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Schools in New York

A snapshot overview of schools in New York City that are considered (although not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expat parents.

If there is no ribbon, pending or otherwise, it means we are aware of the school but have elected not to review it at this time. This could be for a number of reasons, but we continually update information and add or remove reviews as deemed appropriate.

Schools selected for full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names. "Pending" means that we are planning to review that school.

By full GSGI review, we mean the school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final write-ups take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details descend on the school for an exhaustive visit.

In a city where schools (and the difficulty of getting in) are arguably the most discussed, reported, written about and blogged in the world (outside of London), this list attempts to narrow down schools especially considered by English-speaking expatriates…parents looking for schools that will allow for transitions into and out of other systems and other countries. Whether students stay for a year, or remain their entire school careers, these schools are likely to handle and support transitions well (for those leaving or arriving, as well as for those staying on), with an international, outward looking approach.


Schools in New York City reviewed by The Good Schools Guide International

British International School (The) 

National Curriculum for England/PYP/MYP/IGCSEs/A-Levels; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 320 pupils

Established in 2006 at Waterside Plaza, an  upscale developmetn on the East River in Manhattan. In 2018, inaugurated a Year 10 (Grade 9) leading to IGCSEs. Expanding rapidly with pupils mainly British or US passport holders. Accredited by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).

Click here to read our full review of The British International School

Dwight School (The), New York 

PYP/MYP/IB Diploma; ages 2-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 830 pupils

One of the oldest schools in New York, originally established as the Franklin School in 1872.  A family owned school operating as a not-for-profit charity and located in slightly creaky buildings on the Upper West Side. Majority of students move on to highly regarded universities including Ivies in the US and Russell Group in the UK. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA).

Click here to read our full review of the Dwight School.

Nord Anglia International School of New York (formerly World Class Learning Academy) 

IPC/IMYC; ages 2-14; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 240 pupils

Part of the global Nord Anglia Education group, a chain of  international private schools now extending to over 50 worldwide.The only private school in New York City to offer the International Primary Curriculum. As with most Nord Anglia schools, they offer a performing arts programme designed in collaboration with the Julliard School.

Click here to read our full review of Nord Anglia International School of New York.

United Nations International School 

PYP/MYP/IB Diploma; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 pupils

Large international school, established in 1947 and housed in a purpose-built structure overlooking the East River. One of the founding schools offering the International Baccalaureate. Accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS).

Click here to read our full review of the United Nations International School.


These schools have been brought to our attention, but until we have more reports from parents, we are unable to consider reviewing them.


Allen Stevenson

Adapted curriculum; ages 5-14; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 410 pupils

Founded in 1883 and located in the middle of the traditional, upmarket Upper East Side. Graduates move on to leading private and public high schools, including some of the best-known day and boarding institutions.

Avenues: The World School, New York

School evolved curriculum; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; privately owned; 1,100 pupils

Opened in 2012 in a state-of-the-art corner building in Chelsea overlooking the High Line. The brand new (second decade of the 21st century) Avenues: The World School educational group, owned by Avenues World Holdings Inc, is already operating four schools in different continents and is intent on expansion. The first four cohorts of graduates have been accepted by leading universities including Ivies.

Bank Street School for Children

American Elementary Curriculum; ages 3-14; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 450 pupils

Part of the Bank Street College of Education, which includes a graduate school for aspiring teachers. Founded in 1918 as a nursery school and expanding up to grade 8. One of the more progressive schools in New York City and now based on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Birch Wathen Lenox School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 590 pupils

Result of a merger between two traditional schools, both founded a century ago. Now located in the heart of the exclusive Upper East Side. Not at the top of some rankings of Manhattan high schools.

Columbia Grammar and Prep School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 pupils

Oldest non-sectarian private school in the US, founded in 1764 by Columbia University to prepare their freshmen properly and still very well-regarded. In its current location on the Upper West Side (hugely expanded) since 1907. Accredited by the GracStates Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

Convent of the Sacred Heart

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 725 pupils

All-girls independent Catholic school housed in two historic, adjacent houses on Fifth Avenue and East 91st Street. Founded in 1881, part of the global network of 150 Sacred Heart Schools. Alumnae lists feature household society names such as Kennedy, Vanderbilt and Rothschild.

