We are currently open with a physically-distanced, in-person learning model! Click here to learn more. 

Town at a Glance

Meet Town.

Town is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.

Students and families.

  • 360 students
  • 290 families

Faculty.

  • 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

Specialist teachers.

Town's team of homeroom and 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

Guidance model.

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.

Three Divisions

Nursery-Kindergarten Division.

  • Division Head: Odette Muskin (meet Odette 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. For our physically-distanced, in-person model, the full grade of ~40 children is broken into three cohorts with two teachers per group. 
  • 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.
  • In our physically-distanced, in-person model, each homeroom is split into two smaller cohorts, with Co-Head Teachers instructing both groups to help ensure connection with both members of the teaching team.  
  • Lower School Chorus and Town Groove Dance groups begin in 2nd grade, offering students expanding choices for extracurricular activities. (Both groups are being reimagined for a safely modified experience during physical distancing requirements.)

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. 
  • In our physically-distanced, in-person model, Upper School classes are housed in our largest spaces (the Gym, Library, Music/Dance combined rooms) to allow a full homeroom to be safely distanced in the same space. 
  • 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. Our fall 2020 modified soccer season includes grade-level teams to preserve student cohorts, and no inter-scholastic team competition until it can be done safely for all participants.
  • 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 two 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. 

Campus

Our campus.

  • 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.
Outdoor spaces.
  • 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.
Parent community:
  • 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.  
Diveristy, 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 

(many of these are on pause during our physically-distanced, in-person model in 2020-21)

  • 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 

(many of these are on pause during our physically-distanced, in-person model in 2020-21)

  • 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 as 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 

(many of these are on pause during our physically-distanced, in-person model in 2020-21)

  • 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. 

Schedule

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 for our typical model as well as our physically-distanced and distance learning models 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.

Culminating Experience

Service Learning and Civic Engagement Project.

This project is the evolution of our previous 8th grade Capstone Experience, focused around an expert speaker series and reflection on how personal passions can have wider purpose. Elements of this experience will be modified as needed to support our community's health and safety during the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, always maintaining the focus on deepening understanding and engagement while making use of skills, knowledge, and experience gained during students' years at Town. 

Service learning is not isolated volunteer work, but instead actively involves students in a wide range of experiences that benefit their greater community, advance the goals of a given curriculum, and enrich the students’ own learning. (As an example, students could use their study of biology to support local conservation efforts.) Service learning therefore aligns with Town’s academic objectives, mission, and values.

Our service-learning program has a global focus, which is so important in our increasingly interconnected world. Town students must have the cultural agility needed to operate in this complex, interdependent world. The good news is that Town’s emphasis from an early age on world languages and social-emotional intelligence are important differentiators. The great news is that our new service-learning emphasis will build on these skills and boost our students’ cultural agility.

The project: Beginning in 2020, all Town 7th and 8th graders will engage in a two-year service-learning project, moving from a local to a global focus.

  • Program partner: the program is designed in collaboration with Envoys, a national organization that was launched at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and partners with outstanding schools across the country.

The 7th grade fall trip: will now be in the form of a service-learning retreat. Students will reflect on how they can foster a deep sense of place and connection with our planet; learn from Town faculty-led workshops on the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and explore how the service-learning series will advance these goals in our local community.  

The 7th grade academic year: students will implement the goals developed at their retreat over the course of seventh grade, through five half-day service-learning experiences, all tied to a common theme (which students will help shape) and working with several New York City non-profit organizations, culminating with the students preparing a lesson plan on a topic of their choosing and presenting it for future use by one of the local non-profits.

The 8th grade academic year: students will explore the global impact of their focus through continued study and service, along with expert guest speakers to inform their reflection.

8th grade will culminate in a year-end, service-based trip. The first trip, with the class of 2021 will engage environmental stewardship in Arizona. We are looking at future service trips to be overseas, with this and the entire service-learning program coordinated with Envoys and co-led by Town teachers. 

  • When our students return from their service trip, they will hold a teach-in, sharing with Town peers what they have learned over the two years about their greater community and themselves. 
Contact

540 East 76th Street
New York 10021
p 212-288-4383
f 212-988-5846
info@townschool.org