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A message from Head of School David Egolf and Assistant Head of School Mansi Vasa.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Learn about Corlears School's history, educational philosophy, mission, core values, and more.

Meet our faculty and staff and explore the directory.



Everything prospective families need to know about Corlears admissions.

Outlining the admissions processes for each of our academic programs, from toddlers through fifth grade.
Visit our campus and go inside the curriculum with school leadership. 

Changing the paradigm from financial aid to equitable tuition level-setting for all families.
Quick Links
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Everything you need to know about Corlears School in one handy booklet. Follow the link to receive a digital copy in your inbox.
Early Childhood Division
The Roots program for ages 16–24 months celebrates the way toddlers learn best: through the art of play and wonderment. 

The Seedlings nursery program fosters the natural wonder and curiosity of 2- and 3-year-olds.

Empowering children to become even greater participants in their learning and school community.
Elementary Division
As Corlears students enter the all-important elementary years, it’s all about making connections and building independence.

Building the foundation kids need to fall in love with learning and gain confidence for everything to come.

Comprehensive, individualized support for all Corlears graduates.
Auxiliary Programs
Classic summer fun with plenty of outdoor play, arts and crafts, and fun with friends. Led by Corlears teachers. Open to all.

All about the before- and after-school care available to families enrolled at Corlears.

Free family activities available on select Saturdays throughout the school year.
Meet the volunteer Board of Trustees and learn more about the committees and structures that govern Corlears School.

Events, holidays, and school closings.
Corlears families are important members of our school community, and we offer a number of ways to get involved.

How to get connected and stay involved with Corlears School's alumni community.
Corlears is a small school, but our community has a big heart — and many ways to get involved.

Every dollar has a lasting impact — not just on  students attending Corlears today, but on all children who come through our doors.

There are a variety of opportunities available for current and alumni community members to get involved by volunteering their time. 


The Tuition Equity Fund (TEF) will serve as the foundation for Corlears School’s first-ever endowment. Corlears has committed significant resources to become the leading school for young children driven by diversity and equity. 

Through the Tuition Equity Fund, we strive to cultivate inclusion and belonging for all community members for generations to come. Your support of the TEF brings to life our vision of a vibrant and connected community like no other in New York City.

PreK student working on their slime

About Corlears

Corlears is a school made just for young children established in 1968. Below you'll learn about our mission, values, educational philosophy, and history.
Corlears School is one of the few schools in New York City that focuses exclusively on young children. At Corlears, children from toddlers through fifth grade are provided with the foundation they need to gain confidence and fall in love with learning. Since 1968, Corlears has specialized in guiding this age group with the belief that the start of your child’s academic life should be nothing short of exceptional!


Why Choose Seedlings at Corlears?

Why Choose Seedlings at Corlears?

Mission Statement

Corlears students learn, play and grow together in a school designed for who they are at ages 2 through 10. During these crucial formative years, we build a foundation of compassion, critical thinking, imagination and leadership, and cultivate a joy and confidence in learning that serves our graduates throughout their lives.

Educational Philosophy

As a school made just for young children, Corlears empowers students to become agents of their own learning at the critical, early ages when they are curious and open. We understand how important these formative years are for every child, which is why we have used decades of research in early childhood education and development to inform our educational philosophy.

What Makes Corlears Stand Out

  • Real-world, interdisciplinary curriculum. Our students use math, science, writing, social justice, and social-studies projects to make sense of the world around them. Literacy, quantitative reasoning, scientific inquiry, problem solving, and artistic expression are incorporated into every child’s course of study.  Our curriculum is tailored to each child's particular strengths and needs, because every child is an original. We strive to create a safe and supportive — yet challenging! — environment where students are encouraged to ask questions and express their ideas. As a result, our graduates are lifelong learners with strong foundational skills and deep understanding of themselves, their communities, and real-world topics.
  • Commitment to social justice and true belonging. We’re a community driven to make the world a better place—starting in our own backyard. Corlears students develop positive identities, celebrate differences, advocate for justice, and take action. Conversations about identity, race, and social justice are integrated into daily school life here, and we seek to build an economically and culturally diverse community that reflects the vibrant life of New York City.
  • Values-driven pedagogy. We are building a school where children learn to see things from multiple perspectives and think about diverse life experiences. With its values at the core, Corlears students cultivate curiosity about people, compassion for humanity, and grow to take responsibility and courageous actions to create communities of belonging.

