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A Special School with a Unique Mission

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Manhattan Country School (MCS), a Pre-K to 8th grade school in New York City, was founded in 1966 to “create a truly integrated school, one that celebrated rather than shied away from people’s differences”— in the words of founder, Gus Trowbridge. MCS is nationally recognized for pioneering a ground-breaking model of tuition reform, which radically opened access to private schools for families and students of every background, income-level, and walk of life. For 56 years, our community has modeled the power of diversity, unity, and stewardship.

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Why MCS?

Why MCS?

MCS Equips Students to be True Changemakers

MCS is a National Leader.

MCS has a proven model that equips students with the experiences, perspectives, and skills to become true changemakers. We are uniquely positioned to teach students and teachers around the world how to build beloved communities that advance social, environmental, and educational justice.

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MCS is Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging in Action

MCS is the most racially and socio-economically diverse independent school in the country.

Unlike other organizations that simply talk about DEIB, MCS educators, families, and students live MLK’s Dream—the north star and guiding inspiration of the school. Our diversity deepens the knowledge students acquire about the world they live in and shapes their worldview about how people deserve to be treated. MCS students share their cultures, traditions, and lilfe experiences with their classmates through a curriculum centered around social justice. Because MCS students are affirmed in their identities, educated to understand how systems marginalize communities and individuals, and challenged to fight for what’s right in a school environment where they feel safe and liberated, our graduates bring that authenticity and commitment to the liberation of others to every community that they enter.

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MCS is a Committed and Caring Community

MCS is Justice in Action.

Every community member at MCS is committed to taking action to uplift others and better the world. Students of all ages participate in an immersive environmental justice program at our 200 acre farm in the Catskills. 7th and 8th graders embark on a yearlong activism project where they build coalitions to combat oppressive systems and advocate for legislative change. Parents and caregivers organize marches alongside their children to protest social injustices. MCS educators have traveled to locations around the world like Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Israel to teach fellow educators how to use the MCS curriculum to build bridges between divided peoples.

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The MCS Farm

Learning how to work together and live more sustainable lives. 

The award-winning Manhattan Country School Farm is a small working farm in the Catskill Mountains, 150 miles north of New York City in Roxbury, NY. The source of “Country” in the school’s name, the 200-acre property features a farmhouse that sleeps 24 students, a textile studio, a nature lab, a greenhouse, a barn, a recreation building, a sap house, a chicken house and a historic stone house. Since 1966, more than 10,000 students have benefited from the MCS Farm program and have learned how to live more sustainable lives. More than 7,400 of these students have been from public, charter and independent schools in New York City and the local Catskill Mountain region.

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MCS Alumni Make a Difference 

The world needs more MCS grads.

Manhattan Country School alumni are leaders and organizers in their high schools, colleges and in the various communities and spaces they inhabit. Whether they are leading grassroots movements that advocate for marginalized communities, running national immigrant rights organizations, arguing for voting rights in the U.S. Supreme Court, opening schools, founding arts organizations, serving as educators or farmers, raising families, or contributing to corporate workplace culture, our alumni take the mission of MCS with them wherever they go.

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Unparalleled Educators

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All Videos
On Criminal Justice Reform

On Criminal Justice Reform

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On The School to Prison Pipeline

On The School to Prison Pipeline

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Build Bridges Not Borders (2016)

Build Bridges Not Borders (2016)

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Support Manhattan Country School

At Manhattan Country School, a radical financial model enables families to pay on a sliding scale according to their means.


This distinctive tuition model requires more than 30% of our annual operating expenses to be fund-raised.


Your generosity enables equitable access to a transformative education.  

(By clicking the Donate button you will leave this site and go to the Giving Page on the school's main site.)

Without sliding scale tuition, MCS could, of course, still be a school. It could even be a school with a strong record of racial diversity, and a commitment to social justice still tethered to a politics of civil rights and multiculturalism. None of these are bad things. But without sliding scale tuition MCS could never be the exemplar of true diversity that it is. It would no longer exemplify a politics of radical possibility rooted in a deep understanding that real social justice is about equal access to education.

Jennifer L. Morgan, 
Professor of History, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU 

Parent of MCS Graduate


Let's Connect

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Tanya Espy-Disparti 

Director of Admissions and Enrollment


150 West 85th Street, New York, NY 10024

3536 New Kingston Mountain Road   Roxbury, N.Y.  12474
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