Mission & Philosophy

Our Mission


At Muscota New School we believe that all children come to school with a desire to make sense of the world, and we provide a safe, nurturing, environment in which all children can experiment, reflect, develop understandings, make connections and become active participants in their own learning. Students accomplish this on a daily basis, by engaging with their environment, by interacting with people and educational materials, through their own inquiry and by following their own innate curiosity towards the goal of becoming lifelong learners.


Our focus is on the learner, both adult and child, as we encourage everyone to use their minds well. The adults of the community (educators and family members) develop and celebrate each person’s strengths and talents.

We are committed to diversity -- of the community and within our classrooms, both in student population and teaching staff. We believe this combination - the emphasis on the individual and responsibility to the families of Northern Manhattan - brings together the most positive aspects of a community-based, public school of choice.


Our Philosophy


Muscota was founded upon five basic commitments:

to academic excellence;

to the arts;

to community;

to the development of a diverse student population;

to the development of each student’s well being and full human potential


It is the goal of Muscota is to provide a rich and rigorous academic program from which each student will develop a personal commitment to learning, a respect for independent thinking, and an expanding curiosity about the world and its people. We consider certain skills to be essential for all of our students: to read well, to write clearly and coherently, to study effectively, to reason soundly, and to question thoughtfully. (Learn their own learning tools.)


Through our educational process, we assist students to gain self-esteem, self-knowledge, and respect for the knowledge and opinions of others. We also believe that education is a joint venture among students, parents and teachers. To be effective with young people, teachers and parents must themselves continue to learn, so that they may perceive the young accurately and treat them wisely.


Arts are an essential part of the curriculum at Muscota and it is important for students to express themselves creatively and to use their imaginations freely. Drama, visual arts, singing, dancing and playwriting are significant parts of student life at Muscota.


Through our academic program and partnerships, we seek to promote social, political, and moral understanding, and to instill a respect for all humanity and the earth.


The uniqueness of children is revealed in their very existence and that it is the school’s responsibility to foster their innate sense of the mystery and joy of life.