Episcopal School

School developed early childhood programme; ages 2-5; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 230 pupils

Founded in 1961 and offering the first early childhood programme to be accredited by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYAIS). Located on East 69th Street.

Ethical Culture Fieldston School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 pupils

A specifically progressive school, known as just Fieldston. Strong emphasis on ethics since its opening in 1878, when it was called the Workingman’s School. Located in the exclusive Fieldston section of Riverdale.

French American School of New York

French curriculum/American curriculum/NY High School Diploma/Bac/IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 780 pupils

Founded in 1980 and based in Westchester County, New York on three campuses in Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Offering the option in high school of a Franco-American programme or the IB Diploma. Students of French origin are heavily in the majority.

Friends Seminary

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-19; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 750 pupils

Established by Quakers in 1786 as the Friends’ Institute, moving in 1826 to its current location in Lower Manhattan. Still with a Meetinghouse that plays an integral part in school life. Graduates move on to leading UK  universities as well as top-rated universities in the US, including Ivies.

Grace Church School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 770 pupils

Founded in 1894 by the Grace Church as the first choir boarding school in New York. Located on two campuses in the East Village but students from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and New Jersey as well as Manhattan.

Horace Mann

American curriculum/American High School Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,700 pupils

Founded in 1887 in the Bronx and still located in Riverdale with a nursery division in Upper Manhattan. Interestingly, for a school which features regularly amongst the best high schools in New York, they are transitioning away from offering AP courses.

La Scuola d'Italia Guglielmo Marconi

Bilingual Italian/English programme/Esame di Stato/IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 200 pupils

Offering a unique (for the US) bilingual English/Italian programme with the option, since 2018, of taking the IB Diploma. Located on the Upper East Side.

Loyola High School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 225 pupils

Founded in 1900 as a Catholic boys’ school but becoming in 1973 a rare Jesuit co-educational school. Located on elite Park Avenue and 83rd Street in a listed classical-style building. Usual for 100 per cent of graduates to move on to four year college courses including Ivies and leading global universities.

Lycée Francais de New York

French curriculum/Bac/Franco-American Bac;  ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 pupils

Sometimes called the French High School of New York and part of the French Schools in Foreign Countries worldwide network (AEFE). Established in 1935, now offering a special Franco/American qualification (BFA).

Lyceum Kennedy French American School

French curriculum/Bac/IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 250 pupils

The Manhattan campus of the international school, founded in 1964, offering the bilingual French/English programme and the IB Diploma since 2014. There is also a campus at Ardsley, opened in 1996.

Lyceum Kennedy Japanese School

Lyceum Kennedy French American School was acquired by a Japanese-born professor in 1986 and has offered a Japanese programme since 1997. In 2010 a Japanese high school programme was initiated, available at the Manhattan campus.

Marymount School, New York

American curriculum/American High School Diploma; ages 3-12; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 700 pupils

Founded in 1926 and part of the network of global schools directed by the Catholic foundation of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. Opened in iconic Beaux-Arts  buildings on Fifth Avenue and now expanded to include locations on East 82nd and 97th Streets. Emphasis placed on STEAM.

Nightingale-Bamford School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 560 pupils

Founded as an all-girls school on the Upper East Side by two teachers. Elite, relatively small schools by city standards. Known for its debating teams and about to celebrate its centennial.

Regis High School

American High School Diploma; ages 14-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 530 pupils

Probably la crème de la crème of Catholic boys’ high  schools in the USA. Established in 1914 on the Upper East Side and notoriously hard to get into. Regularly turns out leading academics, journalists, lawyers and diplomats.

Riverdale Country School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,140 pupils

High school based on two large campuses in the Riverdale area of The Bronx. Founded in 1907, one of the oldest country day schools in America. Accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).

Rudolph Steiner School

School developed curriculum; ages 2-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 320 pupils

Following the Waldorf educational route based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. Despite the unconventional approach, graduates move on to leading universities including Ivies. Founded in 1928 and still in the heart of the Upper East Side.

