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Learning at York Prep

York Prep is dedicated to academic excellence and strives to instill the work ethic inherent to that pursuit. Good grades without a challenge are meaningless.

Our goal is to enable students to reach beyond their comfort level and achieve real academic success. York Prep prides itself in accomplishing this goal with a nurturing, structured environment where students are not afraid to take positive risks. This makes us unique among independent schools in New York City.

Central to this pursuit are the faculty members at York Prep, a caring and intellectually rigorous group of individuals. They prod, nudge, coax and do whatever it takes to awaken the curiosity and motivate the desire to learn in every one of our students. Our faculty members receive training that makes them more aware and more sensitive to the ways students learn. They employ different methods of teaching that strive to meet every learning style, whether it is visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

Individual attention at York Prep is possible because of faculty dedication and a positive classroom environment that promotes learning. Class sizes, which average about 15 students, create an intimate, yet lively, private school atmosphere where ideas, thoughts, and feelings can flourish without bounds.

We believe that students progress best when the work is appropriately challenging to their skill level. York Prep uses a system called “tracking,” which we feel best serves the needs of the individual student. Tracking places students in one of several ability groups available in every subject area. The goal is to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in a place where they can succeed. Through the tracking system, we challenge students to maximize their potential to work with others who have similar skills and abilities.

York Prep’s curriculum is designed to develop the superior academic skills necessary for future success. Each student’s program is constantly evaluated for proper placement within the tracking system to ensure that the right balance of challenge and support is maintained in all subject areas. The curriculum provides a strong foundation in the traditional ‘core’ subjects of a liberal arts education — English, mathematics, social studies, science, and world languages. In addition, students can choose from a wide range of specialized electives.

For a small private school, York Prep is able to offer an impressive range of courses with electives in most fields for qualified students. Seniors can choose among classes such as Constitutional Law, Marine Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Utopian Societies, Ethics, and Psychology. In the visual arts, advanced students are offered portfolio development where they design individual projects and compile portfolios for college admission including digital photography, animation, and studio arts.

On the recommendation of the Headmaster, seniors and advanced eleventh graders may take courses at New York City colleges–e.g. Columbia, New York University, and Hunter College. For those who qualify, independent study and Advanced Placement courses are offered. Juniors and seniors who achieve superior academic standing are nominated and recognized by membership in the National Honor Society.

Communication between parents and the school is actively encouraged. Parents are kept informed of their child’s academic and social progress on a regular basis. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for fall and winter quarters. The annual Curriculum Night gives parents a chance to meet faculty members and get a good overview of coursework. Parents are strongly urged to get involved with the school through the Parents’ Association.