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Horace Mann High School vs Trinity High School vs Riverdale Country Day School

peacenblesspeacenbless Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Please help me chose between these schools. I need your help. Thank you so much.

Replies to: Horace Mann High School vs Trinity High School vs Riverdale Country Day School

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,713 Senior Member
    Have you been admitted to all 3?
  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    I was just about to ask the same thing @gardenstategal !

    @peacenbless when you find out where you have been admitted next month, you will be invited back to spend a day attending classes etc. I think that will be very helpful to you, if in fact you are admitted to all three. They are all fantastic schools, and you honestly can't go wrong with any of them.
  • rukthecookrukthecook Registered User Posts: 24 Junior Member
    Trinity may be seen as the hardest to get in and the most prestigious, and Riverdale may be seen as the most 'laid-back', but they are all schools with good reputations and it really depends on which ones you are admitted to in February and the one you feel most comfortable with.
  • peacenblesspeacenbless Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    No, I haven't received formal admission offers though my parents were told that I'll be getting the offers. I'm currently attending a gifted middle school in Texas. I'm two levels above my grade level in Maths and science. I'll be ready to take Calculus and AP Chemistry and AP Biology in grade 9th. Will these schools let me take math and science classes with 11th and 12th graders and rest with my own grade level 9th.
    Thank you so much
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    edited January 2018
    Where are you going to be living in the NY area? You should definitely be thinking about commute times. If you are in Manhattan, especially anywhere west of Central Park or uptown on the East Side, Trinity is going to be a whole lot easier to get to. If your family relocates anywhere in Westchester or Riverdale (or other parts north), Horace Mann might be the way to go.

    Calculus as a 9th grader should be no problem - plenty of kids take this path these days - so long as you have truly mastered the standard prerequisites. I bet no school will let you take two AP science courses simultaneously as a 9th grader. AP Bio is pretty easy, but AP Chem has caused a lot of heartache for many even talented kids. I'd stick with bio alone unless you know you are very good in chemistry. AP Physics C is the easiest of all for mathematically talented kids as a first course imo; less memorization than chem or bio and overall a more coherent presentation. Good luck, and let us know where you wind up!
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 923 Member
    The headmaster of Trinity wrote a thoughtful letter to the parents a few months ago which caused a bit of a stir: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/nyregion/trinity-school-letter-to-parents.html?_r=0

    Some thoughts that I’m sure others will dispute:

    Seen from afar, all of these places look very strong, but there are differences when viewed up close. Trinity is the oldest and most elite of the three, with very strong academics and college placement, which surely is influenced by the fact that they probably have the highest proportion of wealthy and influential NY families. Horace Mann is also academically at least as strong, possibly marginally less socially elite, and has the reputation of being a bit more Darwinian in how the students compete with and treat each other. Riverdale is academically at least a step below the other two but also has lots of wealthy families. HM and Riverdale are two of the three “Hill Schools” (the third is Fieldston) in a nice neighborhood of the Bronx, which means they have campuses and their own fields but are a pain to get to from Manhattan, if that’s where you’re going to be living. Trinity is in an urban environment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so much more convenient to anywhere but the Bronx or Westchester.

    Unless you are a true prodigy, I think you’ll find your planned courseload very challenging, and it may not fit the curricula/schedule at one or more of these places - you should talk with the staff/academic advisors at each school before making a decision. I’d suggest you keep an open mind.
  • NYCMomof3NYCMomof3 Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    edited January 2018
    I live in NYC and have friends with children in all three schools. Here in NYC, they are ranked (if that's what you're looking for ) Trinity, Horace Mann then Riverdale. They are pressure cooker schools. If you are up for that type of learning environment, then they are the schools for you.

    I don't know about what they'd allow a freshman to take but be sure that they will do a great job guiding you throughout HS.

    Also, I say this with a mother's heart, please don't be disappointed if not all three offer you a spot. I know you said that your parents were told they would...but sometimes things change. You will end up where you should be (at least that what I believe about this process).

    You cannnot go wrong with any of these three schools. There are many other great independent private schools in NYC which prepare and send their students to the best universities.

    Good luck
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 3,921 Senior Member
    Some of the more ‘elite’ NYC high schools, offer few or no APs, as there is very little range in the kids attending, so not as much need to differentiate their course work, and the regular classes they offer can be considered as or more challenging than AP work, but with added flexibility. So you may want to look closely at the course offerings if that is what is important to you.
  • GMC2918GMC2918 Registered User Posts: 912 Member
    I agree with @DeepBlue86 and @NYCMomof3 's characterizations of these three schools. (I went to Riverdale and have tons of friends with kids there, HM & Trinity)

    I would also caution you to keep in mind that they are private schools and definitely have their own way of doing things! I'm not sure if they offer AP classes - many of the top private schools here don't. But as @wisteria100 says above the classes will be as challenging, if not more. Indeed, the range of abilities will be of a high level, but not as wide as some G&T programs and therefore not really set up to accommodate very very advanced kids or kids who are on a different "track". You will most likely be required to take the regular academic track offered, including science (again, very advanced, but I'm not sure that they'd allow you to skip). Math & languages are a different story, where usually you take a placement test and then go into the appropriate class, regardless of grade level.

    There is an academic, athletic, arts and "social" curriculum at these schools, and that is what you choose to follow if you attend. Take a close look at the curriculum & academic requirements at each school to get a feel for what to expect. The pressure is quite intense academically, mainly because you're dealing with a very high-achieving and competitive population. But for a smart kid who is willing to push themselves (not just academically, extracurriculars are very important as well) you will be fine.

    For your sake, depending on your acceptances, I strongly recommend that you go to the revisit days. Meet the kids & teachers, attend classes, and talk to the academic dean at each school to understand your academic path. I think that experience will give you a much better feel for the environment at each, and which one would be the best fit for you. NYC is heaven for a HS kid - good luck!
  • NYCMomof3NYCMomof3 Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    edited January 2018
    I agree with what @GMC2918 said about revisit days. I cannot tell you how many students (including my own child) had one school at the top of their list before accepted students days and once done with the revisit, change their minds. Spending the day at the school and getting a feel for the environment, staff and student body is really important. Good Luck!

    Are you applying to any of the top specialized public schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech or Bard?
  • peacenblesspeacenbless Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Thank you so much everyone for taking time to post your responses. I appreciate it very much.
  • peacenblesspeacenbless Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    No I didn’t take the test for Stuyvesant.
  • sunnyschoolsunnyschool Registered User Posts: 1,121 Senior Member
    I'd choose the one that is the least pressure cooker and allows for most normalcy in childhood. >:D<
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 923 Member
    Unfortunately, no high-end NY private school is set up to foster “normalcy in childhood”. It’s not all “Gossip Girl”, but please understand that living in New York is inherently abnormal relative to anywhere else on the planet, and that the New York private school world is a gilded bubble inhabited by a few thousand kids, an alarming proportion of whose families are extraordinarily wealthy/influential. You’ll just have to embrace it, and make friends with the surprising number of kids who are relatively normal and grounded in spite of their environment. On the positive side, wherever you go to college, and afterward, you’re likely to have a network of people you know and can call on.
  • CenterCenter Registered User Posts: 2,270 Senior Member
    Riverdale is by far the most "normal". Horace Mann is the ultimate pressure cooker, Trinity is more of the gilded bubble of wealth and drivers for 10 year olds and Riverdale is actually much more of a mixed group. I know kids currently at all 3 and Riverdale bunch are most like typical kids.
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