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Preschool

Welcome to Dwight's Preschool

These years are an exciting time for growth and exploration for both our students and families, and we look forward to embarking on this exciting journey with you.

We’re delighted to introduce children to their first classroom experience in our warm, nurturing environment. Our student-centered approach encourages children to discover the world around them, while learning to connect with others and developing a strong sense of self. In Dwight’s tradition of igniting the spark of genius in every child, we help students begin to unlock their unique talents and interests and allow their natural abilities to flourish.

We’re proud to offer one of the most respected curriculums in the world, the inquiry-based Primary Years Program (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate. The engaging private preschool curriculum encourages students to ask questions and actively participate in their learning. Our highly qualified teachers in our 2s, 3s, and Pre-K programs apply best practices in early childhood education, leading the way for students to become enthusiastic, caring, compassionate, internationally minded learners and problem-solvers.

The Preschool offers the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) to children ages three through five. The nature of the PYP places the child at the center, which allows Dwight to consistently position the students’ strengths and interests at the forefront of the learning experience.

Our team of early education experts includes six specialists, who share their passion and areas of expertise with students: 

  • Spanish and Mandarin: We begin language instruction earlier than most, teaching Spanish and Mandarin beginning in preschool.
  • Physical health and wellness: Students learn about their bodies, healthy eating, and exercise, and build skills like cooperation and teamwork. 
  • Music: Students play with instruments and props, strengthen their language skills, and, of course, sing! 
  • Studio: Students explore a variety of subjects and build skills through hands-on learning. 
  • Library: We foster a love of reading right from the start! Through reading, students access a variety of perspectives on the content they’re learning in class.  

Our bright and spacious Riverside Campus, located on Riverside Boulevard between 66th-68th Streets, is just a few feet from Riverside Park and multiple playgrounds, offering views across the Hudson River. Our 94th Street Campus, at 705 Columbus Avenue, is located just five blocks from Dwight's CPW Campus on 89th Street and Central Park West and boasts 20,000 square feet of play space.

I encourage you to visit, attend an admissions open house, meet our wonderful teachers, and see for yourself what makes our Preschool so special. Check out our Preschool application process and apply today.

Christine Allen | Head of Dwight’s Early Childhood Division

Preschool Young 2s

The warm and nurturing environment of our Young 2s Program provides the ideal first classroom experience. During these early preschool years, children experience huge intellectual, social, and emotional changes that enable them to explore and understand their world. It is a very exciting time for parents and children. Check out our preschool application process and apply today.

  • Age: Children who turn two years old between September 1 and January 1 of the academic year
  • Class size: Young 2s classes are comprised of a maximum of 10 students with two teachers

Select from several program options:

  • Riverside Campus: Classes meet two, three, or five mornings per week; families can indicate their preferred 2/3 day schedule (8:30-11:30 am) 
  • 94th Street Campus: Classes meet two mornings per week (Tuesday/Thursday 8:30-11:30am)

Preschool 2s

The warm and nurturing environment of our Preschool 2s program provides the ideal first classroom experience. During this year, children experience huge intellectual, social, and emotional changes that enable them to explore and understand their world. Check out our preschool 2s application process and apply today.

  • Age: Children who turn two years old prior to September 1 of the academic year
  • Class size: Our 2s classes are grouped closely by age and are comprised of 8-12 students with two teachers. 
  • Curriculum: Preschool 2s is a modified version of the first year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program
  • Language Learning: Spanish

Select from several program options:

  • Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 8:30 am-12 pm
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, 8:30 am-12 pm
  • Monday through Friday mornings, 8:30 am-12 pm

2s students have an option to extend their day through 2:30 pm. 

Preschool 3s

In our warm and nurturing 3s Program classrooms, teachers encourage children to explore the world around them while gaining confidence in a school setting. Students become increasingly social and teachers provide many opportunities for sharing and cooperation. At this stage, language and vocabulary develop quickly and children are encouraged to express themselves in a variety of ways.

  • Age: Children who turn three years old prior to September 1 of the academic year
  • Class size: Each class has a maximum of 15 students with two or three teachers
  • Curriculum: First year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program
  • Language Learning: Spanish

Select from two program options:

  • Monday through Friday mornings, 8:30 am-12 pm
  • Monday through Friday full days, 8:30 am-2:30 pm
  • Early-drop off and extensive after-school activities are available. 

Pre-K

Children in our Pre-K program are enthusiastic learners. They are encouraged to ask focused questions and explore varied ways of learning. Student questions guide the themes and units of inquiry and build upon children’s interests to expand their horizons.

  • Age: Children who turn four years old prior to September 1 of the academic year
  • Class size: Typical size is 15-18 students with two or three teachers
  • Curriculum: Second year of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program
  • Languages: Spanish and Mandarin
  • Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am–2:30 pm; early drop-off, extended-day, and extensive after-school activities are available


 What's Next?

Kindergarten Program

Kindergarten Placement support

Dwight School was one of the first ongoing schools nursery through twelfth grade school in New York City. The transition from preschool into kindergarten is a decision made with great care and we provide all of our families with support and guidance.

Alicia Morris, Associate Head and Kindergarten Placement Coordinator, leads our efforts in finding the right school for your child. She has She has two decades of experience in admissions and placement within New York City independent schools and also served as Dwight’s Director of Admissions for many years.
Many of our current Pre-K families whose children are developmentally ready and meet our September 1 birthday cut-off continue on into our Kindergarten by re-enrolling in January. For those who wish to explore other ongoing, single-sex, religiously affiliated, or public schools are provided with the utmost support beginning in the spring prior to entering Pre-K.

Kindergarten placement at Dwight begins with a spring workshop to educate all families about the admissions process and to assist them in exploring the many options available. We hold individual meetings with families in spring to begin the planning process and provide ongoing support throughout the admissions season. We take great pride in understanding each and every family’s individual needs and develop strong relationships within our community to assist in every student’s journey to kindergarten.

To review the kindergarten acceptance list for the last two years, please click here.