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Alexander Robertson School

Private | K-5 | 48 students

Our school is best known for its small, nurturing and supportive environment.

 
 

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
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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School Official Point of View

Posted January 16, 2014

At the Alexander Robertson School we believe in educating students by carefully combining training and instruction with the support and nurture of the abilities that young children already have. We see children as they are vivid storytellers, creative inventors, patient collaborators -- and strive to give them the tools to become the thought leaders, architects and effective citizens of tomorrow. Our small size gives children the time and space to develop real self-confidence in their abilities and creativity. It also gives them an understanding of what it means to be an important member of a community. Success for every learner is ensured by our ability to tailor instruction to each child s needs. Our teachers and administrators work collaboratively to develop a wide-ranging curriculum that both inspires and challenges our students and reflects their diversity in backgrounds, needs, and aspirations. We truly believe that all students can excel if taught effectively and we confidently hold high expectations for student achievement in every aspect of their learning.

24 reviews of this school


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Posted February 26, 2014

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Alexander Robertson School! Class size is small & nurturing, admin is highly qualified & responsive to students'/parents' needs & curriculum is rigorous. Students are taught classics like French & music while also taking ethics where they learn to be responsible, well-mannered & caring individuals. The student body is the most diverse I have seen in an independent school. ARS is the oldest co-educational school in NYC & is now celebrating its 225th year! The 2014-15 school year will be the most exciting one yet ARS will have a new Headmaster, Irwin Shlachter, a veteran educator whose impressive credentials include Head of School for both Rodeph Shalom School & Claremont Prep. Mr. Shlachter has announced that the school will be expanding to include a pre-K 4 in the fall; wonderful news for many NYC parents who find that current pre-K options are limited. ARS parents are quite involved; PTA sponsors numerous functions throughout the year. There are talent shows, art auctions, wine tastings, class trips, picnics, luncheons, holiday parties & author visits, all organized & subsidized by the PTA. Check it out, you will love it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2014

Good points-The school is small and it feels like a community. Everyone is nice and its like being part of a family. Not so good points-Curriculum is weak. My son was a little advance before entering this school, after one year, my son fell behind a grade level. They really don't have a lot of money. Their report cards were out of date so you could not gauge how well your child was doing. They gave a curriculum at the beginning of the school year and it was not adhered to. Overall, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to this school. Unfortunately, they do not have the funds to do it. I think, as a parent, its easy to get caught up in the small, community like feel of the school. However, academics are more important and this school fails at that. Also, the parental involvement is very poor. A strong parent body is critically important.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 15, 2014

At the Alexander Robertson School we believe in preparing students by carefully combining training and instruction with the support and nurture of abilities that young children already have. We see children as they are vivid storytellers, creative inventors, patient collaborators -- and strive to give them the tools to become the thought leaders, architects and effective citizens of tomorrow. Our small size gives children the time and space to develop real self-confidence in their abilities and creativity. Success for every learner is ensured by our ability to tailor instruction to each individual child s needs. Our teachers and administrators work collaboratively to develop and maintain a wide-ranging curriculum that both inspires and challenges our students and reflects their diversity in backgrounds, needs, and aspirations. We truly believe that all students can excel if taught effectively and we confidently hold high expectations for student achievement in every aspect of their learning.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 21, 2013

This school is wonderful. The class sizes are small, which means students have lots of individual attention. The teachers are very devoted and the whole staff is very attentive and caring to the children and their families. This is a one of a kind school, one block away from Central Park, where students not only learn rigorous academics, but they they also grow in their leadership qualities. Students initialives are nurtured. For example, this year students wanted to make a talent show, and the Principal and the teachers made that happen, which was quite magical. Students performed numbers according to their choice, fromdance to music to magic tricks! Students work on lots of hands on projects from plays to poetry, to art projects, science, social studies, etc. The school has a very strong math component. They use the Singapure method, and the students really learn advanced concepts. This school helps children thrive and reach their potential as well as developing their human qualities. The Principal amazing: very close to the children, caring, knowlegable and oepn-hearted. I really can't say say enough good things about this school. The best kept secret on the Upper West Side!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 31, 2013

