All private schools in New York have interesting beginnings and history. The Bank Street School for Children , a nursery through 8th Grade program, is no exception. The School for Children grew out of The Bank Street College of Education. The Bank Street College of Education was founded by the need for children to be able to express themselves more openly during an era when children were believed better off seen and not heard.
Certain educators and feminists in New York City, such as Harriet Johnson, Caroline Pratt, Elizabeth Irwin, and Lucy Sprague Mitchell, questioned whether schools had to only cater to a philosophy of children being seen and not heard. They were influenced by the revolutionary educator John Dewey, who believed that a new and different approach to education could change society.
And so lives on the Bank Street College of Education (originally began as the Bureau of Educational Experiments in 1916). In 1918, the Bureau developed its second division which has grown into the The School for Children. The School for Children is an independent demonstration school for Bank Street College and a working model of the College’s approach to learning and teaching.
The School Classes:
- The Lower School consists of five classrooms on the second floor: one 3′s class, two 4/5′s classes and two 5/6′s classes.
- The Middle School consists of eight classrooms, located on the second and third floors, with two classrooms for each age group: 6/7′s, 7/8′s, 8/9′s and 9/10′s.
- The Upper School consists of eight classrooms, located on the third and fourth floors, for students aged 10 through 13.
The philosophy of the school encourages children to learn by experience and demonstration.
“There is an emphasis on educating the whole child – the intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of the person. One of the most important organizing principles of education at Bank Street is that in order for children to learn in school and to become lifelong learners, they must interact with their environment (people, places, and things) and interpret their experience. For students at the School for Children, cooking, block building, dramatic play, lab work, painting, and field trips are regarded as basic life experiences from which understanding and knowledge can be constructed. There are different ways of talking about the educational philosophy of Bank Street.”
The school also offers some great after school activities such as summer camp, extended day programs and athletics for upper school children.