Welcome from the Head of School



At Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, our mission is to balance a rigorous comprehensive college preparatory curriculum with healthy social and emotional development. We celebrate our students’ ideas and creativity in a supportive and warm environment in which it is safe to learn, reflect and commit to academic achievement and social responsibility. The opportunities available at CGPS are as diverse as our student body, which is made up of children with a wide range of talents, interests and backgrounds. We are proud that our kids lead balanced lives and enjoy balanced school experiences, the hallmarks of a CGPS education.


Over 250 years of history in independent school education has taught us the importance of balance. Through balance, we support our immensely talented students in all aspects of their lives, from academics, to arts, athletics, and community outreach. We believe that the student should be the center of the CGPS academic experience. Through engaging a child’s mind and supporting a child’s curiosity, we champion outstanding students who are prepared to excel with the flexibility and innovation needed for global success.


Our students have been scholars and upstanding citizens since before the American Revolution. The history of Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School is uniquely woven into the fabric of our nation and New York City itself. Originally founded downtown on Little Queen Street in 1764 as a boys’ preparatory school for Kings College (now Columbia University), the Grammar School functioned for 100 years under the direct auspices of the college, providing more than half of its student body. In 1864, the School ended its relationship with the college, and moved to midtown. In 1956, we became a co-educational institution and found our current home on the vibrant Upper West Side of Manhattan, adjacent to Central Park.


Most recently, our Upper West Side facilities have expanded to ensure that our students have access to state-of-the-art technology and extensive spaces for instruction, collaboration, assembly and performances both creative and athletic. Our multi-building campus is the perfect home for our inspiring and supportive academic community.


If you are a current CGPS student or parent, I look forward to seeing you on campus. If you are a prospective student or parent, we invite you to come visit and experience New York City’s leader in student-focused education in person. We look forward to meeting you.


Dr. William M. Donohue

Head of School

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