What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?

There are many excellent public, private and charter schools available in New York City and its surrounding areas.
  • PUBLIC SCHOOLS in New York City (and the rest of the US) are funded by local property taxes.The areas with the highest property taxes, therefore, have the most well-funded and finest schools. The high property taxes on land in the suburbs have yielded public schools in the suburban areas which are generally considered far better than the public schools in New York City. A family must live in the catchment district of the public school they intend to send their children to. All public schools are free, even for expats.
  • PRIVATE SCHOOLS are funded from tuition paid by each student. The quality of the education at private schools is generally rated very high and it is the choice for many expatriate families living in New York City. But, the tuition at most international schools is also very high. There are over 100 private schools to choose from in New York City, and over 100 other private schools (including boarding schools) in the surrounding area.
  • CHARTER SCHOOLS are non-profit, self-managed public schools, operating under a performance contract with the local school board. Although charter schools are authorized and monitored by the local school district, they operate independently. They are sometimes referred to as independent public schools. Most parents choose a school for their children depending on the child's needs and interests. Senior school students planning to return to Europe for further studies might benefit from a school with an International Baccalaureate program. However, most public schools, even those in the suburbs, do not offer the International Baccalaureate program. The I.B. program offers a curriculum and series of exams which allows a student to continue in school or university in Europe.
For more information on all the schools that are located close to where you are moving to, contact Crown New York, check the local yellow pages or visit the websites listed below.
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What are some examples of these schools?

The New York City Public School system is divided into two segments: elementary, middle and high school.
For elementary and middle schools, there are 32 locally elected community school boards which oversee them in their community districts. These boards, each with nine members, hire district superintendents, approve supervisory and teaching appointments and manage budgets. A student is able to attend any elementary or middle school in the city, in the school choice plan, under the following provisions:
(1) The child lives in the school's district.
(2) A request is made to the school for placement and there is room to accept the student.
One hundred and sixteen high schools in New York City are run under the auspices of the High School Division. A student is able to attend any high school of his/her choice. There are four specialized high schools which are well known for their high standards of instruction and student performance:
  • Bronx High School of Science (Bronx)
  • Stuyvesant High School for Math/Sciences (Manhattan)
  • Brooklyn Technical School (Brooklyn)
  • Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Arts (Manhattan)
Admission to the first three specialized high schools is based on competitive entrance exams; LaGuardia's admission is based on audition and other screening procedures. Applications to specialized high schools must be made in October in the year prior to admission. High schools also include vocation/technical schools, alternative high schools and total educational option high schools. The High School Division recently opened a number of new schools featuring specialized curricula. A complete book with school profiles is available from the High School Division.
There are over 100 private schools to choose from in New York City, including boarding schools in the surrounding area. Since there are too many to describe them all, the following are some examples of private schools in Manhattan.
Ethical Culture School
  • Has two campuses: one in Manhattan's Upper West Side (Pre-K through 6), the other in Riverdale, Northern Bronx.
  • Does not offer International Baccalaureate program
  • 20 children per class
  • Facilities: Gym, two dining halls, wood shop, science lab, library and auditorium
  • Tuition: US$15,000 and up
  • Should apply one year in advance; has rolling admissions but will not admit children mid –year
Dwight School
  • In Manhattan's Upper West Side
  • K through 12
  • Offers International Baccalaureate Program
  • Offers French classes from kindergarten
  • 15 students per class
  • Facilities include: two theaters, two libraries, three gyms, language lab and four science labs
  • Tuition: US$12,000 and up
  • Should apply one year in advance; rolling admissions; students admitted mid-year, if space available
United Nations International School
  • Manhattan's East Side, near the United Nations
  • K through 12
  • Approximately 40 per cent diplomatic children - very high security
  • Offers International Baccalaureate Program
  • Approximately 20 children per class
  • Facilities: gymnasium, library, theater and labs
  • Tuition: US$10,500 and up
  • Apply by Nov. 15 of previous year for admission in September
In both Manhattan and in the suburbs, there are some private schools specializing in foreign curricula and language:
Lycee Francais
  • On Manhattan's Upper East Side
  • K through 12
  • All classes taught in French; Four hours of English per week
  • The only New York area option for French students in their last two years of senior school
  • 25 children per class
  • No athletic facilities; use Central Park and YMCA facilities
  • uition: US$10,500 and up
La Scuola
  • On Manhattan's Upper East Side
  • Pre-K through 12
  • Bilingual curriculum: Italian and English
  • 15 students per class
  • Appropriate schooling for applying to university in US or Italy
  • No facilities: use outside gym and Central Park
  • Tuition: US$7,000 and up
  • Apply at least six months in advance, particularly for younger children
Some private schools in New York City lack sports facilities and therefore make use of Central Park for their extracurricular activities. Such schools also use external gymnasiums such as the YMCA.
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Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?

If your child will be attending a public school, there is no competition. Public schools are zoned so they are obliged to accept all children within the school zone in which you live. Private schools however, typically have entrance requirements and waiting lists. If you plan to send your child to a private school, it is recommended that you apply as soon as you arrive in the area to guarantee a spot on the waiting list.
Charter schools, like private schools, require that you register your child. Instead of entry requirements, however, they have a "random selection" policy. If you decide this is the choice for your child, it is also recommended that you register as early as possible.
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Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?

Yes, including the widely popular International preschools, located throughout the Upper East and Upper West sides. They are for children 1½ to 5 years old, and feature diverse curricula and an international student body. Application to these schools should be made at least nine months prior to the autumn start of the school year; students will be admitted mid-year if space permits.
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How are most kids transported to and from school?

Younger kids are generally taken to school by their parents. Once they get a little older, they will tend to use New York's excellent public transit system to get around. Many schools also run their own bus services.
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When does the typical school year start and end?

Typically, the school year runs from late August or early September through June.
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Is there anything else I should know about local schools?

Please contact Crown New York for further information.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.