Spence School

Spence School

Secondary School
Secondary School Less

Spence School

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The Spence School is an American all-girls independent school in New York City, founded in 1892 by Clara B. Spence.


Spence has about 688 students, with K-4 representing the Lower School, 5-8 representing the Middle School, and 9-12 representing the Upper School. Lower school average class sizes are 16-18 and middle and upper school averaging 13-14. The student: teacher ratio is 7:1 and students of color in all grades make up approximately 17 percent of the student body. The tuition is approximately $37,000. Its sister schools are the all-girls Brearley School, the all-girls Chapin School and the all-boys Collegiate School, all in New York City. Forbes magazine ranked Spence ninth on its 2010 list of the best prep schools in America.


The Spence School was founded in 1892 by Clara B. Spence, who was its head for 31 years. The school was once boarding, and its motto is "non scholae sed vitae discimus" (Latin for "Not for school, but for life we learn"). The first building was located on New York City's West 48th Street.

Clara B. Spence described her school as: "A place not of mechanical instruction, but a school of character where the common requisites for all have been human feeling, a sense of...
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