Arlington’s Merryhill School rated A+ for excellence in developmental education

dfwnewsa | November 17, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Arlington’s Merryhill School rated A+ for excellence in developmental education
The entrance to Merryhill School on 711 W. Arbrook Blvd., Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2023. The school was recently given an A+ overall grade by Niche, an organization that ranks and reviews schools across the country. (Matthew Sgroi | Fort Worth Report)

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Grace Kemmis, Merryhill School’s admissions coordinator, doesn’t even remember her first day at Merryhill.

She was admitted into the Arlington private school as an infant and has spent much of her life inside the two-building preschool, elementary and middle school.

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Recently, the school was recognized by Niche, a ranking and review company, as a “2024 Best School” for the school’s focus on diversity, experiences and individualized learning within a familial environment.

“What makes a difference is that they can grow up here,” Head of School Michelle Bechtel said. “We can individualize it. How do we reach each one of them individually?”

On a recent Thursday, third graders on iPads learned how to divide while fourth graders in Spanish class experienced Dia de los Muertos by watching Disney’s “Coco.” 

“We really value diversity here,” said Bechtel. “They learn from each other and they learn from experience.”

Niche gave the school an A grade for its dedication to diversity. The school was given an A-plus for academics and teachers.

The school’s curriculum works so well because it’s designed to be rigorous, but it’s also personalized to each student’s individual learning goals and styles, Bechtel said.

And each year’s learning objectives and student goals are driven by data, standards and student choice.

Merryhill School

Enrollment Fees

  • Registration: $150
  • Application: $75
  • New Student Fee (Grades K-8 only): $500
  • Assessment (Grades K-8 only): $75

Tuition (Monthly pricing)

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  • Beginners: $1,164
  • Infants: $1,393
  • Intermediates: $1,113
  • Pre-K: $1,035
  • Toddlers: $1,223
  • Kindergarten: $1,017
  • 1st-3rd Grade: $1,044
  • 4th-8th Grade: $1,104

“School’s a little fun, I get to learn math,” said third grader Nico Boylen. “I want to be an electrical engineer when I grow up. My mom said I’m going to MIT.”

Fourth grader Roger Sutton also loves math. 

“There’s always adventures and stuff, there’s always mysteries and you have to solve it,” said Sutton. “I want to be an engineer, or someone who works with mathematics.”

Bechtel said they make sure lots of math is placed throughout the curriculum, with problems fit for future engineers. 

“Students are spread throughout the room,” Bechtel said. “Our students are never just sitting, staring at a teacher and the board. They’re always engaged.”

In the infant and preschool building, 3-year-old students sat in one classroom writing new words on a blank piece of paper. Using phonics, the toddlers were learning how to read. 

Merryhill’s middle schoolers took a field trip on Nov. 2 to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. It’s just one of the many trips, including one to Washington, D.C., that come with being a Merryhill student.

Bechtel isn’t surprised some families stick around at Merryhill for multiple generations, she said. She’s confident and proud of what Merryhill is today.

“Honestly, I tell parents when they come to visit, “If you don’t instantly feel like this is the best fit, then it isn’t,” Bechtel said.  

Regardless, she’s excited whenever a new family walks through those preschool doors.

Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at matthew.sgroi@fortworthreport.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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