A Guide To New York City’s Best Private Schools–2015 (Part 1 of 2)

[Editor’s Note: For part 2 of “A Guide To New York City’s Best Private Schools,” which includes listings L through Z, click HERE.]

Here’s the lesson plan for picking the right private school: Lots of research! There are lots of great private schools out there, but as you begin the process, your goal should be to first, identify which qualities are most important to you in a school, and second, figure out which local schools have them. This guide is a piece of a larger NYC private schools directory we have created for parents, with streamlined descriptions to provide an overview of each school. The next step is to check out their websites.

Grades Nursery-12
30 West End Avenue (Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School)
20 West End Avenue (High School)
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “The school’s approach to education is governed by profound respect for students.  It nurtures their curiosity, cultivates their imagination, encourages creative expression, values their initiative and engenders critical thinking skills.  The school is committed to development of the whole child and supports each student’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual growth.”
Noteworthy: “The Heschel School regards the texts of the Jewish tradition and the history of the Jewish people as fundamental resources for developing ideas, beliefs, behaviors and values to shape and inspire the lives of individuals in our time.  In an open and engaging academic setting, the school’s curriculum interweaves the best of both Jewish and general knowledge and culture throughout the school day.”

Alexander Robertson School

Grades Pre-K-5
3 West 95th Street
Philosophy: Individualized
Religious Affiliation: Second Presbyterian
In Their Own Words: “The Alexander Robertson School is a small school by design.  Each student is respected as an individual and as a member of our community.  Tailoring our program to each child’s needs ensures success for all.  Our ability to swiftly adopt new and exciting programming ensures a cutting edge curriculum.”
Noteworthy: “We offer the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s ‘Science and Technology’ curriculum, which connects through all subject areas. It allows the children to be engaged in layers of joyful discovery. As educators, we delight to see how their confidence grows while they build the necessary skills to carry out experiments and express their findings, as this is vital to a deep understanding of how all things work. Also, located just steps from Central Park at West 95th Street, we take every advantage of being surrounded by some of the world’s most important cultural institutions and opportunities for play that the park affords.”

Grades K-9
132 East 78th Street
Philosophy: Enlightened traditional
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen. In the belief that there are many ways to be a boy, the School offers an ongoing commitment to each student and uses the best insights and tools available to understand him as a whole person.”
Noteworthy: “Allen-Stevenson is rich with traditions. Some of these are cherished experiences that take the form of events that are held every year and have become ingrained in many aspects of the school. Other traditions include the school’s symbols, songs and codes. Alumni often mention that these traditions are what they remember about the school and come back to visit to share in these special events.”

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Avenues: The World School

AVENUES: THE WORLD SCHOOL                   [Chelsea] 
Grades N-12
259 10th Avenue
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our mission is to graduate students who are accomplished in the academic skills one would expect; at ease beyond their borders; truly fluent in a second language; good writers and speakers one and all; confident because they excel in a particular passion; artists no matter their field; practical in the ways of the world; emotionally unafraid and physically fit; humble about their gifts and generous of spirit; trustworthy; aware that their behavior makes a difference in our ecosystem; great leaders when they can be, good followers when they should be; on their way to well-chosen higher education; and, most importantly, architects of lives that transcend the ordinary.”
Noteworthy: “Avenues New York is the first of multiple
campuses planned to open worldwide. With dual language immersion (Spanish or Chinese) in nursery through grade 4 and intensive language classes in older grades, Avenues is a highly integrated learning community connected and supported by a common vision, a shared curriculum, collective professional development of its faculty, and modern technology.”

3 years-Grade 8
610 West 112th Street (Main Campus)
132 Claremont Avenue (North Campus)
Philosophy: Bank Street
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Education at the School is experience-based, interdisciplinary, and collaborative. The emphasis is on educating the whole child—the entire emotional, social, physical, and intellectual being—while at the same time, the child’s integrity as learner, teacher, and classmate is valued and reinforced.”
Noteworthy: “Bank Street’s two main programmatic divisions are the School for Children, which educates children nursery through grade 8, and the Graduate School, which prepares adults to teach and work in education. The combination of the two in the same setting creates amazing and wonderful synergies between children and the experts who prepare teachers to teach them.”

