MFA School Programs maintains longitudinal, dynamic relationships with individual schools and school districts. The rationale behind our School Partnership Program is to build long-term capacity within the school by training the faculty to incorporate art into their various subject areas and providing access to the Museum and its collection to students at all grade levels. Our school partnerships take varying forms, depending on school/district and their needs and priorities. The MFA works with administrators and teachers to design partnerships that meet shared educational goals.

Our current partnerships are described below. For more information, contact teacherresources@mfa.org.

Boston Public Schools Partnerships

The MFA and Boston Public Schools (BPS) have had a decades-long standing partnership. While the Museum has served schoolchildren throughout the city from its first days, a formalized relationship with BPS began in the 1960s. Since that time, the MFA has worked closely with BPS to provide opportunities for BPS students to visit the museum and engage with MFA collections as a part of their classroom curriculum each year.

VTS-Based Partnerships

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a research-based teaching method that develops students’ critical thinking and language skills while building self-confidence through facilitated discussions of works of art. VTS is a cornerstone of the partnership program at the MFA due to its strength in empowering all learners to engage with the visual world.

For more information and further resources about VTS, see Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) Resources.

The MFA has six VTS/BPS partner schools. This partnership centers around VTS by training teachers in the VTS pedagogy, providing on-going support in classrooms throughout the year, and welcoming the students to the Museum for Guided VTS Tours. The six VTS/BPS Parnter Schools are the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown, the Joseph Hurley School and the William Blackstone Elementary School in the South End, and the East Boston Early Education Center, the Samuel Adams Elementary School, and the Dante Alighieri Montessori School in East Boston. The MFA partners with several classrooms at Timilty Middle School in Roxbury by providing teachers with training in VTS, as well as multiple visits to the museum. 

To request a Museum visit for a VTS/BPS Partner School, please submit a Visit Request.

High School Partnerships

The Margarita Muniz Academy, a BPS Spanish/English dual language high school partners with the MFA through an annual Art Show and high school graduation at the MFA. The MFA works closely with Boston Arts Academy to provide multiple visits to the MFA and teacher professional development as well as serves as host for the Boston Arts Academy Senior Awards. The MFA works with students and teachers at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers to provide curriculum ties for AP level courses. 

Independent and Public School Partnerships

Advent School

Since the 2013–2014 school year, the Advent School, located on Beacon Hill and serving students in grades PK through 6, began a partnership with the MFA that allows students and faculty unlimited access to the Museum and an annual Art Show to connect the school community with the Museum’s collections. 

Beacon Academy

The MFA has partnered with this independent alternative school since its inception over a decade ago. The MFA becomes an extension of the classroom as students and teachers visit multiple times during the coures of their 14-month tenure at Beacon Academy, participating in VTS discussions, incorporating MFA collections into the curriculum, and hosting an annual Family Night to introduce their families to the MFA. 

British International School of Boston

The British International School of Boston launched its MFA partnership in 2014–2015, which includes unlimited access to the Museum, as well as a student docent program for students in years 2–9 to present objects for their families at the annual Art Show. In addition, the school selects a work of art or exhibition from the Museum’s collection to serve as a focus for art projects in the classroom to be displayed at the Art Show. 

Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School

The MFA’s partnership, which dates back to the 1990s, enhances the curriculum throughout this K–12 school.  Students and teachers make multiple visits to the MFA, with the goal of synthesizing their integrated units of study school-wide. Upper school students who participate in art classes, Western Studies, and AP Art History, make use of the MFA’s global collections as a learning resource. 

Codman Academy

The MFA partners with the Codman Academy, a Charter Public School in Boston through training teachers in VTS and hosting an art show as well as multiple visits for students through the MFA’s Artful Adventures program. 

Dexter Southfield School

Dexter Southfield School, a PK–12 college prep school, became an MFA partner in 2014–2015. Their partnership combines both unlimited access to the Museum with a student docent program that trains a group of upper school students to lead tours of the MFA collections for their younger peers.

German International School of Boston

The MFA’s partnership with the German International School of Boston began in 2015–2016 with a professional development training for faculty in VTS and its applications to various areas of the curriculum. In 2016–2017 the partnership was expanded to include unlimited access to the Museum, a community day, and a student docent program for the 11th and 12th grade classes.

Medford High School

Since 2013–2014, the MFA has worked with students at Medford High School to train as student docents to give tours of the MFA’s art colloection to their peers. Read more about the student docent program in the December 10, 2015 edition of the Medford Transcript.

Noble and Greenough School

The Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, a non-sectarian school serving grades 7–12, has partnered with the MFA since the 2014-2015 school year. Students and teachers have unlimited access for guided and self-guided tours and faculty have participated in professional development aimed at helping teachers to make use of the MFA and its collections in their curriculum.

Quincy/North Quincy High Schools

Started in 1990 by a History/Social Studies teacher at Quincy High School, this program brings together students from Quincy’s two public high schools to learn together about art, art history, research, and presentation skills. Students apply to the three-year Student Docent Program. Through the program, students visit the MFA to train as docents (content and performance skills) and give tours to classmates from their schools. This successful program was honored with the MFA’s Community Partnership Award in the fall of 2009.

Walnut Hill School for the Arts

The Walnut Hill School for the Arts, the only independent arts high school on the East coast, partners with the MFA for multiple visits and access to the Museum and its resources to complement the arts-focused curriculum of the school.