The Harvey School

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The Harvey School
260 Jay Street, Katonah NY, 10536
Katonah, New York
United States
Type Private, Boarding, Preparatory School
Established 1916
Founder Dr. Herbert Carter
Grades 6-12
Color(s) Maroon and Blue
Mascot Cavalier
Accreditation NYSAIS
Yearbook Cavalier
Head of School William J. Knauer
US Head Philip Lazzaro
MS Head Brendan Byrne

Coordinates: 41°15′17″N 73°40′00″W / 41.254837°N 73.666779°W / 41.254837; -73.666779 The Harvey School is a co-educational, college preparatory school near Katonah, New York, for students in grades 6 through 12.[1] It is located on a wooded, 125-acre campus and has an annual budget (2015) of $14 million.[2] AP courses in biology, American history, calculus, chemistry, computer science, English, European history, Latin and Spanish are available. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, and three Internet-accessible labs are available for student use. Basketball, cross-country, dance, football, ice hockey, rugby, lacrosse, and soccer are among the sports offered at Harvey. An optional five-day residential program is available for students in grades 7 through 12.[3]


The Harvey School was founded in 1916 in Hawthorne, New York by Dr. Herbert Carter [4] as a residential school for boys, enrolling students through the secondary grades. Dr. Carter, a New York City pediatrician, built the school on his farm with the intention of providing a country environment and an educational program for his physically handicapped son, Herbert Swift Carter, Jr. He named the school for Sir William Harvey (1578–1657), personal physician of King Charles I who is considered one of the fathers of modern medical science.[5]

John L. Miner was appointed as the school's first headmaster when its doors opened in October 1916, with an enrollment of twelve boys. Mr. Miner served the school for ten years before leaving to establish Greenwich Country Day School,[6] originally known as The Harvey School of Greenwich.

Herbert Carter, Jr. graduated from Harvey in 1919, and from Princeton University in 1923. Following a year at Oxford he returned to Harvey to teach English. In 1926, he succeeded Mr. Miner as headmaster, serving in that position until 1938. After Dr. Carter's death 1927, the school shifted its purpose from caring for the physically handicapped to preparing boys from grades four through eight for enrollment in the leading eastern secondary boarding schools. In 1938, the school came under the leadership of Mr. Leverett T. Smith, who served until 1963.[4]

In 1947 the school established a Board of Trustees and became a not-for-profit organization.

In 1959, the school lost its Hawthorne campus due to construction of a cloverleaf highway interchange on the Taconic and Sprain Parkways, and moved to its current 100-acre (40 ha) campus on the former Sylvan Weil Estate in Katonah. The new campus could accommodate 60 boarding students and a growing day student population. When Harry A. Dawe became headmaster in 1969 the school began a transition to being primarily a day school, while retaining the residential environment.

In 1970 the school added ninth grade, and between 1979 and 1981 it added grades nine through twelve. Harvey began admitting girls as day students when it began operating as a full high school. The fourth and fifth grades were eliminated in 1983 and 1984, and girls were admitted to the middle school beginning in 1984.

Barry Fenstermacher, served the school as headmaster from 1986 through 2016.[4] During his tenure, in March 2005 a new arts center was completed[7] to provide an environment for studio, music and dramatic-arts education, as well as a flexible performance theater. The architecture of the $6m theatre gained a silver prize for its design.[7]

The current head of school, William J. Knauer joined in July, 2016.

Students and The School[edit]

Student government[edit]

The Student Council meets regularly to discuss improvements in school life and to plan all-school activities such as Family Weekend and holiday parties. The President and Vice-President, elected by a simple majority of students during the preceding year, lead the Student Council. Additional representatives are elected by individual classes.

Athletic teams[edit]

Sport Level+ Season Gender
Baseball V, JV, MS Spring Boys
Basketball V, JV, Thirds, MS Winter Boys, Girls
Cross-Country V, JV, MS Fall Co-ed
Dance All Girls
Fitness Program All Co-ed
Football V, JV, MS Fall Boys
Hockey V, JV, MS Winter Boys
Lacrosse V, JV, MS Spring Boys, Girls
Rugby union V, JV Spring Boys, Girls
Soccer V, JV, MS Fall Boys, Girls
Softball V, JV, MS Spring Girls
Tennis V, JV, MS Spring Boys, Girls
Volleyball V, JV Fall Girls
Yoga All Co-ed

+ V=Varsity, JV=Junior Varsity, MS=Middle School

The school's teams are quite successful within their leagues. In the last four years[when?] the Varsity Girls basketball has won the league three times as well as placing first and second in various tournaments. The Girls Varsity Soccer Team is relatively new, with only seven years in existence,[when?] but has quickly climbed the ranks and won the HVAL Championship in 2007.

