A school is defined as a place or institution for teaching and learning; an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. The word "school" is used to define any English language institute, undergraduate or graduate program, or secondary ("high") school. A university or college which follows high school or a secondary school are all considered schools.
Collegiate School is a private school for boys located in Manhattan, New York City. It is the oldest school in America of any kind. Collegiate School is mentioned as both the oldest and one of the most prestigious independent schools in the nation by Successful Student. The school is also described as the oldest independent school in the United States by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design. The U.S. National Park Service recognizes Collegiate School as the oldest private secondary school in the United States.
Collegiate School serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It is known for its rigorous academic program, which includes Advanced Placement courses, a college counseling program, and a wide range of extracurricular activities. The Collegiate School was founded in 1628 by the Dutch West India Company as a Latin grammar school for boys. It was chartered as part of the Reformed Dutch Protestant Church in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam by the Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam.
The school was initially located in a small building in what is now lower Manhattan, near the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. It was founded to provide education for the Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (later renamed New York City) and to prepare students for admission to European universities. The school's first headmaster was Adam Roelantsen, who had previously taught in the Netherlands. In the early years, the school struggled financially, and its enrollment was often low. However, it managed to survive and even thrive over time, thanks in part to the support of wealthy families in New York City.
Throughout its history, Collegiate School has undergone several transformations. In the 19th century it became a private school and began admitting students from outside the Dutch community. It also shifted its focus from classical education to a more modern, liberal arts curriculum.
Today, Collegiate School is currently located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is known for its commitment to preparing students for college and beyond. The institution's location has changed over a dozen times over the last four centuries.
*Note: Officials at Collegiate point to circumstantial evidence for their claim to the 1628 date. On Aug. 11, 1628 the Rev. Jonas Michaelius, the first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in America, wrote a letter describing, among other things, his efforts to teach catechism to Indian children. Looking at that letter for the first time at a Manhattan exhibit 354 years later, in 1982, officials of the Collegiate School decided to change the school's founding date from 1638 to 1628. That was the year of Mr. Michaelius's arrival in New Netherland and 10 years before the school's traditional founding date. Previous to this, the oldest school was considered Boston Latin School founded in 1635. However with this recent unearthed evidence, Collegiate School has overtaken the top spot as the oldest school in America of any kind.