Core Values to Believe In

Compassion. Growth. Courage to Act. Responsibility. Belonging. Curiosity. The core values at Corlears School are the guiding principles that shape how we communicate and collaborate as a community. By naming what we value, we are committing to what we believe is at the core of our school’s mission.

We’re building a school and a community where children learn to see things from multiple perspectives and think about diverse life experiences. Conversations about identity, race, and social justice are integrated into daily school life here; in our classrooms, in our play areas, and at every community event, we aim to create a community of belonging.

Corlears Core Values Printable

Social and Emotional Learning

At Corlears, we support and nurture all areas of a child's development in order to build a strong foundation for everything to come. This whole-child approach includes a social and emotional curriculum designed specifically for children from birth through elementary school.

Social and emotional skill development is crucial for adults, too; an adult's ability to self-regulate is the precursor to teaching children the same, and that's why our approach begins with the social and emotional health of all adults in the school community.

Corlears educators believe that everyday discipline issues can be transformed into teachable moments, equipping children with the social, emotional, and communication skills needed to improve their self- awareness, manage themselves, resolve conflict, and develop healthy behavior.

Our school culture is built on consistent modeling of core values, routines, rituals, and structures. Increasing social and emotional connections between adults and children at all levels ensures optimal development and learning for all members of the school family.

Our History

Corlears was founded in 1968 through the determined efforts of parents and educators working in the spirit of collaboration and innovation. The commitment of the original Corlears faculty and parents to provide students with the opportunity to explore, to question, and to take their learning beyond the classroom has always been the heart and soul of the school. 

During the search for a space, one of the teachers discovered the Corlears Community Nursery School, located on the Lower East Side in what was then known as the Corlears Hook neighborhood, and a partnership was formed. With few financial resources but a tremendous amount of dedication and practical skills from parents and teachers, a new and enlarged Corlears Community Nursery School opened on September 26, 1968. Within two years the little school was already outgrowing its space. Early growth and success encouraged parents and staff to consider expanding into the elementary grades, which meant that it was time again to find a new, bigger space. In December 1970, two adjoining townhouses were found on West 15th Street. Parents provided a loan to acquire the buildings and supplied architectural skills, building know-how and pure sweat equity to make the needed renovations. Corlears Community Nursery School officially became Corlears School and opened its doors on September 26, 1971.

The commitment of the original Corlears faculty and parents to provide students with the opportunity to explore, to question and to take their learning beyond the classroom has always been the heart and soul of the school. That commitment continues today along with an understanding of dynamic approaches to literacy development and mathematical thinking. Through the years it has also been our belief that this type of education should be available to everyone, and a solid commitment to diversity continues to this day. Though unique in many ways, Corlears is now firmly established among the Independent Schools of New York City while still maintaining the pioneering spirit of parents and educators working together to provide a rich educational foundation for its students.

Meet Our Founding Director

In the spring of 1968 Irene Neurath, then Head of the nursery division at Downtown Little School, left her position in search of a more collaborative educational environment. Encouraged by a group of teachers and parents who left the school with her, Irene set out to start a new school, which eventually became the Corlears School of today.
Irene Neurath, Corlears School founder
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Corlears School is a proud member of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) and the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).

Located in the Heart of Chelsea

You can find us just steps away from the A/C/E, 1/2/3, L, and PATH trains.

Connect with Admissions

Have questions? Our admissions team would be happy to help. Connect with the team anytime at admissions@corlearsschool.org, or click the button to subscribe for more information.