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The 10 Top-Rated Schools in New York City Today

Teacher smiling and sitting with students in Montessori classroom.

The 10 Top-Rated Schools in New York City Today

New York City is a vibrant fusion of cultures, ideas, and unlimited possibilities. As with any big city, there are learning institutions ranging from elementary and middle school to high school and college. Each has its unique advantage over others. A school that may be a perfect fit for your family may not be ideal for another. Indeed, finding the right school for your child can be a daunting and overwhelming task. With this in mind, we have compiled a comprehensive list of New York City learning institutions. These schools display stellar academic performance and offer unique extracurricular activities, making them top contenders for your child's education. Here are the 10 top-rated schools in New York, based on greatschool.org.

Best Elementary Schools

East Side Elementary School, PS 267

213 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065

Established in 2010, the former Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital's facility accommodates East Side Elementary School. Renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, the school serves 413 students from kindergarten to fifth grade. It focuses on developing the whole child through an innovative curriculum. That curriculum includes math, science, reading, writing, music, art, and physical education. 

East Side has a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1 and small class sizes. Because of that, the school provides individualized attention to every student in the classroom.

Further, East Side Elementary has a track record of producing excellent test results. 91% of its students score above the state standards in math and 89% did so in English. The school also takes pride in its vibrant extracurricular activities. These include the student council, art clubs, Science Olympiad competitions, sports teams, and many more.

97% of teachers have three or more years of experience in the classroom. Moreover, their dedication and commitment have created an atmosphere of learning, innovation, and respect. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child's academic journey, and the PTA provides faculty with much-needed support. It scores a perfect 10/10 on GreatSchools.org. Specifically, reviewers praised its outstanding staff, excellent teaching, and comfortable environment.

Elementary School
With its proven track record of test scores, East Side offers much to its students.


Success Academy Charter School-Harlem 4

240 W 113th St, New York, NY 10026

Success Academy Charter School-Harlem 4 (SACS) is located in the heart of Harlem. The school currently serves 424 students from kindergarten to fourth grade. Its student population is diverse and represents different races, religions, and backgrounds. In fact, 97% of students come from minority households.

SACS has a reputation for its commitment to academic excellence and enjoys a 10/10 rating on GreatSchools.org. The school has designed its curriculum to foster intellectual curiosity and develop problem-solving skills in students. Furthermore, 99% of students scored above the state standards in math, and 97% passed the English Language assessment.

Many parents have praised its excellent teaching, engaging curriculum, and a strong sense of community. It also maintains a rigorous educational program with a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. This allows for small class sizes and individual attention.

The school focuses on providing all its students with a safe learning environment. 50% of the faculty members are highly qualified, with at least three years of experience in the classroom. Also, this team of teachers is passionate about challenging their students to reach their fullest potential. SACS also offers several extracurricular activities, such as music and science programs. 

Special Music School

129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023

Special Music School is an esteemed public school in New York City. It offers its students an outstanding education from kindergarten through twelfth grade. With 313 students, this diverse school has earned a 10/10 rating from GreatSchools.org on its excellent music and academic programs. 98% of SMS's students have passed their state tests in math and English, reflecting the quality of teaching they receive.

At Special Music School, each student receives personalized attention from experienced faculty, with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. In addition to academic excellence, this school also provides numerous extracurricular activities that foster creativity and help students to develop their talents in music, art, and athletics. Moreover, private lessons with dedicated musicians in various genres are free for all students.

The core values of respect, trust, and responsibility create a strong community on campus. Moreover, the school keeps parents engaged with events held throughout the year. If you are searching for an educational experience that combines music and academics, then Special Music School could be an excellent choice for your child.

Battery Park City School

55 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280

Located in the heart of lower Manhattan, Battery Park City School offers an excellent education to 850 students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. With a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1 and experienced teachers, it provides personalized attention for every child.

At Battery Park City School, the core values of respect and responsibility form the foundation for a positive school culture that encourages growth. The school has achieved impressive proficiency rates in math (82%), English (77%), and Algebra I (99%), demonstrating its commitment to excellence. Additionally, students have plenty of opportunities to explore their creativity with extracurricular activities such as music, art, and after-school programs.

Parents are also engaged in their child's educational journey through special events held throughout the year. One parent summed it up perfectly, saying, “Outstanding school that continues to get better year after year. Great students, great teachers, great leadership, and a great community.” No matter what your child's needs may be, Battery Park City School is a great choice.

Best Middle Schools

Yorkville East Middle School

1458 York Ave, New York, NY 10075

Sitting on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Yorkville East Middle School is a public school for sixth through eighth-grade students. The school displays a multicultural environment with over 230 students from diverse backgrounds.

East Middle School has achieved excellent test scores, with 82% of its students passing the math state tests and 75% passing the English state tests. What's more, students have access to a personalized education with a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1 and experienced faculty providing individualized attention for every child.

Beyond academics, art, and music classes are offered on campus. Many extracurricular activities, like sports teams, after-school clubs, and intramurals, are also available. Even more, the core value of respect is instilled in students, creating a positive school culture and an environment that encourages learning.

Yorkville's perk is that the school day starts at 9 a.m. so that students may sleep an extra hour on school days. Further, parents appreciate the special events held in the school throughout the year and are keenly engaged with their child's education. With its excellent academics and positive environment, Yorkville East Middle School is a perfect option for your child's middle school years.

