Cold Spring School was founded in 1982 by a group of parents who wanted the philosophy they admired at a much-loved childcare program to continue through their children’s elementary school years.

From the founding years to the present, our fundamental belief that children learn best when they are actively involved in the educational process has guided teachers and staff in the creation of a rich, child-centered learning environment. Teachers understand and respond to the strengths and challenges of each child and build a respectful partnership between student, teacher, and family.

To build a strong learning community, children usually stay with the same Master Teacher for two years in a mixed-grade grouping. These groupings provide younger children with the opportunity to learn routines, procedures, and expectations from older students. Conversely, older children develop leadership skills through interacting with younger children as reading buddies and in classroom situations.

When Cold Spring School moved to its current location in 1987, a fitness teacher was hired. Within several years, art, music, and Spanish were added to the curriculum and special area teachers in these disciplines joined  the faculty. The selection of Spanish was a way for students to foster a multi-cultural perspective and connect to the largely Latino neighborhood through language. In the fall of 2015, Cold Spring opened its Tinkering Lab for engineering, design, science, and math.

Parents founded Cold Spring School and parent involvement is still important to the program. Parents share professional skills within the context of a thematic study, chaperone field trips, and are a visible presence in the daily life of the school. The Board of Trustees has always been comprised almost exclusively of current and former parents. Leadership and implementation of the school’s mission have been carried out through our Directors: Irene Fiss from 1987 to 1998, Jeff Jonathan from 1998 to 2011, Interim Director Merrill Hall from 2011 to 2013, and now, Director Arati Pandit.