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We hope the Manhattan Country School website will help you appreciate how extraordinary teaching, diversity, and our Farm shape children forever. Our mission provides the framework that shapes all our programs, and has also inspired a sliding-scale tuition model that ensures true diversity and broad access.
This is a small school for 4-year-olds through eighth grade where a vibrant energy is apparent the minute you enter. Children rush in the door each morning, and linger in the courtyard long after school is over. In between, they are hard at work and at play, surrounded by:
- Teachers who have a deep respect for children’s natural curiosity and prize what happens when children are encouraged to work together in meaningful ways. Strong character and strong skills result from the individual attention students receive from teachers who know how to encourage and challenge all kinds of learners.
- A deliberate curriculum that takes full advantage of the multiracial, multicultural, and economic diversity of our community.
- A focus on people who work together to effect change, encourages discussion, research, and collaboration. Though role models such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired the founding of MCS, and continue to provide a reference point: many others come up over the course of 10 years, and finding the visionary in ourselves is the goal. MCS students are deep thinkers who are capable analysts and creative actors in a world they find fascinating.
- Classrooms that are respectful places where children are held responsible for themselves and one another so everyone is free to learn. Community building is given time, as are developing a language and practicing methods for helping a classroom work smoothly. Children have endless imagination for how to make diverse communities of empathy, peace, and justice work.
New York City is treated as a learning laboratory full of potential resources. Central Park, farmers’ markets, cultural institutions, and neighborhoods across the city enrich the program and motivate very personal connections to human communities and to nature. We look for borders where a deeper understanding of intersecting values and perspectives can be built.
The MCS Farm, located 150 miles from New York City, is a learning laboratory, too. Seventeen week-long trips begin when students are eight and continue through 8th grade. This immersion experience at the Farm teaches the value of mental and physical work, and first-hand knowledge about natural systems of food, water, and energy. Sustainability and interdependence become a way of life with lessons that transfer easily. An introduction to environmental, social, and cultural changes in the Catskills prepares MCS students to be more mindful and more informed actors in a cosmopolitan world.
MCS is a place where people are passionate about children and understand the value to society of thoughtful pre-K to 8th grade education. To experience a diverse learning community that is working is never tiresome. We welcome new families, as well as educators and policy-makers interested in our model. We invite you to explore our website, visit the school, or contact us with your questions.
Manhattan Country School Director