Manhattan Country School Through the Years

Manhattan Country School opened its doors on September 21, 1966. This timeline highlights key moments in the school's 50-year history. To share your MCS memories, visit http://www.manhattancountryschool.org/share-your-mcs-story

1965-06-01 17:10:50

MCS Legally Incorporated

1965-11-01 19:22:03

MCS Founder Gus Trowbridge Publishes the School's First Principles

1965-11-22 00:01:50

First MCS Board Meeting

November 22, 1965

1966-01-01 08:44:19

Kettering Foundation Grant of $60,500 Aids Purchase of 7 East 96th Street

1966-06-01 23:26:16

MCS Purchases 7 East 96th Street for $265,000

June 1, 1966

1966-09-21 00:00:00

MCS Opens

September 21, 1966: Manhattan Country School opens at 7 East 96th Street with 66 students—31 boys and 35 girls. Thirty-three students were on scholarship; 14 of those qualified for the lowest-fee category, paying 10 percent of the tuition. Black and Hispanic children made up a third of the student population.

1966-10-01 01:00:17

Jim Perkins, First Farm Director (1966-1970)

1967-01-01 00:00:00

7 East 96th Street Receives Landmark Status

1967-04-27 22:01:48

MCS Board Approves Purchase of Farm Property in Roxbury, N.Y.

April 27, 1967: The 167-acre farm was purchased for $24,469.

1968-04-05 04:39:35

MCS Featured in Time Magazine Article: "Mixing Races in Manhattan"

1968-05-01 22:01:48

MCS Fourth Graders Plant Pine Trees on the Hill Above the Farm in Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1968-05-17 21:34:06

MCS Featured on the "Today" Show

May 17, 1968: In a segment for the Today show, Barbara Walters says: "Manhattan Country School represents what the American public school was ideally supposed to be but rarely became."

1968-06-14 21:34:06

MCS Featured in Life Magazine Article: "Making Prejudice Impossible."

June 14, 1968

1969-01-01 07:12:13

First Farm Festival

1969-01-15 23:19:31

First MLK, Jr. Assembly

January 15, 1969

1969-04-09 23:19:31

First of Eight MCS Parent Seminars on Racial Awareness

April 9, 1969

1969-07-28 01:53:48

Farm Mortgage Paid Off and Burned

July 28, 1969

1970-01-03 23:21:38

First Animals at the MCS Farm: 250 Chickens

1970-02-02 18:34:14

MCS Black Caucus Submits "Demands"

February 2, 1970: MCS Black Caucus submits "demands" for increased minority enrollment and faculty and a black studies program

1971-06-01 19:22:03

First Graduating Class

MCS graduates its first class—eight eighth-graders. From Director Gus Trowbridge's graduation remarks to the graduates: "You have had the pride and pleasure of knowing that your place here has been unprecedented and unrivaled, that the path you have traveled has been over fresh ground, you have suffered from having no one ahead of you, no one older to lead the way, no one to take the blame or to warn you of the good places and the hard places that you have had to travel."

1971-09-23 06:53:45

MCS Receives Letter From Psychologist Erik H. Erikson

September 23, 1971: Erikson writes: "For me, the days at your school have always been a fountain of encouragement.... In the play constructions done, some messages came through with extraordinary force: the messages of being at ease with each other and with the staff; of wishing to express themselves freely, and of wanting at the same time to do a good job at whatever they are doing."

1971-10-01 01:00:17

Georgene Gardner, Acting Farm Director (1971-1973)

1971-10-01 06:53:45

Ford Foundation Funds Seminars in Support of MCS Tuition Reform

The Ford Foundation funds economic awareness seminars to establish tuition reform at MCS, a system designed to eliminate dual standards. Franklin Roosevelt, MCS parent and trustee: "[Tuition reform] is based on the precept that the school is one community of individuals joined in the common task of educating children... In such a community, the concept of 'tuition' becomes obsolete and the 'scholarship' category also disappears. All parents are treated alike; all are expected to contribute amounts of money which reflect their economic circumstances."

1972-03-20 07:12:13

MCS' Diversity Greater Than That of Other Private Schools

March 20, 1972: The National Association of Independent Schools reports membership's minority enrollment at 5.5 percent; 3.8 percent have blacks in administration. At MCS, 50 percent of students in entering classes are of color, with the same percentage for head teachers and administration.

1972-10-01 01:00:17

Jim Plummer, Farm Director (1972-1977)

1973-03-01 07:12:13

MCS Hosts Center for the Advancement of Integrated Education

From Spring 1973 to Spring 1976, MCS' Center for the Advancement of Integrated Education, to promote the move from desegregation to integration, is co-chaired by Kenneth B. Clark. Advisory Board: Julian Bond, Robert Coles, Jack Greenberg, Theodore Hesburgh and Eleanor Holmes Norton.

1973-04-12 17:26:44

Sliding-Scale Tuition Plan Adopted

1973-07-01 17:26:44

First Farm Camp

1974-05-15 15:43:01

MCS Holds Center for the Advancement of Integrated Education Conference

May 15, 1974: CAIE Conference: "Twenty Years After: Brown v. Board of Education." Speakers: psychologists Kenneth B. Clark and Thomas F. Pettigrew.

