Guide to New York City’s Best Schools by Neighborhood
Boasting some of the nation’s best grade schools, public and private, New York isn’t just a city where the bright and ambitious come to make it -- it’s also where they bring their kids to get an early start.
Across the Upper East Side alone, enough top-ranked schools dot the tree-lined blocks to give parents an Ivy League-connected option within walking distance at every level, K-12. Perhaps only the neighboring Upper West Side has as much density.
But the traditional “Academic Row” of upper Manhattan isn’t the only place to find top-ranked schools. Increasingly, parents are finding plenty of choice in Chelsea, Gramercy, Downtown and throughout Brooklyn.
The featured schools below are based on a combination of 2019 rankings, led by Niche.com, US News & World Report and other verified neighborhood sources.
Click a neighborhood below for a snapshot of schools, and get in touch with our agents to explore homes on the market in each!
Nearby: Midtown East
Home to Museum Mile, Central Park and the United Nations, the East Side of Manhattan seems built for raising inquisitive minds. The school selection supports that notion. If you’re eyeing a home within walking distance of PS 6 or the Ivy-caliber prep of Dalton, look to the Upper East Side. Midtown East offers close proximity by subway, making Sutton Place and Turtle Bay attractive options as well.
Below are just a few of the top public and private schools in the neighborhood:
Dalton School (K-12) - 53 East 91st Street (Grades K-3) and 108 East 89th Street (Grades 4-12)
Ranked #10 in Niche list of Top K-12 Schools in America. Notable alumni: Anderson Cooper and Claire Danes.
Brearley School (K-12) - 610 East 83rd Street
Upper school #2 in Niche list of Best All-Girls’ High Schools in America. Notable alumni: Kyra Sedgewick and Anne Baxter.
Chapin School (K-12) - 100 East End Avenue
Upper school #5 in Niche list of Best All-Girls’ High Schools in America. Notable alumni: Jackie Kennedy, Sigourney Weaver and Vera Wang.
Convent of the Sacred Heart (K-12) - 1 E 91st Street
Upper school #7 in Niche list of Best Catholic High Schools in America. Notable alumni: Caroline Kennedy, Gloria Vanderbilt and Lady Gaga.
The Spence School (K-12) - 22 E 91st Street
Upper school #6 in Niche list of Best All-Girls High Schools in America. Notable alumni: Kerry Washington, Gwyneth Paltrow and Marjorie Post.
United Nations International School (K-12) - 24-50 FDR Dr, New York, NY 10010
#41 in Niche Best K-12 Schools in America. Notable alumni: Dorothy Bush, Nicholas Guest and scientist Marius Vassiliou.
Eleanor Roosevelt High School (9-12) - Public - 411 East 76th Street
#133 in Niche Best College Prep Schools in America. Notable alumni: Socialite Gaïa Jacquet-Matisse
PS 6 - The Lillie Devereaux Blake School (K-5) - Public - 45 E 81st Street
Ranked by SchoolDigger in top 2% of NYC public elementary schools. Notable alumni: J.D. Salinger, Lenny Kravitz, William Hurt and Chevy Chase.
The family-friendly Upper West Side is home to many of New York’s top private schools, including the country’s no. 2-ranked Trinity School and the prestigious boys-only academy, Collegiate School. Meanwhile, Harlem, home of Columbia University, offers close proximity to notable public high school, Columbia Secondary.
Parents with younger kids will find more good public options in the Anderson School and Special Music School, both part of New York’s public Gifted & Talented program.
Below is a snapshot of leading public and private schools near the Upper West Side and Harlem:
Trinity School (K-12) - 139 West 91st Street
#2 in Niche list of Best K-12 Private Schools in America. Notable alumni: Craig Kallman, Michael Shure and British Parliament member, Jeremy Wright
Collegiate School (K-12) - 260 West 78th Street
Upper school #3 in Niche list of Best All-Boys’ High Schools in America. Notable alumni: David Benioff, Ben Rhodes and Senator Bill Perkins
Calhoun School (K-12) - 160 West 74th Street (Nursery-2nd Grade) and 433 West End Avenue (3rd-12th Grades)
#67 in Niche list of Best High Schools for the Arts in America. Notable alumni: Peggy Guggenheim, Jordan Peele and Ben Stiller
Columbia Grammar & Prep (K-12) - 5 West 93rd Street
#87 in Niche list of Best K-12 Private Schools in America. Notable alumni: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nobel Prize winner Rainer Weiss, and Congressman Dwight Townsend.
