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York Preparatory School


York Preparatory School

York School
Established 1969
Type Private coeducational
Principal Robert Reese
Founder Ronald Stewart and Jayme Stewart
Students approx. 355
Grades 6-12
Location Manhattan, New York, USA
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Colors Blue and Yellow
Mascot York Prep Panther
Yearbook The Legend
Newspaper The Paw
Website York Prep
40 West 68th Street

York Preparatory School commonly referred to as York Prep, is an independent, proprietary university-preparatory school in the Lincoln Center area of New York City.

The coeducational school provides instruction to approximately 350 students between 6th and 12th grades.[1] The student:teacher ratio is 6:1.[2]

York is approved by the New York State Board of Regents and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[3]

As of the 2013-2014 school year, tuition is $40,500 per year for middle school students and $41,200 for high school students.[4]


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Sports and activities 3
  • Facilities 4
  • York in the News 5
  • Notable alumni and faculty 6
  • References 7


Founded by Ronald and Jayme Stewart, York Prep opened its doors in September 1969 to 158 students in grades 6-12 and by 1972 had 212 students.[5] The school is family-based, with founder Ronald Stewart serving as headmaster and his wife Jayme Stewart as director of college guidance. Jayme Stewart, who has shared college entry tips with CNN,[6] is also the author of a 1991 book, How to Get into the College of Your Choice: And How to Finance It.[7]


The curriculum provides a foundation in the traditional core subjects of a liberal arts education—English, mathematics, social studies, science, and foreign language. In addition, students can choose from a wide range of specialized electives.[8]

The school uses a system called “tracking,” which places students in one of several ability groups available in every subject area. This allows students to work at an advanced pace through Honors courses, AP classes, and the Scholars Program, in subjects in which they excel, and at a moderate pace in those subjects where they need more guidance.

The York Prep Scholars Program is a three-year sequence which provides a more challenging curriculum for York’s most academically able students. Units on such topics as “Neuroscience,” “Italian Renaissance Art,” “Statistics,” and “Shakespeare Performance” are presented independently in mini-courses taught by members of the faculty who focus on their particular intellectual passions and specialties.[9]

York Prep offers a Jump Start Program at supplemental cost to provide assistance to students with different learning styles and learning disabilities.[10] The program offers participants two weekly one-on-one 40 minutes sessions with their assigned Jump Start teachers, morning check-ins with their teachers, and supervised group study sessions after school.[11]

Parents are kept informed of a student's progress through individual reports posted every week on Edline, a component of the York Prep web site. Each family sign in with a unique password and can see their child's progress in all academic subjects.[12]

Sports and activities

York Prep offers the following sports:[13]
Boys' Varsity Soccer Boys’ Varsity Basketball
Girls' Varsity Soccer Girls’ Varsity Basketball
Middle School Soccer Middle School Basketball
Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Boys’ Junior Varsity Basketball
Girls' Junior Varsity Volleyball Girls’ Varsity Softball
Boys’ Varsity Volleyball Indoor Varsity Track & Field
Girls’ Middle School Volleyball Varsity Track & Field
Co-ed Varsity Golf Middle School Track & Field
Boys’ Varsity Baseball Varsity Cross Country
Middle School Baseball Middle School Cross Country

Clubs and activities include Beekeepers Society, Book Club, Broadway Club, Chess Club, Community Service Club, Environmental & Gardeners Club, Fitness Club, French Cinema Club, Gay/Straight Alliance, Glee Club, literary and arts magazine, Model United Nations, New York City Tour Club, Open Studio/Crafts Club, school newspaper, Peer Tutoring Program, School Production/Drama Club, Science Club, Stock Market Group, Student Government Organization, Ukelele Club, Yearbook, Swim Club, Tennis Club, and Intramural Sports Program[14]


The school, which then housed 250 students, made news in 1997 when it expanded in an unusual transaction, trading property with Ramaz School.[15] Ramaz purchased a new building for York Preparatory at 68th Street and traded that for the existing school at East 85th Street.

