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Ethical Culture Fieldston School

School rating 4 / 5 by

Fieldston Road Bronx NY 10471 United States
PK to 12th


Ethical Culture Fieldston School review by .

The Ethical Culture Fieldston School, "Fieldston School" creates that great, warm community feel of smaller independent schools with a generally larger student body (about 150 students per grade). Though it is part of the "Ivy Preparatory League" in NYC, the atmosphere is not the expected grade-focused school. While there are the students who do stress over grades and exams too much, the faculty and staff strongly discourage that and try to get students to take advantage of the myriad of elective courses in every subject and art: Animal Behavior, Advanced Statistical Analysis, Dramatic Theatre Workshop, Advanced Spanish Literary Themes, Adolescent Social Psychology, Moral Philosophy, and the History of the Working Class, just to name a few. The classes are anywhere from 4-15 students in size depending on the subject. Because of the size of the classes and the well organized schedule (though it seems confusing at first) everyone can pursue almost everything they want to experience and learn from, and get satisfying and in-depth work done every semester. Our grade scale is from F-A (no A+) with art courses and physical education counting as "credit" (basically pass/fail). While there are letter grades, there are no GPA calculations done, class rankings, or AP courses (though there are Advanced Topic courses which comparably prepare students for AP tests, teachers at the school just don't like being tied down to a rigid curriculum). There is a definite liberal vibe to the school, with a lot of freedom and choice given to students in terms of what courses to take, how many, how to manage time: basically the freedom to choose what and how much of the vast resources the school has that they will take advantage of.

College Counseling

In the Fieldston School students are introduced to the college process by taking the PSATs....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

The Ethical Culture Fieldston School spans four schools from PK-12 (two lower schools, one middle,....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Student life is as stressed or stress-free as students make it for themselves. Most choose to do what they enjoy, while also trying out new things and learning. While cliques in high school are inevitable, after freshman year everyone seems to get get more comfortable and open with everyone in the community. Sports teams, arts, and some classes are inter-grade so there are many close friendships regardless of age. The food gets repetitive like any catering service, but it is quite good, with at least three hot food choices, two soups, a locally-grown organic salad bar,....

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