Grades Pre-K3-12 (K-9 in Fall 2015, growing to Pre-K3-10 in Fall 2016)
556 Columbia Street, Brooklyn
Philosophy: STEM-fcoused Liberal Arts-College Prep
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “BASIS Independent Brooklyn adheres to a simple yet innovative well-rounded curriculum; a model that leads the nation in academic results, nurturing students’ confidence, empowering them to do better tomorrow than they did today.  We teach children to embrace hard work and challenges.  We’re focused on an academic conquest in which our students master creative problem solving and critical thinking as well as subject matter. BASIS was founded on the belief that every child can excel academically.”
Noteworthy: “In the 2015 Washington Post rankings of America’s Most Challenging High Schools, BASIS.ed schools were ranked in the #1, #2, and #6 positions, while a 4th school outpaced all and moved to the ‘Public Elites’ list.”

BEEKMAN SCHOOL          [East Side]
Grades 9-12
220 East 50th Street
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Beekman School is a supportive college-prep program that blends personalized learning with customized flexibility.  Our challenging curriculum, visionary faculty, small classes, one-on-one courses, and welcoming community have been empowering students for 90 years.  Discover the progressive educational solution we can provide for you.”
Noteworthy: “The Beekman School Merit Award (50% tuition remission) is an award available to incoming 9th and 10th graders who earn a minimum 3.0 GPA during the current school year and who demonstrate good citizenship.”

Grades PreK-12
701 Carroll Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The students enjoy exploring multiple approaches to solving problems and their teachers are expert guides who help them navigate the landscape of elementary learning. Our students know the facts, algorithms and vocabulary, not simply because they’ve been taught, but because they’ve built an understanding of them which they will expand on as they move to Middle School.”
Noteworthy: “For Berkeley Carroll students, the interface between being a writer and being a reader comes together, in part, through the school’s Visiting Writers program. This remarkable program invites exceptional writers into the classroom. Visiting writers reveal their creative lives, the genesis of their ideas, the discipline required to write every day, the challenge of revision, and the deep love and commitment they have for their art.”

Grades K-12
210 East 77th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The School is committed to a traditionally rigorous academic program while placing an uncommon emphasis on nurturing the individual in the community. The School strives to develop the unique potential of each student by cultivating intellectual, aesthetic and ethical excellence.”
Noteworthy: “A backbone of the School’s interdisciplinary approach to academics is the ‘Year of’ program, initiated in 1993 by the Headmaster. This program highlights the common threads among subjects with respect to particular themes. Frequent trips that students take, not just around New York City but around the world, reinforce and maximize the academic principles they learn in the classroom.”

BLUE SCHOOL        [Financial District]
Grades Pre K-5 Now K-8
241 Water Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our curricular studies are driven by students’ own questions and allow full engagement with the world through the activation of heart and brain (or specifically, the right and left side of the brain). That ultimately leads to deeper understanding and connections. In our pre-primary program, these inquiries often begin with materials and the questions they present.”
Noteworthy: “The concept of a LabSchool is embedded in the progressive education work of philosophers John Dewey and Francis Parker. The original LabSchool strove to bring together experiential and research-based learning, integrating academics with creative problem solving. Today, BlueSchool serves as New York City’s only stated ‘lab school.’”

BREARLEY SCHOOL           [East Side]
Grades K-12
610 East 83rd Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Brearley School’s mission challenges girls of adventurous intellect to think critically and creatively and prepares them for active, responsible citizenship in a democratic society.  Within a diverse community and in partnership with dedicated faculty who teaches across three divisions, students develop a command of many disciplines and a love of learning through the passionate exchange of ideas.  Encouraging girls to balance individuality and collaboration further promotes the integrity essential to principles engagement in the world.”
Noteworthy: “Drawing from all five boroughs of New York City and beyond, Brearley is the center of extraordinary intellectual energy and exuberance. Under the close guidance of devoted faculty, girls develop the habits of mind and the courage and character to determine who they will be and what they will accomplish.”

