Thank you for interest in The Children’s Workshop School! We have classes in 3K through 5th grade.

District One is a district of choice, so parents are not limited to a single zoned school. We encourage you to learn more about all schools in the district that may fit well with your family’s educational goals. The actual application process is conducted by the DOE, so please follow this link on the DOE website to learn about the application process. 

In-person adult-only tours will include a teachers’ presentation about curriculum and a tour of the classrooms. Please register for one of the following tours. You will need to sign in at the security desk and come up to the library on the 4th floor.

Coming Up!

Dates for school tours:

Thursday, October 26, 2023 8:00 am
Thursday, November 16, 2023 8:00 am
Thursday, November 30, 2023 8:00 am
Thursday, December 14, 2023 8:00 am
Thursday, December 21, 2023 8:00 am
Thursday, January 11, 2024 8:00 am
Thursday, January 18, 2023 at 8:00 am
Thursday, January 25, 2024 8:00 am
Thursday, February 8, 2024 8:00 am
Thursday, February 29, 2024 8:00 a

CWS Building Tour

This visual-only tour explores The Children’s Workshop School building including classrooms and common spaces. This video was filmed in Fall 2020, and classrooms were setup for social distancing at the time of filming. There is no audio except background music so no captions are available.

Teacher-Led Virtual School Presentation

This teacher-led virtual school presentation was recorded in Fall 2020. It is the presentation usually given during in-school open houses. It includes information on CWS during typical years as well as how we have pivoted during the pandemic. Captions are available in English and Spanish. 

What Makes CWS Special?

Last year we celebrated 25 years of serving the diverse families of New York City. We created this video to showcase our special community and the history of our school. Captions are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

Connections with Families

Families are an integral part of our school. Some ways families become involved with the school are to attend schoolwide community meetings each Friday, classroom writing celebrations, and field trips. More details on community events are available here.

Adult family members also support our community by engaging with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). More on the PTA is available here

Our Philosophy and History

The Children’s Workshop School, founded in 1993, is a progressive public elementary school located on the East Village of Manhattan. CWS strives for students to be open-minded and compassionate; to gain a sense of themselves and others; and to understand and appreciate the diversity of the community. Children are guided and supported to fulfill their creative, physical, emotional, social and intellectual potential. Our goal is for our children to recognize that they have the power and resources to effect change. It is our hope that children will grow to be responsible, critical and caring members of a pluralistic society.

You can read more on our history, founding, and values here

Our Curriculum

The Children’s Workshop School takes a progressive, child-centered approach to learning. We understand the need to engage all types and methods of learning providing a variety of outlets for student expression from writing investigations, to performance exhibitions, to themed projects. We use a social studies centered approach in our curriculum. We see the benefit of students learning various subjects in a focused environment, allowing them to deepen their understanding on the social studies content at hand while exploring work in writing, reading, science, math and art.

More details on grade-level curriculum, enrichment programming, and afterschool programs are available here

Frequently Asked Questions

About Our School

3-K: We have one 3-K class, with a maximum of 15 students and one teacher and one paraprofessional.

Pre-K: We have two Pre-K classes, each with a maximum of 18 students and one teacher and one paraprofessional.

Kindergarten: We have two kindergarten classes with 20 to 22 students each, with one class being ICT*.

1st and 2nd Grade: We have four combined 1st and 2nd grade classes with 24 to 28 students each, and currently two classes are ICT*. Students remain with the same teacher for 1st and 2nd grade; half of the class changes each year as the older children move into 3rd grade and our kindergarteners move into 1st grade.

3rd Grade: We have two 3rd grade classes with 20 to 30 students each and one class is ICT*. 3rd grade students are not mixed with other grades, however students loop with the same teacher for 3rd and 4th grade. 

4th Grade: We have two 4th grade classes with 20 to 30 students each and one class is ICT*. 4th grade students are not mixed with other grades, however students loop with the same teacher for 3rd and 4th grade. 

5th Grade: We have two 5th grade classes with 20 to 30 students and one class is ICT*.

*ICT stands for Integrated Co-Teaching where classes have two teachers, at least one of which is certified in special education

All common areas are shared with the other co-located school. Each school has their designated time for every shared space, for example the lunchroom, playground, auditorium, and the library.

CWS & PS94 have had a partnership for years. If students are transitioning into general education from a D75 program, we have them in our school full-time along with a paraprofessional.

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene requires all students be fully immunized in order to attend school. More information on required immunizations is available here on the DOE’s site.

CWS is an approved PROSE school which stands for Progressive Re-Design Opportunity Schools for Excellence. This allows our school some flexibility regarding certain DOE and UFT policies. You can read more about PROSE here

Admissions Questions

Admissions is run by the NYC Department of Education for all schools. The placement office looks at: 1- Siblings, 2- Diversity, and 3- District One residency. For more on admissions priorities, please see the DOE admissions website here.

Families can apply to Kindergarten, Pre-K, and 3-K in two ways:

1.Online at which can be accessed 24 hours a day in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. MySchools includes an online directory tool that allows families to explore program choices, save programs of interest and submit their application, all on the same site.

2. Over the phone by calling 718-935-2009 between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday through Friday.

If CWS is your first choice, we want to know! Besides listing CWS first on your MySchools application, you should email a copy of your application receipt noting CWS as your first choice to:

If you are new to the city, coming from a private or parochial school, or wish to transfer from another DOE school, please reach out to Joyce Borden, and she can assist you with information regarding available space and can guide through the process of applying to our school.

Questions About the School Day

Frequently! Teachers are in constant communication with families, which includes notes home in backpacks as well as teacher-to-adult communication via our closed school network on Bloomz. During a typical school year, teachers send out a newsletter on a monthly basis. They also share pictures from field trips and more frequent updates on Bloomz. You can read more about Bloomz here.

Adults from our families are invited into the building regularly. Each Friday morning families may attend our all-school Community Meeting. Classes usually have a writing/curriculum celebration and all families are encouraged to attend. Adults are also invited to chaperone field trips as well as join library time to read to their child’s class.

As a public school we are required to follow the state testing guidelines, however we do not teach to the test and instead we incorporate the skills and contents into our daily work.

Homework should be a meaningful experience for your child. The amount assigned varies depending upon the grade, class, or personal needs. By reinforcing, enriching and building upon what we teach, homework challenges your children to use their new skills creatively and constructively. It also nurtures self-discipline and independent study habits. We strongly believe that Family Time is important and that Homework should be engaging and manageable for the child to do independently. During a typical year, in the younger grades, weekly homework packets are sent home. Daily homework assignments are given in the upper grades. Homework should not take a long time to complete and the amount of time students spend on homework varies depending on grade-level.

During a typical year, we have two lunch periods.The first is for Pre-K to 2nd grade. During that time, Pre-K and Kindergarten classes eat first and then go to the playground yard for recess. The 1st and 2nd graders play first, and then come into the cafeteria to eat.

3rd, 4th, 5th grades eat together first and then go to the yard for recess. Many families choose to pack a meal for their child but all children are entitled to a free school lunch and no prior arrangement is necessary. If your child has allergies and or any strict dietary restrictions, you must let the teacher know in writing, and in the case of allergies, consult with the school nurse as well.

Additional Questions

Please watch all of our videos and click through the links on the admissions page of our website. If you still have additional questions not answered on the website, please reach out to Dorothy Cantwell, Parent Coordinator at

Please indicate “Admissions Question and [Your Name]” in the subject line.