Garden School, founded in 1923, affirms the primacy of learning. They empower every student in their educationally diverse community to meet responsibly the challenges of everyday life by promoting academic achievement, personal development and social involvement.
The first thing people notice about the Garden School is how relaxed and friendly the atmosphere is. This small school, 350 students in grades PK-12 located in Jackson Heights, Queens, deals with the whole child. In a time where so much in education is about numbers and test scores, your child will find out a lot more about who they are and develop true interests.
“With each passing year, we see our returning students not only more mature and able to cope with new challenges, but also more connected to each other. It is that sense of being part of something larger than themselves—a culture of caring for and reaching out to others—that makes Garden School a home away from home for our students.”
At the center of Garden School is the curriculum. Yet the context in which that curriculum unfolds distinguishes them from other schools—the context of small classes in a small school; of freedom from bureaucracy; of carefully focused college counseling; of a professional and caring relationship among teachers, students, parents, and administrators; of a passionate dedication to education rather than to the politics of education; of a firm commitment to understand, interpret, and present each student as an individual; of recognizing when growth is part of a child’s intellectual development; of building a curriculum based on the highest university standards; and, finally, of knowing when to encourage and support risk-taking in students.
Grades 1–3: one class per grade with a core teacher assisted by a reading specialist.
Grades 4–6: departmentalized with subject teachers; grades are taught in two to three smaller groups.
Art and music classes twice a week.
Physical education a minimum of three times a week.
Mandarin Chinese for grades 1—3
French for grades 4—6
After-school program available until 6 p.m. Enrichment classes (Foundations) offered during this time.
Annual stage productions, recitals, and talent shows
Library skills/author studies
The Upper Division at Garden School encompasses grades 7–12. The classes are small, averaging 15 students, yet it is not only our small class size that defines Garden but also the atmosphere within those classes. Middle school and high school classes provide students with the opportunity to have interpersonal relationships with their teachers, individual attention and mentoring, and meaningful educational experiences.
Garden School Music Conservatory
The Music Conservatory is an ideal way for your child to discover an instrument of choice that suits his or her own unique talents. Our music teacher, Tom Heineman, assisted by professional musicians, provides individual instruction for students in Garden School’s upper and lower divisions. A few of the instrument choices are bass, cello, flute, flute, guitar.
New This Year – Band!
This year Garden School offers an instrumental music band program through Paul Effman Music, the largest and most successful music program in the Northeast, for children in grades 3–12. Children will learn in small group lessons, with each group focusing on a particular instrument. Being part of the band entails a weekly homework assignment; students who have previous musical experience will receive scale/warm-up sheets and sheet music to build on what they already know.
About the Contributor: Annette Robinson, Founder & President of Get the Cap, a Queens-based school search and educational coaching company, is a a regular blog contributor in the area of Queens schools.