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Spence School

School rating 5 / 5 by

22 East 91st Street New York NY 10128 United States
Boarding
None to None
Day
K to 12th
Gender
Girls only

Academic

Spence School review by .

Spence School's academics are truly excellent. I can speak best from a humanities point of view, but I can say that they have prepared me over and above any writing workload I have. One thing you learn how to do at Spence is write a decent English paper, whether you like it or not. The teachers are another amazing part of Spence, as they as a whole as extremely helpful and friendly, and since you have such small class sizes you definitely get to know them. There are certainly some terrible ones mixed in there, but for a most part they were a consistently good crowd, with some excellent ones thrown in there. Class discussion was certainly the core part of all my learning experiences and for the most part everyone felt comfortable speaking out. Access to faculty is easy and they are generally very accommodating if you are a generally well-behaved student. One thing I loved about Spence was how much academic achievement was valued both inside and outside the classroom. It was cool to be smart and although people wanted to do well, there wasn't an atmosphere of such competitiveness that it was stifling. There was no class rank or anything like that, so everyone only had a general idea of the academic standing of others and it wasn't a central topic of conversation. Particularly talented/advanced students are definitely encouraged and well-liked by faculty. Most teachers welcome intelligence and new ideas, and don't feel that threatened by the knowledge of their students. Teachers are definitely willing to help struggling students and the school will try to help its students succeed the best they can. One thing that is exceptional at Spence is its support for the arts. There is a large staff of art teachers and plenty of art classes and supplies for drawing, painting, photography, sculpture or ceramics. The art department is excellent.

College Counseling

My college counselor was kind of a class joke. She must do something right because....

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

I was in the same school since kindergarten, so I really know nothing about this.....

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

The accommodations are generally good, as it has all been recently renovated and up to date. Sometimes the administration decides to change things for aesthetic reasons that are completely impractical, such as the lockers for the 10th and 11th graders. Occasionally the school can be a bit slow to respond to problems and has a lot of layers to deal with physical/functional issues. The library is definitely a comfortable place to study and the computers are quite handy. The technology is usually up to date and well-supported, especially for the arts. The neighborhood is the Upper East Side and is both safe....

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