Frequently Asked Questions

(From the ISAAGNY Website) As a parent, you are in the fortunate position of having a wide range of independent school choices available to you in the New York area. This advantage brings with it the responsibility of evaluating which school will be the right match for your family to ensure your child’s maximum growth and instill a life-long love of learning.

Independent schools offer a quality education that incorporates small classes, individual attention, and highly qualified teachers. ISAAGNY schools include programs from early childhood through high school. Independent school objectives are not just about high test scores, college acceptances, or sports and arts achievements. They offer advanced and eclectic courses, as well as extra-curricular activities that are essential to a well-rounded individual. While specific independent schools’ missions vary, parents can expect a wide array of offerings within the academic, arts, and athletic areas at any independent school.

The two and three-year-olds have one Head Teacher and one to two Assistants depending on class size. The four-year-olds have one head teacher and one to two assistants depending on class size. The majority of our teachers have a Master’s Degree in early childhood education or are in the process of obtaining their degree. Many of our assistant teachers are working their way through school, with the goal of one day becoming a head teacher themselves. In addition, we have some career assistant teachers on staff.

We believe that children do best with peers when it comes to organized group activities and projects. When children are grouped with peers (both developmentally and chronologically) we can better ensure that all the children benefit from activities.

Montclare provides a balanced curriculum with ample opportunity for free-play in addition to more structured activities planned by our teachers.  At Montclare, being teacher-guided means that many classroom activities are supported and scaffolded by the teachers allowing for a more collaborative and deeper learning experience. We believe that children benefit from both free-play and from engaging in activities planned by adults. Our teachers follow a daily schedule, and have weekly and monthly themes. Every day children have the opportunity to engage in free-play, preschool games, circle time, story time, physical activity, and preschool crafts.

Students have the opportunity to meet with our specialists for Music, Yoga, Movement and Art. We also offer additional enrichment with Filmmaking in our 4s (Writopia Lab), ABT (American Ballet Theatre) and more… Montclare’s Art Studio teachers offer a more process-based, “open-ended” experience where children can explore different mediums and projects.

The specialists teach Art, Music, Movement, Physical Education, and Yoga. All of our specialists have extensive experience in their field of practice. Children travel from their classrooms to the specialist classroom or appropriate gym.

Classroom activities are typically centered on monthly themes. Each day is broken up into half-hour blocks. Classroom activities include circle time, choice time (various activities set up on tables as well as the option to explore dramatic play), snack time, cooking, free play, as well as projects that relate to the monthly themes.

The focus of the 2s preschool curriculum is social development and language development. Children go through the separation process from a parent or caregiver, and learn to attach to and trust their teachers. Slowly, the youngest children in our school, learn to be comfortable in the classroom and start to develop friendships.

The focus of the 3s preschool curriculum continues to be social and language development with additional skill development. More time is spent in the classrooms working on pre-writing, letters, and numbers, as well as visual and fine motor skills. The 3s engage in projects related to “letter of the week” and engage in a variety of puzzles and games.

By the time the children are four, the curriculum further develops kindergarten-readiness skills including pre-reading and pre-math skills. They are encouraged to be independent and curious problem solvers. The 4s enjoy many experiential enrichment activities including film-making, an ABT workshop, class trips and more.

We handle separation very gently, and with the awareness that each child will separate at a different pace. We do a phased-in separation, which means that children first start coming to school in small groups and for a short amount of time. We then slowly build for the full class and the full three hour school day.

Parents and caregivers start out in the classroom, then move to the hallway, and finally “out-of-sight,” as the children grow accustomed to being in school. We often refer to the separation process as the “attachment process” since children need to attach to a teacher, in order to successfully separate.

Our dedicated Director of Exmissions supports our families through the exmissions process (application to on-going schools) which begins in the spring of the 3s program. Parents meet individually with the Director of Exmissions to discuss the schools to which they wish to apply. In addition to frequent individual parent meetings throughout the spring and the following fall and winter, Montlcare hosts a number of group meetings for parents applying to on-going schools. For more information, including our exmissions results, please visit our exmissions page: HERE

Our students have been accepted to and are attending:

Abraham Joshua Heschel School

Alexander Robertson

Allen Stevenson



Bank Street

Birch Wathen Lenox






Cathedral School


Claremont Prep


Columbia Grammar

Convent of the Sacred Heart




Ethical Culture

Fieldston Lower

Friends Seminary


Horace Mann

Hunter College Elementary


Little Red Schoolhouse

Lycee Francais de NY


Manhattan Country School

Manhattan School for Children



Riverdale Country

Rodeph Sholom

Saint Anne’s

Saint Bernard’s

Saint David’s

Saint Hilda’s & Saint Hugh’s

Solomon Schechter


Speyer Legacy


Trevor Day

The School at Columbia University


United Nations International

Village Community School

General Education and Gifted & Talented Programs at:

Manhattan School For Children

PS 6

PS 9

PS 87

PS 163

PS 166

PS 199

PS 452



Lower Lab

Montclare provides healthy snacks each day. The snack offerings include fresh fruits, organic cheese, apple sauce, wow butter, crackers, pretzels, cereal and water. We encourage children to eat fruit or cheese first and offer dry snacks after. We do not serve foods that contain “trans fats.” Filtered water is always available to the children. All of our snacks are nut and seed free. All milk products served are free of hormones and antibiotics.

Montclare Children’s School is a privately owned school, and therefore has for-profit status. The school is tuition-run. Parent-driven fundraising is limited, and is done to benefit our scholarship fund.

Siblings represent our top priority. Sibling applicants receive early notification.

Children in our Three's and Four's programs can be dropped off at the school as early as 8:10 AM for working parents by request only. For children in our 2's program please contact us about readiness and schedule.