School Culture

TCCS has high expectations for all members of the school community. As a community of learners, our goal is to develop the ability to use our minds well; in and out of school and in our relationships with each other. We aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who, through engagement, understanding and respect, help to create a better and more peaceful world. Additionally, our school believes in motivating our children, and school community, through positive reinforcement. Using a Positive Behavioral Interventions Systems model, our school continues to foster healthy relationships amongst our children, staff and parents. In order to create a culture that promotes these goals, we have four behavioral expectations that guide our actions:

1. Respect                   2. Own it                      3. Act Safely                4. Responsibility

TCCS is also an active professional development site for pre-service and experienced educators where learning can be shared and extended across schools. TCCS classrooms serve as centers for curriculum development and educational research related to key questions in teaching and learning. Teachers College maintains a strong presence to enrich student learning and teacher professional development.

Partnership with Teachers College

TCCS was established in 2011 through a partnership of Teachers College (TC), Columbia University, Manhattan Community Board 9, and the New York City Department of Education. It is a non-selective, choice PreK-8 public elementary school that gives priority to families residing in Community School Districts 5 and 6. The school adds a grade each year, and at full capacity TCCS will serve students in grades Pre-K through 8.

Teachers College regards TCCS as central to its founding mission to bring educational opportunities to all members of society. TC’s guiding principle in creating the school is to deliver exemplary, comprehensive educational opportunities to children in West Harlem, including best educational practices for teaching and learning, early childhood education so that children get a good start, out-of-school time learning opportunities such as after school programs, and social and health services that support children’s ability to learn. The partners have been able to lay a solid foundation thanks to the commitment and hard work of the school’s administration, instructional staff and parents, along with Teachers College faculty and students and community partners.

To ensure and sustain the school’s success, TC provides a range of services, expertise and other resources:

  • Assists in the development and evaluation of curriculum

  • Provides professional development for teachers

  • Places student teachers, tutors and interns in the school

  • Provides academic enrichment in areas such as art, music, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and nutrition

  • Assists in the design and instruction for the after-school program

  • Offers health, wellness and family support services

  • Provides access to College facilities such as libraries, laboratories and auditoriums

  • Participates in school governance, planning and operations

  • Builds public and private partnerships and raises funds to support the school

Each year, Teachers College provides enriched learning experiences for students in every grade. TC enlists faculty experts to guide academic and extra-curricular programming at the school, as well as dozens of graduate students to assist with in-school and after-school programming. Since the school’s inception, TC students and alumni have taught art, music, science, nutrition, PE and Spanish classes during the school day and/or through TC Enrichment Clubs.

TC’s commitments to TCCS are managed by the Office of School and Community Partnerships, under the leadership of Associate Vice President, Dr. Nancy Streim. TC faculty and students are on site regularly, and their involvement is coordinated by Ms. Katy Maiolatesi, the TC Liaison.

For questions, concerns or comments related to the relationship between TC and the Community School, please contact the TC Office of School and Community Partnerships at (212) 678-7421 or e-mail,


TCCS has two locations

Upper School and Main Office

168 Morningside Avenue
New York, NY 10027
United States

Lower School

223 W. 132nd Avenue
New York, NY  10027
United States