Grades N-8
20 Waterside Plaza
Philosophy: Collaborative
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words:“The mission of BIS-NY is to provide an inclusive, collaborative learning community, merging the academic rigor of the British national curriculum with the inquiry-based approach of teaching and learning as set forth by the International Baccalaureate.  This combined approach develops life-long learners who demonstrate respect, understanding, and a commitment to an improved world.”
Noteworthy: “The international focus prepares children for the challenges of the modern world, to compete on a global scale, and empowers a breadth of critical thinking and an approach to learning that sets our students apart.  We explore what it is to be a global citizen and how we can best achieve that status.”

Grades Nursery-12
375 Pearl Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Quaker
In Their Own Words: “Our commitment to each child as an individual provides a warm and stimulating environment where children feel free to explore the world around them. The BFS Preschool program provides a nurturing and child-centered curriculum that supports each child’s learning style and developmental readiness. Our preschoolers become curious, motivated and competent learners.”
Noteworthy: “In the Preschool, we build this necessary foundation through our ongoing curriculum and community service projects such as participating in collections of pennies, books, food or clothing for various organizations. Each class also takes a turn baking a special snack for a local women’s shelter.”

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS MONTESSORI               [Brooklyn]
Grades Nursey-8
185 Court Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our carefully designed environment encourages the student’s natural curiosity. We inspire a love of independent learning and foster critical thinking by engaging students in a challenging and meaningful curriculum. By encouraging personal responsibility, leadership, and respect for self and others, we teach children to be thoughtful and confident citizens of the School and the world.”
Noteworthy: “For three-year-olds who will be entering our Preschool program in September, Summer Threes provides a warm and welcoming introduction to the Montessori experience. The program offers these young children a head start, an opportunity to meet new friends and teachers in a relaxed and comfortable setting, and the chance to acclimate to the larger classroom environment before the start of the school year.”

BROWNING SCHOOL           [East Side]
Grades K-12
52 East 62nd Street
Philosophy: Traditional
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Browning alumnus is a good citizen, sensitive to the needs of others, and respectful of divergent yet informed opinions. He is, in the best sense of the word, a gentleman . . . A traditional curriculum helps support boys intellectually, physically, and emotionally from Pre-Primary through Form VI.”
Noteworthy: “The Browning School is a member of Interschool, a consortium of eight private NYC schools: Brearley, Browning, Chapin, Collegiate, Dalton, Nightingale-Bamford, Spence, and Trinity. Interschool offers opportunities for academic sharing, extracurricular participation in the arts, and social activities for boys and girls.”

BUCKLEY SCHOOL           [East Side]
Grades N-9
113 East 73 Street
Philosophy: Traditional
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words:“The bonding among boys, the collegiality among faculty and the respect between student and teacher combine to create an atmosphere at Buckley where learning and growth occur both in and beyond the classroom. The School strives to educate the whole boy, foster a lifelong love of learning and develop personal integrity and respect for the beliefs and cultures of others.”
Noteworthy: “One of [our] curriculum components is Project CHARLIE, which focuses on self-awareness, relationships, decision-making, and chemical use in society. Project CHARLIE is taught from Beginners through Class IV. In Classes V–IX, a series of annual workshops is presented by a representative of Freedom from Chemical Dependency.”

CAEDMON SCHOOL           [East Side]
Grades Pre-K-5
416 East 80th Street
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We honor the individual and foster each child’s natural curiosity—these are the foundation of academic achievement.  We nurture empathy in our students, and help them to value perspectives wider than their own.  Our graduates are creative, capable, courageous, and ready to make their place in the world.”
Noteworthy: “We like to quote a Cherokee proverb that says: ‘Children are our hearts on the outside of our body.’ Our highest priority is to adhere to the highest academic standards and to make each child and family feel safe, nurtured, confident, successful, and happy.”

