IDEA logo

Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably

Calhoun School

The Calhoun School is a progressive, independent, college preparatory school located in the heart of Manhattan's West Side. Calhoun's mission is to guide and challenge students so that they will emerge as sensitive, healthy, thoughtful, well-prepared citizens of the world community.

Calhoun School

Founded in 1896, Calhoun is a coeducational institution with 740 students, ranging from three-year-olds to twelfth graders. Calhoun supports each student’s aspirations for life, rather than distilling childhood into a competitive race to a specific college choice or vocation.Calhoun’s goal is to inspire a passion for learning through a progressive approach to education that values intellectual pursuit, creativity, diversity and community involvement. The goal of a Calhoun education is that all students fully develop their capacity for learning, oral and written expression, scientific and artistic pursuit, critical thinking, thoughtful analysis, true scholarship and compassion. The school prepares them with all the practical skills needed for further developing these qualities beyond their time at Calhoun. Calhoun encourages skepticism, insists on the discipline to present arguments based on careful research, and expects evaluation of all available evidence. Calhoun seeks to cultivate (or restore!) the innate curiosity and passion in every child.

Calhoun recognizes the various ways in which each child is a unique wonder, consistent with contemporary understanding of multiple intelligences and rich individual and cultural differences. While the school appreciates traditional notions of academic potential and achievement, they equally recognize and celebrate each child’s physical abilities, creativity, compassion, sense of social and economic justice, ability to perceive and create beauty, capacity to feel and express empathy, good humor, and strength of character.

Calhoun’s progressive approach to education attends to the intellectual, emotional and social growth of its students as individuals and as members of a larger society. Calhoun is dedicated to preserving the values of progressive education and to the strong scientific evidence that children learn best through active, experiential learning. The school is constantly revisiting how it teaches, with the same spirit and passion that they hope to convey to their students: that learning is a life-long, joyful process. At Calhoun, students at all grade levels are encouraged to express their ideas, opinions and feelings, orally and in writing. 


Andrew Hume, Director of Enrollment

Other Members

UP For Learning

UP for Learning helps educational institutions across the country fully engage students in their own learning through a research-based model that focuses on deepening youth-adult partnerships in schools.

Learn more

Salmonberry School

The Salmonberry School is a Washington State-approved private elementary school and an independent preschool serving children ages 3-12. The school offers a holistic learning experience that nurtures the intellectual and imaginative capabilities of each child.

Learn more