The application deadline for the 2024–2025 academic year has now passed. For more information and to attend our spring Admissions events, please complete an inquiry form complete here.

2023–2024 ECFS Admissions Events

Ethical Culture

Please stay tuned for listings of our spring 2024 events. To express your interest in these, complete our inquiry form here.


Fieldston Lower

Please stay tuned for listings of our spring 2024 events. To express your interest in these, complete our inquiry form here.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Fieldston Lower (Online Event)
Wednesday 1/10 from 7:00–8:00pm
Register to attend by completing our inquiry form here.

Join us online to learn about our unique approach to placing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and ethics at the center of our youngest learners’ School experiences. With an enduring commitment to excellence, equity, and inclusion, Ethical Culture Fieldston School inspires a diverse and joyful community of passionate learners, critical thinkers, and ethical individuals who aim to make the world more humane and just.


Thank you for your interest in the Ethical Culture Fieldston School! We place each of our applicants, from Pre-K through 11th Grade, at the center of our admissions process, which informs all of the careful considerations we make when meeting and getting to know our prospective students and families. We are excited to begin this journey with you, and look forward to sharing what makes ECFS such a special school and community.

Choosing a division

The Ethical Culture Fieldston School has two elementary divisions: Ethical Culture, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Fieldston Lower, located on our campus in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Both divisions serve students in Pre-K through 5th Grade.

On our application, prospective families indicate if they are applying to Ethical Culture or Fieldston Lower. There is also an option to be considered at both elementary divisions.

Learn more about Ethical Culture

Learn more about Fieldston Lower

Admissions process for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade

The application deadline for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade prospective families is Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

Applicants for Pre-K must be four years old by September 1, 2024. Kindergarten applicants must be five years old by September 1, 2024. 1st Grade applicants must be six years old by September 1, 2024.

Submit the application

Create a parent portal account in our online application system.


Submit the $75 application fee or fee waiver

Our application fee, payable online, is $75. We are happy to provide a fee waiver to qualifying families who request one by contacting us at 718-329-7575.


Send the school report form for Pre-K
  • School report requests can be initiated using your parent portal checklist.
    • Note: School reports can be initiated using our online application portal. If you require a fillable PDF of a school report or teacher recommendation form, please contact our office. 
    • We do not require or accept standardized testing for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade applicants. 

Send the school report form for Kindergarten and 1st Grade
  • School report requests can be initiated using the parent portal checklist.
    • Note: School reports can be initiated using our online application portal. If you require a fillable PDF of a school report or teacher recommendation form, please contact our office. 
    • We do not require or accept standardized testing for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade applicants. 

Complete the on-campus playgroup assessment and Fieldston campus tour

Playgroups for all prospective Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade* students will take place in-person at the Fieldston campus in Riverdale.

This is regardless of which elementary division your family is applying to. Parents/guardians will be given a site tour of the Fieldston Middle and Upper campuses during their child’s playgroup. The on campus playgroup and Fieldston campus tour together last about 1½  hours. 

During the playgroup, two members of the admissions staff observe the children in a classroom setting. The children have an opportunity to interact with one another and work with age appropriate materials that are fun and familiar. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal.

Kindergarten playgroups begin in October and Pre-K playgroups begin in November. Playgroups are scheduled through January.

*Note: 1st Grade applicants applying only to our Ethical Culture division will not be scheduled for a play assessment as 1st Grade is an attrition-based entry point for that division. Families applying to 1st Grade who indicate on their application that they would like to be considered at both elementary divisions will be scheduled for a playgroup assessment. 


Attend an Ethical Culture tour or Fieldston Lower tour
  • Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to register for a tour of the division to which they are applying (either Ethical Culture or Fieldston Lower), which take place on mornings throughout the fall. These 1½ hour tours are conducted by parent volunteers and a member of the ECFS Admissions team and include a group Q&A meeting with a division administrator. Parents/guardians will use their parent portal checklist to self-schedule a date and time that is convenient for their family. 

 


Attend an online parent/guardian interview
  • Families applying to Pre-K, Kindergarten, or 1st Grade (Fieldston Lower only) will attend a required, online one-on-one parent/guardian interview with a member of the ECFS Admissions team. Parents/guardians will use their parent portal checklist to self-schedule a date and time that is convenient for their family.

 


Admissions Process for 2nd Grade–5th Grade

Openings in 2nd–5th Grade are dependent on attrition. We welcome applications to these grades; please feel free to contact our office with any questions.

Submit the application

Create a parent portal account in our online application system.


Submit the $75 application fee or fee waiver

Our application fee, payable online, is $75. We are happy to provide a fee waiver to qualifying families who request one by contacting us at 718-329-7575.


Send the school report form

School report requests can be initiated using the parent portal checklist. 


Send the teacher evaluation form

Teacher recommendation requests can be initiated using the parent portal checklist.


Submit an official school transcript

2nd–5th Grade school report requests can be initiated using the parent portal checklist.


Visit campus for an assessment and attend the parent/guardian interview

If we anticipate a possible opening in the grade to which you are applying, we will schedule a parent/guardian interview and your child will be invited to schedule a one-on-one assessment on campus.


Parents and guardians of students applying to 2nd Grade through 5th Grade at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School will receive an invitation to attend an event specifically for families applying to an attrition-based grade in December. During this event, parents and guardians will learn more about the division to which they have applied, learn more about the attrition-based application process, and they will have the opportunity to meet with lower school administrators, teachers, and members of the Admissions team.

Sibling, alumni, and faculty/staff applicants

Sibling, alumni, faculty and staff applicant families are given special consideration during the admissions process. We strive to keep families together at ECFS. However, due to the sheer quantity of applications we receive, admission is not automatic nor guaranteed. All applicants (regardless of prior family connection to the School) are evaluated according to the same criteria, and all admission decisions consider the best interest of each individual child. It is wonderful that the number of sibling, alumni, and faculty/staff families applying to ECFS continues to increase. While we value ECFS’s community of siblings, alumni, and faculty/staff, we are also committed to providing access to new families whose values and goals reflect the School’s mission. We ask that our sibling, alumni, and faculty and staff applicant families submit their applications by Monday 10/2.