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June 13, 2023

By ECFS Communications Team

As the 2022–2023 academic year at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School comes to an end, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the joyful, community-oriented year. Students engaged with new projects, cherished time-honored traditions, and celebrated another year of ethical, progressive, and experiential learning. Here, we look back at 10 highlights from an extraordinary year.

Homecoming 2022 Showcased our Orange Pride

Fieldston Upper field hockey team celebrates on sideline at Homecoming 2022.

Homecoming 2022 was a joyful celebration of community, athletics, and ECFS spirit! Alumni, students, families, and friends gathered on the Fieldston campus to connect with each other and show off their orange pride, and the ECFS Eagle welcomed Joe Algrant to his first Homecoming as Head of School! 

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It’s a Wrap for the First-Ever Fall City Semester

Fieldston Upper students present City Sem projects in the Student Commons.

For the first time ever, City Semester was available to Fieldston Upper 11th Graders this fall. Traditionally, ECFS’s own in-house semester away program has only been available during the spring semester. City Semester is unique among semester programs in that students are asked to examine their own New York City and, by doing so, examine themselves.

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Interdependence at Fieldston Lower: An Introduction to the Buddy Program

Two Fieldston Lower buddies read a book together while sitting in the grass.

Assistant Principal for Student Life Naomi Randolph has the perfect solution to mitigate the inevitable back-to-school jitters: the Fieldston Lower Buddy Program. The Buddy Program offers the opportunity for older students in 3rd–5th Grade to nurture meaningful connections and interactions with younger students in Pre-K–2nd Grade.

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Ethical Culture Renovates for the Future

Photo of newly renovated 5th floor at Ethical Culture.

When students returned to the Ethical Culture campus in September 2022, they were welcomed back to bright, fully renovated classrooms on the fifth floor, and three months later in December, a newly designed cafeteria in the basement was unveiled. The completion of these updates marks the culmination of the second phase of a three-phase renovation of the historic Central Park West building.

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Music Abounds at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School: A Recap of the Winter Concert Series

Ethical Culture students sing on risers at winter concert.

At the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, winter is an especially magical season. One of the most festive ways our students celebrate the holidays is by sharing the gift of music. A stroll down the halls in any of our four divisions in December and January will be peppered with the sounds of students singing and playing instruments and our music teachers excitedly planning for the widely anticipated Winter Concert Series.

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Fieldston Lower Book Club Develops a Deeper Understanding of Neurodiversity

Fieldston Lower students gather in a circle to discuss a book with their teacher on neurodiversity.

In March, the 4th Graders at Fieldston Lower embarked on a unit on neurodiversity that culminated just before Spring Recess. To begin, 4th Grade teachers Maggie Morrison, Katie Ward, and Matt Panek introduced neurodiversity, highlighting that every individual’s brain functions differently.

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ECFS’s Commitment to Financial Aid Offers Security, Access, and Community to Students and Families

Beautiful fall campus shot of the Fieldston Upper Quad.

At the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, financial aid is integral to creating a community that is welcoming, accessible, and reflective of New York City. Financial aid is given to one in four ECFS students, providing an educational experience that allows students to feel secure in their environment and to have access to all that ECFS has to offer, while also building community across all students and families.

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Fieldston Middle and Fieldston Upper Students Travel the Globe for Spring Recess

Fieldston Upper students pose in front of a large Buddha statue while on their international trip to Japan.

ECFS students are accustomed to questioning and exploring the world around them, but over the last few years, that exploration has been more limited to their backyard of New York City. Now, three years after COVID-19 paused international travel, Spring Recess trips for Fieldston Middle and Fieldston Upper students returned.

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Ethical Culture’s Young Playwrights Invite You Into the Mind of a 4th Grader

Ethical Culture 4th Graders pose on stage during the annual 4th Grade play.

If you ask a group of older students at ECFS about their fondest memories of 4th Grade at Ethical Culture, brace yourself to hear a recurring theme: the 4th Grade play, of course! Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events of the year, the 4th Grade play is a revered and cherished tradition at Ethical Culture, where students are given the opportunity to showcase their boundless creativity.

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Fieldston Middle’s 7th Grade Capstone Project Teaches Students to be Change Agents

Fieldston Middle 7th Graders gather in agora to work on their capstone projects.

The move for change can start close to home, and Fieldston Middle’s 7th Graders are learning this lesson through a capstone project tackling issues within their Ethical Culture Fieldston School community. The assignment challenged students to identify areas of concern that the Fieldston Middle students face and then collaborate with each other as well as faculty and staff to present proposals for improvement.

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