Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School

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Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School
Columbia Grammar and Preparatory Seal.jpg
Address
5 West 93rd St
New York City, 10025
USA
Coordinates 40°47′25″N 73°58′01″W / 40.790244°N 73.966893°W / 40.790244; -73.966893Coordinates: 40°47′25″N 73°58′01″W / 40.790244°N 73.966893°W / 40.790244; -73.966893
Information
Type Private, College-Preparatory
Religious affiliation(s) Non-sectarian
Established 1764
Headmaster Dr. Richard J. Soghoian
Grades K12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 1290+
Student to teacher ratio 7:1
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Columbia Blue and White         
Team name Lions
Accreditation NYSAIS
MSA
Affiliations New York Interschool
Website
4 West 93d

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School ("Columbia Grammar", "Columbia Prep", "CGPS", "Columbia") is the oldest non-sectarian private school in the United States, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan (5 West 93rd Street), in New York City, New York. It was founded in 1764 by Columbia University in order to properly prepare incoming freshmen in the fields of English, Greek, and Latin grammar.[1] By 1865, the school had grown substantially and was no longer connected to the university.[2]

The school was originally known as The Grammar School of King's College (King's College was the original name of Columbia University). The school changed its name concurrently with the university during the American Revolution to Columbia Grammar School, and added the word preparatory in 1978. While grammar and preparatory have differing connotations, the entire school is known by its full name.

The school has existed in several locations over the centuries. In 1906, the school moved to its current location on 93rd Street, off Central Park West. It originally consisted of one building, and expanded by adding five brownstones through the merger of the adjacent Leonard School for Girls in 1950. A building across the street was built in 1984, followed by two more in 1997 and 2001. Furthermore, an administration building was recently[when?] added to the school. In the past 10 years, the average size of the graduating class has more than doubled from approximately 45 to approximately 110.

The current headmaster, Dr. Richard Soghoian, has held the position since 1981.[3] Dr. Stanley Seidman was the grammar school director until his resignation in 2010; the current grammar school director is Simone Hristidis. Sue Kilmer is the current prep school director. The school serves grades Pre-Kindergarten to 12 and offers a rigorous, comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.

As with other prestigious New York schools, tuition at Columbia Grammar School is quite expensive. In 2012, the New York Times cited a figure of $38,340 for a Grade 12 student.[4]

History[edit]

Columbia Grammar School was founded in 1764, just ten years after the founding of Kings College (later Columbia University).[5] Originally established as a boys' preparatory school for the college, it functioned for one hundred years under the direct auspices of the college.

One of the most illustrious headmasters during that period was Dr. Charles Anthon, one of America's earliest and most distinguished classical scholars. During his tenure the grammar school provided over half the students to Columbia College's freshman class.

In 1864, when Dr. Anthon retired as headmaster, the trustees of Columbia College terminated their relationship with the grammar school and the school became a proprietary institution,[6] only achieving its non-profit status in 1941.[7]

In 1937, the Leonard School for Girls was founded, using several interconnected brownstones on West 94th Street (now part of the lower school). The school joined with the grammar school in 1956 to become a coed institution.[8]

As only the 13th headmaster in the school's long history, Dr. Richard Soghoian has guided the physical expansion of the school from its 1906 home at 5 West 93rd Street to the present complex, which includes two high school buildings and an additional brownstone joined to the grammar school buildings.

Accreditation[edit]

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School is a fully independent, non-sectarian school governed by a board of trustees composed of alumni and parents. The school is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the New York State Board of Regents.

The school is a member of the Independent School Admissions Association of New York (ISAAGNY).[9]

Campus[edit]

5 West 93d Street
26 West 94th Street

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School greatly expanded its physical plant after 1985. Three entirely new buildings and a fully renovated brownstone have, together with the existing buildings, added academic facilities as well as two new theaters, several computer labs, a variety of art studios and space for a growing music program. The Grammar School is located in a series of five interconnecting brownstones on the tree-shaded 94th Street, just off Central Park, and the original Columbia Grammar School building (1905) at 5 West 93rd Street. In addition to classrooms, these house two libraries, two art studios, a gymnasium, swimming pool, two music studios, a science lab, a computer lab, and the Grammar School cafeteria.[10]

The school began its expansion in 1984 with the construction of a new preparatory school at 4 West 93rd, containing a full-sized gymnasium, three science labs, state-of-the art computer lab, library, three music studios and nine classrooms.

