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The School At Columbia University

Private | K-8 | 494 students


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Living in New York

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $799,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,580.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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17 reviews of this school

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Posted October 1, 2014

These people have no business dealing with teenage boys. Unless you have a very compliant child, do your child and family a favor and stay away from here. Some of the teachers are great, some way too fresh out of college to be working with such a cutting edge curriculum. The new head of school is completely uninvolved in the children's lives. He does not know them by name and is pretty much clueless about them.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2013

My children use to go to this school. My one child had all great teachers while my other didn't. The kindergarten teacher wasn't warm at all she would be better off in the upper grades. As far as community feel it's not a true unless you live right in the Columbia area. As far as the admin if you were not a Columbia professor they didn't have the time for you. I was very disappointed in the school. The good things were their specials, dance, art, science, spanish and wellness but that's it. Took my kids out they are learning more than they did there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 11, 2012

I have a child in Kindergarten and am just amazed at the individual attention given by the highly experienced and nurturing head K teacher. She spent 26 years as a Kindergarten teacher at Hunter Elementary, and the last 10 at The School at Columbia. She called the curriculum not only "integrative" but also "differentiated" and I could not agree more. At a recent parent-teacher meeting, I was shown a thick file of my child's classroom activities, and each child's file differs considerably. At the same time, the communal spirit within the classroom is strong; the day is punctuated by songs as well as group activities in art, math, and literacy. At the moment, I could not be happier. As one reviewer said, no school is perfect, but I am thrilled that the parents seem so motivated and involved, and if there are problems ahead, I believe our voices will be heard.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 25, 2012

This school is a wonderful school very well organized!!! The parents are great you have a great sense of community all hands are on board they teach children to be themselves not only that but more so to think for their own to express themselves. My daughter loves the school wonderful oppurtunity.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 15, 2012

The underlying tenets of the school encourage both self respect and respect for others. This school is more diverse than most and this is both a wonderful and challenging feature. The parent body and administration are constantly striving for ways to continue growing and building the community. That kind of commitment isn't as readily available in many school environments. My child has grown in confidence and ability each year he has been there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 30, 2012

This school teaches children to think, be practical and analyze situations. Leaders and inventors should think outside the box more often. Approaching a problem with various solutions and knowing the why's behind what you learn is important. The small class size gives each child the chance to thrive with 1 staff member for every 5 students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 18, 2012

I took my kids out of The School for the 11-12 school year and put them in public school. Couldn't be happier with the decision - it has improved all of our lives. We had some AMAZING individual teachers at The School but the administration was unable to address anything effectively. Bottom line - be very careful if looking at this school: what looks like it is too good to be true, usually is. Certainly don't pay for it! Your local PS is likely better.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 30, 2012

Academically this school has a progressive and innovative vision. Socially and emotionally, however, it has real problems, so that the school doesn't cohere into a community. The teachers are, with some exceptions, very young and inexperienced, and they create a negative atmosphere in the classroom, often yelling at the kids. The management does not listen well nor does it communicate with parents. Despite the rich facilities, the good computers, the nice breakfast, I'm thinking of taking my child out.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 22, 2011

we were not allowed to take part in lottery, although we are in district 3. this is not fair to my children. why have they no right even to apply?
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 7, 2011

I'm a community parent (which means my child got in by lottery). My son has been at the school since K and he loves it. It is a progressive school with an extremely diverse student body which is the right place for my son. It is also well equipped technologically although there is little space for the children at recess. The after school program is also very good with interesting options for the children such as fencing for the older grades. As with all new (and old?) schools, there have been some problems in administration, but they seem to iron themselves out as all matters are addressed quickly. This school does not cater for school lunches and students must bring in a packed lunch every day.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 6, 2011

You couldn't get a more diverse population in a school than this and it is indeed a special and unique learning environment that nurtures this and more. The teachers regularly collaborate which means that the children put into practice what they are learning within different disciplines. The curriculum places importance on every subject including the arts. The class sizes are really small so it's hard for any child to slip through the cracks. However, my peeve about this school is the management: some staff make judgmental calls and clearly have inexperience in dealing with situations that don't fit into a mold that most people don't fit into anyway. This could be said of other private schools too, but needs to be addressed here as the decisions that are made are not always in the best interests of the children. Having said this, my child loves his school and I think it's the best place for her and am hoping that management improves.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 14, 2010

The School is a wonderful learning community, our child is thriving in the environment where their thinking process is valued rather than just the notion of getting the right answer. Fantastic teaching across the board, from science, technology, literacy, art, math all the way to wellness; simply unprecedented music and dance. Annette Raphel has been a fantastic Head of School and has managed to strike the right balance between excellence in academics and "the goodies" of a progressive education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 20, 2009

I have a child in The School at Columbia, while no school is 100% perfect, this school comes in close. Over the last several years I have seen improvement in the Math curriculum. While I can agree with some aspects of other reviews made here, I still feel my child is getting a wonderful education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 17, 2009

We have been very happy with the School at Columbia for our two children. It is a unique environment, with true diversity of all kinds, providing a 'private school' education to a 'public school' population. This makes for unique challenges and unique opportunities. The teaching staff is unparalleled, the emphasis on being part of a community and socio-emotional learning is wonderful, and we are very happy with the educational experience our children are receiving. Yes, there are parents who feel the academics are not always rigorous enough, but if you are looking for a competitive academic hothouse, this is not the school for you.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 9, 2009

I have really enjoyed my five years at The School, aside from its name the experience has been amazing. What really sets us apart is our diversity and our teachers.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 4, 2008

This school strives to produce a balanced curriculum that focuses on interactions and collaborations across disciplines. Only down side is that the math is below par with kids having to work at below grade level and no option for advanced math. They need to divide kids in the core curriculi based on skill and then have the kids together for art/music/etc
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 22, 2008

This school is not adequately rigorous for most children of university professors. The administrators also lack communication skills.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 40% 52%
Two or more races 28% N/A
Black 16% 21%
Hispanic 11% 21%
Asian 6% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

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  • Science
School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Nancy Elting
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian,Non-Denominational
  • NALS


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Science


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

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556 West 110th Street
New York, NY 10025
Phone: (212) 851-4215


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