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Dwight School

Dwight School

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The Dwight School is an independent, college preparatory school located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Dwight offers the International Baccalaureate curriculum to students ages two through grade twelve. Approximately forty countries are represented among its student body.


Founded in 1872 by Dr. Julius Sachs as part of the Sachs Collegiate Institute, The Dwight School was first known as “The Sachs School,” then The Franklin School. Originally located on West 34th Street and Broadway, it relocated several times as it grew, ultimately moving to 18 West 89th Street in 1912. Dr. Sachs, a noted educator and author (and brother of Samuel Sachs
Samuel Sachs
Samuel Sachs was an American investment banker. He was born in the state of Maryland to Jewish immigrants from Bavaria, Germany. Sachs, along with his longtime friend Philip Lehman of Lehman Brothers, pioneered the issuing of stock as a way for new companies to raise funds...

, who founded Goldman Sachs in 1882 with his father-in-law, banker Marcus Goldman
Marcus Goldman
Marcus Goldman was a German-born American businessman and entrepreneur. He was born in Trappstadt, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1848...

,) headed the school until 1901, when he was appointed Professor of Education at Columbia University.

In 1880, the New York School of Languages was founded on 15 West 43rd Street as an academy of classical studies. Timothy Dwight
Timothy Dwight
Timothy Dwight may refer to:*Timothy Dwight College, a residential college at Yale University*Timothy Dwight IV , President of Yale University from 1795–1817*Timothy Dwight V , President of Yale University from 1886–1899...

, President of Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 asked the school to pioneer a math and science program to replace traditional Greek and Latin as an entrance requirement. The New York School of Languages was later renamed The Dwight School in honor of that historic partnership.

The Dwight School merged with the Bentley School in 1977, in order to add elementary and middle school programs to its curriculum.

In 1993, The Dwight School merged with The Franklin School (which had adopted the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program in 1980 and changed it’s name to the Anglo-American School) becoming, in 1996, the second school in North America to offer the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program from kindergarten through grade 12.

With the opening in fall 2005 of Dwight's Early Childhood Program, Woodside Preschool, the Dwight School' became the first school to offer the IB Primary Years Program for children ages three through five.

Today, one-third of Dwight’s students come from overseas.


There are four co-educational divisions at The Dwight School: The Riverside Campus (preschool-kindergarten) occupies three buildings on Riverside Boulevard between 66th-68th Streets. The Lower School (grades 1-5) is located on the Main Campus and occupies a brownstone at 17 West 88th Street. The Middle School (grades 6-8) and the Upper School (grades 9-12), are also located on the Main Campus but primarily use the buildings at 18 West 89th Street and 291 Central Park West. In 2011, the school will expand to the adjoining brownstone located at 22 West 89th Street.

Within divisions, the grades are further separated into houses: Timothy House (grades 1-5), Bentley House (grades 6-8), Franklin House (grades 9-10), and Anglo House (grades 11-12). A dean oversees each house. An Executive Team of one principal and three vice principals manage the academic and pastoral areas of the school. The Principal works closely with the School’s Chancellor, who also oversees Admissions, the Business Office, Development, and Alumni.


Stephen H. Spahn has been the School’s Chancellor and Headmaster since 1967 and is the longest serving head of an independent school in New York City. Mr. Spahn serves on the Boards of the International Baccalaureate Fund and the Rubin Museum of Art. He was also a founding member of the Guild of International Baccalaureate Schools. Mr. Spahn holds a BA from Dartmouth College, where he was an All-American basketball player, Phi Beta Kappa, a Senior Fellow and an Intern at the United Nations under a 1926 Public Service Fellowship. He completed all course work for a Ph.D. at Wadham College at Oxford University and Columbia University where he was an International Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Scholar before beginning his career as an educator. In 2011, Mr. Spahn was awarded the Lewis Hine Distinguished Service Award from the National Child Labor Committee. The award, named for the acclaimed photographer who documented early 20th century exploitation of child labor, is presented to individuals in the public eye who have shown a strong commitment to improving the lives of children.

The Dwight School Foundation

The Dwight School Foundation, a separate 501(c)3 organization with an eighteen-member Board of Trustees, was established in 1967 to provide student financial aid, faculty professional development, and other enrichment to Dwight students and faculty.


Admission to The Dwight School is highly selective. Kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade are Dwight's largest entry points, with forty students entering kindergarten, fifteen entering sixth grade and twenty-five entering ninth grade. Each year, a smaller number of students are accepted in other grades. Dwight offers rolling admissions for international families due to the wide range of academic calendars around the world.
The admissions process at The Dwight School is based on school reports, teacher recommendations, ERB/ISEE test results, and student/parent interviews.