CALHOUN SCHOOL           [West Side]
Grades N-12
433 West End Avenue
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Calhoun values intellectual pursuit, creativity, diversity and social justice. Teachers and students work together to create a dynamic environment that focuses on both the process and product of research, interdisciplinary projects, writing, debate and experiment. Students are encouraged to discover their own voice, become independent learners, and connect to the wider word as active citizens.”
Noteworthy: “Site-based, experiential learning is an essential part of Calhoun’s curriculum. Students make overnight trips to Black Rock Forest (NY) for environmental studies; Upper Schoolers travel to the Badlands National Park (SD) for interdisciplinary explorations in paleontology, art, and Native American culture; seniors engage in a 5-week internship program before graduation. In 2014, 8th graders traveled to Peru and China as part of their Spanish and Mandarin studies.”

THE CATHEDRAL SCHOOL                     [East Side]
Grades Nursery-8
319 East 74th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Greek Orthodox
In Their Own Words: “The Cathedral School has an academically rigorous program, within a nurturing setting.  The exceptional student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1 makes it possible to pursue high academic standards in a small, neighborhood-school format.”
Noteworthy: “Excellence through the classics has become a central part of the curriculum, as all of the students are encouraged and given the tools with which to integrate the classics into their education.  The school has become a charter member of the National Junior Classical League and our students routinely win highest honors in the League’s annual Excellence Through Classics examination.”

Grades K-8
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
In Their Own Words: “Cathedral students have a strong sense of self, but also of loyalty and tradition—a sense of belonging to a school that inspires them academically, encourages them morally, and rewards them with a rich educational experience to serve as a foundation for a lifetime of learning.”
Noteworthy: “Cathedral empowers students to become responsible citizens in a diverse world. Our exploration of race and racism, gender identity, and all aspects of personal and group identity helps us to know ourselves, recognize stereotypes, and develop the courage to challenge bias and discrimination.”

CHAPIN SCHOOL      [East Side]
Grades K-12
100 East End Avenue
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “The Chapin School’s mission is to prepare a diverse and talented community of young women to thrive and lead in a global society through its dedication to academic excellence, personal integrity and community responsibility.  Chapin cultivates in each student a love of learning, independent thinking, emotional resilience and a dedication to serving others.”
Noteworthy: “Faculty regularly collaborates to design and implement lesson plans and teaching strategies for courses. Through the cluster system, different faculty members teach various sections of a single course, and they meet to develop a similar syllabus, discuss successful assignments, and propose new approaches. This method results in classroom-tested, innovative teaching, which challenges students to expand their intellects and understand the value of shared ideas.”

Grades K-12
587 Main Street
Philosophy: Individualized
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “An NYC approved non-public day school for grade K-12 students with learning challenges. Students are given appropriate accommodations to ensure they receive full access to a general education curriculum.  We are a learning community that focuses on the total child.  Teachers, administrators, and staff collaborate with parents to accommodate each student’s learning style ensuring all students can experience success.”
Noteworthy: “Our facility on Roosevelt Island is a state-of-the-art campus with four buildings that offer the best of both worlds. We are located in an idyllic environment reminiscent of a small town with panoramic views of Manhattan’s skyline, which attributes to our students’ overall academic and social success.  Our location is perfect for day trips to the world’s finest museums and all the city has to offer. We have co-curricular, not extracurricular, activities at our school.  Co-curricular activities are extensions of the classroom; they reinforce academics and provide unique ways to educate each child. (Activities include equestrian, clay sculpting, band, crocheting, fencing, gardening, keyboard, lacrosse, piano, Photoshop, skiing, flash animation, culinary arts, yoga, opera, sewing, and mural design).”

Grades K-12
301 East 29th Street
Philosophy: Accommodating
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Our mission is to educate children with learning disabilities in a comprehensive full-day program that, with appropriate accommodations, gives students full access to a general education curriculum. Through a program designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, identify and use students’ strengths and expand their knowledge, our students strive to acquire the essential academic and social skills expected of all elementary, middle and high school students in New York State.”
Noteworthy: “Student learning is supported by the use of smartboards in every classroom, a 1:1 laptop program in the high school, 1:1 iPad program in grades 7-8, laptop and iPad carts in the elementary and middle schools, computer labs, a variety of digital cameras, and an array of software. Individual accounts for all students and faculty allow them to access their personal files on any computer in the building.”

