When was the school founded?
Mary McDowell Friends School (MMFS) was founded in 1984.
What does it mean for our students to attend a Quaker school?
As the only K-12 Quaker school for students with learning disabilities in the United States, Mary McDowell Friends School is part of a long tradition of excellence in education. We value our relationship with Brooklyn Monthly Meeting, but MMFS is completely independent in its governance. The school is non-religious, and we welcome families of all religious beliefs and practices.
Quaker values of respect for the individual, integrity, equality, peaceful resolution of conflict, and commitment to service are fundamental to our approach to education. The Quaker emphasis on individual strengths and its embrace of differences dovetails perfectly with good educational practices for teaching students with learning disabilities.
We are committed to being an inclusive community of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Students benefit from exposure to various cultures and to a rich multiplicity of perspectives.
How many students are enrolled for the current school year?
There is a total of 395 students in all three divisions.
Elementary school: 136 students
Middle school: 113 students
Upper school: 146 students
What are the school hours?
Elementary School: 8:15 am – 3:00 pm
Middle School: 8:15 am – 3:00 pm
Upper School: 8:00 am – 3:15 pm
Is there an afterschool program?
Yes. There are afterschool programs in the elementary and middle schools. For more information, see Afterschool.
Are there extracurricular activities for upper school students?
The upper school does not have an afterschool program; however, students participate in theater productions, athletic teams, and clubs after school hours. They can choose to attend afterschool study hall on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Does MMFS have sports teams?
Yes. The middle and upper schools host several “Lightning” teams, listed below. The MMFS upper school teams and middle school track teams are members of the Independent School Athletic League. The other middle school teams are members of the Middle School Athletic League.
Middle School Teams
Fall season: Club Coed Soccer and Volleyball
Winter season: Girls Basketball and Boys Basketball
Spring season: Club Coed Softball and Track and Field
Upper School Teams
Fall season: Boys Varsity Soccer, Girls Varsity Volleyball, and Coed Varsity Cross Country
Winter season: Boys Varsity Basketball and Girls Varsity Basketball
Spring season: Coed Varsity Track
What is the average class size?
10 to 12 students with 2 teachers
12 students with 2 teachers.
English and math: 3 to 9 students with 1 teacher
Social studies and science: up to 15 students with 2 teachers
Spanish and ASL: 8 to 12 students with 1 teacher
The arts: 2-12 students with 1 teacher
Physical education: 5 to 19 students with 1 to 2 teachers
What is the size of elementary and middle school reading and math groups?
Cross-graded groups, ranging across 2 grades, range from 3 to 6 students with 1 teacher to facilitate differentiated instruction.
Where is the school located?
The Mary McDowell Friends School campus consists of three buildings, one for each division, located in brownstone Brooklyn, just a few subway stops from Manhattan.
Each division is housed in a separate building, all within a mile of each other and all surrounded by family friendly neighborhoods. The buildings are all close to public transportation, upscale shops, fine and casual dining, specialty food stores and several independent schools and colleges.
Elementary School (Cobble Hill)
20 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Subway: F and G
Middle School (Carroll Gardens)
133-135 Summit Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Subway: F and G
Upper School (Brooklyn Heights)
23 Sidney Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Subway: 2,3,4,5, N, R, A,C, F, and G
Is there transportation for students?
Yes. Transportation is provided by the Department of Education’s Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT). Students are eligible if they have an IEP. Busing routes and pick up and drop off times are coordinated through OPT.
What is the tuition for the current year?
The Individuals with Disabilities Act may entitle your child to reimbursement or funding. We suggest that all families investigate both Carter and Connor funding. Please discuss funding eligibility with an attorney or advocate who specializes in education law and is familiar with the process of dealing with the NYC Department of Education.
Is there financial aid available? How do I apply?
Yes. MMFS awards financial aid to families based on need without regard to race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. All financial aid information is confidential. To apply for financial aid, see Financial Aid.
Do students move on to mainstream schools?
Students transition to mainstream programs when appropriate at every age level. When/if a student is ready to mainstream, MMFS staff works closely with families to place students in the best environment to support his or her continued academic, social and emotional growth.
Where do MMFS alumni go to college?
A full-time college counselor advises students and works with families throughout the entire college application process. A list of colleges that MMFS alumni have attended or are currently attending can be found in Alumni.
Where do MMFS families live?
Students come from all five boroughs of the NY City metropolitan area.
Staten Island: 2.5%
What is the school’s accreditation?
Mary McDowell Friends School is accredited by both the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and Friends Council on Education.