I have gone to Manhattan Country School and my daughter has as well. Its is amazing with such great diversity, academic support and you are guarrenteed to go to one of the top high schools of your choice. I highly reccommend it, I wish they had a highschool.
My son has been at MCS for 4 years and the experience has been strictly okay. While the ideological underpinnings are very beautiful, the classrooms can be chaotic, lacking teacher or curricular direction. Although my son had no problems learning, he developed a hatred of reading by 3rd grade. While this school is probably better than the average public school in NYC, by virtue of its small class sizes and a curriculum that strives to teach and nurture the whole child, it falls short compared to other private schools. The leadership is weak (except the head of the lower school, who is fantastic) and the administration doesn't know how to handle the burnt-out teachers (of whom there appear to be many, unfortunately). While the school lauds itself for having a diverse community, it fails to make it a cohesive community. Small, thoughtful steps that would enable this are simply not taken.
MCS is an amazing school with an outstanding mission. The community is so warm and happy you just want to be at school with your friends every second of the day. I everything about MCS. Unlike many other schools on the upper east side, MCS has a very diverse student body. I love this because you get to meet so many different people with a variety of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. MCS is a haven for any student that is up for a challenge and excited to learn
A wonderfully nurturing school and loving environment. Warm family atmosphere with racial and ethnic balance. However, is not able to meet the needs of academically gifted children or children with learning differences. This is unfortunate because the school has the potential, with its small class sizes (18 children per class)to meet student's individual needs but chooses to maintain a 'cookie cutter' philosophy. The Upper grades involve excessive amounts of homework and tremendous academic pressure for the average child who may not be mature enough to handle the independent work required. This seems, however, to be a trend in many private schools as they prepare students for the high school level. Some fantastic teachers who care, lots of parental involvement, especially in the younger grades, average availability to music, art, and sports, financial help. A good match for the mature, independent, average to above average child who needs a smaller learning environment.
MCS is a school with a clear, well defined and unfortunately still unique mission. My child is a graduate of this nurturing community that has embraced real diversity( racial, cultural, gender, socioeconomic etc.) and combined city and country learning. MCS was instrumental in developing her committment to a life that includes services to others. Yes, MCS also provided sufficient academic challenge. My daughter's classmates' high school acceptances and colleges were impressive. MCS was weak only in the ease and availability of sports and other extracurriculars. It is exceptional in its committment to it's founding mission. Parent involvment is very, very strong. Although my daughter has attended fine educational institutions since leaving MCS none have had the impact of her MCS family. We love this school.
Great School if you like the independent 'teaching in the round' methodology. Great for building social consciousness. A little lacking on the physical activity, and sometimes too forgiving of other students shortcomings and the way it effects the other students ability to function. Still, an A- school.
MCS is an amazing school. Listening in on a discussion you are blown away by the thoughtfulness and depth of children's comments--even at four years old! The school community is extremely supportive and involved and the teachers are some of the most amazing ones I've ever seen. And where else is your child ever going to learn to milk a cow and weave textiles as part of their regular curriculum?