From the time Manhattan Country School opened its doors in 1966, we have been committed to providing students from pre-K through eighth grade with a progressive education grounded in diversity, equity, social justice and sustainability. We have been equally committed to educating students in a community of broad economic diversity and with no racial majority. Over the years, our work and the graduates we have nurtured have served as inspiration for what can be achieved in a diverse educational community.

In 2011, our Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan that supports our founding mission and values. The goals include sustaining our sliding-scale tuition model, improving our facilities, increasing teacher compensation and expanding our impact.

Sustaining Sliding-Scale Tuition

MCS’ core values include our commitment to raise and educate children in a diverse and equitable community. This commitment rests firmly upon our sliding scale tuition program, which assesses each family’s financial responsibility for their children’s education in equitable proportion to the family’s financial resources. MCS’ sliding-scale tuition program is the cornerstone of its economic diversity. The strategic plan was designed to assure the long-term sustainability of MCS’ sliding-scale tuition system by gaining operating leverage through economies of scale. MCS’ expanded enrollment also increases tuition revenue as well as the base for philanthropy, which is, and always has been, an essential component of the model.

Improving Educational Facilities

Our first home at 7 East 96th Street served us well for nearly half a century, as has nearby Central Park. Over the years, as we grew, we made the space work while also renting a gym, an auditorium and office space nearby. Space limitations also impacted our science and physical education programs.

The strategic plan included the sale of our first home and relocation in Summer 2016 to a larger space at 150 West 85th Street that better accommodates our growing student body. Our collaboration with ABA Studio allowed us to design a facility that maintains our small-community feel and better suits our future program needs.

Increasing Teacher Compensation

Teachers are one of MCS’ biggest assets. Generations of students have benefited from our teachers’ dedication and innovative approaches to a unique progressive education experience. The strategic plan allows us to increase compensation for our much-valued faculty.

Expanding Our Impact

MCS is gradually expanding our enrollment from 200 to 400 students by adding a second class at each grade level between 2016 and 2024. Doing so helps solidify our financial model and gives more students access to the life-changing educational experiences at MCS and the MCS Farm.
The strategic plan represents a transformative moment for Manhattan Country School. Framing our future requires the creative ideas of our faculty, staff and parents; the enthusiasm and energy of our students; the insights of our alumni; and the strategic oversight and strong support of our Board of Trustees. We look forward to taking this journey with the MCS community.
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