famously known for its prestigious institutions of higher learning. The state is also home to numerous top-rated K-12 schools that are a key pull for families moving into the state. Massachusetts has large school campuses to accommodate the growing population, with the campuses serving thousands of kids at once.
This list contains not only large schools but also some of the top-performing schools in the state. You can enroll your child in one of the charter schools listed, offering unique approaches to education. Remember that the right school should meet your child’s needs and abilities.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com.