Alexander Robertson is a wonderful school. Teachers are knowledgeable & able to work in depth on various topics bc class size is small (avg 10 kids/grade). The sense of family & community are strong- upper class students nurture & support the little ones. There is no culture of competition; there is no view that 1 student is better than another. Students are well mannered, kind & respectful to others. ARS, founded by the Presb. church, doesnt teach religion. But the support of the church is a major reason for students' success. Many students rcv some form of financial scholarship. Funds are generously donated by congregation who have made it a mission to support & grow a multiculturallly & economically diverse school body. ARS allows students to be "kids" in a city where they tend to grow up too fast. Students feel safe. They grow & learn then leave to some of the best private & public schools. It is a great school which prepares students to be good learners, critical thinkers & productive society members. Your child will learn & thrive at ARS in a warm comfortable place where she is accepted for who she is & become a confident, intelligent, prepared, and above all, happy student.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 24, 2011

ARS is a gem of a school, and my child is thriving there. I worried that the small class size would be smothering, but the opposite is the case. He has really come out of his shell. The teachers have been top notch, and it has been clear from discussions with them that they really know my child. There is a thoughtful curriculum, and the school recently adopted the Singapore Math program in an effort to beef up the mathematics curriculum. My one hesitation is that I don't think the school does enough to attract new families. They need to do a better job of marketing to keep their enrollment strong. But, overall, it has been a wonderful place for my child. I would recommend it for anyone, but especially for a child who may need a smaller, more nurturing class size.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2011

The small class sizes (max 14 in a class) allows the teachers to give individual attention both to the students who need extra challenges and to those who need extra support in particular area. No student gets to hide or be overlooked. Although we have always been very pleased with the teachers, the bar has been raised in 2011/12 with the best group of teachers, several of whom are also pursuing masters degrees in education while teaching. The school has a new principal this year who goes out of her way to welcome parents. Truly a home away from home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 17, 2011

Our two children started at ARS. One is on a fellowship at CUNY journalism and the other starts veterinary school next fall. ARS clearly did many things right!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 3, 2010

ARS is a truly great school. The teachers and staff are all smart, caring and know how to bring out the best in each child. The small classes enable them to cater to the needs of each student and it is a loving place.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2010

My husband and I cannot say enough about this wonderful little school. We feel so fortunate to be able to send our child there. She loves this adorable school, the outstanding teachers and school staff there, and all the terrific children she shares her days with. When the time comes to move on one day, our family will truly miss ARS. Thanks to the wonderful foundation ARS is providing, we kow that our child will be able to accomplish whatever she wishes in the years ahead.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2010

When we were deciding on the size and type of school for our child, it was just overwhelming. This ended the day we looked at ARS. It was a 'this is the place' moment. The school is small, calm and has everything we remembered loving about school as children but with a more modern spin as well. Our child couldn't be happier and is so comfortable at ARS. He runs into the school every morning and hardly wants to leave at the end of the day. We are amazed at the depth of material being covered and learned. We are also thrilled to see that things like ethics, the arts and maintaining good health are focused on every bit as much as academics.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 18, 2009

I am a Mother of a K student at ARS and am thoroughly happy with ARS faculty. We sought a traditional education for our child. We wanted a safe and nurturing environment without the influence on an upper school. We looked at other private schools and had other choices but ARS was my first choice for the small class size (10), interfaith and international mix of students. Our child could not be happier and adores her primary teacher Mrs. Metzl - the faculty and leadership is wonderful. This was a perfect transition from home to school. Our child can already spell short words and count to 80. Students learn manners, ethics, French, creative art among other things. There is a good combination of structure and free time. You wont find a happier, nicer group of K kids!! Parents are helpful and can volunteer at the school as they like.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

