About: At a Glance

At a Glance


Mary McDowell Friends School is a K–12 college preparatory program dedicated to the success of students with learning disabilities. Grounded in the Quaker values of equality, integrity, and social responsibility, we cultivate a diverse community in which all students can reach their full potential. Our specialized teaching methodologies and challenging curricula empower students to become academic achievers, creative thinkers, and contributing members of a global society.



Students with learning disabilities can learn and thrive within a supportive environment coupled with a challenging curriculum. We prepare students for college and life.

Quaker Values

We are guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship.


We strive to be an inclusive, diverse community of educators, staff, students, trustees, and families.


We pursue excellence at every level.

Our Guiding Principles

These are the principles that guide us at Mary McDowell Friends School:

  • Students with learning disabilities are intelligent.
  • Learning disabilities are one aspect of a person, not the defining characteristic. See Why Our Students Thrive.
  • Special education is quality education.
  • Learning goes beyond mastery of content and skills; it includes creative thinking, questioning, discovery, and further research to formulate well-thought-out opinions and perspectives on the world.
  • We are at the forefront of special education.
  • Our faculty and staff are experts in their fields.
  • We offer a comprehensive educational program that includes academics, arts, athletics, travel, and social responsibility.
  • Our curriculum is based on well-researched and proven methodologies.
  • Our differentiated approaches to learning address each student’s learning style, strengths, and struggles.
  • We teach students to understand their learning needs so that they can advocate for themselves.
  • Our students who are ready for mainstream schools will be transitioned to mainstream schools.
  • Our community embraces each individual while fostering cooperation and collaboration among students, families, staff, trustees, and educators.
  • The Quaker testimonies provide an essential foundation for all that we do.

Association Memberships

  • New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Guild of Independent Schools of New York (GISNY)
  • Friends Council on Education (FCE)
  • Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools (ATLIS)

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