ABOUT

raisehandThe Alexander Robertson School is a co-educational Junior-Kindergarten through 5th Grade community of creative learners. We welcome families of every configuration, ethnicity, and religious tradition and believe that empowerment and education go hand in hand.

A Welcome from our Head of School, Brinton Parson:

Welcome,
What do you remember about your first school? My first school was in Norway and I took two trains and climbed a mountain, a real Norwegian mountain, to get there. Our teacher always met the train and took my hand so we could climb up together. I remember my hand in hers and the sight of her lovely Conch shell pink nails swinging in my peripheral vision. I loved my teacher and my school. As ARS is our students' first school, it will be the one they will always remember and love. It is our singular honor to serve what can be defined as the tenderest years of childhood. It is our collective goal to have each person who crosses the threshold fondly remember whatever feature was their top priority at the time. For a young prospective student, perhaps it is the friendliness of the other children. For prospective parents, perhaps it is the engagement level of the students and faculty. For trained educators, it may be the academic level at which they see our students performing. For grandparents, with an appreciation for longevity, it may be our 230-year history. For the aesthete, it may be the charm of our old-world architecture and style. Priorities change with time, but whatever one finds to value in a small, traditional, independent, coeducational elementary school, that quality even if immeasurable, should be in abundance at ARS.

It is actually the immeasurable qualities that are emphasized at ARS: passion, kindness, empathy, courtesy and thoughtfulness. All of these qualities are by-products of what is considered the core curriculum. There are many worthy measurable qualities that result from a strong curriculum offered by gifted teachers, and our students are the lucky recipients of those as well. ARS ineffably turns curious children into life-long students with a strong foundation in reading, writing (real handwriting, cursive included), mathematics, science, public speaking, multiple foreign languages, and then the subjects of the truly well educated: music, art and ethics.

If you haven’t yet come through the doorway to ARS, I invite you to do so, our students will welcome you. Come find some of these endearing and enduring qualities that define this one-of-a-kind elementary school. I will be delighted to meet you at the door and show you all that we have to offer.

Warmly,

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Brinton Parson
Head of the Alexander Robertson School.


Our Mission

Founded in 1789 to educate the sons and daughters of farmers and common folk, the Alexander Robertson School seeks to have an impact on its social environment by educating children from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds to advocate for themselves and for their communities. Our belief that empowerment and education go hand in hand stems from the 18th century egalitarian movement from which our school emerged, and to the social justice values our school maintains today.

Our Philosophy

Asked whether we are a traditional or a progressive school we generally answer: yes! Our students wear traditional school uniforms. Nice behavior and respect for one another’s thoughts and feelings is a strong focus. We are very comfortable with imparting a sense of order and structure. However, we are progressive when it comes to our curricular choices. Being small we are nimble enough to take advantage of an extraordinary educational opportunity when it presents itself. We are also very creative in the ways we encourage the students to express themselves. We support the children’s learning through interdisciplinary programming, music, the arts, community service, and physical education. Above all we strive to model, encourage and practice good ethical and moral principles. Responsible and sensitive interactions with others is a high priority for the whole community.

Our History

The Alexander Robertson School is a co-educational Junior-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade community of creative learners. We welcome families of every configuration, ethnicity and religious tradition. Our current families hail from 20 different countries!

We are very proud of our long history, dating to 1789. We were one of New York’s first co-educational schools and have been in continuous operation for 230 years, but our heritage begins even earlier. In 1696 the Scottish Parliament passed its “Act of Setting Schools” with the purpose of establishing a school in every parish. By 1750 literacy in Scotland was estimated at 75% compared to England’s 53%. This inspired the Scots Presbyterians of New York to replicate Scotland’s success.

Well before New York had public schools Alexander Robertson, a wealthy member of The Scotch Presbyterian Church, donated a house and lots on Pine Street as an endowment for a free school for children of the congregation who would not otherwise have been educated. Now called the Second Presbyterian Church, https://secondpresbyteriannyc.org/ it continues to provide support to the school in a myriad of ways.

ARS was remarkable from the beginning for accepting both boys and girls, specifically the sons and daughters of farmers and common folk. We continue to embrace the mission of educating children from diverse backgrounds to advocate for themselves and for their communities.

Our longevity, traditions, and diversity define our school. Today we are a non-sectarian school and have dwelt in several locations throughout our many years. Our core values have not changed, however. We are committed to mold students into curious and confident learners who develop into innovative thinkers and leaders, prepared for the challenges of adolescence and beyond.


Our Location

Located at 3 West 95th Street just steps away from Central Park the Alexander Robertson School offers many wonderful opportunities for play, for nature walks, for visiting the Central Park Zoo, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and some of the world’s most important cultural institutions.

It is also easily accessed via the 96th Street Transverse from Manhattan’s East side.

The B and C subway trains stop right by our door and the 1, 2 and 3 trains just a couple of blocks West on Broadway and 96th Street.

Coming by bus? Take the M7, M10, M11 to 94th or 96th Street or take the M96 to Central Park West.

