United Nations International School
Address
Map
24-50 FDR Drive


United States
Information
TypeIndependent, International School, Private
Established1947
DirectorDan Brenner
Faculty255
GradesPK–12
Enrollmentc. 1,600
CampusUrban
Color(s)Light blue & white
MascotUniscorn
AffiliationUnited Nations
Websitewww.unis.org

The United Nations International School (UNIS) is a private international school in New York City which was established in 1947. Many members of the United Nations staff arriving with young families found unexpected difficulties with the school system in New York. Among them was K. T. Behanan and his wife, who arrived from India in May 1947 with their five-year-old son to help the UN's Trusteeship Council with educational policy. The Behanans banded together with other UN families who were in a similar situation to establish the United Nations International School at Lake Success,[1] with Dr. Behanan as chairman of its board. The school was founded to provide an international education for students, while preserving its students' diverse cultural heritages. Today, UNIS has over 1,600 students in one campus in Manhattan, close to the Headquarters of the United Nations. The Manhattan campus, overlooking the East River, is K-12; until 2022, the school also ran a K-8 school at a campus in Jamaica Estates, Queens.[2]

UNIS was one of the pilot schools of the International Baccalaureate (IB) and was among those awarding the first IB diplomas. The comprehensive K–12 curriculum prepares UNIS students for the IB, and the school's internationally recognized academic standards[3] attempts to enable students to go on to study in top colleges/universities both in the United States and the rest of the world.[4]

The main language used in the school is English, and all students study either French or Spanish from Kindergarten to the 12th Grade. Arabic, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian are also taught beginning in the 7th Grade, where students are required to decide one of the seven languages to pursue further along with "Language A" English and "Language B" French or Spanish (Language C is Arabic, French, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish). Students can also choose French or Spanish again for Language C, and must pursue the Language C until the 12th Grade. Additional languages can be studied by students within and external to the school during the weekend or after school during the school week.[5] The school's current executive director is Dan Brenner.

UNIS is a member of the Council of International Schools, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the European Council of International Schools, the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools and the College Board along with being registered to the New York Board of Regents as an independent, not-for-profit school.

Curriculum

In the formative years, UNIS offers a school-designed curriculum, from Kindergarten (JA, in UNIS) to the 12th Grade (T4), in which elementary school (junior school, in UNIS), middle school and high school (tut house) students enroll for the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) or IB Courses, where a wide range of subjects are offered. Within the framework of IB requirements, students have the possibility to choose from over two-hundred course combinations.[6]

Students are taught in relatively small classes, with averages of 17 children in Kindergarten, 17 in the 1st Grade (J1), 17 in the 2nd Grade (J2), 19 in Grades 3–4 (J3-J4) and 21 throughout middle and high school (M1-T4).[7] Emphasis is placed on preparation for the IB exams during high school, for which virtually all seniors sit (full Diploma or Certificate). Children whose parents transfer from abroad to work for the United Nations, Missions to the United Nations, and Consulates enjoy priority in terms of admission, but admission is not automatic. All children are required to be interviewed and assessed in-person at UNIS, in addition to consideration of official school reports, if any.[8]

The AEFE categorizes this school as a French international school.[9]

UNIS Manhattan Campus, with the Waterside Plaza apartment complex rising in the background

University and college attendance

Nearly all UNIS graduates matriculate at four-year colleges in the semester following graduation, with a small number choosing a gap-year program. A typical year will see 75% to 85% of graduates enrolling at colleges in the United States, with remaining graduates attending 20 different universities in thirteen countries outside the U.S.[10]

Top Colleges Attended 2011 -2015[10]
New York University
McGill University
George Washington University
Boston University
Cornell University
Barnard College
Northeastern University
Vassar College
University of Chicago
Fordham University

Events and programs

Each year, the school organizes a conference in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in which high school students perform a Model United Nations. Other schools are also invited to this conference. This special activity allows students to improve their public speaking and diplomacy skills. It also allows students to engage with real world issues.[11]

Campus history

UNIS was founded in 1947. It was previously located in a former school building at 1311 First Avenue, on East 70th Street, in Lenox Hill, Manhattan. In 1964, the Ford Foundation offered a conditional donation of $7 million for a new school building at the headquarters of the United Nations, near an existing playground;[12] Sweden and Libya also contributed funds.[13][14] UNIS had acquired a site at York Avenue and 89th Street in Yorkville, but sold it in 1965.[15] Two years later, another alternate site south of the UN headquarters was proposed for UNIS.[16] Under the headship of the irishman Desmond Cole, UNIS moved around 1970 into two premises on 51st (the Junior School headed by Lea Rangel-Ribeiro) and the middle school 54th streets. The high school was housed on East 11th Street.

