The Bank Street School for Children is an independent, coeducational nursery through 8th grade school in New York City. Our approach places children at the center of their own learning to help them grow as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and creators.

At Bank Street, students learn by doing. In the process, they develop a lifelong love of learning as they build the academic, social, emotional, and cognitive skills essential for success in school and life. Each child is valued as a learner and as a teacher, classmate, and member of the Bank Street community.

Lower (Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten), Middle (Grades 1–4), and Upper (Grades 5–8) Schools offer a rich learning environment tailored to support children at each stage of their development. Our school is a working model of Bank Street College of Education’s approach to teaching and learning, which builds from more than a century of knowledge on children’s growth and development.

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Teacher and student look at test tube

Why Bank Street?

As New York City’s leading progressive school for children nursery through grade 8, Bank Street School for Children is a model for child-centered education across the U.S. and around the world. Our curriculum engages each student’s natural curiosity, nurtures critical thinking, and helps to develop a sense of community and social responsibility.

School for Children at a Glance

  • 449
    Students Nursery Through Grade 8
  • 7:1
    Student : Faculty Ratio
  • 65%
    Teachers With Bank Street Graduate Degrees
  • $3.5
    Million in Need-Based Financial Aid
Middle school teacher working with a child

Learning What Works Best for Children

When Lucy Sprague Mitchell founded Bank Street in 1916, she set out to create an environment for teachers and researchers to explore how to best nurture children’s growth and development. Mitchell and her colleagues saw children as unique and complex human beings blessed at birth with an avid desire to learn. They knew that nurturing this desire would fuel a lifetime love of learning and believed that children are happiest—and learn best—in classrooms tailored to their age and stage of development.
History & Philosophy
Middle School students work together in class

A Focus on the Whole Child

Through the ongoing study of how children learn, Bank Street created the developmental-interaction approach to teaching and learning. Grounded in a deep understanding of the natural stages of children’s growth, this philosophy engages the whole child for optimal cognitive, social, and emotional development and creates learning environments in which students are actively involved with the world around them to support meaningful learning. These ideas are the basis for everything we do at Bank Street.
Math Lab project at the Upper School

An Inquiry-based Curriculum

Children learn best when they arrive at their own meaning. Bank Street teachers encourage and facilitate student questioning, exploration, collaboration, and discovery. This climate of inquiry nurtures children’s ability to reflect on their own process and learning as well as their capacity for focused, goal-directed thinking. At the heart of Bank Street’s success are adult-child interactions that support each child’s learning and a social environment in which each child is known and respected as an individual.
Spotlight on Progressive Education

Scenes at the School for Children

Take a look at some snapshots from around the School for Children, which has state-of-the-art facilities for our community to enjoy.
  • Child running on the playdeck
    Play Deck for 3/4s through 6/7s students
  • Art Studio at the School for Children
    Art Studio
  • Upper School students in science lab timing a chemistry experiment
    Upper School Science Lab
  • Children's Library
  • Upper School rock band rehearsal
    Rock Band in the Auditorium
  • Bank Street Cafeteria
  • Middle School student in the Wood Shop
    Wood Shop

Financial Information and Accreditations

Bank Street School for Children is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). We have a $10.6 million endowment and a $20 million operating budget (including Summer Camp and After School Programs). Our affiliations include: National Association of Independent Schools; Elementary School Heads Association; National Business Officers Association; Educational Records Bureau; Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; Council for Advancement and Support of Education; Early Steps; Parent’s League; Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York.