1975-01-01 09:15:19

Trustees Found Endowment Fund with $50K Gift From DeWitt Wallace Fund

1977-01-01 17:26:44

Textiles Studio and Nature Lab Constructed at the MCS Farm

A textiles studio and nature lab are constructed at the MCS Farm in the building formerly called the Wagon House.

1977-10-01 01:00:17

Walter Meade, Farm Director (1977-1980)

1980-01-01 06:53:45

Ford Foundation Funds Tuition Reform Publication

The Ford Foundation funds the publication of Tuition Reform for Private Schools: The MCS Plan, co-authored by Frank Roosevelt and Thomas Vitullo-Martin, who writes, "Tuition reform is better because it doesn't waste subsidies on the wealthy and because it doesn't treat the inclusion of lower-income families as a luxury."

1980-10-01 01:00:17

Tom Lutz and Ginny Scheer, Farm Co-Directors (1980-1981)

1981-10-03 02:55:34

Ginny Scheer, Farm Director (1981-2014)

1983-01-01 15:43:01

MCS Farm Launches Urban/Rural Exchange

MCS Farm launches Urban/Rural Exchange, matching MCS 9-10s students with Roxbury Central School fourth-graders as pen pals. Farm Director Ginny Scheer: "The school's 96th Street building was chosen to bring together two neigborhoods that would not otherwise have known each other. Similarly, the insistence on a deeply rural location for the MCS Farm has meant that MCS' country program has been in a position to bring together two other worlds, the rural and the urban."

1985-12-04 06:53:45

MCS Conference on Divestment From South Africa

December 4, 1985: MCS Conference on Divestment from South Africa marks the first occasion at which private schools address the option of socially responsible investment policies, and prompts the National Association of Independent Schools to urge member schools to "declare their opposition to apartheid as part of their educational responsibility."

1986-12-16 06:53:45

MCS Receives Letter From Coretta Scott King

December 16, 1986: In a letter to MCS, Coretta Scott King writes: "You will remember, I am sure, the vision of society that Martin described so vividly in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial—a society where children can simply be and discover the joy of each other. To the extent that you and your students, parents and teachers have remained true to that future not yet seen in society, you are bearers of a vision.... Please convey to all my sense of joy in your history, in your future, and in your celebration of a continuing sense of possibility.

1987-01-01 06:53:45

MCS Adds Civil Rights Movement to Sixth-Grade Curriculum

MCS faculty adopts recommendation to teach the Civil Rights Movement as the core of the sixth-grade social studies curriculum.

1988-04-30 16:37:59

MCS Hosts Conference On Multicultural Education, with keynote speaker Anthony Alvarado, Superintendent of Manhattan's District 2.

1988-10-23 15:43:01

MCS Receives First New York State Association of Independent Schools Accreditation Report

From the report: "Supporters of independent education usually cite their capacity for innovation and demonstration as a justification for the privileged existence of independent schools in our system; yet, all too often we fail to fulfill our potential for innovation. Manhattan Country School is a shining exception to this tragic generalization, and, for this reason, enhances all of independent education.... Only through the extension of the principles of MCS will we move toward a more just school system and society."

1989-01-01 00:00:00

MCS Forms Partnership with New York City Lab School for Gifted Education at P.S. 198.

1989-01-17 16:17:24

First Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March

January 17, 1989

1989-11-01 00:00:00

MCS Cited in the NAACP's Crisis Magazine

The NAACP's Crisis Magazine cites MCS as "New York's only realistically integrated private elementary school."

1990-01-01 16:37:59

MCS Awarded $150K Grant From Greentree Foundation

MCS is awarded a five-year grant of $150,000 from the Greentree Foundation to work with public schools. Michèle Solá is appointed director of the Public School Outreach Program.

1990-01-16 15:43:01

MLK March Makes the Front Page of the New York Times

January 16, 1990: Coverage of the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March was included on the front page of the New York Times. The march concluded at Gracie Mansion with a greeting from New York City's First Lady Joyce Dinkins. The story also appears in the New York Post, Newsday, The New York Daily News, the Amsterdam News and the Greek American Daily.

1991-01-01 16:37:59

MCS Hosts Second Conference on Multicultural Education

"Models That Work," MCS' second conference on multicultural education, co-sponsored with the Lab School, draws more than 300 participants. The event opened with children from MCS and the Creative Learning Community in East Harlem presenting a hand-sewn "Gorgeous Mosaic of Children's Lives and Dreams" quilt to Mrs. Joyce Dinkins, wife of New York City's first black mayor.

1991-06-01 20:20:21

MCS Receives Planning Grant from Beech Street Foundation

MCS receives a planning grant from Beech Street Foundation to develop a model gender equity curriculum.

1991-06-10 20:20:21

MCS Presents Its First Living the Dream Book Award

June 10, 1991: The first Living the Dream Book Award, presented by fifth-graders from MCS and P.S. 151 in recognition of a book that enhances all children's self-esteem and dispels their prejudices toward children of cultures different from their own. Recipient: Phil Mendez for The Black Snowman.

1992-05-01 18:34:38

MCS' 25th Anniversary

Manhattan Country School Through the Years

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