Applying to Fieldston Middle

Current applicants for the 2022–2023 academic year can access their parent portal here. If you'd like to learn more about our School, submit an inquiry here.

Thank you for your interest in the Ethical Culture Fieldston School! While we acknowledge the challenging circumstances that we continue to navigate, we are excited to begin this journey with you and look forward to sharing what makes ECFS such a special school and community.

We place each of our applicants, from Pre-K through 11th Grade, at the center of our process, which informs all of the careful considerations we make when meeting and getting to know our prospective students and families. Please rest assured that — although this year's admissions cycle will unfold mostly online — we are deeply committed to maintaining our highest level of care in supporting you through the process and ensuring the experience is a meaningful one for you and your child, should you choose to apply.


Located on our campus in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, Fieldston Middle serves students in 6th Grade through 8th Grade. These years are filled with transition, and our focus is on supporting students’ social and emotional learning. Our instructional methods are rooted in our commitment to academic excellence, progressive education, and ethical learning.

“From the time students enter 6th Grade to the time they’re in 8th Grade, we see a shift in their focus — from wondering who they are to eventually understanding how they can effect change in the world around them.” — Jon Alschuler, Interim Principal of Fieldston Middle

Learn more about Fieldston Middle

6th Grade

Our application deadline for 6th Grade for the 2022–2023 academic year has now passed.

Things you’ll need to submit 

  • Application

  • School report form

  • Official school transcript

  • ISEE or SSAT standardized test scores (optional for 2022–2023 application cycle, see below for more information)

  • Graded/evaluated English or history writing sample, preferably with teacher’s comments and corresponding grading rubric (if opting out of submitting an ISEE or SSAT score report, see below for more information)

  • Academic recommendation from a current teacher 

  • $100 application fee or fee waiver

Note: School reports and teacher recommendation requests are initiated using your parent portal checklist. If you require a fillable PDF of a school report or teacher recommendation form, please contact our office. We recognize the unusual nature of both this academic year and last; if you would like to submit additional teacher recommendations for previous academic years in addition to the required recommendations, we would welcome them. These too can be initiated using the optional recommendation item on your parent portal checklist.

Your interview and virtual visit

Families applying to 6th Grade will be invited to attend a required online interview conversation with a member of our admissions staff or faculty via Google Meet. We will reach out to schedule the interview conversation once your submitted application has been processed. Additionally, we will be providing several opportunities for applicants and their families to attend online virtual visits highlighting our campus and community. Registration for these events will appear on your parent portal checklist as they are calendared.


Attrition-based admission to ECFS: 7th–8th Grade

Things you’ll need to submit

  • Application (Please contact us at admissions-fieldston@ecfs.org to request an application for attrition-based consideration.)

  • School report form

  • Official school transcript

  • ISEE or SSAT standardized test scores (optional for 2022–2023 application cycle, see below for more information)

  • Graded/evaluated English or history writing sample, preferably with teacher’s comments and corresponding grading rubric (if opting out of submitting an ISEE or SSAT score report, see below for more information)

  • Academic recommendations: One each from a current math teacher and a current English teacher

  • $100 application fee or fee waiver

Note: School reports and teacher recommendation requests can be initiated using our online application portal. We recognize the unusual nature of both this academic year and last; if you would like to submit additional teacher recommendations for previous academic years in addition to the required recommendations, we would welcome them. These too can be initiated using the optional recommendation item on your parent portal checklist.

Your interview and virtual visit

Families applying to 7th and 8th Grade will be invited to attend a required online interview conversation with a member of our admissions staff or faculty via Google Meet. We will reach out to schedule the interview conversation once your submitted application has been processed. (Please note that an invitation to interview does not indicate we anticipate having an open seat into the grade to which you are applying.) Additionally, we will be providing several opportunities for applicants and their families to attend online virtual visits highlighting our campus and community. Registration for these events will appear on your parent portal checklist as they are calendared.


2022–2023 ECFS testing policy for applicants to 6th Grade through 11th Grade

As a progressive institution, ECFS recognizes there are many metrics by which to measure and assess a student’s skills, academic benchmarks, and social/emotional development. Although in years past we have required results from the ISEE or SSAT for applicants to 6th through 11th Grade, the consideration of those results has never been central to our evaluation of a student’s overall application. As such, to bring our application requirements more in line with our admissions committee’s practice, for the 2022–2023 admissions cycle, we will adopt a “test optional” policy for applicants to Fieldston Middle and Fieldston Upper.

Under this policy, applicant families have the option to either submit results from the ISEE or SSAT, or, instead, submit a graded/evaluated English or humanities writing sample (with, preferably, teacher comments and/or the corresponding grading rubric).

For applicant families who elect to submit ISEE or SSAT testing results, those reports will only be used to help contextualize other items in the applicant’s file, and will continue to be considered as a non-essential component of our overall process. For applicant families who elect to submit a graded/evaluated writing sample, the admissions committee will only view the absence of test scores as an indication of that family’s preference under this policy.

Should you have any questions about our “test optional” policy, please feel free to contact us at admissions-fieldston@ecfs.org.


Sibling, alumni, and faculty/staff applicants

Sibling, alumni, and faculty/staff applicants 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/staff applicants submit their applications by Monday 10/4.