CITY AND COUNTRY SCHOOL    [Greenwich Village]
Grades Nursery-8
146 West 13th Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based, Personalized
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “At the core of our curriculum, one which uniquely and successfully integrates the arts, academics and ethics, is a belief in the fundamental importance of direct experiences, many of which bring children outside the classroom to serve the larger school community or visit the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Noteworthy: “With social studies as the core of the curriculum, enriched through science, mathematics, literature and the arts, students are offered varied opportunities to explore and question the human story, both past and present. Academic and practical skills are embedded in contexts meaningful to children, within larger, in-depth investigations.”

Grades K-12
260 West 78th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Power of intellect is important at Collegiate, but equally so are liveliness of person and generosity of spirit. Success consists not only in training young minds, but also in fostering all the personal qualities that make admirable young people grow into capable and caring adults.”
Noteworthy: “The center of what we do, daily, is the classroom. From Kindergarten to grade 12, the curiosity, energy, and passion of our boys radiate throughout the school. We expect our students to take their academic responsibilities seriously, but to possess sufficient humility so that they can laugh and not take themselves too seriously.”

Grades Pre-K-12
5 West 93rd Street
Philosophy: College Prep
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School has a responsibility to our students, to their parents, and society at large to help each child become a well-educated, responsible, caring, and productive person. Cultivating our students’ minds, supplying them with a substantial fund of knowledge, and providing them with the basis for making sound ethical judgments remain the foundations of the school’s mission and philosophy.”
Noteworthy: “We use chess tradition and culture to encourage good sportsmanship, politeness, and inspire gracefulness in victory as well as defeat. Chess playing develops students’ patience, focus, and ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.”

Grades Pre-K-12
1 East 91st Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
In Their Own Words: “The school’s mission is to develop in each student a personal and active religious faith in God, a deep respect for intellectual values, a social awareness which impels action, community building as a Christian value, and personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.”
Noteworthy: “Environmentalism is inherent in the school’s mission, and the administration leads by example, making decisions that demonstrate respect for the planet. All students are engaged in environmental education, and the school has joined with more than 100 other schools in New York State to be a part of the Green Schools Alliance, developing action plans for environmental sustainability and community-wide initiatives.”

COOKE CENTER SCHOOL           [Multiple Locations]
Grades K-12
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 730 (Preschool)
219 Stanton Street (Grammar School)
60 MacDougal Street (Academy, Grades 9-12)
254 West 29th Street, 4th Floor (SKILLS)
Philosophy: Accommodating
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Cooke Center School provides a continuum of education for students ages 5 through 21 with mild-to-moderate cognitive or developmental disabilities and severe language-based learning disabilities.  From New York State Common Core Standards-based academics, to arts and sports programs, to real-world internships, Cooke students learn every day how to tackle life’s challenges and find their place in the world.”
Noteworthy: “For students requiring more than four years to meet the requirements for graduation, we offer SKILLS, an Academy program dedicated to transitioning young adults with disabilities to an independent adulthood. SKILLS incorporates a person-centered planning process that places a strong emphasis on vocational training, leisure activities and daily living skills, and ultimately promotes a level of independence that is appropriate for each individual student.”

CORLEARS SCHOOL         [Chelsea]
Grades Nursery-5
324 West 15th Street
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We believe that children learn best when teachers take into consideration their experiences and interests, their prior knowledge, and their particular cognitive strengths. As a school steeped in progressive philosophy we recognize the need to give students a ‘voice’ in their education by allowing their questions and investigations to shape the emphasis of our core curricular areas.”
Noteworthy: “In addition to their classroom teachers, students work with specialists in Spanish, art, music, library, technology and physical education and movement. Teachers and specialists collaborate to design curricula and set goals and objectives based on developmental stages of children as well as the particular needs of the children in their classes and provide an integrated curriculum.”

