Chris Herman

Welcome to Garden School  

Great schools are ones where children are known, where their talents are tapped, their interests engaged, and their minds challenged and enriched. Garden was founded in 1923 to meet the need for a great school – a high-quality, individualized, independent program.  


The vision then was to serve the bright and talented young people of Queens and the core of this neighborhood school’s early vision remains unchanged. The faculty combine the wisdom of our traditions with the science of educational research to offer every student an extraordinary experience that maximizes their academic and personal potential, in an atmosphere where the family is included and the individual nurtured. 


Garden is a school on the move. We are growing new programs every day, making a meaningful impact in the community, and building partnerships across Queens and the city so students have the best of what can be found both inside and outside of the classroom. We are doing this with an entrepreneurial spirit, a focus on the future, and a team of innovative and dedicated educators.  


We recently published the Road to 100, a new strategic plan guiding us toward our centennial. The plan has initiated dramatic growth in programs in the Humanities, the Arts, Robotics and Sciences, Athletics and Wellness, and more. It has enabled us to embark on the most significant campus renovations in a generation with all new Upper Division learning spaces, Fitness Center, Student Lounge, and state-of-the-art Science Lab. Next year we begin similar work on new Visual and Performing Art studios, Theater, and Lower Division Classrooms.  


While thinking big, we remain a tight knit family-oriented school that helps students develop by tapping into their curiosity and teaching them to see one another as members of a rich and diverse global community. It is that sense of being part of something larger – a culture of caring for and reaching out to others – that makes Garden a home away from home for our students and keeps our over 2,000 alums coming back to serve and mentor.   

Garden’s “small-by-design” ethic enables us to focus on the individual child while also being large enough to ensure students are afforded every social, academic, athletic, and creative opportunity out there. Our intentional and nurturing environment creates a safe space for students to set ambitious goals, grow intellectually, and take appropriate risks in the classroom, on the stage, and on the field. 


Beginning with the careful nurturing of our youngest students, Garden’s program culminates in a collaborative college counseling process which yields acceptances at top schools every year. At each level of the school, we work to understand the goals of families while preparing children to take on their next challenge be it first grade, middle school, or college. As an independent school we are free to make choices for students, act nimbly, and be responsive. Our independence enables faculty to focus on their passion for teaching and present material in a way that builds toward the highest standards. 


Garden’s lower tuition, compared with other independent schools in the NYC area, makes us a realistic option to a broad range of families. Our diverse student body reflects the dynamic Queens community and helps facilitate an inherent ongoing cultural exchange. Our commitment to access, diversity, and individualization is intrinsic to all that we do and core to the strong relationships formed here.    


When you choose a school, you place trust in the institution, and the institution promises to offer the best experience in an environment in which your child will be seen, understood, and valued as an individual. We partner with all of our families to fulfill that promise. Thousands of families have put their trust in us, and our nearly 100 years of success with students prove that their trust has paid off.  


Please explore the website, check out our social media, and come in a for a visit to learn more about what awaits your child and your family at Garden School.


Christopher F. Herman MEd
Head of School, P’28, ’39

Garden School Mission

Garden School, in the independent tradition, affirms the primacy of learning. We empower every student in our educationally diverse community to meet responsibly the challenges of everyday life by promoting academic achievement, personal development and social involvement. We further believe that by recognizing each student’s individual identity, Garden School fosters the self-worth necessary to succeed.

We Believe…

  • that the greater the institutional effort, the greater the chance for student success
  • that the desire to succeed is inherent in every student
  • that all children can learn; some learn in different ways
  • that all members of the school community share in the responsibilities of learning
  • that providing developmentally appropriate challenges elicits creative and critical thinking
  • that high academic expectations encourage maximum personal achievement, promoting self-esteem and self-confidence
  • that the more actively a student participates in learning, the richer the educational experience
  • that responsibility and freedom are essential to the development of internal structure and self-discipline
  • that it is a primary objective of the school to understand, address and respond to the identity and the needs of all members of our community
  • that technology plays a supportive role in the educational process
  • that providing students with a comprehensive educational experience increases social, personal and academic development
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