Town is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.
Students and families.
- 360 students
- 290 families
- 70 faculty members
- 75% of faculty have advanced degrees
- 15 years average experience in education
- 8 years average tenure at Town
- 100% of teachers participate in annual professional development, many engaging in additional summer work
Languages we teach.
- Spanish, beginning in 1st grade
- French, beginning in 4th grade
- In 5th grade, students choose whether to focus on Spanish or French in Upper School
- Latin, beginning in 7th grade, in addition to continued focus on Spanish or French
- Mandarin, in optional after-school classes beginning at Nursery 4
Town's team of Nursery-Kindergarten and Lower School homeroom and Upper School subject area teachers is augmented by:
- 2 school psychologists: N-K through Lower School Psychologist and Upper School Psychologist
- Learning Specialists serving all Divisions
- 2 Librarians
- Math and Literacy/Reading Specialists serving all Divisions
- Specialist teachers* in Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Physical Education, Latin, French, and Spanish
- 2 Technology Integrators who teach dedicated classes and support teachers in using educational technology to enhance curriculum
- *Note that all Upper School teachers are subject-area specialists.
The guidance model is the centerpiece of educational and psychological support at Town. The combined knowledge and resources of an interdisciplinary team ensure the best understanding of and response to the individual student and the unique set of strengths he or she brings to the school community. Based on this understanding, teachers differentiate instruction and apply classroom strategies to best meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of each child.
- Guidance teams consist of all educators who interact regularly with a student: homeroom and subject-area teachers, school psychologist, Division Head, and learning specialists.
- In weekly Guidance meetings, the team reviews the progress of each student with an eye toward identifying areas of strength, as well as concerns, if and when they arise.
- Through thoughtful exploration of student work and behavior, the team comes to understand each child’s individual learning style and the factors likely to enhance learning.
- Division Head: Alison Flannery (meet Alison here)
- 1 class of students in Nursery 3 with two Co-Head Teachers.
- 1 class of approximately 16 students in Nursery 4 with two Co-Head Teachers and one Associate Teacher.
- 2 homerooms in Kindergarten with two Co-Head Teachers and an Associate Teacher.
- Homeroom teachers instruct students in core academics; specialists teach art, performing arts, and PE.
Lower School Division.
- Division Head: David Andrew Wood (meet David here)
- 1st - 4th grades.
- 36 - 40 students per grade.
- 2 homerooms per grade, with 2 Co-Head Teachers in each homeroom of 18 - 20 students.
- Homeroom teachers instruct in core academics; specialists teach science, art, performing arts, and PE.
- Lower School Chorus and Town Groove Dance groups begin in 2nd grade, offering students expanding choices for extracurricular activities.
Upper School Division.
- Division Head: Carol Seeley (meet Carol here)
- 5th - 8th grades.
- 36 - 40 students per grade.
- 2 homerooms per grade, with 2 homeroom teachers.
- Specialists teach every subject; students have a dedicated teacher for each class.
- Advisor model: each teacher is also an advisor responsible for 6 - 10 students.
- Team sports begin in 5th grade, with soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, and track and field. Town has a no-cut policy which provides the opportunity for all students to participate on a team.
- Town's LEGO Robotics teams are in their 3rd year, with opportunities for beginners and those with more experience to dive into STEM challenges. Town teams have made it to the city-wide championships in each of their first three years.
- Mentoring and leadership opportunities:
- Student Senate includes homeroom representatives from each grade, and 8th grade Presidents who advocate for student interests and design both social and community service events. The annual presidential speeches are a wonderful Town tradition, and often almost half of 8th grade students run for the office!
- Upper School students are older "buddies" for younger grades, and the leaders of the school. They serve as role models in those individual relationships and set the tone for the entire school.
- Life Skills classes being in 5th grade, and offer a dedicated scope and sequence of focused exploration of personal identity, digital citizenship, health, and systems that impact ourselves and others.
- The long-running Sustainability Club supports Town's sustainability goals with hands-on activities from ensuring our waste stream remains sorted and keeping our Town Garden healthy and productive.
- Optional Chorus, Band, and Dance ensembles offer students an opportunity to pursue interests more deeply in before- and after-school groups.
- Town's high school application process is designed to both make use of and further build the skills of self-awareness, self-advocacy, reflection, and discernment students have been developing over their time at Town. Students in 8th grade are developmentally ready to help lead the high school search process with their parents, and the experience builds a foundation for the rest of their lives. Alumni/ae often cite the high school process as one of the experiences at Town they are most proud of, and parents reflect that this process helps children learn to navigate real challenges with a supportive team behind them, setting them up for greater success in high school and college.