DALTON SCHOOL       [East Side]
Grades K-12
108 East 89th Street
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Mission committed to providing an education of excellence that meets each student’s interests, abilities and needs within a common curricular framework and reflects and promotes an understanding of, and appreciation for, diversity in our community as an integral part of school life.  Dalton challenges each student to develop intellectual independence, creativity and curiosity and a sense of responsibility toward others both within the school and in the community at large.”
Noteworthy: “A progressive school guided by the Dalton Plan, we are an intentionally diverse community committed to a tradition of life-long learning and educational innovation. Major principles that inform the daily learning environment: valuing all dimensions of each child; cultivating values of respect, integrity, compassion, and justice; developing intellectual independence and risk-taking; valuing all disciplines, including arts, sciences, humanities, and physical development in an interdisciplinary curriculum.”

DWIGHT SCHOOL       [West Side]
Grades K-12
291 Central Park West
Philosophy: Personalized Learning
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “As no two children are alike, Dwight School crafts a personalized journey for every student based on individual interests and passions, called igniting the spark of genius in every child.  Personalized learning, along with community and global vision, are three pillars upon which a world-class Dwight IB education rests.”
Noteworthy: “Within divisions, grades 1-12 are further separated into houses. Each house is a small group within the larger School community that fosters pride, responsibility, and respect for the contribution of others… A dean oversees each house and helps foster a community identity through weekly meetings, class trips, and a guidance system, which allows each dean to closely know every parent and student. The House Dean is the first person to consult about personal or academic issues.”

Grades Pre-K-12
315 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None

In Their Own Words: “Mission states that as a community of learners, Dwight-Englewood strives to foster in each student a passion for life-long learning, a desire to seek excellence, honor, integrity, and to embrace diversity in order to meet the challenges of a changing world and make it better.”
Noteworthy: “One of the school’s important tenets is to build partnerships among students through buddy programs between each of the three divisions. Buddy programs give older students valuable hands-on mentoring experience and give younger students exposure to older role models. The school also promotes team building between student leaders in grades 9-12 through their participation in an annual start-of-school overnight trip.”

Grades Pre-K-12
33 Central Park West
3901 Fieldston Road, Bronx
Philosophy: Progressive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words:  “With an enduring commitment to excellence in progressive education, we inspire a diverse and joyful community of passionate learners, critical thinkers, and ethical individuals who aim to make the world more humane and just.”
Noteworthy: “Ethics class is an integrated part of classroom life, and the ethics teacher works closely with classroom teachers to make ethical thinking and discussions a part of children’s daily routines and everyday life.”

FAMILY SCHOOL               [East Side and West Side]
Grades Nursery-6
323 East 47th Street (Nursery-6)
308 West 46th Street (Nursery and Kindergarten)
Philosophy: Montessori
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “A warm, inclusive, Montessori environment fostering independence, creativity, and tolerance.  The Family School and its satellite, Family School West, comprise about 200 students.  Students have wide variety of specials, including weekly swimming, chess, martial arts, and foreign language.  Lower and upper elementary students attend annual trip to the Adirondacks, experiencing hands-on in nature what they have studied in the classroom.  Third through sixth years also attend the Global Citizenship Action Project (GCAP) conference every fall.  The small size of the elementary program allows students to participate in these special programs at a younger age than is typical, further supporting our emphasis on developing independent, self-assured and self-motivated individuals who find joy in learning.”
Noteworthy: “Montessori elementary program is a mixed-age setting of 6-9 year-olds (Lower), and 9-12 year-olds (Upper).  It academically rigorous, and nurturing, individualized learning environment. Through interacting with younger and older peers, our students develop leadership skills, self-confidence.

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French American School of New York

Grades N-12
85 Palmer Ave, Scarsdale, NY (Preschool)
111 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, NY (Lower School)
145 New Street, Mamaroneck, NY (Upper School)
Philosophy: College Prep/Bilingual
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words:“FASNY strives to educate globally literate, bilingual lifelong learners who understand, contribute to and thrive in an increasingly interdependent and connected world. FASNY holds its students to high standards of academic excellence, supports them in their personal development, and fosters a spirit of inquiry, service, and social responsibility to the environment and the global community.”
Noteworthy: “Eighty-five percent of the faculty hold advanced degrees, an impressive statistic for a school our size. Accredited by the French Ministry of National Education, the New York State Department of Education, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, and the International Baccalaureate Organisation, FASNY is proud to be the only true bilingual and multicultural school in the greater New York City area. Students are awarded a FASNY diploma and are prepared to pass either the French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.”

