About Our School

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Welcome to Your York

At York Prep, we offer individualized education to help every student explore their unique potential. We call this concept “Your York.”

Exploring Your Child’s Potential with Individualized Education

Your York means that every class you take is adjusted to the level that will both challenge you and allow you to succeed. If that means creating a one-student class to teach math three years above grade-level standards, we will create that class.

Your York means that if a student is struggling or requires advanced placement in more than one subject, the teachers have already met and are collaborating on how to get that student reach to his or her full potential.

Your York means that if a student has a passion (whether it’s fencing, sports broadcasting, or robotics) and is willing to work at it, we will create opportunities for them to pursue their interest through individualized education. We will support them with the resources they need so that the only limit to what they can achieve will be their own drive and work ethic.

York Prep’s focus is YOU.

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York’s community works because of its intellectual, economic, and ethnic diversity. No two students come in or leave exactly the same. The fact that every student from York goes to college, and that so many get into their top choice schools (recently including Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Savannah College of Art and Design, and more) are results of our approach to individualized education.

We are dedicated to making these years ones that our students treasure for the rest of their lives. Our alumni love to visit their old mentors and stay in touch with the friendships they forged in our halls.


Mission and Values


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What is Character?

We’ve built our community based on a fundamental principle. As our founder and headmaster of almost fifty years loves to say, “Character trumps Algebra.” While our curriculum is challenging and prepares our students to succeed academically in top schools, we prepare them to do much more than just earn good grades. We prepare them to be confident people of character.

There are a few key components of what we call character. They are the principles that distinguish York students, faculty, and staff:

Caring – Being compassionate to those around you and helping those in need

Responsibility – Being accountable for your actions and doing the right thing even when it isn’t easy

Trust – Being honest and keeping your word

Fairness – Being open to viewpoints that don’t agree with yours and valuing justice


Our Mission

York Preparatory School is a New York City independent school committed to guiding students in grades six through twelve to reach their maximum potential—intellectually, socially, and physically—and to prepare them for college and beyond. Compassionate educators creatively address the needs and interests of a diverse community, thereby appropriately supporting and challenging students as they progress through a traditional curriculum within a structured environment. York Prep encourages the development of lifelong learners who are responsible members of their community.


Ronald and Jayme Stewart, a young couple with a large dream, founded York Prep.

Having worked for a number of years together at Tripp Lake Camp in Maine, the Stewarts — he, a British barrister; she, an English teacher — dreamed of educating students in the same close and personal manner they had learned from their camp experience. Their goal was to establish a structured, compassionate private school that would stretch its students and enable them to achieve academic and personal success.

During the summer of 1969, the Stewarts simultaneously saw prospective parents and supervised the renovation of an abandoned building at 116 East 85th Street. York Prep opened its doors in September 1969 to 158 students. From the beginning, the school was blessed with extraordinary teachers, many of whom were personal friends of the young couple. Several faculty and administration members hired in those initial years are still with the school today.

Since its inception, York Prep has been a traditional private college preparatory school with a dress code and structured classes. However, the school quickly distinguished itself by adopting ability-level groupings in order to optimize students’ academic achievement; this strategy continues to the present.

An opportunity to take over a building on West 68th Street presented itself in 1997. Although in a state of disrepair, the building’s intrinsic majesty was apparent to the school administration. In just 16 weeks, the building was completely restored and expanded. York Prep opened its new stately doors in the fall of 1997 to 188 students.

Today, York Prep is one of the private school jewels in New York City. There are 350 students with a faculty and administration of more than 70 professionals. The Stewarts still infuse the school with their energy. Mrs. Stewart, Director of College Guidance is widely known for her outstanding college guidance program. Mr. Stewart remains Headmaster, teaches ethics to all seniors, and seems to be everywhere in the school at any one time. Teachers continue to be as strong as ever, with many of them now long-time veterans of York Prep.

What started as a young couple’s dream is now a very solid reality that will continue for years to come.