Class IX London Trip
After two months of classroom preparation, including the study of Renaissance painting, the history of Renaissance England, and Shakespeare's poetry and drama (specifically the sonnets and Romeo and Juliet), the entire ninth grade class takes a week-long trip to London. The students attend the theatre and visit sights like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the National Science Museum, the Tower of London, and the Tate Modern. Each student arrives in London prepared to educate her classmates on a work of art on display in the National Gallery, and delivers a five-minute presentation without notes in front of the original work. In addition to the obvious educational benefits gained from a week in London, the trip provides a tremendous bonding experience for the whole class. After traveling abroad for a week, the ninth grade returns to school united and confident in its identity. This extraordinary trip is part of the regular curriculum and the cost is included in the tuition.
Visual Education Program
Visual Education is a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates the use of art objects and images to enrich existing curricula. Through trips that directly relate to classroom curricula, this program takes advantage of New York City’s rich museum resources. Visual Education enables faculty to further develop their curricula by adding the use of art images to expand upon concepts in their specific subject area. This program engages students with art, as well as develops their visual literacy skills and capacity to think critically.
Catherine M.S. Gordan Grant
The Catherine M.S. Gordan Program in Dramatic Literature, more commonly known in the schoolhouse as "the Drama Grant," is an endowed grant initiated in 1999 by Michael Zilkha, the father of an alumna, Lucinda Zilkha (Class of 2002)—in honor of longtime associate head of school Kitty Gordan—for the purpose of stimulating our students to be more interested in, and knowledgeable about, classic drama and modern theater. The funds from this generous grant are used to invite actors, directors, and playwrights to speak at assemblies and in the classroom; to employ guest directors for the Class VIII production; to schedule acting workshops with theater professionals; and to enable teachers to bring students to Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of plays they are reading in class. The funds are also used for faculty professional development and the purchase of books for the library’s drama collection.
Science Research Program
The Science Research Program at Nightingale provides students of demonstrated achievement, maturity, and interest the opportunity to study advanced topics. Younger students attend summer programs for exposure to issues and techniques. Older students may participate in independent, cutting-edge research in laboratories throughout New York City. Throughout the year research students meet to share and develop their skills and knowledge.
Creative Writing Program
The Creative Writing Program began in 1998–99, when more than $10,000 was made available to the English Department to promote creative writing in the Upper School. This program continues to be funded every year and has enabled us to invite distinguished writers to read and lecture for assemblies and classes; the money has also been used to fund all-day playwriting and poetry classes. Book designers, translators, publishers, and magazine editors have also participated in the program. Over the past few years, visiting literary figures have included: Jhumpa Lahiri, Bill Buford, Tobias Wolff, Kathryn Harrison, Victoria Redel, Charles McGrath, Mary Karr, George Saunders, Jamaica Kincaid, Melissa James Gibson, Mary Gordon, Mary Jo Salter, Kate Walbert, and Billy Collins.
Study abroad and participation in programs such as the Rocky Mountain Semester, Mountain School, Maine Coast Semester, the Island School, and the Swiss Semester give Upper School students an opportunity to expand their educational horizons. With the approval of the Committee on Academic Affairs, Nightingale students have also traveled to Rome, Bangkok, Istanbul, South Africa, Argentina, and Sweden. In addition to the semester-long programs, we also have shorter-term exchanges with five schools in Australia, England, France, New Zealand, and Spain.