Yorkville East's student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1 ensures students receive the attention they deserve.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Special Music School

129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023

Special Music School's middle school students have the opportunity to receive an excellent education focusing on creativity and music. Located at the Kaufman Music Center in Lincoln Center, this school is ideal for students looking to enhance their musical ability.

This musical conservatory provides support and respect where students learn to explore their creativity and academic potential. Middle school students at Special Music School transition from learning the basics of music to more advanced musical techniques, emphasizing performance and composition.

In addition to its music emphasis, the school's STEM program focuses on problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This ensures students gain the necessary math, science, and engineering skills to excel academically.

Parents appreciate that their children receive a high-quality musical education with excellent test scores and in a safe environment. Reviews from former parents and students mention the friendly faculty, classical and contemporary music education, and the myriad of performance opportunities available.  The PTA is also very active, ensuring parents can be involved in their child's learning and development. 

Special Music School's faculty comprises experienced performing and teaching professionals who strive to create a positive learning environment where students can thrive. With its focus on creativity, music, and academics, Special Music School is the perfect choice for your middle schooler looking to stretch their musical wings.

The Battery Park City School 

55 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280

The Battery Park City School, situated in the heart of Manhattan's Battery Park City neighborhood, offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. This school is known for providing an enriched learning environment that prepares students academically, socially, and emotionally.

At The Battery Park City School, middle schoolers can take advantage of a well-rounded curriculum emphasizing STEM subjects like math, science, and engineering. Students can also engage in creative activities such as art classes, music lessons, physical education classes, and various after-school activities.

Parents appreciate the small class sizes that allow teachers to give their students the individual attention they need to succeed. Further, reviews from former students and parents praise the school for its safe environment, challenging curriculum, and knowledgeable teachers. If you're looking for a holistic learning experience with high academic standards, The Battery Park City School is an excellent choice.

Best High Schools

Manhattan Village Academy

43 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Manhattan Village Academy (MVA) is an excellent high school for grades 9-12, offering a unique and hands-on approach to learning. Students receive individual attention from teachers due to the small student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1 while having access to Advanced Placement classes and college credit courses.

The vibrant school culture includes and celebrates the diverse student body, which reflects the cosmopolitan nature of New York City. MVA also offers plenty of extracurricular activities ranging from music to theater, allowing students to explore their passions outside the classroom.

The high graduation rate testifies to the success of MVA's college and career readiness programs. 100% of their graduates have gone on to college or university, and the school also has a robust career and technical education program.

Parents and students alike appreciate MVA's rigorous academic program, diverse student body, and many extracurricular activities. It is an excellent option for college-bound students looking for a well-rounded educational experience.

Special Music School

129 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023

The Special Music School (SMS) is a unique school that provides a nurturing and inspiring environment for musically talented students. Moreover, 100% of the high school students within the school have transitioned to college or higher education.

It is located in the heart of Manhattan and caters to students from diverse backgrounds, including those with special needs or learning disabilities from pre-kindergarten through high school. Students at SMS can access specialized music instruction and a full range of core academic classes.

GreatSchools.org rates it 10/10, and reviews applaud the school for its comprehensive music program. Furthermore, the school offers various musical study and performance opportunities, from classical music to jazz and Broadway theater. SMS has tailored its curriculum to each student's needs and interests, allowing them to pursue their passion while excelling academically.

The faculty are both knowledgeable and supportive, which helps the students to flourish in their desired field. Parents appreciate the school's emphasis on excellence and commitment to helping students reach their highest potential. Special Music School is an excellent option for students who are musically inclined and wish to pursue a career in the arts.

Special Music School provides a unique learning environment for musically inclined students to pursue their passions.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

NYC iSchool

131 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYC iSchool is an open-enrollment public high school that serves grades 9-12. GreatSchools.org rates it an 8/10, and the school has a strong graduation rate of 100% of its students transitioning to college or higher education.

The teacher-to-student ratio here is 15 to 1. Moreover, the highly experienced faculty are dedicated to helping each student reach their full potential. Parents love NYC iSchool for its flexibility and the ability to tailor their children's academic path to their interests and goals.

At the NYC iSchool, students can engage in project-based learning and receive credit for internships, apprenticeships, and independent study topics. The curriculum here emphasizes technology and prepares students with 21st-century skills that are necessary for success in both college and career paths.

The school has a diverse student body. Also, its faculty are committed to providing an inclusive learning environment, where all students can succeed. Furthermore, the school offers many extracurricular activities that allow students to pursue their passions inside and outside the classroom.

Parents and students alike have praised the school for its comprehensive curriculum and supportive faculty. NYC iSchool is an excellent option for those seeking a unique learning experience that will prepare them for college and beyond.

Making an Informed Decision for Your Child

And there you have it — a comprehensive list of the top-rated schools in New York. When selecting the ideal school for your child, it's essential to consider their needs, interests, and test scores. Reviews from other parents and students can also be useful in making the right decision. It's vital that your child feels comfortable and accepted in their chosen environment, as every student learns differently.

Take a visit to the school if possible and ask any questions you may have to get an idea of its culture and atmosphere. Additionally, consider your child's academic goals and extracurricular interests when making your decision.

Ultimately, make sure you choose a school that offers a safe, secure environment where your child can thrive and grow. Your child's education today will significantly impact their future success, so it's important to make an informed decision that you and your child will feel good about.

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