In 1996, 36 West 93rd Street was completed, adding 42,500 square feet (3,950 m2) of space to the physical plant. This building, which goes through from 93rd to 92nd Street, has two computer labs, five art studios, library, science labs and classrooms for grades 5 and 6, a fully equipped theater, and a large cafeteria.

In September 2001 a major addition was added onto the high school containing yet another full-sized gym, a state-of-the-art theater, and three floors of classrooms and science labs. Five new classrooms were also added.[11]

Since then, many brownstones have been added, one entirely for offices, and a building dedicated to the arts. A walkway has been built behind the multiple brownstones to make them easier to navigate. In 2009, CGPS purchased several new brownstones, one entirely for the kindergarten, another for a science building, and one for administrative offices. Two new levels are being constructed in the 5th and 6th grade building. The prep school also added a new level to its library.

Headmasters[edit]

  • John David Ogilby (1829-1830) [12]
  • Dr. Charles Anthon (served until 1864) [13]
  • George W. Bacon and Richard S. Bacon [14]
  • Benjamin H. Campbell [15]
  • Frederic A. Alden [16]
  • James W. Stern [17]
  • Dr. Richard Soghoian (is the current and 13th headmaster). Dr. Soghoian became headmaster in 1981. He is the author of the book Mind the Gap! An Insider's Irreverent Look at Private School Finances and Management—With a Lesson for Government and Industry, Too!" (2012).[18][19]

Alumni[edit]

Sports[edit]

Columbia Prep provides a wide range of high-quality athletics facilities intended for use by the entire student population. The north gymnasium houses both the volleyball and basketball courts. The south gymnasium houses volleyball and basketball courts, as well as a modern weight room with both cardiovascular and weight training machines. Across the street from the main gym is Columbia's swimming pool in addition to a smaller gymnasium.

Apart from on campus facilities, the Columbia Prep Lions utilize many other athletic facilities in the New York metropolitan area. Randall's Island, Riverbank State Park, Roosevelt Island, Van Cortlandt Park, Central Park, The Columbus Tennis Center, Seawane Country Club and Tam O'Shanter Country Club are among the many complexes where the soccer, baseball, track, X country, and golf teams practice and compete.

Sports Teams
  • Boys Varsity Lacrosse
  • Boys Varsity Soccer
  • Girls Varsity Soccer
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball
  • Girls J.V. Volleyball
  • Boys And Girls X Country
  • Girls Varsity Swimming
  • Girls Varsity Basketball
  • Girls J.V. Basketball
  • Boys 7/8 Basketball B
  • Boys 7/8 Basketball A
  • Boys Freshman Basketball
  • Boys J.V. Basketball
  • Boys J.V. Soccer
  • Boys J.V. Baseball
  • Boys Varsity Basketball
  • Varsity Ice Hockey
  • Girls Varsity Softball
  • Boys Varsity Baseball
  • Boys Varsity Tennis
  • Girls Varsity Tennis
  • Boys And Girls Varsity Spring Track
  • Varsity Golf

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 1
  2. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 31
  3. ^ Goldman, Victoria, "The Manhattan Family Guide to Private Schools, 6th Edition", Soho Press, 2010, p. 187
  4. ^ Anderson, Jenny and Ohm Rachel, "Bracing for $40,000 at New York City Private Schools", New York Times, 27 January 2012
  5. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 1
  6. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 31
  7. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 52
  8. ^ http://www.cgps.org/about/history
  9. ^ http://www.isaagny.org/school_directory/index.aspx
  10. ^ http://www.cgps.org/our-campus
  11. ^ "Our Campus" - Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School website
  12. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 10
  13. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 14
  14. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 26
  15. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 39
  16. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 47
  17. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, Preface
  18. ^ www.mindthegapbook.com.
  19. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-atamian/minding-the-gap-with-rich_b_2523935.html
  20. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 8
  21. ^ http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/riversidepark/monuments/666
  22. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 19
  23. ^ Noel Ashman at the Internet Movie Database
  24. ^ "Profile: Noel Ashman", CityFile (New York)
  25. ^ Menze, Jill, "The Postelles Go Indie for Long-Delayed Debut Album", Billboard magazine, June 10, 2011
  26. ^ Sullivan, McDonald and Dixon, Ross, "Columbia Grammar School 1764-1964, A Historical Log". 1965, p. 40

External links[edit]