The strengths of the one-room schoolhouse meet the challenges of the 21st century.
An independent middle school for students in grades 6 through 8.
Frequently Asked Questions2023-06-15T12:11:39-04:00


What makes Four Winds different from other schools?2021-07-30T18:11:33-04:00

Four Winds truly offers an individualized education. Students work at their own level of achievement in all subjects, receiving individual help from teachers, and making progress daily. Working at their own pace and their own level means that students are challenged every day. Students at Four Winds quickly gain academic confidence, knowing that they can meet these daily challenges and that they will never be behind or lost.

Four Winds is a safe, nurturing environment where students will never feel like they are failing. At the same time Four Winds offers challenging academics. Most importantly, Four Winds students will have learned how to learn. They will have gained confidence and begun to enjoy learning. With these skills, they will be able to get the most out of any high school or college they attend in the future.

What if my child has an IEP or 504 plan at their current school?2021-12-28T22:20:19-05:00

Many students’ IEP/504s are no longer relevant once they transfer to Four Winds School. For example, if their IEP says they need more time on tests, it doesn’t matter at Four Winds because we don’t administer tests. Likewise, if their 504 says that a student should be seated near the teacher, that automatically happens when we have a 4:1 student/teacher ratio. Additionally, our small, learn-at-your-own-pace environment organically meets the needs of students who may have struggled in a larger setting.

That said, if we can’t meet a student’s needs at Four Winds, your home district is legally required to continue doing so! (You can learn more about this here and here.) We’re very flexible and are happy to work around district-provided services. For example, it would be fine for a student to come late one or two mornings per week after receiving their services at the public school.

What is Four Wind’s daily schedule?2021-07-30T18:15:09-04:00

The academic day begins at 8:30, pick-up is at 3:30. Please see the Our Program page for more detail, or email us at with specific questions.


What do the students do for physical activity?2021-07-30T18:20:18-04:00

We place a high value on both work and play. For that reason, our daily lunch break is an hour long. During that time, many students choose to take advantage of the school’s field, kickball field, swings, four square court, and half-basketball court. The school has a collection of outdoors toys on hand for everyone’s use. Students are also welcome to bring their own school appropriate, outdoor equipment for break time. Students have also maintained their ties to their community by participating in local sports teams. At Four Winds, we recognize the importance of such activities and are flexible in allowing students time to make such commitments.

What is the school like socially?2021-07-30T18:23:27-04:00

Our small size allows students to get to know each other and themselves in a way that is especially valuable for their age. After just a few months of the school year, our small, tight-knit community often takes on a family dynamic. Additionally, the flexibility of our program allows us to address social issues as they arise, something which is not generally possible at larger middle school but is invaluable for adolescent development.

How many students go to Four Winds?2021-07-30T18:25:21-04:00

Our two-room historical building has a capacity of 14 students.

Who are the teachers and staff?2021-07-30T18:26:43-04:00
Does Four Winds assign homework?2021-07-30T18:31:25-04:00

Four Winds School does not believe in assigning homework for students. In fact, there are many studies that suggest that “there is no evidence to demonstrate that homework benefits students below high school age.” We would prefer students use their after-school time to spend time with their families, participate in extra curricular activities, or relax!

The only times that students bring home schoolwork is if they did not finish their biweekly work during the appointed time (due to poor time management), or if they choose to do so to get ahead or stay on top of their biweeklies. We do not have students make up work that they missed due to sickness or snow days.

Where do Four Winds students go after they graduate?2023-07-07T11:21:34-04:00

Anywhere they want to! Students will call upon their Four Winds experience and empowerment not just in high school, but throughout their lives. Click here for more information and examples.

Financing Your Education

What is the cost of the program?2023-05-02T21:16:36-04:00

Tuition for the 2023-2024 school year is $17,400. Four Winds School does not have an endowment, so tuition almost entirely covers our operating budget, including textbooks, field trips, supplies, teachers salaries, and more. However, financial aid is available for families who qualify.

Why choose a private middle school?2021-07-30T18:36:41-04:00

Many educators recognize the middle school years as the pivotal point of a child’s educational career. In the transition from elementary school to high school, many children lose the openness and willingness to engage that characterizes the earlier years of their education. Finding a middle school setting that genuinely engages your child and actively builds on their sense of academic accomplishment significantly improves the likelihood of success for your child in high school and beyond.

Do you offer financial aid?2022-01-10T19:53:48-05:00

Financial aid is available for families who need it. We encourage you to apply if you feel you may qualify! The board is also happy to work out a payment plan or work-trade agreements. Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions about this process!

Apply for Financial Aid


Where are you located?2023-05-02T21:02:43-04:00

Four Winds School is located at 54 French King Highway in Gill, MA. We rent two classrooms in the Riverside Municipal Building (the former Gill Elementary School) which is on Rt. 2 near the Wagon Wheel Restaurant. We share the building with Gill’s Historical Commission and Water Department. Click here to take a virtual tour of Four Winds School! 

How do I apply?2018-12-26T04:23:37-05:00
After I apply, when will I learn of the school’s decision?2018-12-26T04:24:05-05:00

Four Winds has a rolling admissions program. After the re-enrollment of our current students is complete, you will be notified of the status of your application.

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