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NYC Private Schools Fall Plan

Sep 8, 2020

The private schools of NYC have spent the summer creating plans to return to school in the safest way possible. Virtual, hybrid, and in person plans are equally present among twelve of the most reputable schools. The balance of three very different approaches perhaps serves to represent a lack of consensus concerning the question: is returning safely to school in person possible?

Governor Cuomo announced on Monday morning that the Covid-19 infection rate in NYC has remained below one percent for over two weeks straight. NYC was the last region to enter Phase 4 on July 20th, and all NY state regions have since successfully remained in Phase 4. Pre-K to Grade 12 schools are among the industries permitted to reopen under Phase 4 Reopening. Among mandatory guidelines issued by the state are social distancing or required face coverings when social distancing is not feasible, face coverings in common areas, various hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements adhering to CDC and DOH guidelines, screening on a daily basis for faculty and staff and on a periodic basis for students.

The 2020-2021 academic school year is set to begin the week after next for most NYC private schools; most will welcome students back, either virtually or in person, on September 8th. Though the majority have announced their plans for returning to school for the coming months, plans shift frequently, and school’s websites should be checked for the most up to date announcements concerning learning plans.

Reopening plans include provisions for the event that Covid-19 cases increase, at which point most schools will shift to a plan of a more hybrid nature, or, if needed, shift back to remote learning completely.


The Brearley School plans to welcome all students back onto campus, staggering arrival times and assigning grade levels floors on which they will spend most of their day. Tents have been ordered to maximize use of outdoor spaces of Brearley’s two schoolhouses.

2020-2021 Tuition: $53,990


Horace Mann School intends to welcome all students back to campus, enforcing social distancing protocols and the use of protective barriers. All students will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Grab and go lunches will be provided to all students free of charge for the month of September.

2020-2021 Tuition: $55,200


Trinity School will adopt a fully virtual plan, and slowly welcoming younger students back to campus in October.

2020-2021 Tuition: Grades K-8 $56,665, Grades 9-11 $56,770, Grade 12 $57,230


Columbia Grammar plans to adopt a hybrid schedule allowing for welcoming half of students back to campus each day while the other half join classes virtually. All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear face masks at all times. Students will spend their time on campus in cohorts.

2020-2021 Tuition: Grades 9-11 $55, 290, Grade 12 $55,490


Ethical Culture Fieldston School will adopt a “hyflex” learning plan in which half of students attend classes in person and the other half attend classes remotely. Students will alternate between attending school in cohorts one week and attending classes remotely the next. Social distancing protocols will be enforced in all school buildings.

2020-2021 Tuition: $52,993


Riverdale Country School will begin two weeks early on August 24th with two weeks of remote classes. One grade will be welcomed to campus each day for orientation during this time period. Both campuses will make use of outdoor spaces, where tents have been pitched. Classes will resume in either a hybrid or remote manner after Labor Day, depending on Covid-19 cases.

2020-2021 Tuition: $58,350


The Spence School will follow an all-remote learning plan through the fall semester. Lower School students may have the option to return to school in October, and Middle and Upper School students may have a hybrid option in the winter, depending on local and state directives at the time.

2020-2021 Tuition: $57,385


Collegiate School will begin with remote learning for all students, and all students will return to the building in phases between September 29 and October 15.

2020-2021 Tuition: $55,900


Nightingale-Bamford will welcome grades 7-9 to campus Wednesday through Friday, and grades 10-12 Monday through Wednesday. Nightingale has also secured a nearby facility for students to partake in remote learning on days they are not on campus. This separate space is offered to all student, particularly those students who would otherwise be home without adult supervision.

2020-2021 Tuition: $52,750


The Browning School has designed BrowningFlex, a hybrid learning model in which middle and high school students alternate attending school and remote learning on a weekly basis. Students at home will attend classes through the MeetingOwl 360 view cameras. Classes will have 9-12 students who will observe social distancing requirements and wear masks. Families will complete daily screenings. 4th and 5th grades students will attend classes at the Institute Francais.

2020-2021 Tuition: $54,150


Saint David’s School has divided all students into pods of 7-13 boys. Faculty will rotate rooms throughout the day, interacting with two to three pods.

2020-2021 Tuition: $52,385


As the school year progresses, we will be monitoring the situation and updating this page regularly. Best of luck to all of our New York students, and students around the globe!

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