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A tradition of excellence.

Town is the oldest N-8 co-ed school in Manhattan. For over 110 years, we have been committed to educating the whole child. To this day, every aspect of our approach is designed to cultivate excellence in all areas of our students’ lives.


The Town School is committed to elementary co-education, serving students in nursery through eighth grade. As we embrace high academic and ethical standards for each student, we are guided by our school motto, “let there be joy in learning.”

Town’s program emphasizes excellence in academics and a thorough exposure to the arts and physical education. We teach children to think creatively, read critically and reason logically, stressing the value of both individual learning and collaboration. We are committed to diversity, teaching students to be inclusive and to respect themselves and others.

Students leave Town as well-rounded, articulate, resilient and morally responsible individuals. They are prepared to meet the challenges of a demanding secondary education and continue on the path of lifelong learning.

Our Principles of Education 

With the goal of every Town student realizing their potential as learners, citizens, and leaders, we aim for every student to regularly experience, across the program:

Active, Hands-on Learning
Critical and Creative Thinking
Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging

Active, Hands-on Learning

  • collaboration
  • play
  • experiential learning

Critical and Creative Thinking

  • reflection, questioning, and discernment
  • innovation, flexibility
  • reasoning and computational thinking


  • persisting through productive struggle
  • risk-taking 
  • open minded, growth mindset


  • choice and autonomy
  • development of voice and self-advocacy
  • self-awareness as a learner and as a community member

Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging

  • learning environments that support multiple perspectives
  • foster an anti-racist consciousness 
  • curriculum that focuses on inclusion 

All culminating in support of the joyful process of learning.

Taking Care of Self, Others, and Surroundings: Our Ethical Motto

We believe that moral development and character education are critical components for our students’ success. Self, Others, and Surroundings is our mission-based ethical code infused in everyday life at Town.

Self, Others, and Surroundings

Self, Others, and Surroundings

We believe that moral development and character education are critical components for our students’ success. Self-Others-Surroundings is our mission-based ethical code infused in everyday life at Town.

Try your best. Persevere and keep working through challenges. Develop your independence. Be honest. Be responsible.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be respectful. Be inclusive. Be helpful. Treat others fairly.

Clean up after yourself. Conserve and do not waste. Respect property.

Our History

Our founder’s principles.

It all began in 1905 when a young woman named Hazel Hyde came to New York City after studying at San Antonio Academy and Ohio Wesleyan to continue her studies at Columbia University. As William Younger wrote in Town’s 90th Anniversary Book, “…Interested in psychology, she (Hazel Hyde) moved in a social circle composed mostly of people in the medical profession, and it was a group of doctor friends, impressed with her ideas about education, who persuaded her to open her own school. Miss Hyde’s educational philosophy was strongly influenced by the writings of John Dewey, the father of progressive education.

The following is a statement of The Hyde School Philosophy, as published in the 1935-36 calendar: The Hyde School is progressive but not radical. Its object is to create an environment in which the child may develop the best that is in him and give him a thorough understanding of every subject he studies.


A new name. A new home.

In 1936 a group of four teachers that came to be known as our 'second founders' – Margaret Crane, Jessie Maver, Ruth Thorndike and Loise Wright – worked with Miss Hyde to re-incorporate the school as The Town School. In the 1950s Town began adding grades, and eventually moved to our current home at 540 East 76th Street in the late 1960s.


110 years of academic excellence.

The Town School's entire community of parents past and present, alumni/ae, grandparents, faculty and staff came together to celebrate our 100th anniversary in 2013-14. The year commemorated Town’s extraordinary history and served as a catalyst for envisioning our second century.

Having completed our first 100 years, we look back on a history enriched by growth and change as well as a strong sense of continuity which pervades the school's ethos and community today.