Nichols School

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Nichols School
Buffalo, New York
United States
Type Private, Day
Established 1892
Head of School William P. Clough
Grades 5-12
Enrollment 582
Average class size 14 students
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus size 30 acres
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Green and white
Athletics conference NYSAISAA
Mascot Viking
Endowment $25 million
Tuition $21,000 (5-8)
$22,000 (9)
$22,400 (10-12)
Affiliations NYSAIS

Nichols School is a private, non-denominational, co-educational college-preparatory day school in Buffalo, New York, United States. The average enrollment is 570 students with an average Upper School grade/class size of 98 students. The average classroom size is 14 students.


Nichols School was founded in 1892 by William Nichols. The school was founded as an all boys school, with its campus on Amherst Street in North Buffalo. After many years of remaining an all boys school, it joined with Nottingham Academy, an all girls school, becoming a co-ed Middle and Upper school. The Upper school was located on the original campus, and the Middle school was located on Nottingham Terrace. In 2001, a new Middle School building was constructed on the main campus, attaching itself to an older building on campus. That building used to be home to the basketball court and swimming pool, but those have been converted into the dance studio and music room, respectively. In addition to the new Lower school facility, two new gyms were built, and in addition, squash courts to accommodate the schools squash team. In 2011, construction was finished on the new mathematics and science building, Center '63. This new building was built to replace Moot Hall, the old math and science building.


Nichols School is located on 30 acres (120,000 m2) in North Buffalo, within walking distance of the Buffalo Zoo, Delaware Park, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. The Nichols campus includes seven separate buildings linked by tree-lined sidewalks and an indoor passageway. The campus consolidation project, completed in August 2001, joined the Middle and Upper school divisions. Each division has its own separate academic buildings, and shares dining, athletic, and performing arts facilities.


Students are from the general Buffalo area with many commuting from Southern Ontario to Batavia, New York, an organic expansion of its traditional turf according to Nina Barone, Nichol's director of admissions.[1]

Accreditation and honors[edit]

An aerial view of the Nichols School campus in Buffalo, N.Y., circa 2010.

Nichols is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and the New York State Department of Education. It received national recognition in the Secondary School Recognition Program and Exemplary Private School Recognition Program. Nichols is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.

Nichols, along with other local private schools (including Buffalo Seminary, Canisius High School, and Park School of Buffalo), does not administer Regents exams.[2]


Of the faculty at Nichols, 10% have doctoral degrees; 75% have master's degrees; and 14% of the faculty are Nichols graduates. Faculty have an average of 20 years of service and serve as student advisers, coaches, club advisers and mentors.


The Upper School conducts an extensive interscholastic athletic program. Most teams have tryouts, mandatory practices and matches after school hours, and play in competitive leagues throughout Western New York and Canada. The Athletics Program endeavors not only to develop the students’ athletic skills, but also to encourage students to be good citizens, to challenge their intellectual skills, and to teach them the value of teamwork.

Offered Sports: Fall:

  • Soccer (Men/Women)
  • Football (Men)
  • Field Hockey (Women)
  • Cross Country (Men)
  • Tennis (Women)
  • PE (Men/Women)


  • Hockey (Men/Women)
  • Basketball (Men/Women)
  • Squash (Men/Women)
  • Wrestling (Men)
  • PE (Men/Women)


  • Lacrosse (Men/Women)
  • Tennis (Men)
  • Cross Country (Women)
  • PE (Men/Women)
  • Baseball (Men)
  • Softball (Women)

Intramural sports dominate in the Middle School where anyone can join a team. The number of teams is dictated by the level of interest, practices take place during the daily sports period, and most teams play other local middle schools.


The 480-seat Flickinger Performing Arts Center is the centerpiece of the performing arts department, while new visual arts studios support course offerings in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video and graphic art.[3]

The arts are promoted as a serious course of study and the school requires that all students engage in some form of participation. Artistic achievement is highlighted not only in plays and exhibitions, but also in morning meetings, where students often share their talents with the rest of the school. Students are encouraged to use the Arts as a vehicle through which to find their own voices. In addition to studying and performing the work of renowned artists, original student work is featured on the walls of every building on the campus, and on the floorboards of every stage. Students have the opportunity to compose music, write plays, choreograph dances, make their own films or curate their own art opening.

Multiculturalism and international initiatives[edit]

Nichols School has four different annual exchange programs for upper school students: Costa Rica, Spain, France, and China. Nichols students host an international student for three weeks, and then travel abroad and stay with that student and their family for an average of three weeks. While abroad, students attend classes at the hosting institution and travel to historical and cultural sites of importance. Students can participate in more than one exchange, with many of the Spanish students traveling to Costa Rica sophomore year, and Spain in junior or senior year.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Nichols offers various extracurricular clubs, activities, trips and community service opportunities to students. There are more than 22 upper school campus clubs, including: Helping Hands, Amnesty International, Anti-Gravity Club, Chess Club, Chorus, Dance Party Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Global Horizons, Green Key, HEART, Investment Club, Jewish Cultural Awareness Club, Math League, Mock Trial, Model UN, Orchestra, Research Scholars Program, Science Olympiad, SeeArtRun, Ski Club, Spirit Club, SEAA, SUMA, Film Club, and various student publications.[4]

Mock Trial and Model UN participate in local and regional competitions. Anti-Gravity Club, the school's outdoors and climbing club sponsors multiple trips to the Niagara Climbing Center and Niagara Gorge in addition to an annual winter hiking, cross-country skiing and ice-climbing trip to Keene Valley in the Adirondack Mountains. The Research Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to engage in independent research projects at local institutions. The Science Scholar program works with SUNY Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. The Humanities Scholar program gives seniors the opportunity to conduct humanities research at SUNY Buffalo. SeeArtRun is an entirely student-run art gallery. Students have the opportunity to display their art in a gallery on campus, and often host gallery openings as popular campus events. SEAA, Students for Environmental Awareness and Action works with organizations dedicated to providing drinking water and promoting environmental initiatives abroad. SEAA also actively promotes environmental programs on campus and in the local community.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]


Artists and personalities[edit]



External links[edit]