York Prep Philosophy
Our Approach | Made Possible by Outstanding Teachers
York Prep offers personalized education for every student, making us one of the best alternative high schools in NYC. Our goal is to enable middle and high school students to reach beyond their comfort level and achieve real academic success. We pride ourselves in accomplishing this goal with a nurturing, structured environment where students are not afraid to take positive risks. At the same time, we are dedicated to academic excellence and strive to instill the work ethic inherent to that pursuit, as good grades without a challenge are meaningless.
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. It’s something that sets us apart from other alternative high schools in NYC: we effectively balance intensive academics with an atmosphere of support.
Individual attention at York Prep is possible because of our faculty’s dedication. Class sizes, which average about 15 students, create an intimate yet lively atmosphere where ideas, thoughts, and feelings can flourish without bounds.
Communication between parents and the school is actively encouraged. Teachers send parents a brief report on their child’s academic and social progress on a weekly 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.
The Grouping System | Appropriate Challenge in Each Subject
We believe that students progress best when their work is appropriately challenging to their skill level. In the York Prep philosophy, we use a system called “grouping,” which we feel best serves the needs of the individual student.
Through the Grouping System, we place students in classrooms where they can find success in each subject. We carefully consider what learning environment is best and which is teacher is most qualified to meet the variety of learning needs represented at York Prep, and place our students accordingly. The flexibility of our placement system allows students to focus on areas of strength while receiving support in other areas. If a student is gifted and needs an accelerated schedule in one subject and are more challenged in another, we can provide an appropriate setting for that student to grow and learn in both of those courses. As a result, our graduates are well rounded and thoroughly versed in what it takes for them to succeed.
The Curriculum | Strong Core, Outstanding Electives
York Prep’s curriculum is designed to develop the academic skills necessary to excell anywhere. 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, which continue to grow as we expand our STEM and Business .
For a small private school, York Prep is able to offer a wide range of courses with electives in most fields for qualified students. Seniors for example 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.
In addition to these elements, York Prep is well known for Jump Start, which provides personalized academic support before, during, and after classes, as well as the Scholars Program, designed to offer enhanced, challenging academic opportunities beyond the range of core and elective classes.