Actually, 3 1/2 --- the grammar school is still the most caring and nurturing teaching environment I've ever seen and could warrant 5 stars on its own-- the high school needs a different admin. philosophy and perhaps a kinder attitude toward parents. They encourage parent involvement early on, then have no system to disengage by high school when they expect to just deal with the students. The difference is in the styles of two different principals. I think there could be less social drama and teen experimentation at the high school level if the teens were handled differently. There are the usual cliques and status competitions over designer things, but academically it is solid--the teachers seem to care more than the administration . The experience up until 9th grade was like a storybook delight. High school combined with the influx of new kids, and the different administration --- not so much
Columbia Prep is teaching me to have a healthy mind, body, soul, and heart. Its academics are challenging yet not overwhelming, its sports are fun and exciting, the facilities are of high quality, and the community, students and teachers, are caring and kind. When people think of the New York City private preparatory schools and how good it is to enroll, Columbia Prep should come to mind. It has all the qualities that an elite NYC private school should have, but, unlike schools like Nightingale Bamford, Spence, Chapin, etc., the environment is friendly and relaxed. One would think it is surprising that students can learn so much in such a relaxed environment, but that is the best way to learn. Another nice thing about this school is kids won't look at you funny if you don't wear designer shoes, unlike most other schools.
Columbia Prep is a great find in the competitive world of private high schools, balancing perfectly a blend of academics, art, sports, and individual student attention. Although the facilites are not particularly dazzling to the eye, they are very high-quality. There are two large gyms in the prep school and a spacious carpeted library. There's also a theater downstairs in the prep school with high-quality seats and a full stage with curtains and a backstage. Overall, it's a great choice.
The extra activities at CGPS are amazing. The teachers are what really make CGPS outstanding. Kind, caring, smart ans engaging. I feel very lucky. They only need to update the grammar schools look - the entry way and music room.