This is a wonderful school and is truly a 'small school with a big world inside'!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 15, 2009

When we decided to send our child to ARS, we knew it was a good elementary school. Admittedly, we worried it was wise to go in knowing that we'd have to deal with the admissions process again. We now see that it's actually a luxury to select MS/HS based on who our child is now as opposed to 5 years ago. ARS provides a well-rounded and solid education. It also imbues students with good values and a respect for others. It's a great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 24, 2009

The tuition has gone up slightly but in exchange, the wonderful old school has been renovated and is a bright and lovely facility for elementary school-aged children. This is a school where your child can be a big fish in a small pond and stay a child, free from the issues that kick in at the adolescent years. It is academically solid and small size enables a great deal of personalized attention to each child's classroom needs. The faculty and administration really care. There extra activities such as language, art and music are tops. The library is charming and very user friendly. ARS has been, to use the name of the afterschool program that operates there, our 'oasis' in a city where kids tend to grow up fast and where many schools are often overcrowded
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 24, 2008

ARS is a great find. The teachers are absolutely wonderful, and we feel like our child is getting a strong academic foundation. ARS has small classes, and her teachers have kept her school work interesting and challenging. She is excited about learning and going to school every day. The environment is relaxed and has really helped build her confidence.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 12, 2008

Our son absolutely thrives at ARS. It is a sweet, caring school, where children truly can feel like a 'big fish in a small pond.' There's also a nice emphasis on values like peace and caring for others. It's old-fashioned, peaceful (i.e., not as chaotic and loud as the public school where we were previously), warm and friendly. And the teachers/staff quite obviously cherish the children in their care.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2007

We've been very happy at ARS. The community is friendly and the classes are small, so our daughter has received plenty of attention. Parents are involved. Parents staff the school's library and put on several events throughout the year. However, the school is very small, and so the total number of parents is not large to begin with. The building could use some aesthetic improvements, but the school has great proximity to Central Park.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 28, 2007

Though academics don't seem particularly challenging here, ARS has an incredible art teacher and a fun gym teacher. Music has steadily improved. The principal has his vocal supporters; however, we found him unapproachable and patronizing--not a 'plus' for a tiny school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 31, 2007

I thought some of the reviews were way too harsh, then I saw they were from last year. Last year was tough for ARS. Several parents (thankfully they are gone!) set out to make everyone miserable. They almost succeeded. That's the disadvantage of a small school. A few bad apples can really cause some problems. Thankfully, the school has rebounded nicely. Pastor Merlin - simply the best. It is hard to imagine that anyone could care about the children more. Mr. Ary, the new principal, did a fine job replacing two beloved teachers that left at the end of the last year. Being new himself, he really deserves a lot of praise for finding two such qualified replacements. It's never easy to replace an adored teacher, let alone two, but Mr. Ary was able to find two excellent teachers who's personalities suit ARS.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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 65% 52%
Hispanic 16% 21%
Black 11% 21%
Two or more races 5% N/A
Asian 3% N/A
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Asian N/A 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Korean
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Science
School facilities
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Improv
  • Poetry

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • French
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:15 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Leslie Merlin
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Second Presbyterian
Fax number
  • (212) 663-1571

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Multi-aged
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social justice
  • Visual arts
  • Writing
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Priest, pastor, or other religious personnel
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • French
  • Korean
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Chess club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
More from this school
  • This is an exciting moment in the Alexander Robertson School's history. We are celebrating our 225th anniversary while boldly plotting a course towards our next two hundred plus years of educating the children of Manhattan's Upper West Side. A big part of this process will be the hiring of a new Head of School to lead the way. S/he will be in place in time for the new school year. Please watch out for our announcement of the successful candidate!
School leaders can update this information here.

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What does it cost?

Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Trevor Day School
Dwight School
St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3 W 95th St
New York, NY 10025
Website: Click here
Phone: (212) 663-6441

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