FRIENDS SEMINARY       [Gramercy]
Grades K-12
222 East 16th Street
Philosophy: Child-centered
Religious Affiliation: Quaker
In Their Own Words: “The disciplines of silence, study and service provide the matrix for growth: silence opens us to change; study helps us to know the world; service challenges us to put our values into practice. At Friends Seminary, education occurs within the context of the Quaker belief in the Inner Light – that of God in every person.”
Noteworthy: “Open to all students in Grades 7-12, the Chapman Academic Center, funded in part by a gift from the Class of 2008, supports the Friends academic program in a variety of ways: faculty ‘coaches’ assist students with assignments, either by appointment or on an informal ‘drop-in’ basis; peer tutors work with students in the Center under the supervision of the staff; and students choose to study by themselves in the quiet rooms dedicated to this purpose.”

FUSION ACADEMY           [Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester, NY, and Woodbury, NY]
Grades 6-12
Manhattan schools: 460 Park Avenue South, 9th Floor
157 Columbus Avenue, 3rd Floor
Philosophy: Alternative
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Fusion Academy is an accredited, non-traditional private school for grades 6-12. We offer students the opportunity to learn on their terms, on their schedule, and in their learning style—all in a one-to-one classroom.”
Noteworthy: “All of our classes consist of just one student and one teacher in their own comfortable private classroom. Each student has a unique daily and weekly schedule, with courses based on his or her interests, strengths, and academic track.”

GATEWAY SCHOOL           [West Side]
Grades K-7
211 West 61st Street, 6th Floor
Philosophy: Accommodating
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Emphasis is placed on the development of each child’s strengths and talents as well as the foundational instruction necessary to address his or her specific learning challenges. Gateway is committed to helping each child develop a strong sense of self-worth and independence, a concomitant respect for others and an ability to function well as a member of a group.”
Noteworthy: “We have a strong sense of partnership between educators and parents because it was a parent and an educator who teamed up to begin the school. The parent, Claire Flom, disagreed with many professionals’ assessments of her son’s ability, so she sought out a visionary educator, Elizabeth Freidus, in order to begin a school for her child and others who struggled with aspects of learning.”

GENEVA SCHOOL OF MANHATTAN                 [East Side and West Side]
593 Park Avenue (East Campus)
123 West 57th Street (West Campus)
Philosophy: Traditional
Religious Affiliation: Christian
In Their Own Words: “The Geneva School of Manhattan exists to provide a time-proven, classical education within a biblical worldview.  Our goal is to engage children’s minds and nurture their spirits.  We inspire students to love learning, pursue excellence, and become leaders in scholarship, virtue, and faith.”
Noteworthy: “Through song, recitation, classical literature, and Singapore math in our preschool and lower school, to Latin, logic, and declamation in the upper school, students are prepared for success in high school and beyond.  Our students also excel in areas outside of academia including chess, musical theatre, fine arts, and sports.”

GILLEN BREWER SCHOOL         [East Side]
Ungraded; ages 3-10yrs
410 East 92nd Street
Philosophy: Inclusive
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We opened Gillen Brewer in a rented church space in 1992 with one boy enrolled.  Now we are a community of 86 children and an exceptionally talented staff of more than 50 professionals.  From the start, our mission has been steadfast — making a difference, one child at a time.”
Noteworthy: “The Gillen Brewer School was founded in 1992 by Laura Bilicic and Laurie DuBos as a school for children with significant learning challenges.  As special education teachers, they saw the overwhelming need for a school in NYC where families with children who have significant special needs would be welcomed, educated, and supported.  The founders believed that a knowledgeable and informed family was invaluable to each child’s overall education.”

