Private Schools in Westchester County, New York

Private Schools in Westchester County, New York

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Westchester County, north of New York City, is home to several private schools. This list concentrates on non-parochial college-prep private schools.

Hackley School

  • Founded in 1899
  • Located in Tarrytown
  • 840 Students, Grades K-12

Hackley School was founded in 1899 by Mrs. Caleb Brewster Hackley, a Unitarian leader who dedicated the mansion where she summered to start the school. The school was originally a boarding school for boys from a broad variety of economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In 1970, the school became co-ed and, from 1970 to 1972, added a K-4 program. The boarding program is now a five-day program.

The school, which now enrolls 840 students K-12, has a rigorous academic program and 62 sports teams, building on the school's tradition of having an early football team. The school has always valued community and the power of friendship. The school's mission reads as follows, "Hackley challenges students to grow in character, scholarship, and accomplishment, to offer unreserved effort, and to learn from the varying perspectives and backgrounds in our community and the world." Students tend to score well on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and the middle 50% of a recent graduating class ranged from 1280-1460 on the Math and Critical Reading sections of the SAT (out of a possible 1600). According to the headmaster, "Diversity is fundamental to our understanding of what good education is and one of the hallmarks of our community's culture."

Masters School

  • Founded in 1877
  • Located in Dobb Ferry
  • 588 Students, Grades 5-12

Located in Dobbs Ferry, 30 miles from New York City, Masters School was founded in 1877 by Eliza Bailey Masters, who wanted her students, who were girls, to have a serious classical education and not just the education provided by a typical "finishing school." As a result, the girls at the school studied Latin and math, and by the turn of the century, the curriculum became college-preparatory in nature. The school attracted boarding students from across the country.

In 1996, the school became co-ed in the Upper School, and an all-boys' middle school was created to exist alongside the all-girls' middle school. The Upper School also started to use oval-shaped Harkness tables and their attendant discussion-based teaching style, which originated at Phillips Exeter Academy. The school also began the CITY term , a semester program that uses New York City as a learning laboratory. The school now enrolls 588 students from grades 5-12 (boarding and day) and recently built a new science and technology center. Twenty-five percent of students receive financial aid.

The school's mission reads, "The Masters School provides a challenging academic environment that encourages critical, creative, and independent habits of thought and a lifelong passion for learning. The Masters School promotes and celebrates academic achievement, artistic development, ethical action, athletic endeavor, and personal growth. The School maintains a diverse community that encourages students to participate actively in decisions affecting their lives and to develop an appreciation of their responsibilities to the larger world.

Rye Country Day School

  • Founded in 1869
  • Located in Rye
  • 850 Students, Grades PK-12

RCDS was founded in 1869 when local parents invited a schoolmaster named Reverend William Life and his wife, Susan, to Rye to educate their daughters. Opened as the Rye Female Seminary, the school began to concentrate on preparing girls for college. In 1921, the school merged with the all-boys' Rye Country School to form the Rye Country Day School. Today, 850 students in grades Pre-K through 12 attend the school. Fourteen percent of its students receive financial aid.

The school's mission reads as follows, "Rye Country Day School is a coeducational, college preparatory school dedicated to providing students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 with an excellent education using both traditional and innovative approaches. In a nurturing and supportive environment, we offer a challenging program that stimulates individuals to achieve their maximum potential through academic, athletic, creative and social endeavors. We are actively committed to diversity. We expect and promote moral responsibility, and strive to develop strength of character within a respectful school community. Our goal is to foster a lifelong passion for learning, understanding, and service in an ever-changing world."

Rippowam Cisqua: A PreK-9 School

  • Founded in 1916
  • Located in Mount Kisco (the Lower School campus)
  • Located in Bedford (the Middle School campus)
  • 521 Students, Grades PK-9

Rippowam was founded in 1916 as the Rippowam School for Girls. In the early 1920s, the school became co-ed, and it later merged with the more progressive Cisqua School in 1972. The school now has an average class size of 18 students, and a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:5. Many of the school's graduates go on to attend top boarding schools and local day schools. The school's mission reads as follows: "The mission of Rippowam Cisqua School is to educate students to become independent thinkers, confident in their abilities and themselves. We are committed to a dynamic program of academics, the arts, and athletics, and support an engaged faculty to challenge students to discover and explore their talents to the fullest. Honesty, consideration, and respect for others are fundamental to Rippowam Cisqua. In an atmosphere that promotes intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of learning, Rippowam Cisqua strives to instill in students a strong sense of connection to their community and to the larger world. We, as a school, recognize the common humanity of all people and teach understanding and respect for the differences among us."

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