Mission & History

Our Mission

Charles River School honors the pursuit of academic excellence and the joy of childhood. We nurture each child by igniting curiosity, encouraging creativity, and cultivating intellectual engagement.  Our graduates know themselves, understand others, and shape the future of our diverse world with confidence and compassion.


In 1911, four sets of parents founded Charles River School with the mission of finding a better way to educate their children. On a small Needham, Massachusetts farm, they established a school that would:

  • Offer strong academic programs,
  • advance moral learning,
  • lead innovation in education and,
  • instill in its students a love of learning.
These parents also wanted to be actively involved in the education of their children, a tradition that would become a cornerstone to the school's philosophy.

In 1917, CRS moved to Dover, Massachusetts. Behind the school’s original Victorian house lies a 16-acre campus designed for educating the whole child. From academic buildings and play spaces to labs, studios and athletic fields, each space has a role to play in support of learning.

After more than a century of educating children, we continue to offer a challenging academic program that teaches crucial skills, through an intellectually and culturally rich learning environment. On this decidedly modern campus, a thriving, diverse community of learners carries on the vibrant academic tradition and deeply-held values of our founders.