GOLDA OCH ACADEMY      [New Jersey]
Grades Pre-K-12
122 Gregory Avenue, West Orange, NJ
(Lower School: Grades Pre-K-5)
1418 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ
(Upper School: Grades 6-12)
Philosophy: Inquiry-based
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
In Their Own Words: “We create a compassionate and ethical community based on Jewish values, focusing on the concepts of derekh eretz (respect for oneself and others) and tikkun olam (making the world a better place). These ideals find expression daily in the communication between teachers and students, and among the students themselves. A dual education at Golda Och Academy promotes an environment of discovery — instilling an appreciation of liberal arts, science and fine arts — while also enriching students with the rich traditions and learning of Jewish texts and practices.”
Noteworthy: “Our students are engaged in learning from a global perspective and through a Jewish lens, within rigorous study of texts, Hebrew literacy, and observing mitzvot. Our nationally recognized Israel education program, with the opportunity for high school students to travel to Israel in grades 9 and 12, creates a lifelong relationship with Israel and its people.”

GRACE CHURCH SCHOOL          [Greenwich Village]
Grades Pre-K-12
86 Fourth Avenue
Philosophy: Traditional, creative
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “GCS aims to establish in our students a firmly-rooted confidence in themselves and their abilities.  We believe that the early school experience sets the foundation for life-long intellectual and social growth, and we strive to develop mental keenness, physical confidence, pleasure in learning, and the skills basic to understanding one’s self and the world.”
Noteworthy: “Starting in junior kindergarten, students take part in a full range of programs including music, art, computer, laboratory science, instruction in French, Spanish and Latin, physical education, dance, and drama, in addition to the traditional curriculum.  Older students have a wider choice of languages, athletics and team sports,  as well as opportunities for international exchange, in-depth independent study projects, and the option to delve deeply into their intellectual passions by taking courses at nearby NYU and Cooper Union.  At every age, community values, service, and ethics are part of the course of study, and they are woven into the daily school experience.”

HEWITT SCHOOL       [East Side]
Grades K-12
45 East 75th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Hewitt empowers girls to discover their full intellectual and creative abilities, to pursue their passions and personal best, and to lead lives of consequence with character, compassion, and conviction.”
Noteworthy: “Service learning is an integral part of Hewitt’s academic curriculum. Community service is incorporated into school days and throughout the calendar year. The entire school participates in several events during the year, including charity walk/runs and Project Cicero.”

HORACE MANN SCHOOL             [Bronx]
Grades N-12
231 West 246th Street
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “We want to create in students an enthusiasm for and an interest in learning.  In the lower division, that enthusiasm and interest is tangible not only in the classrooms, but also in the hallways, library, arts and technology center, and on the playing fields.”
Noteworthy: “In 1965, Horace Mann established the John Dorr Nature Laboratory in Washington, CT, with a gift of 83 acres. The Laboratory now encompasses 275 acres of fields, streams, and ponds in which students can explore nature and engage in outdoor pursuits. Dorr’s resident four-person faculty instructs students in environmental
science, conservation, and outdoor living.”

Grades Nursery-8
477 Court Street
Philosophy: International
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “International School of Brooklyn provides an intimate, progressive and multicultural education that is ideal for preparing our children—tomorrow’s leaders—to face the challenges and opportunities of an international future.”
Noteworthy: “Students in the bilingual programs need to be proficient in both languages (English/French or English/Spanish), with proficiency defined as a level at which the student feels comfortable interacting, reading, and writing in an academic setting. ISB teachers use multiple resources to ensure that the curriculum is accessible to students.”

Grades Pre-K-12
119-17 Union Turnpike
Philosophy: Academic
Religious Affiliation: None
In Their Own Words: “Lessons and coursework are designed to be developmentally appropriate and inspire a love of learning. In addition, students are led to develop public speaking skills as they share their knowledge with others.”
Noteworthy: “Mini Courses for Grades K-6 offer children various opportunities to grow and learn beyond the classroom.  Courses run the gamut from academics to physical fitness, art and music.”