The main building on 25th Street opened in January 1973, marking the first permanent location for UNIS in its history.[17]

Notable alumni

References

  1. ^ Nassau Daily Review-Star, June 20, 1949, page 9
  2. ^ "Queens Campus Closure FAQs - UNIS". www.unis.org. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  3. ^ "News Post". www.cois.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  4. ^ United Nations International School – College Counseling Office. "UNIS COLLEGE ATTENDANCE – CLASS OF 2015" (PDF).
  5. ^ "United Nations Intl School: About UNIS". www.unis.org. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  6. ^ "United Nations Intl School: The UNIS Curriculum". www.unis.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 1 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Admissions information and procedures". Procedures & Guidelines. United Nations International School. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  9. ^ "École internationale des Nations Unies (UNIS)." AEFE. Retrieved on 2 June 2016.
  10. ^ a b "United Nations Intl School: College Counseling". www.unis.org. Retrieved 5 February 2016.(subscription required)
  11. ^ "UNIS-UN". UNIS-UN. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Ford Offers Help to School at U.N.; Private Institution Planned at Headquarters". The New York Times. 24 June 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Libya Gives $6,000 to U.N." The New York Times. 6 November 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  14. ^ "$40,000 Given for U.N. School". The New York Times. 9 July 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  15. ^ "United Nations School Sells York Ave. Plot". The New York Times. 10 September 1965. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Alternative Site for United Nations School Proposed by Fund; Space for 1,500 Needed". The New York Times. 25 May 1967. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  17. ^ Maeroff, Gene I. (22 January 1973). "1,175 Pupils Will Attend Classes in a New United Nations School Here Today". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  18. ^ Cahalan, Susannah. "Private school kid Asa Akira's journey to porn star millionaire". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  19. ^ "Yasmine Bleeth". Filmbug.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  20. ^ Ryzik, Melena (1 February 2008). "Awakening, Nightly, at 50". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  21. ^ Suleiman Braimoh (19 June 2009). "Suleiman Braimoh Bio". Riceowls.Com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  22. ^ Baer, Susan (9 December 1990). "William Leblond Dorothy Bush – Dorothy Bush LeBlond has given up her modest life in Maine and is becoming a presence in Washington society". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  23. ^ Schoeneman, Deborah (5 March 2006). "Vikram's Big Fat Sikh Wedding". New York Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  24. ^ Hanlon, Greg (22 February 2013). "Gary Cohen, the anti-Michael Kay, also broadcasts during his time off". Capital New York. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  25. ^ Coomaraswamy, Radhika. "Radhika Coomaraswamy". Huffington Post.
  26. ^ "United Nations News Centre – Secretary-General appoints Stéphane Dujarric as Spokesman". Un.org. 20 June 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  27. ^ Freeland, Chrystia (4 January 2011). "The Rise of the New Global Elite". The Atlantic.
  28. ^ "Mike Greenberg". TV.com. CBS Interactive.
  29. ^ Krieger, Diane (Winter 2004). "Pure of Hartke". USC Trojan Family Magazine. University of Southern California. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  30. ^ Leland, John (9 August 2011). "Scouting the City for Characters". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
  31. ^ "SARAH KAY IS". Kay Sarah (sera), About. Sarah Kay. 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  32. ^ Santor, Marc; Gootman, Elissa (30 October 2008). "Political Storm Finds a Columbia Professor". The New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  33. ^ The eyewitness of the sinking elites. Interview for Russian magazine Troickiy variant (in Russian)
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  37. ^ 🥀 mina sundwall on Instagram: “lol if you look close enough it almost looks like i graduated. to @unisny, thank you for teaching me how to work hard. to the…”
  38. ^ "Tribal Baroque". Skthoth.com. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  39. ^ "ЦЕРЕТЕЛИ ВАСИЛИЙ ЗУРАБОВИЧ". Russian Academy of Arts.
  40. ^ "Департамент культуры города Москвы поздравляет Василия Церетели и Михаила Миндлина с награждением французским Орденом Искусств и литературы". Moscow City Government, Department of Culture.
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