For many Manhattan parents, getting their children into a top-tier private school is an endeavor that starts before the kids are even born. Wading through the rankings, reputations and educational standings to decide where to apply is just one step in the long process, and entire companies exist just to rate these schools and assist families in getting admitted to their top choices.
We won't step on their (very profitable) toes here - our list is designed to give a snippet of information on the private schools in your neighborhood. Our aim is to showcase the one or two things that set each of these schools apart from the pack. They're all academically rigorous and educationally presitigious, and most are similar in cost. But where might you look to send your bright young aspiring chef who's just as interested in food science as history, or the promising athlete who might have a shot at the 2026 Olympics as well as the Ivy League? One of the benefits of private school is that the small size allows the schools to offer specialties, something that sets them apart from their peers, and which will hopefully allow their students to do the same.
Our list was compiled by researching information provided by the schools as well as recent news coverage. We included, where available, stats on student population and tuition, too. We chose the most well-known private institutions downtown.
Whether you're right in the middle of the private school application mire or thinking about where to send your still-hypothetical future offspring, we hope our list will give you a fresh perspective and allow you to learn a few fun facts about the schools that make up a significant part of your neighborhood's educational landscape. ------
Avenues: The World School
259 Tenth Avenue
N-9 (10th -12th grades planned for following years)
Enrollment: 1300 students
Founded in 2011, Avenues is part of a planned international system of for-profit school that all plan to be part of one integrated "learning community," with planned campuses in China, India, Latin and Central America, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.
241 Water Street
Tuition: $30,100 - $36,900
The Blue School is known for its association with the Blue Man Group. The school was founded by members of the theater troupe and is known for its progressive education ? there are no books or tests, no set curriculum and no start time.
The City & Country School
146 West 13th Street
16:1 student to faculty ratio
The City & Country School is known for being the developer of the principle of the unit block (also known as building blocks), by founder Caroline Pratt, as a way for young children to express their creativity through dramatic play. They recently celebrated their centennial anniversary of 100 years downtown.
324 West 15th Street
Enrollment: 146 students
Tuition: $23,365 - $34,685
Corlears is known for its multi-age classrooms where, varying from day to day, students of all ages work on math and reading skills with students older or younger than themselves, establishing what Corlears belives to be an inclusive community.
222 East 16th Street
Enrollment: 754 students
Owned and controlled by the New York Quarterly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends, the Friends Seminary is known for its emphasis on a Quaker education.
Grace Church School
86 Fourth Avenue
Enrollment: 646 students
5:1 student to faculty ratio
The Grace Church School is known for its innovations in the use of technology in education. Courses such as 3-D Animation, Arduino/Robotics and Game Design are integrated into the curriculum. The school recently expanded with an addition of a high school in Cooper Square.
Léman Manhattan Preparatory School
41 Broad Street
Léman is known for its emphasis on creating "global classrooms," strongly encouraging its students to learn and debate about complex global problems through its Touchpoints program and partake in international travel trips organized by the school.
Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School
40 Charlton Street
Enrollment: 650 students
7:1 student to faculty ratio
LREI is known for placing a great emphasis on progressive education, learning within the community, integrating field trips and volunteering into their curriculum, as well as an emphasis on diversity. Last year, alumnus Dina Hampton published a book, "Little Red: Three Passionate Lives through the Sixties and Beyond," highlighting the lives and accomplishments of three students who graduated from the school in the '60s and went on to impact America in different ways.
St. Luke's School
487 Hudson Street
Enrollment: 203 students
Tuition: $37,500 - $38,250
St. Luke's is known for its stress on diversity. Despite its roots in the Episcopal Church, the school offers chapel services celebrating diverse faiths. The school's hosts a Faculty Diversity Committee and Diversity Committee of the Parents Association to further the community's understanding of diverse age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.
Village Community School
272 West 10th Street
Village Community School is known for its interaging of Lower School classrooms in five new groups each year: ages 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10. VCS believes that this gives students the ability to find both a comfort level and a challenge to grow.
World Class Learning Academy
44 East 2nd Street
Tuition: $26,750 - $36,850
The World Class Learning Academy is known as the only school in New York that follows a Nord Anglia Education, which is a curriculum based on the National Curriculum of England that emphasizes high performance learning.