Dwight School (K-12) - 291 Central Park West (Grades 1-12) and 144 Riverside Blvd (Pre-K and K)
#33 in Niche list of Best K-12 Private Schools in New York. Notable alumni: Truman Capote, Vin Diesel and Fiorello la Guardia
Columbia Secondary School (6-12) - Public - 425 West 123rd Street
#18 in Niche list of Standout High Schools in America
High School Math Science & Engineering at The City College of New York (9-12) - Public - 240 Convent Ave.
#2 in Niche list of Standout High Schools in America
PS 859 - Special Music School (Public, G&T) - 129 West 67th Street
PS 334 - Anderson School (Public, G&T) - 100 West 77th Street
A growing area for families, Chelsea boasts safe, tree-lined blocks and plenty of parks, playgrounds and museums. The surrounding family-friendly neighborhoods, including the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park, are also home to some of the city’s best schools. Below are just a few top-ranked options.
NYC Museum School (9-12) - Public - 333 W 17th St
#19 in Niche list of Standout High Schools in America
Baruch College Campus High School (9-12) - Public -
#25 in Niche list of Standout High Schools in America
Avenues: The World School - 259 10th Avenue
#48 in Niche list of Best Private K-12 High Schools in America. Notable Students: Suri Cruise, Fatima Ptacek
Friends Seminary - 222 E 16th Street
#55 in Niche list of Best Private K-12 High Schools in America. Notable Alumni: Lena Dunham, Amanda Peet, Julia Stiles
Gramercy Arts High School- 40 Irving Place
#20 in Niche list of Best High Schools for the Arts in New York
PS 11 - William T. Harris School - 320 W 21st Street
Ranked by SchoolDigger in top 7% of NYC elementary schools.
PS 33 - Chelsea Prep (Public, G&T) - 281 9th Avenue
#3 in Niche list of Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools in New York
Downtown, stretching from Greenwich Village to Battery Park City, is home to a surprising number of top-ranked schools, from Stuyvesant High School, the no. 4 ranked public high school in the country, to the respected Notre Dame School. Below are some of the highest -ranked options:
Stuyvesant High School (9-12) - Public - 345 Chambers Street
#4 in Niche list of Best Public High Schools in America. Notable Alumni: Nobel Prize winners Joshua Lederberg, Robert Fogel, and Roald Hoffman
City And Country School - 146 West 13th Street
Notable Alumni: Matthew Broderick, Peter Mandel
Notre Dame School - 327 West 13th Street
#17 in Niche list of Best All-Girls High Schools in New York. Notable Alumni: Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, former President of the Philippines, NYC Councilwoman Carlina Rivera
Millennium High School (9-12) - Public - 75 Broad Street
#55 in Niche list of Best Public College Prep High Schools in New York
PS 41, Greenwich Village School (Public) - 116 W 11th Street
Ranked by Niche in top 7% of NYC Public Elementary Schools
P.S. 3, Charrette School (Public) - 490 Hudson St.
Ranked by Niche in top 9% of NYC Public Elementary Schools
More than three times the size of Manhattan, Brooklyn covers too much ground to mention every top-ranked school in the borough, so we’ve focused on those in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. In addition to top-tier schools, these neighborhoods also offers museums, parks and family-friendly events to keep young learners engaged. Here are just a few of the schools to consider when moving to Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Technical High School (9-12) - Public - 29 Fort Greene Pl
#3 in Niche Standout High Schools in America
Millennium Brooklyn High School (9-12) - Public - 237 7th Avenue
#107 in Niche list of Best Public High Schools in New York
The Brooklyn International High School - 49 Flatbush Avenue
#156 in Niche list of Best Public High School Teachers in New York
Berkeley Carroll School (Pre-K-12) - 701 Carroll Street (Lower School) and 181 Lincoln Place, Brooklyn (Middle and High School)
#25 in Niche list of Best K-12 Private Schools in New York
PS 11 Purvis J Behan Elementary School - 419 Waverly Ave
Ranked by SchoolDigger in top 8% of NYC elementary schools
PS 8 The Robert Fulton School - 37 Hicks Street
Ranked by SchoolDigger in top 7% of NYC elementary schools
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