My son has attend Fieldston Lower since he was in 1st Grade and he will be entering 7th Grade at Fieldston Middle School this fall. I'm a working mom and even though there are clearly very wealthy children attending this school, my son has formed tight friendships with many of his classmates and has never told me of any situations in which a child has treated him badly because he's not wealthy. He is very eager to go to school and takes pride in his schoolwork. The teachers are available whenever needed even though I've noticed that the teachers tend to be lenient with the kids because the administration feels that parents are paying too much money (staff members have alluded at this when I've told them to be strict with my child & not let him get away with things). Overall I'm very happy with the school.
My daughter began last year in Pre-k, and we cannot say enough good things about this school. The parents are very involved and the school has a real sense of community. My daughter has made many friends here and the parents are very real. We feel very blessed to be a part of this school, and could not be happier.
My two daughters attend Ethical and began in Pre-kindergarten. We were attracted to the school for it's progressive education reputation, commitment to diversity, and sense of community. The academic program is very loose until 4th grade. There is strong focus on the arts and culture. We have been disappointed in the Ethics program, the gym program and the seemingly decreasing attention to socio-economic and ethnic diversity. My youngest daughter's class is not diverse when compared to her older siblings class. This trend down is disturbing. For almost every year that my children have attended, I have served as a class parent and/or grade chair. There is significant parent involvement from the same pool of families over and over. It is difficult as a working family to participate in all the volunteer activities for the school. I find that it ends up being the stay-at-home moms or those financially successful who participate.
The teachers are very caring. Math and science is weak while English, Art, and 'social studies' are strong. Sports program is quite good. Parental involvement is limited because most of the parents are so busy with their careers that they barely have time for their own children! (Many of the families are not intact, the result of a very high divorce rate.) College placement is amazingly good. The students are very rich. The philosophy is very idealistic and liberal. If your kid is not from a very wealthy background, I would steer clear of this school since there is a disconnect between the extreme wealth of the student body in general and the few non-wealthy kids added for window dressing. The rich kids basically won't give the non-rich kids the time of day when it comes down to forming real, lasting friendships.
Ethical Culture/Fieldston school provides a well rounded program for students from pre-k to 18. In addition to an excellent academic program, the school emphasizes the teaching of ethics. This encourages students to develop compassion for others and become involved in their community beyond themselves. Ethical Culture/Fieldston also emphasizes the arts and the Fieldston campus offers outstanding sporting facilities on its suburban-like grounds. A good number of graduates go on to top-tier colleges.