The Gateway School

Basic Information

Address: 211 West 61st Street, 6th Floor New York, NY
County: New York
Phone Number: (212) 777-5966
Fax Number: (212) 247-0269
President: Carolyn Salzman
School Type: Special Education

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The Gateway School
The Gateway School
The Gateway School
The Gateway School

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Additional Information

Founded: 1965
Ages/Grades: K-8
School Setting:

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in close proximity to Lincoln Center, Gateway is very proud of its environmentally low-impact school building. LEED Silver-certified in 2009, our 35,000 square feet features:
• classrooms acoustically designed to meet our students’ auditory processing needs
• a library
• two science laboratories
• a multi-purpose common room that serves as a lunchroom, theater, and lecture space
• a junior-size gym
• two movement rooms
• art, fabrication, and photography rooms
• a kiln
Technology and sophisticated video equipment are installed and used throughout the school.

School Size: 180
Classroom Size: In the Lower School, the typical homeroom has 10 to 11 students with two teachers (a Head Teacher and an Assistant Teacher). In the Middle School, the average Advisory has 4 to 5 students, with two Advisories sharing a homeroom.
Student/Teacher Ratio: 3:1


Financial Aid:

Financial aid is available and families are encouraged to apply. It is offered on the basis of need.


Our independent school curriculum weaves together the skills and strategies necessary for learning academic content that students require to successfully participate in general classrooms, including college preparatory high schools.

Percentage of Graduating Class: 100
Camp Programs: No
After School Programs: Yes
Mission Statement:

The Gateway School is a K-8, independent day school that transforms the lives of bright students with language-based learning disabilities and attention deficits. At Gateway, our students become skilled, strategic learners and confident self-advocates. Relying on direct, multisensory instruction and guided by an integrated curriculum, expert faculty teach students the language, literacy, and critical thinking skills that are the foundations for success in mainstream educational settings and beyond. Gateway believes a close relationship between the school and parents provides essential support as students grow and seek to realize their potential. In small classes and as members of a diverse and inclusive community, Gateway students experience academic and social success, recognize their strengths, and are empowered to become independent learners.

School History: Founded 50 years ago, Gateway was one of the first schools of its kind and, today, is very proud of its history as a pioneer and leader in the field of special education. In 1964, a prominent advocate for a child’s right to an education, Martha Bernard, introduced an educator at Columbia University Teachers College to a mother who could not find a school that would accept her son. Building on principles elucidated from her study and her widely acclaimed demonstration classes at Teachers College, Elizabeth Freidus joined forces with Claire Flom to establish The Gateway School of New York. Their mission and vision were to teach bright children who had trouble learning how to learn, to educate their families and the professional community about the nature of learning disabilities, and to develop and disseminate effective instructional approaches and programs for students with special needs. Over the years, Gateway has remained deliberately small, yet expanded and relocated in response to parents’ demand for its reliably effective approach to equipping students for successful transitions to mainstream schooling. The highlights in Gateway’s history are: In 1965, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church becomes Gateway’s original benefactor, agreeing to a minimal rent for generous space in which the school thrived for 36 years. In the mid-1970s, Gateway is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Education as an “approved non-public school.” In 1998, Gateway adds the Transition Program and extends its program through 6th Grade. Gateway relocates in 2001 to its first schoolhouse, an American Institute of Architects award-winning building at 236 Second Avenue, which it subsequently names The Evelyn McKenzie Building to commemorate a beloved teacher. In 2003, Gateway is the second independent special education school in New York City to be accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools. In 2008, Gateway opens a Middle School to serve students through 8th grade and moves to its current home at 211 West 61st Street. The Center for Educational Enrichment opens in 2009, introducing programming for Middle and High School students aimed at enhancing the motivation to learn by honing students’ executive function skills and ability to collaborate as they pursue an interest or passion. Partnering with the Keshavlal V. Bodani Education Foundation in India, Gateway collaborates on the founding of Gateway Mumbai in 2010. In 2010, Gateway is the first independent school to receive the National Center for Learning Disabilities’ Founder’s Award for exceptional service to children and families. Today, Gateway is a New York State Association of Independent Schools-accredited independent school and enrolls 160 boys and girls ages 5 to 14. In June 2014, the Board of Trustees adopted a strategic plan that will secure Gateway’s position as one of the premier independent schools serving students with special needs. In response to the market’s demand for more seats in schools for students with learning disabilities, Gateway will grow its enrollment to a total of 180 students over the next five years. This growth will occur in the Lower School with the acceptance of one additional class of students annually. This slow and carefully orchestrated expansion will ensure Gateway continues to enroll only those students who will benefit most from its program. While proud of its long affiliation with the State of New York as a designated non-public school, Gateway will no longer accept new student referrals from the New York City Department of Education. It will continue to serve its current population of publicly funded students. Coupled with the implementation of a new, comprehensive independent school curriculum designed to meet the learning needs of its entire student body, Gateway looks forward to developing its future generation of students into skilled, strategic learners ready to realize their potential in school and in life.