About Us

Message from Our Dean

Doug KnechtAt Bank Street School for Children, the student experience is at the heart of everything we do. Our students’ development, interests, and sense of who they are—including their culture and emerging identity—all give life to our curricula as it takes shape within every classroom. Throughout their time with us, students learn to think critically and to impact their world for the better, setting them up to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Our faculty members, most of whom hold a master’s degree from Bank Street Graduate School, use their expert knowledge of child development to create the immersive and joyful learning experiences that encourage students to realize their own unique potential. They integrate both planned and emergent curriculum that is ambitious and inclusive, challenging and exciting, and rooted in exploration and interactive play. Through collaborative, inquiry-based projects, children are able to organize their thinking, make connections, and develop important relationships and crucial lifelong skills.

Our blend of academic excellence, holistic support, and a larger commitment to social justice can be seen in how we teach every day. In pre-K, for example, a 4-year-old’s question about an acorn from an oak tree may lead to a rich study about the significance of trees and plants and their role in the natural environment. As children progress through our school, their sense of wonder develops into a critical understanding of our world, how it works, and how it can be improved. In eighth grade, students think about what it means to be an agent of positive change by engaging in a mock congress study, in which they play the role of a United States senator and develop their own unique legislation. By graduation, the curiosities they may have had about an acorn years ago have flourished into an informed and clear vision for a more just society.

At every stage of development, Bank Street students learn to take different perspectives, conduct their own research, problem-solve, hold debate, and find compromise as a means of achieving something greater in both large and small ways. I can say with confidence that our approach works. I have recently had the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research in educational neuroscience that indicates that, when our eighth graders graduate, the networks in their brains are poised to make meaning in powerful ways that will lead to success in high school and beyond. Our high school placement data also speaks volumes: our graduates are accepted into top high schools and, as they continue their academic journey, they remain curious in the face of complexity, courageous for themselves and others, and prepared to build a future that fulfills their brightest dreams and boldest plans.

As Head of School at the School for Children, former founding Vice President of the Bank Street Education Center, and a current School for Children parent, I have seen firsthand the transformative impact of a Bank Street education. I invite you to explore Bank Street School for Children and join us in our mission to support and grow the academic, social, and emotional intelligence of every student so they can thrive here in school—and in life.

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Doug Knecht
Dean of Children’s Programs
Head of the School for Children
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