Welcome from Head of School 

Choosing a school for your child (or yourself) can be a daunting process. We all want our children to have happy and successful lives. Education is a passport to many opportunities. But at what cost?

Conventional wisdom seems to offer a Faustian bargain: Surrender your child to early academic pressure, test preparation, daunting homework regimes and debilitating stress and the brass ring will be within reach. But conventional wisdom is not wise. Stress inhibits learning. Abundant research proves that long hours of homework are counterproductive.

Children (and adults too) learn best when actively and joyfully engaged. This is not philosophical speculation. It is neurobiological fact. The old-fashioned notion of academic rigor is, well, old-fashioned. Passively absorbing information as delivered by authoritative teachers and regurgitating it on tests or quizzes is not "rigorous," no matter how many hours are spent doing it. True rigor lies in exploration, discovery, argument and problem solving. Real learning comes from constructing knowledge, not receiving it.

Our buildings are filled with children and young adults who want to come to school every day. They are engaged in activities that light up their brains, ignite their imaginations, sharpen their critical capacities and develop their consciences.

We’re not teaching math, science, writing, history, music, art and other subjects; we’re inviting our students to BE mathematicians, scientists, writers, historians, musicians and artists. There is a world of difference between those two sentences.

Nearly everyone who visits Calhoun immediately senses this difference. Our students and teachers are fully alive every day. Throughout the year we host delegations of teachers and administrators from around the nation and world. These educators invariably recognize and remark on the vitality of our community.

This website will acquaint you with our people and programs. I hope you linger for a while. More importantly, I hope you'll come for a visit. You may be delighted to find that a superb education doesn't require a lost childhood.

I look forward to seeing you!
Steve Nelson
Head of School

Steve Nelson

Head of School Steve Nelson
Articles
by Steve Nelson

Main Building 3rd - 12th Grades 433 West End Avenue New York, NY 10024 212.497.6500

Robert L. Beir Lower School Building 2.8 Years - 2nd Grade 160 West 74th Street New York, NY 10023 212.497.6550

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