The Best of NYC Independent Schools

The Best of NYC: Independent Schools


Finding a private school in NYC that is the best fit for your child and family can be a bit of a task. With so many schools to consider, narrowing down the perfect one can be a challenge. Have a look at these amazing independent schools below, which are some of the very best that NYC has to offer.

The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral School is set in the heart of a 13-acre campus unlike any other in Manhattan. Within this unique environment, we cultivate our students’ natural curiosity into a passion for lifelong learning. We believe in a rigorous academic program that blends innovation and tradition. From kindergarten through 8th grade, our dedicated faculty challenge and support Cathedral students as they grow into critical thinkers, thoughtful scholars, and culturally competent leaders.

A sense of community is essential to life at The Cathedral School. We welcome all faiths, and value each child as a whole person, with respect for their individuality and worth. For our students, participation in our nationally-recognized Identity Curriculum allows them to broaden perspectives and celebrate identity, culture, and the wonder of human diversity.

Learn more about our remarkable school. Take a virtual tour, watch videos highlighting our incredible community, and take a close look at daily academic life through our curriculum guide. Get to know the wonder of a Cathedral School experience.

NOTE: Detailed information regarding The Cathedral School’s health and safety protocols during COVID-19 can be found on our here.

The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York
NY 10025

Website | Facebook | Instagram | P:  212-316-7500 | F:  212-316-7558

Avenues: The World School

Avenues: The World School

The New York campus of Avenues: The World School is a toddler–12th grade independent school located in West Chelsea. Since opening in 2012, Avenues New York has grown our student body to 1,800+ students. Students from our first five graduating classes are studying at many of the finest educational institutions in the world and are well on their way to becoming, in the words of their mission statement, “architects of lives that transcend the ordinary.”

Avenues’ innovative curriculum is shaped by expert faculty with support from an in-house research and development team. Curricular highlights include language immersion in Chinese or Spanish for toddler–5th grade students, project-based learning, interdisciplinary study and their Mastery Program in which students study a particular topic of interest in depth. Curiosity, independence and empathy are at the heart an Avenues education.

Avenues uniquely functions as one school with campuses, with locations in New York, São Paulo, ShenzhenOnline and a Studio Campus in East Hampton. These campuses form one highly integrated global learning community, and admission to one location means admission to all.

Learn more about how an Avenues that goes beyond what’s expected of a school today to develop the future thought leaders and innovators of tomorrow.


Manhattan Day School

Manhattan Day School

Manhattan Day School is a co-educational Modern Orthodox yeshiva day school on the West Side of Manhattan, serving toddlers through eighth grade. With a strong foundation in Judaic and Secular studies in a warm, joyous school community, the MDS philosophy is inspired by Torah values, a love of Israel and the development of character and leadership.

Much has changed at MDS since our school founding in 1943: Advanced programming in coding and robotics for all grades, intensive Hebrew immersion programming, a special curriculum for students with language based learning issues, exceptional fine art, music, and athletic programs, and a renovated state of the art facility that welcomes over four hundred joyous students daily.

We are proud to call New York City our classroom. Students enhance their cultural knowledge and global awareness with regular visits — whether in person or virtual — to the cultural landmarks of our city such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. They perform acts of kindness through programs at the Masbia Soup Kitchen, the OU, and local senior centers, and hone their personal attributes through a character development program that encourages good values, and through an incredibly supportive advisory program.

Whether they’re breaking barriers at National History Day in Middle School, representing MDS at the NYC Spelling Bee in Lower School, or sharpening their technology skills in our Early Childhood robotics program, they are learning to be creative, think critically and become independent young adults.

Manhattan Day School
310 West 75th Street
New York
NY 10023

Website | Email

Admissions Director: Cindy Sherman,, 212.376.6800 x534

Experience The IDEAL Difference

The Ideal School

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is New York’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school. Our mission is to affirm and accept the full identities of all people while inspiring academic excellence, creative leadership, and a desire to build a more just and equitable world.

The school’s core principles are Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence, Acceptance, and Leadership. Every aspect of the IDEAL experience–instruction, assessment, program, enrichment–reflects a research-based commitment to inclusion education as a means for academic excellence.

Our exceptional academic program is based on the belief that students learn best when we set a high bar and scaffold the path to achievement through differentiation. Lower School (K-5) classes are co-taught by a general educator and a learning specialist. Middle School (6-8) classes cultivate lifelong learning skills. High School (9-12) is uniquely student-driven, flexible, and inclusive. The Next Steps Transition Program is available to students aged 18 to 21 as an alternative or ramp to college and supports each student’s continued progress.

Please visit to learn more about our Upper West Side campus and distance learning option or for admissions and financial aid information.

314 West 91st Street

270 West 89th Street

New York, NY 10024


Website | Open Houses | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Family School and Family School West

The Family School and Family School West

The Family School and Family School West were established to provide diverse populations with warm, exciting Montessori environments that foster independence, tolerance and creativity.

Students eighteen months through twelve years of age work with hands on materials, independently and collaboratively, to master knowledge and skills, not learn them by rote. They are set on a path to become self-directed, critical thinkers with wide funds of knowledge.

We were founded on a love of language and culture and take advantage of our international staff to make both aspects a regular part of our everyday experience. Our students are global citizens with a strong sense of their place in the world and their ability to make a difference in it.

Every student’s curriculum is individualized. In classrooms filled with natural light, children work at their own pace, never waiting on an opportunity to move forward or struggling to keep up. We are a highly academic, zero pressure setting. Work and play combine to be both self-motivating and enjoyable. Work is gratifying and fun!

We revel in our students’ accomplishments, in their curiosity, thoughtfulness, and daily growing confidence.

We look forward to sharing our very special community with you!

The Family School
323 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

Family School West
308 West 46th Street
New York NY 10036

Lesley Nan Haberman, Headmistress and Director of Admissions

WebsiteEmail | 212-688-5950

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