Known for its academically rigorous program and supportive community, Mary McDowell Friends School is one of New York City’s leading schools for students with learning disabilities. We first opened our doors in 1984 when a group of parents, special education professionals, and community members came together to meet the needs of elementary age children with learning disabilities in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Our first class began with just five students, and today we have 395 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in three buildings.

As our guiding principle, we believe that every student with learning disabilities can learn when given the attention and specialized resources she/he/they needs. Our college preparatory program is rich, supportive, and challenging. A leader in multi-sensory, integrated special education, we are deeply committed to helping students achieve academic and personal success.

Quaker values and traditions are at the heart of our approach to education. We recognize that each student has unique and important contributions to make, and strive to foster those gifts in everything we do.  Our efforts extend beyond the classroom, incorporating the visual and performing arts, athletic teams, field studies programs, cross-cultural travel, and community service.

We have a phrase that sums up our approach to educating children with learning disabilities: “Revealing Brilliance.” To learn what we mean by this phrase, click here.

Everyday I have the joy of witnessing the dramatic impact of our program on the lives of our students and their families. We hope you will visit us to see for yourself what makes Mary McDowell Friends School such a very special place.

In Friendship,

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Debbie Zlotowitz
Head of School