- We are the only N-8 co-ed school on the Upper East Side!
- Light-filled classrooms, many with river views.
- Library at the heart of the school with over 18,000 books as well as online resources.
- Modern science and technology labs.
- Full-sized gymnasium.
- State-of-the-art theater.
- Arts wing complete with dance space and our own pottery kiln.
- Three play terraces for daily recess periods.
- Access to neighboring John Jay Park.
- Randall’s Island fields for weekly Upper School PE classes and athletic events.
Sustainable facilities commitment:
- 100% Green Power - we are in the EPA’s list of the top 30 schools nationally using green power!
- Town was the first school in Manhattan with a rooftop wind turbine.
- Solar panels provide energy for our science labs.
- Food for our daily snack and lunches is sourced from local farms.
- The student-maintained Tower Garden in our back lobby provides greens and herbs for school lunches.
Community, Equity, and Inclusion
We commute from over 50 zip codes and speak over 20 different languages at home!
- Families get to Town by walking, riding bikes, taking public transportation, or by car. Learn more on our transportation page.
Student community connections:
- Monthly All School Assemblies bring the whole community together for student performances and announcements. Assemblies are livestreamed for parents who cannot attend in person.
- Buddy classes connect regularly, giving older and younger students a chance to meaningfully interact.
- Older students share knowledge with younger students in "teach-in" moments, such as previewing themes and historical significance in the 8th grade play or sharing what they have learned through their civic engagement culminating experience.
- We encourage every parent to be an active partner in their child’s learning by attending teacher conferences and parent education events. Our parents are also essential members of our community, sharing their time, energy, experience and unique skills to accomplish our common goals.
- Town parents also often cite the school as a source of some of their most valued friendships, fostered by class rep-sponsored social events and regular opportunities to come together at school events.
- Town's active Parents' Association (everyone is automatically a member) helps produce community-building, beloved events such as the Book Fair, annual Benefit party, and All School Picnic.
Neighborhood and city community connections:
- Town's service learning and community action partnerships include organizations that serve our neighborhood and the great NYC community, such as Urban Outreach Center, Ronald McDonald House, Rise Against Hunger, and Project Cicero. Learn more on our Sustainability and Community Action page.
- We are also proud of two long-standing partnerships, providing in-kind support (facilities and program support) to two outstanding organizations dedicated to supporting NYC students' access to excellent educational experiences: Early Steps and Breakthrough New York.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
- Our statement and community commitments are brought to life through structures, programming, curriculum themes, and affinity groups. Town's ALANA Parent Group (a long-running affinity group for parents of children with African, Latino/a/x, Asian, or Native American heritage) meets monthly, and regular equity-focused programming for Town adults includes guest speakers, monthly "lunch and learn" events, and coffee presentations by the Director of Equity and Community.
City as Classroom
NYC as classroom.
Students of all ages participate in regular field trips to take advantage of the incredible opportunities available in and around New York City, and as far away as Washington, D.C.
Nursery-Kindergarten Sample Field Trips
- Nursery 3: a local restaurant, part of their project-based study of how restaurants function.
- Nursery 4: a local book seller, part of their project-based study of how books are made.
- Kindergarten: Tenafly Nature Center to learn more about trees/leaves and have some experiences in nature, as part of their science curriculum.
Lower School Sample Field Trips
- 1st grade: John Jay Park, cleaning up the park as part of their study of common spaces and community.
- 1st grade: Muscoot Farm, to learn about sustainable farming as part of their science curriculum.
- 1st grade: MoMath (The National Museum of Mathematics), a museum of tactile, interactive displays of math in action.
- 2nd grade: multiple NYC neighborhoods, part of their study of the city's many different, distinct cultures.
- 2nd grade: Queens Museum to study a panorama, 3-D model of New York, part of their study of the city's neighborhoods, geography, and history.
- 3rd grade: walking tour of lower Manhattan.
- 3rd grade: the Farm! On their first overnight class trip, students spend two nights and three days on a small working farm in the Catskills. This trip connects to their Science curriculum in several ways, with nature walks to identify plants and animal tracks and lessons in how a farm must make the most sustainable use of all its resources. Students rotate in farm chores, from feeding animals to helping prepare communal meals and washing dishes. The trip also includes the rare benefit of unstructured time in an open rural environment, often a new experience for the students. In addition to the vivid lessons around sustainability, food sources, and teamwork, the trip, including their return in 4th grade, is a unique bonding experience for the students, and one that most Town alumni/ae immediately cite as a favorite memory.