International Family of Schools

The Dwight School International Family of Schools comprises The Dwight School in New York, The North London International School
North London International School
The North London International School is an independent co-educational school-foundation providing programmes prepared by the International Baccalaureate Organisation as an alternative to the British national curriculum...

 in England, The Dwight International School in Canada, the Dwight International School in China, and the new Dwight International School - Seoul in Korea, set to open in 2012.

The Dwight School's association with North London International School goes back over 40 years when Stephen Spahn, Chancellor of Dwight School New York opened the school. In 2008, what was known as Woodside Park International School was renamed as The North London International School (NLIS). NLIS is now one of the leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools in the UK officially recognised to run all three IB programmes. In 2010, NLIS opened a partner school in London called The Holmewood School(THSL) which aims to provide specialist education for children of high cognitive abiltiy with difficulties associated with autism. In 2009, Dwight entered into the first joint diploma program in China with the Capital Normal High School, attached to Capital Normal University
Capital Normal University
Capital Normal University is a university in Beijing, China. It is covered by Project 211, a policy to renew and modernize educational facilities in the People's Republic of China.-History:...

, in Beijing. Through this program, each student receives a joint Capital Normal/Dwight School diploma with strong emphasis on English as a Second Language.

In 2009, Dwight opened the Dwight International School (DIS), located on Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake
Shawnigan Lake is a lake on southern Vancouver Island, located to the west of Saanich Inlet and to the south of the Cowichan Valley region. It is the location of the village of Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia...

 on Vancouver Island, Canada. DIS serves as a boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 for up to two hundred students in grades six through twelve and is the only boarding school in Western Canada that offers both the IB Diploma Programme
IB Diploma Programme
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year educational programme for students aged 16–19that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognised by universities worldwide. It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by...

 and the Ministry-approved BC curriculum. The first Leadership Academy through Dwight’s partner organization, the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL), took place at DIS in 2010.

In 2010, Dwight was chosen from 180 foreign schools by the government of Seoul, Korea, to open The Dwight International School Seoul (DISS) as a model IB School for five hundred forty students in grades K-12. The school, with an estimated value of $26 million, will be housed within a new multi-million dollar media and culture complex, Seoul’s Digital Media City
Digital Media City
Digital Media City is the first high-tech complex in the world for digital technologies, housing ubiquitous networked offices, apartments, exhibitions, conference halls and cultural centers in Seoul, South Korea. It was constructed in 2002 across and approximately 1.7 times the size of the Canary...

, and will open in 2012.

Academics - The International Baccalaureate Program

In 1996, Dwight became the second school in North America to offer all three International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs. Critical thinking, emphasis on oral and written communication, experiential learning, and leadership opportunity are central aspects of an IB education. The IB offers three programs of international education and, with them, the prospect of a continuous international educational experience from early childhood to pre-university age. Any school wishing to offer any of the International Baccalaureate Programs and attain IB World School status must first go through an authorization process, designed to ensure schools are well prepared to implement the programs successfully. The requirements for authorization are the same for all schools, even though the process is administered slightly differently in each IB region.

IB Primary Years Program (PYP) Pre-K–Grade 5

The IB Primary Years Program, for students ages 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. Specific subjects taught at The Dwight School include Language Arts, Math, Second Language (Spanish or Mandarin), Physical education, Library/Technology, Art, and Music.

IB Middle Years Program (MYP) Grades 6-10

The IB Middle Years Program, for students in grades 6-10, encourages students to understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world so that they may become critical and reflective thinkers. The program consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction. Students are required to study their native tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year of the program, students engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understandings and skills they have developed throughout the program.

IB Diploma Program (DP) Grades 11-12

The IB Diploma Program is designed as an academically challenging and balanced program that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. The program is normally taught over two years, in grades eleven and twelve, and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.
Dwight offers over 30 advanced college level IB courses in the IB Diploma Program. To complete IB Diploma requirements, an independent 4,000 word Extended Essay (college level research) must be completed in a subject of the student’s choosing. All students must engage in 150 hours of experiential learning involving Creativity, Action & Service.
Students in the IB Diploma Program pursue research or undertake independent projects through internships in local institutions, ranging from universities, businesses, museums and art galleries.
A Certificate Program is available to students who do not wish to pursue the full IB Diploma Program and instead take some elective courses. Approximately half the graduating seniors receive the full IB diploma.

Community Service

All Dwight students are expected to engage in community service. As part of the IB Program, upper school students must log between 50–150 hours participating in activities involving Creativity, Action or Service (CAS) and develop a CAS project as part of the IB Program.

In 2001, The Dwight School founded the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL), a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that students and faculty around the world who have become service leaders in their schools and communities are recognized for their leadership in civic engagement, given training to enhance their leadership skills, and provided with the resources to promote and sustain their endeavors. In 2011, the ICL received a $305,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to support the August 2011 Leadership Academy program that is held each year at Dwight’s Canada campus.


