To apply for the 2023–2024 academic year, click here.

To register to attend a fall event for prospective families, complete our inquiry form here.

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 Tuesday 11/15.

Applicants for Pre-K must be four years old by September 1, 2023. Kindergarten applicants must be five years old by September 1, 2023. 1st Grade applicants must be six years old by September 1, 2023.

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. Please use your parent portal checklist to self-schedule a date and time that is most convenient for your family. 
  • Please note that you will be able to self-schedule your division tour and parent/guardian interview after Tuesday 9/6.

 


Attend an online parent/guardian interview
  • Families applying to Pre-K, Kindergarten, or 1st Grade* will be scheduled to attend a required, online one-on-one parent/guardian interview with a member of the ECFS Admissions team via Google Meet. *Fieldston Lower Only
  • Please note that you will be able to self-schedule your division tour and parent/guardian interview after Tuesday 9/6.

 


Admissions Process for 2nd Grade–5th Grade

Openings in 2nd–5th Grade are dependent on attrition. We welcome applications to these grades but do not guarantee an interview since we cannot predict openings.

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

Submit an official school transcript


Visit campus for an 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 grades 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 10/3.