- 4th grade: return to the Farm, deepening and building on the previous year's lessons, and even harvesting the food they planted in 3rd grade.
- 4th grade: Washington Heights, as part of their study of immigration to New York City, both historical and current.
Upper School Sample Field Trips
- 5th grade: Sims Municipal Recycling plant in Brooklyn, part of their science curriculum.
- 5th grade: Metropolitan Museum Egyptian wing, part of their history curriculum.
- 6th graders: Pier 90, to work on the Billion Oyster Project, part of their science curriculum.
- 6th grade: delivering meals to home-bound neighbors with CityMeals, part of the Upper School's service learning scope.
- 7th grade: one year's French class attended a local, live production of The Little Prince, in French, to put into action their growing listening and understanding skills.
- 7th grade: service learning trips with partner organizations around NYC, are part of their civic engagement two-year project that culminates in 8th grade.
- 7th and 8th grade Mathletes saw high-level math principles in action as they toured the Carlton Laboratory at Columbia University and met with a professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics.
- 8th grade: Washington, D.C. kicking off their curriculum centered around US history and government.
- 8th grade: service learning trip, the culmination of their civic engagement project beginning in 7th grade.
Our daily and yearly schedule.
Town's schedule is child-centered to best meet the needs of N-8 students, including many opportunities for student choice and extended day options.
View sample daily schedules on our Curriculum Guide page.
Early drop-off is available as early as 7:30am to help support families' busy schedules.
- Nursery 3 students have class daily from 8:15am - 12:00pm, with the option of a free extended day program until 2:30pm.
- Nursery 4 and Kindergarten students' class day runs from 8:15am to 2:30pm. Students bring lunch and eat together in the classrooms.
- Lower School (1st - 4th graders) begin at 8:10am and dismiss on a staggered schedule between 3:15 and 3:30pm. Students have lunch at school each day.
- Upper School (5th - 8th graders) begin at 8:10am and dismiss at 3:25pm. Students have lunch at school each day.
Before and after-school activities - such as music groups, coding classes, and athletics teams - are also part of many students' daily routine.
Our academic year begins after Labor Day and runs through mid-June, with several school holidays and two-week Winter and Spring vacations.
Service Learning and Civic Engagement Project.
Community action is embedded throughout Town's curriculum and community, and students of all ages use our motto of Self, Others, Surroundings to ground conversations about helping others, sustainability, and being good scholars, citizens, and leaders. Upper School students develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the systems impacting our world, culminating in a civic engagement program spanning 7th and 8th grades.
Parents, at what age did you first understand what kind of thinker, collaborator you are? When did you learn to crystalize what you know/understand, in order to teach it to others? When did you first appreciate your ability to impact the world for the better? And when did you synthesize all of this awareness to know yourself as a thinker and leader? It's likely that most of our answers to those questions are not "age 13." Now, imagine the powerful foundation if you had!
This is the core of Town’s civic engagement program, during which all Town 7th and 8th graders engage in a two-year project, moving from a local to a global focus, grounded in sustained, hands-on community partnerships and engagement.
Our 7th graders began the 2021-22 school year with a September retreat, examining how the UN sustainable development goals will inform this year’s focus on food justice as well as building class bonds and honing skills as collaborators. The students then worked with their teachers to identify partners for their subsequent fieldwork: Urban Outreach Center; a food pantry serving East Harlem and the Upper East Side; and City Meals, which delivers pre-cooked meals to homebound New Yorkers.
And our 8th graders are continuing their own study of food justice and food insecurity, begun last year, with expert guest speakers and ongoing research that will culminate at the end of 8th grade in a year-end, service-based trip and then a teach-in, sharing with Town peers what they learned over the two years about their greater community, and themselves.
This program distinguishes our school and our students, providing a unique, essential, mission-based experience, grounded in care for self, others, and surroundings and local, current, real-world applications for their knowledge and skills. Consider the profound strengths and potential of a middle school student who understands not only how complex systems function, but how they, even as young people, have essential knowledge to share. How they can use their knowledge and skills to bring change for good. How they can be the most effective collaborators and leaders in service of goals with local impact and global relevance.
Recorded live October 19, 2020