Dwight’s Visual and Performing Arts Department uses a professional model in an educational setting. The program provides students opportunities to perform and present their work several times a year in connection with professional arts in New York City, including a yearly music recital at Carnegie Hall. The Department includes the following four core areas: Visual Arts, Theater, Music, and Dance.

Clubs and Organizations

The Dwight School supports the philosophy that student activities are an integral part of a well-rounded IB education. The Jr. Passport Program (ages 3–5) and Passport Program (grades K-5) offer a variety of programs five days a week. The programs use a combination of internal teachers and external coaches. The Jr. Passport Program is open to students outside of The Dwight School. There is a fee to participate in both programs.

Students in grades 9-12 must participate in their choice of a team sport or activity each trimester. Students in grades 7 & 8 are required to participate in one team sport or activity each trimester.

Dwight offers the following clubs and activities:
  • Brain, Behavior and Beyond
  • Chamber Music Ensemble
  • Co-ed Boxing
  • Dance Lab
  • Debate Club
  • Digital Photography
  • Dwight Chronicle (student newspaper)
  • Dwight Tutors
  • Fencing
  • Green Roof Technology
  • Jazz Band
  • Microlending
  • Model United Nations
    Model United Nations
    Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda....

  • Portfolio Prep
  • Prom Committee
  • SAT English Prep
  • SAT Math Prep
  • Spinning
  • Studio Art Club
  • Tai Chi & Meditation
  • Upper School Theater Production
  • Voice Ensemble
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga
  • Young Writers Society

  • Student Leadership

    Student Council
    The Student Council is composed of twelve individuals. Each year, Student Council Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and Class Representatives from grades 10-12 are elected in April for the following academic year. The Class Representatives from grade 9 are elected in the fall.

    Head Boys and Head Girls
    Each May, several members of the junior class are chosen by a committee of Anglo House teachers to be a leader in the School during his/her senior year as a Head Boy or a Head Girl. A student must be a member of the National Honor Society to be eligible for this leadership position. A Head Boy/Head Girl is expected to work in conjunction with the Anglo House Dean and the Administration at various events throughout the year.

    Honor Council
    The Honor Council of The Dwight School consists of a group of students elected by their peers to foster and maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among students and between students and faculty.

    Peer Leaders
    The Peer Leaders consist of a group of juniors selected for their character, scholarship, integrity, and leadership attributes. They serve as role models to younger students. A school counselor trains the Peer Leaders, who talk to the younger students about respecting differences, friendship, stress, bullying, popularity, labeling and other common issues. Eleventh grade students serve as Peer Leaders to ninth grade students. The Peer Leaders run the mentoring session, but an adult is present. The Peer Leaders must submit lesson plans in advance. Peer Leaders must also be in good academic standing and in compliance with all official school rules.


    The Dwight School is part of the following leagues: ACIS (Athletic Conference of Independent Schools), NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools), GISAL (Girls Independent Schools Athletic League), and AIPSL (American International Private School League).

    Sports teams

    Interscholastic Athletic Teams
    Sport Level Season Gender
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

    V Spring Boys'
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    V, JV, MS Winter Boys', Girls'
    Cross-Country V, MS Fall Boys', Girls'
    Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

    N/A* Fall, Winter, Spring Boys', Girls'
    Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

    V Spring Boys', Girls'
    Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

    MS Spring Boys', Girls'
    Soccer V, JV, MS Fall Boys', Girls'
    Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

    V Spring Boys', Girls'
    Track V, MS Winter, Spring Boys', Girls'
    Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

    V, MS Fall, Spring Girls'

    • V = Varsity
      Varsity team
      In the United States and Canada, varsity sports teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, high school or other secondary school. Such teams compete against the principal athletic teams at other colleges/universities, or in the case of secondary schools, against...

      , JV = Junior Varsity
      Junior varsity
      Primarily in North America, junior varsity or JV players are the members of a team who are not the main players in a competition , usually at the high school and college levels in the United States and Canada. The main players comprise the varsity team...