Contact Us

Alexander Robertson School
3 West 95th Street
New York, NY 10025
Main Office
(212) 663-6441

Admissions
(212) 663-2844
admissions@alexanderrobertson.org

Human Resources
jobopportunities@alexanderrobertson.org

Parents' Association
pa@alexanderrobertson.org


Schools Attended by Recent ARS Graduates

  • The Brooklyn Friends School
  • The Calhoun School
  • The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine
  • The Chapin School
  • Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School
  • The School at Columbia
  • The Dalton School
  • Dwight-Englewood School
  • The Dwight School
  • Friends Seminary
  • Hackley School
  • The Hewitt School
  • Horace Mann School
  • Ivanhoe Grammar School
  • Leman Manhattan Prep School
  • Marymount School of New York
  • Poly Prep Country Day
  • Professional Children’s School
  • The Speyer Legacy School
  • St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s School
  • The Town School
  • Trevor Day School
  • Trinity School
  • United Nations International School
  • York Preparatory School

Meet Our Board

Eli Lederman

Eli Lederman, Chair, is the youngest of four brothers who attended ARS in the 1960's and 70's. He has started and run innovative businesses in electronic trading and financial technology, including a pan-European stock market. He is the author of two novels, High Finance and From Pillar to Post.

 

Ali Meli

Ali Meli, Vice Chair & Treasurer, retired from Goldman Sachs in April 2019, where he was global co-head of Structured Finance, Investing and Lending (SFIL). Ali was previously based in Hong Kong and before that London, where he was co-head of Principal Funding and Investment (PFI) in Europe. His experience includes structuring, pricing, risk management and execution of various debt financing transactions globally. His son, Taj, is an alumnus of ARS.

 

Ali Meli

Steven Glauberman, Secretary, is a partner at Becker & Poliakoff, PA and specializes in business law. He concentrates on a wide range of corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions and commercial matters, including federal and state securities law and corporate governance.

 
 
 

Dr. Marjorie Goldsmith

Dr. Marjorie Goldsmith has directed three independent schools: First Presbyterian Church Nursery School, The Rockefeller University Child and Family Center and All Souls School, retiring from there in 2016. She was the educational director of Plaza Head Start and taught at Hunter College and CCNY. She served on the board of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) from 2010 to 2015 and is a board member of Resurrection Episcopal Day School. Dr. Goldsmith graduated from ARS where her mother, Thelma Goldsmith, taught for 30 years.

Nancy M. Hughes

Nancy M. Hughes is a clinical social worker and recently consulted at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, advising MSW students studying childhood trauma. She formerly worked in interactive multimedia design and video production. She is Clerk of the Session of the Second Presbyterian Church.

 

Suzannah Kellner

Suzannah Kellner chaired ARS’ Parents Association and its Auction Committee for three years before her son, Marshall, graduated in 2017. Between ARS and Friends Seminary she has racked up 13 years of volunteer experience. She previously worked in Membership at the American Folk Art Museum.

 
 

Rachael Levine

Rachael Levine is a Corporate Vice President at CCS, a strategic fundraising firm that partners with nonprofits to plan, manage and implement campaigns and development programs. She is also an adjunct instructor at New York University. She serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees at All Souls School and supports Princeton University’s fundraising efforts as a member of the Special Gifts Committee in her reunion years. Her son, James, is in second grade at ARS.

 

Kenneth B. Miller

Brinton Parson became Head of School at ARS in July, 2020, having earlier been its Academic Dean and a Kindergarten teacher. She most recently served at Park Avenue Methodist Day School as a ‘turn-around director,’ and was previously founding director of The Day School at Christ & Saint Stephen’s. She has had teaching and administrative posts in public, independent, early childhood and on-going schools in Washington DC, Florida and New York City. She currently serves on the boards of Musica de Camara and Mare Nostrum Elements.

 

Asumana Jabateh Randolph

Asumana Jabateh Randolph is a science teacher and varsity soccer coach at Hunter College High School and has coached its Science Bowl Team since 1993, leading them to four regional championships. He was a guiding force behind the school’s I-HELP Liberia Project, which takes American students and scientists to Liberia to train their science teachers and encourage their students to excel in science and math. I-HELP also supports several Liberian schools with laboratory equipment and curricular expertise.

 

Dr. Lydia Spinelli

Dr Lydia Spinelli is the Director, and serves on the Board of, Summer Steps at The Brick Church School, a summer program for low income children applying to and entering independent school kindergarten. She is also President of the Board of African Dream Academy Foundation which supports a nursery through 12th grade school in Liberia, West Africa. She was Director of The Brick Church School for 36 years before retiring in July, 2019, and previously served on the Accreditation Commission and Professional Development Committee of the New York State Association for Independent Schools (NYSAIS).

 

Eve Stuart

Eve Stuart, a lifelong New Yorker, has always been committed to art and education. She has served for many years on the Board of LREI (Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School), including seven years as Chair, and provided leadership when the organization was in crisis. She currently serves on its Committee on Trustees and the Finance Committee. Her other passions include family and photography.

 

Jingying Wu

Jingying Wu, a daughter of two university professors, has a passion for education. She came to the United States after finishing college in China, and has worked in the finance industry since graduate school. She is the founding board member of a non-profit organization providing opportunities for underprivileged children.

 

Ex Officio Members

Joan Harrison, Director of Admissions
Polly Roston, Director of Development
Bonnie Thurston, President of Parents Association