The School at Columbia University

The property

The School at Columbia University is an independent K-8 school founded in 2003 with the goal of providing an excellent education to a diverse student body. We dedicate ourselves to fostering in our students personal resourcefulness and integrity, a sense of social responsibility, and a lifelong appreciation of learning through an innovative, socially and emotionally supportive, and academically challenging program. Our pedagogical and curricular philosophies embrace multicultural perspectives, which challenge educators and learners to examine their preconceived notions of race, gender, ethnicity, class, ability, religion, and sexual orientation. We adhere to a common code of civility among all constituents. We tailor our instruction so that the needs of the individual students are met. A committed faculty and administration strive to create a school that will stand as a model for what K-8 education can be, and serve as a genuine and enduring partnership between Columbia University and its neighbors.

Our intentional school culture embraces shared beliefs across disciplines and grades, which underlie important values expressed through everyday behaviors and visible symbols throughout our community:

  • COLLABORATION: Encouraging creative problem-solving in dynamic groups where outcomes are not always predictable, but ultimately greater than any individual perspective could envision.
  • COMMUNITY: Promoting inclusivity, facilitating open communication, and providing clear expectations to all members of the community to ensure a healthy, productive environment, inside and outside the school.
  • DIVERSITY: Reveling in an environment of myriad learning experiences that address important aspects of diversity, including identity development, anti-bias skills, and the idea that difference is better.
  • INNOVATION: Taking thoughtful risks grounded in current research, putting new technologies to work in classrooms, and always seeking new approaches to learning to provide a meaningful 21st-century education to all students.

The School was created by Columbia University to serve children of neighborhood families and those of Columbia University employees. In keeping with The School’s mission, our admissions process aims to ensure that The School maintains an enrollment distribution between children of Columbia families and children of neighborhood families who live in Public School Districts 3 and 5.

The School’s curricular perspective, referred to as knowledge-based constructivism, is positioned in a framework that allows student learning to take place in real life. It is learning-centered, focusing on essential questions and related themes and concepts. Essential questions devised by teachers but also generated by students are set in the context of personal relevance and academic perspectives. Teachers at The School work across eleven disciplines—dance, educational technology, literacy and English, mathematics, music, science, social and emotional learning, social studies, Spanish, visual art, and wellness—to create an engaging and ever-changing curriculum that encourages collaborative problem-solving and deep thinking. Grade-level themes and concepts are integrated across all disciplines and incorporate skills students need to acquire at each grade level.

The School at Columbia University is unique. We are among a small group of schools in the world positioned to combine a close school community that meets the needs of each individual student, with the astounding resources of a leading university. The School’s teachers, in collaboration with Columbia University faculty and graduate students, have created a wide variety of learning opportunities for students. Projects range from field trips and class visits, to ongoing collaborations that shape The School’s curriculum.

The School at Columbia University
556 West 110th Street
New York, NY 10025

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