  • 2nd place HVAL 2005
  • 1st place HVAL 06
  • NEPSAC Tournament Quarterfinalist 2006
  • 1st place HVAL 07
  • NESPAC Tournament Quarterfinalist 2007

The boys' teams' standings all vary depending on the sport. Although not always on top, the football team participates in a very competitive league. The rugby team is unique among independent schools in the area. The Coach, Phil Lazzaro, has practices throughout the year and even has a team trip to play in Ireland every three years.

Clubs and activities[edit]

  • The Rambler
  • Avatar
  • Community Service Club
  • Drama Club
  • Environmental Awareness Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Equestrian Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Student Ambassadors (Tour Guides)
  • Student Government
  • Ultimate Frisbee Club
  • Accapela Club
  • Improv Club
  • Fantasy Sports Club
  • The Cavalier
  • The Pulse
  • Stress Reduction through Coloring
  • Young Republicans Club
  • Gym Games
  • Culinary Club
  • Photo Club
  • Outdoor Sports Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Jewish Heritage Club
  • Film Club
  • Chinese Culture Club
  • Diversity Club
  • Human Rights Club
  • The Big Question Club
  • Leadership Club


Graduation requirements and course credits[edit]

Upper School students are expected to have 60 credits upon graduation – the equivalent of 20 full-year courses plus four trimesters of physical education, fulfilled by participating in a team sport. The following distribution of academic requirements must be met for graduation:

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of mathematics: Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2
  • Three years of science: Conceptual Physics, Chemistry, Biology
  • Fours years of history: Non-Western History, Western Civilization, American History, and Senior History
  • One year (three trimesters) of fine arts. Two-thirds of this requirement is met by required courses in Music and Culture and in 9th grade and History of Art in 10th grade
  • One trimester of Health & Wellness in the ninth and eleventh grades.
  • Two Years of a Foreign Language (Excludes International Students)

Course of study[edit]

The Middle School offers a supportive environment that prepares students for the Upper School curriculum. Teachers enjoy a ratio of approximately one teacher to eight students[8] so that they can support intellectual development by presenting an integrated course of study that focuses on key content areas. Students are encouraged to develop strategies and skills related to questioning, critical thinking and problem solving. This type of instruction supports the mission of the school by recognizing the varying abilities of students, celebrating their learning styles and supporting the natural strengths of all individuals.[3] The development of study skills is an integral part of the Middle School's curriculum. Sixth-grade students focus primarily on organization, time management and note-taking strategies. Seventh-grade students work on improving their reading-for-meaning skills, note-taking strategies, and developing an understanding of the five-paragraph essay. Finally, in eighth grade, students focus on critical thinking, mastering the five-paragraph essay and the development of a research paper.

A typical Middle School program includes the following:

Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Eighth Grade
Math 6 or Math 7
Latin 1
Art, Music, Drama
Study Hall
Math 7 or Pre-Algebra
Latin 1 or 2
Art, Music, Drama
Study Hall
Pre-Algebra or Algebra
American History
Latin 1, 2, or 3
Art, Music, Drama
Study Hall

A typical Upper School program includes the following:

Ninth Grade Tenth Grade
English or Honors English 9

Algebra 1, Honors Algebra 1,
Geometry, Honors Geometry
or other appropriate course

Conceptual Physics or
Honors Physics

Non-Western History or
Honors Non-Western History

First or second year of Latin,
Spanish, or Japanese

Trimester of Health & Wellness
Trimester of Music and Culture

English 10 or Honors English 10

Geometry, Honors Geometry,
Algebra 2, Honors Algebra 2
or other appropriate course

Chemistry, Honors Chemistry
or other appropriate course

Western Civilization or
Honors Western Civilization

Second or third year of Latin,
Spanish, or Japanese

Trimester of History of Art

Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade
English 11 or Honors English 11

Algebra 2, Honors Algebra 2
Pre-Calculus, Honors Pre-Calculus
or other appropriate course

Biology or Honors Biology

United States History or
AP American History

Third or fourth year of Latin,
Spanish, or Japanese

Trimester Electives
Trimester of Music and Culture

English 12 or AP English

AP Calculus
or other appropriate course

Science Electives

Senior History

Latin, Spanish,
or Japanese

Trimester Electives


  1. ^ National Association of Independent Schools website accessed 13 September 2007
  2. ^ The Harvey School Form 990 Tax filing
  3. ^ a b Westchester Magazine, Private School Report Card, published Sept 2007 US
  4. ^ a b c School web site accessed 12 September 2007
  5. ^ William Harvey, An Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Living Beings, 1628
  6. ^ Miner starts new school accessed 12 September 2007
  7. ^ a b New arts center completed accessed 12 September 2007
  8. ^ Harvey school at privateschoolreport,com accessed 12 September 2007

External links[edit]