      , MS = Middle School
    • Fencing is not a varsity sport; fencers compete through local clubs

    ACIS Championship Titles
    • Boys Varsity Basketball – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
    • Girls Varsity Basketball – 2007, 2011
    • Boys JV Basketball – 2007, 2009, 2010
    • Boys Varsity Soccer – 2009 (DII)
    • Girls Varsity Cross Country – 2009, 2010

    GISAL Championship Titles
    • Girls Varsity Basketball – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
    • Girls Varsity Volleyball – 2006

    AIPSL Championship Titles
    • Boys Middle School Soccer – 2010 (undefeated season)

    Fencing Medals (2008–2011)
    • Grand Prix, New York, September 2008: Fruzsi Palinkas ’09, Bronze Medal in Women’s Epee
    • Grand Prix, New York, January 2009: Jennifer Lee ’10, Bronze Medal in Women’s Epee
    • Prise de Fer Super Youth Circuit, Massachusetts, April 2009: Juliana Barrett ’12, Bronze Medal in Youth 14 Women’s Epee; Signe Ferguson ’14, Bronze Medal in Youth 12 Women’s Epee
    • North American Cup, Oregon, April 2009: Sara Taffel ’13, Bronze Medal in Youth 14 Women’s Foil
    • North American Cup, Missouri, November 2009: Race Imboden ’11, Gold Medal in Cadet Men’s Foil; Ayuub Ibrahim ’12, Gold Medal in Cadet Men’s Epee; James Turner ’13, Silver Medal Youth 14 Men’s Foil
    • Junior Olympic Championships, Tennessee, February 2010: Sara Taffel ’13, Bronze Medal, Cadet Women’s Foil; Race Imboden ’11, Silver Medal, Cadet Men’s Foil, Gold Medal, Junior Men’s Foil, Gold Medal, Junior Men’s Foil Team; Magnus Ferguson ’10, Gold Medal, Junior Men’s Epee Team
    • World Championships, Azerbaijan, April 2010: Race Imboden ’11, Bronze Medal, Cadet Men’s Foil
    • United States Cadet World Championship Team Members, 2010: Race Imboden ’11, Ayyub Ibrahim ’12
    • Eden Cup, London, December 2010: Race Imboden ’11, Gold Medal, Cadet Men’s Foil
    • National Championships, Oregon, April 2011: Race Imboden ’12, Gold medal, USA Fencing Division I
    • Junior Olympic Championships, Texas, February 2011: Sara Taffel ’13, Silver Medal, Cadet Women’s Foil

    Notable Athletic Achievements

    In 2004, fencer Kamara James ’02 represented the United States in the 2004 Summer Olympics and was ranked #1 in the U.S. for Women’s Epee.

    Dwight faculty member and fencing coach Lauren Willock is currently ranked 4thin the U.S. in Senior Women’s Epee and is a member of the U.S. National Team.

    In 2009, senior basketball player Mark Davenport was awarded the Diane Brennan Scholarship Award, given to two student-athletes who perform well both on the court and in the classroom.

    Notable alumni

    Notable alumni of Dwight School include the following. (Primary source: Dwight School):
    • Truman Capote
      Truman Capote
      Truman Streckfus Persons , known as Truman Capote , was an American author, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's and the true crime novel In Cold Blood , which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At...

      , 1942
    • Hal Prince
      Hal Prince
      Harold Smith Prince is an American theatrical producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the past half-century...

      , Director http://www.english-schools.org/USA/dwight-school-new-york.htm
    • Fabrizio Moretti
      Fabrizio Moretti
      Fabrizio Moretti is the drummer of the American indie rock band, The Strokes. Fabrizio’s side project with Rodrigo Amarante of Los Hermanos and Binki Shapiro, entitled Little Joy debuted on Rough Trade Records...

      , 1998, Lead drummer for The Strokes
      The Strokes
      The Strokes are an American indie rock band formed in 1999 in New York City. Consisting of Julian Casablancas , Nick Valensi , Albert Hammond, Jr. , Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti ....

    • Fiorello Laguardia, Mayor of New York City
    • Roy Lichtenstein
      Roy Lichtenstein
      Roy Lichtenstein was a prominent American pop artist. During the 1960s his paintings were exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City and along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others he became a leading figure in the new art movement...

      , contemporary artist

    Alumni (non-graduating)
    • Julian Casablancas
      Julian Casablancas
      Julian Fernando Casablancas is an American singer-songwriter and musician of The Strokes. Casablancas pursued a solo career during The Strokes' hiatus, releasing the album Phrazes for the Young on November 3, 2009....

       of The Strokes
      The Strokes
      The Strokes are an American indie rock band formed in 1999 in New York City. Consisting of Julian Casablancas , Nick Valensi , Albert Hammond, Jr. , Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti ....

    • Damon Dash
      Damon Dash

      , Entrepreneur and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records
    • Paris Hilton
      Paris Hilton
      Paris Whitney Hilton is an American businesswoman, heiress, and socialite. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton . Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood...

       Reality TV Actress
    • Keith Raywood
      Keith Raywood
      Keith Raywood, also credited as Keith Ian Raywood, is an Emmy award-winning American Production Designer.- Early life and education :Keith Raywood was born in New York City, New York, and lived between there and Miami Beach, Florida, throughout his childhood. As a teenager, he attended The Dwight...

      Production Designer

    External links