School-Aged Children

Help Navigating Schooling

With families trying to balance life, work, and school – still happening at home for many – we know this is an especially stressful time for working parents. We’re pleased to share resources that we hope will reduce at least some of the burden on Harvard staff and faculty, as we emerge from the most intense period of the pandemic, and beyond. Both available from EdNavigator, a nonprofit organization that specializes in supporting families’ educational success, these two resources aim to support parents in keeping children on the path to a great education.

Personal Education Advisors

EdNavigator connects busy families with personal education advisors (“Navigators”). Navigators include award-winning teachers, veteran school leaders, and other education professionals who know schools across the greater Boston area. They support families of all backgrounds with students in all types of schools, and can provide practical advice and support whether your child is excelling or struggling.

EdNavigator can assist with a broad range of educational issues, including:

  • Making the transition from remote and hybrid learning
  • Understanding your child’s learning needs and progress in school, including students with IEPs
  • Ensuring your child is ready for college or a fulfilling career
  • Finding high-quality educational programming and resources outside of school
  • Troubleshooting education challenges

You can call or chat with your Navigator via EdNavigator’s free app or meet in-person on the Harvard University campus (when it’s safe). This short video explains how it all works.

How to Get Started with Ed Navigator

EdNavigator is available at no cost to all benefits-eligible Harvard University staff and faculty. Here is how to get started:

  1. Download the free EdNavigator app (search “EdNavigator” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store)
  2. Tap “Get Started” and enter the code when prompted. The codes are on these flyers: in English and Spanish.
  3. Set up your account and meet your Navigator.

Camp Kinda

As we look ahead to the summer, we know many parents are trying to find engaging activities to keep their kids busy — never an easy task, especially this year, with pandemic restrictions still limiting camps and other summer programs. Also from Ed Navigator, Camp Kinda is an exploratory learning experience designed to keep kids ages 3-13 engaged, curious, and having fun over the summer — even if they're stuck at home. It’s like summer camp (kinda). Developed by education professionals and parents, it includes more than 250 hours of daily on- and offline activities that kids can complete on their own schedule, as well as special “CK Jr.” adventures specifically for younger children (ages 3-6). It starts on June 7.

How to Get Started with Camp Kinda

Benefits-eligible Harvard employees can sign up for Camp Kinda free of charge. Use your Harvard email address and enter the code when prompted. Codes can be found on this flyer.

Questions? Questions about how these programs work? Contact Work/Life. Email support@ednavigator.com if you have any technical issues. 

 

Public Schools

All cities and towns in Massachusetts must provide public education starting with kindergarten, and the age for admittance to kindergarten varies by community. You can find that information along with links to the websites for several of the public schools systems that are closest to Harvard's campuses by downloading this information sheet.

Some communities participate in the Massachusetts School Choice Program, which allows you to choose a school outside of your immediate school district.

For more information, contact your town’s public school system or the Massachusetts Department of Education at 800-297-0002 or doe.mass.edu.

Private and Religious Schools

Independent private schools determine their own mission and curriculum. Learn more at the Association of Independent Schools in New England.

Parochial and other religious schools provide some religious instruction in addition to a secular curriculum. You can access a list of the state’s private schools by religious affiliation at Private School Review.

After-school Programs

If you need child care after the school day ends, an after-school program may be a good solution. Available through schools, local community centers (such as the YMCA), child care centers, and licensed family child care homes, these programs often feature arts, crafts, games, and sports, as well as time to do homework.

The following resources can help with your search:

Summer Camps and School Vacation Programs

For information on summer camps and school-vacation programs, please visit this page.