Rye Country Day

American curriculum/American High School Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 900 pupils

Founded 150 years ago by the aptly named Rev. Life and expanded over this period to its current size. The latest addition being a centre for the creative arts, opened in 2018. Academically rigorous and, consistently, sends significant numbers of graduates to top Ivies and other leading universities.

St Bernard's School

American curriculum; ages 5-14; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 380 pupils

Traditional, uniform-wearing, all-male school founded in 1904 in its current location in Carnegie Hill on the Upper East Side. Boys continue their education at leading schools, mainly in New York but also in the UK. Accredited by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).

St David's School

American curriculum; ages 3-14; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 400 pupils

Lay-run but with a strong Catholic ethos. Opened in 1951, it is slightly younger than some of the educational alternatives on the Upper East Side but is still, very much, a traditional school. Accredited by the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).

The Beekman School

American High School Diploma/AP/individual programmes; ages 14-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 75 pupils

Essentially a tutorial college as its original name “The Tutoring School of New York” would suggest. Tailors individual programmes for each student and also works with schools across the country completing specific curricula for students unable to complete coursework at school.

The Brearley School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 720 pupils

Famous, elite all-girls school founded in 1884. A regular entry at the top of the charts for all the prep schools in America. Considered a sister school of all-girls’ schools Spence and Chapin and the all-boys Collegiate School.

The Browning School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 400 pupils

Highly selective all-boys school founded in 1888. From a small annual cohort, graduates head to leading Ivies and other prestigious universities with a percentage achieving places at UK universities.

The Buckley School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-14; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 370 pupils

Only on its fifth headmaster since its foundation in 1913. A traditional all-boys school in the heart of the sought after centre of the Upper East Side. Features an impressive list of alumni.

The Chapin School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 770 pupils

Renowned all-girls’ school with a formidable list of alumnae, including Queen Noor of Jordan and Ivanka Trump. Shares some classes and also spots at the top of the US private schools league with neighbouring Brearley.

The Churchill School

School developed curriculum; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; state/independent;

Established in 1972 to help children with language-based learning difficulties. Announced in August 2019 that it would be transitioning into a fully independent school model.

The Collegiate School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 660 pupils

Probably the oldest school in the US, founded in 1628 when New York was still the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. Now located in a state-of-the-art campus in the Riverside South neighbourhood of the city. Regularly cited as one of the best boys’ schools in the country and amongst the top high schools in New York.

The Dalton School

School developed curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,300 pupils

Founded by Helen Parkhurst, one of America’s progressive early 20th century educators. The Dalton Plan that she created is still in use here and at other schools across the world. Ranked consistently as one of the leading schools for entrance into top Ivies.

The Hewitt School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 500 pupils

One of the sought-after single-sex schools on the Upper East Side. Emphasis on STEM education and the only NYC girl’s school to have crew. Expanded considerably since 2000 with new and totally renovated buildings.

The Spence School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 740 pupils

One of the best-known girls’ schools in America, regularly counted as being amongst the most successful of all schools at sending graduates to the top Ivies. Founded in 1892 on the Upper East Side and currently extending its campus to include an athletics, performing arts and ecology centre.

Trevor Day School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 750 pupils

Founded on the Upper East Side in 1930 as an Episcopalian day school, becoming independent of the church in 1970. Campuses on both sides of the park; grades nursery to 5 on W. 88th St. and 6-12 on E. 95th St. Over the last few years, students have been accepted at colleges across America including major Ivies.

Trinity School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1.000 pupils

Top of the tree, highly selective co-educational (rarer in NYC) preparatory school. Founded in 1709, making it one of the oldest schools in America, as a charity school for Trinity church. Now based on the Upper West Side and known for its  formidable academics, including Latin and Greek.

York Prep School

American curriculum/American High School Diploma/AP; ages 11-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit;

Family-based liberal arts school, opened in 1969. On a new site at West 68th St and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). Also offers a Jump Start programme at supplemental cost for students with different learning styles and learning disabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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