Among the countless things Westchester can be proud of is the quality and diversity of its top-quality private high schools.
The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry | Photo by Isaac Cass
Among the countless things Westchesterites can be proud of is the quality and diversity of its private high schools. Boasting an impressive array of elite institutions — both secular and clerical; all-boys, all-girls, and coed; internationally diverse in terms of student body, faculty, and curricula — what’s undeniable is that the landscape of private education in Westchester County is helping prepare the next generation of global leaders. Read on to compare the top private schools in the region.
Named for a diverse civilization founded more than a millennium ago, the Andalusia School promotes academic excellence, honors Islamic tradition, and nurtures a compassionate, forward-thinking student body. New programs let juniors and seniors choose high-level science electives for college credit. Students’ after-school projects range from science fairs to fashion shows.
Archbishop Stepinac High School
A recently established Honors Academy gives top students a head start on skills for college and for their ideal careers. Stepinac teams are frequent champions in New York’s Catholic high school sports leagues. Non-jocks can feel at home with its popular and well-supported Drama Club.
EF Academy New York
Committed to an education that knows no borders, this boarding school confers International Baccalaureate diplomas, representing completion of a challenging curriculum broader in scope than the typical high school experience. Courses in 10 different languages are available. Robust extracurriculars include clubs for STEM, sports, business, and the arts.
French-American School of New York
Serving students from more than 50 national backgrounds, this immersive bilingual school helps kids and teens reach the highest standards of international education. Its philosophy places equal emphasis on critical thinking and empathetic citizenship. Students who only speak English may also apply and benefit from a multicultural education and an International Baccalaureate diploma.
German International School New York
Students of all nationalities are welcome at this rigorous bilingual prep school. Graduates receive a globally lauded International Abitur diploma, unlocking opportunities at selective colleges in the U.S., Canada, Britain, and elsewhere in Europe. GISNY also participates in academic events with other Westchester schools and partners with German schools worldwide.
Founded in 1899, Hackley is guided by maxims of unity and cooperation. Moreover, this boarding and day school sits on an expansive campus containing a wellness center, photo lab, organic garden, and more. Athletics are a popular part of Upper School life, while musically inclined students can study with local professionals and put on their own recitals.
Iona Preparatory School
Sports, fine arts, and community service projects accompany high-level academics at this century-old, all-male school. Its cultural-exchange program attracts an international student body. On top of its notable football team, Iona Prep offers an array of athletic activities, ranging from lacrosse and rowing to bowling and ultimate Frisbee.
Kennedy Catholic’s curriculum combines a rigorous Regents program with a four-year foundation in theology. Students have attained regional and national recognition in sports, studio art, and the performing arts. Kennedy participates in the College Link program and commits to providing accessible transit to families all around the county.
Keio Academy of New York
Co-chartered by the governing educational boards of Japan and New York State, Keio Academy offers a globally minded curriculum and unique opportunities for cultural exchange. Its bilingual, bicultural programs help students reach and maintain the skills needed for higher education in Japan or the United States.
Maria Regina High School
Consistent with the school’s enthusiasm for cooperation and community, athletics and community service both have pride of place in student life. Maria Regina participates in the College Link program, giving students access to college-level courses for credit, and a dedicated college-placement office helps set each student on her path.
Consistently ranked among the U.S.’ top Catholic high schools, Montfort thoroughly immerses students in a classical curriculum. Its academics, sports, and leisure programs are all informed by Catholic faith and doctrine. Among the school’s most popular activities is astronomy, thanks to its rooftop observatory equipped with high-end telescopes.
Rye Country Day School
A creative and nurturing environment is the key to Rye Country Day’s intellectually challenging curriculum. Innovative STEAM courses help kids learn through collaboration instead of competition. Emphasizing students’ personal relationships to the global community, the school has ongoing initiatives in wellness, ethics, diversity, and sustainability.
Sacred Heart High School
Maintaining its roots as a mostly Irish-American school, Sacred Heart now seeks to instill a wide range of Catholic students with a sense of community. Students can take offsite retreats and pilgrimage trips in addition to participating in on-campus faith activities. Extracurriculars include art, drama, travel, and newspaper clubs.
Salesian High School
Located on the Long Island Sound waterfront, this Catholic school provides young men access to extensive athletics facilities, volunteer opportunities, and a first-of-its-kind American History Academy program. Older students can get a head start on earning college credits through a partnership with nearby Iona College.
School of the Holy Child
Holy Child seeks to encourage leadership and conscience in young women. Students have access to a technologically advanced design studio with a 3D printer and thermoformer, plus a suite of courses in robotics, coding, and gaming. A hands-on theater workshop, two art studios, and a dance studio support the campus’s artistic life.
The Harvey School
Harvey’s signature programs cater to kids with an eclectic range of interests, including robotics, international studies, playwriting, and immersive science courses. Seniors can design independent programs that smooth out their transitions to college. Older students have the option to live on campus five days a week.
The Leffell School (previously the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester)
Westchester’s largest Jewish day school blends a classical and modern educational approach. Alongside celebrations of Jewish religious and cultural life, students enjoy a diverse STEAM curriculum, individualized college counseling, and a senior capstone trip to Israel and Poland. The school’s athletic teams compete at a high level statewide.
The Masters School
Stately architecture and sloping hills are home to this boarding and day school’s prosperous college-prep program. Various notable journalists, artists, and athletes number among Masters’ alums. Class sizes are small, and most courses are based on round-table, discussion-based learning models.
The Ursuline School
Young women with artistic interests have access to a suite of multimedia and performing arts facilities at The Ursuline School’s arts center, while budding STEM stars can take advantage of its three-year science research program. Community service projects are a strong element of the school’s mission. Plus, the mascot’s a koala!
There are a few unique elements to Thornton-Donovan’s approach to education. Students advance according to their interest and ability rather than by grade level. Each school year revolves around a culturally themed curriculum examining a different part of the world and culminates in a springtime trip to a foreign country. Graduates have been successfully placed at some of the world’s most elite colleges and universities.
Westchester Hebrew High School
Going strong after 45 years, Westchester Hebrew High School remains the county’s only Modern Orthodox coed high school. WHHS is a boutique school, offering an environment of knowledge and familiarity in which Head of School Rabbi Jeffrey Bloom knows every student by face and name. There is a robust roster of athletics and clubs, as well as senior trips to Poland and Israel.