The new site—a seven-level granite building—houses three computer labs, a large gym, a work-out room, an art studio, two professionally equipped science labs, and a roof for beekeeping.[16]

York in the News

  • The school and several of its students were featured in the series Ice-T's Rap School, a 6-part reality show aired on VH1 in 2006 where the rapper introduced eight of York Prep's students to rap and rap culture.[17]
  • The Wall Street Journal highlighted the honeybees on York Prep's rooftop.[18]
  • The Daily News (New York) featured beekeeping at York Prep.[19]
  • NY1's report focused on York Prep's beekeeping activities.[20]
  • In 2011, the New York Post reported that Christopher Durnford, the former Principal, had been fired for an alleged relationship with a former school volleyball player.[21] Several years earlier, in 2008, New York magazine had reported that Durnsford had been caught falsely claiming to have been captain of the Canadian cycling team and a competitor in the Barcelona Olympics.[22]

Notable alumni and faculty

  • Liv Tyler, model and actress[23]
  • Robert E. Chambers, alumni, nicknamed the "Preppie Killer", is an American who pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. He killed her in New York's Central Park during the early morning hours of August 26, 1986.[24]
  • Alexis Rockman, artist[25]
  • James De La Vega, artist[26]
  • Phil Abraham, Emmy-nominated director of Mad Men[27][28]
  • Henry Meer, executive chef and owner of City Hall Restaurant in downtown Manhattan[29][30]


  1. ^ "York Preparatory School". New York State Association of Independent Schools. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Best New York City Private & Selective Public high Schools". New York: The Princeton Review, Inc. 2008. p. 194. 
  3. ^ "Directory of Members". Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools: Commission on Secondary Schools. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Tuition & Financial Aid". York Preparatory School. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Cushman, Sandi (1972-06-11). "A Private School Should Fit Your Child’s Needs". New York: Sunday News. p. 128. 
  6. ^ Schurenberg, Eric; Jan Alexander (1989-05-01). "The agony of college admissions".  
  7. ^ Melvin, Tessa (1994-11-06). "If you're thinking of living in". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  8. ^ "Learning at York Prep". York Prep School. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  9. ^ "Scholars Program". York Prep School. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Best New York City Private & Selective Public high Schools". New York: The Princeton Review, Inc. 2008. p. 193. 
  11. ^ "Jump Start". York Prep School. Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  12. ^ "York Preparatory School: School Close-Up". Peterson's. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  13. ^ "Sports News". York Prep School. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  14. ^ "Clubs and Activities". York Prep School. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  15. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn (1997-05-21). "School plans to build at another's site".  
  16. ^ "The Bunting and Lyon Blue Book". Wallingford, CT: Bunting and Lyon, Inc. 2005. p. 304. 
  17. ^ Buckman, Adam (2006-10-17). "Gift rapped".  
  18. ^ Gardner, Ralph Jr.: "Generating Buss, and Honey" "The Wall Street Journal" (2010-9-23)
  19. ^ Boyle, Christina: "Students swarm to job of beekeeping as York Preparatory School's roof breaks out in hive" "Daily News (New York)" (2010-10-7)
  20. ^ Khan, Shazia: "Bee Keepers Club Has UWS Students Buzzing" "NY1" (2010-11-7)
  21. ^ Fasick, Kevin; Yoav Gonen and Andrea Peyser (2011-01-12). "Scandal at prep school: Principal booted". New York Post. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  22. ^ "Prep-School Principal Gets Caught in Awkward Lie". 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  23. ^ Maguire, Madeline. "Liv Tyler". Ok! Online. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  24. ^ Tavernise, Sabrina (2005-08-30). "Drugs send Chambers, '86 killer, back to jail". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-03. At 19, Mr. Chambers, who had attended the prestigious York Preparatory School, became a symbol of depraved youth on the affluent Upper East Side. 
  25. ^ Bernard, Sarah (2000-10-09). "Jungle Boy". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  26. ^ Fleming, Colin (2007-10). "Spanish Harlem's Hero". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  27. ^ "Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  28. ^ "York Prep Alumni Community". York Prep School. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  29. ^ Brawarsky, Sandee. "No Meer Restauranteur". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  30. ^ "York Prep Alumni Community". York Prep School. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
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