Calhoun at a Glance

The Calhoun School is a co-educational, progressive independent school on Manhattan's Upper West Side serving students from preschool through 12th grade. Our mission is to inspire a passion for learning through a progressive approach to education that values intellectual pursuit, creativity, diversity and community involvement.

The school is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and the New York State Education Department. Calhoun enrolls approximately 700 students across our divisions. Our student-teacher ratio is 7:1, and our average class size is 12-15 students.

Our History

The school that became The Calhoun School was founded in 1896 by educator Laura Jacobi. From the beginning, The Calhoun School sought to attract a diverse student body, empower and excite its students and engage with the vibrant surrounding Upper West Side neighborhood.

In 1973, Calhoun appointed Eugene Ruth as Head of School and broke ground on its innovative, open floor plan facility on West End Avenue. Ruth dedicated the newly coeducational school to “learner-centered instruction,” an educational philosophy with deep roots in the progressive tradition dating to John Dewey and others. Read more about Calhoun's history.

Our Learning Spaces

Calhoun's main building, which houses 3rd-12th grades and most administrative offices, is located at 433 West End Avenue at 81st Street. The Robert L. Beir Building, which serves students in preschool-2nd grade, is located at 160 West 74th Street near Amsterdam Avenue.

Calhoun’s 81st Street building is also home to the Green Roof Learning Center, the first eco-friendly green roof in NYC dedicated to educational study.