Head of School

Welcome to The Kew-Forest School!

The Kew-Forest School, a PS-12 co-educational day school founded in 1918 in Forest Hills, NY, is proud to enroll an astonishingly diverse student body representative of Queens, referred to in the U.S. Census as  “the most culturally diverse county in America.” Through aid, scholarships, and targeted admissions, we ensure our student body is reflective of the beautiful patchwork that is the Queens community. Our families live in 54 neighborhoods, represent  50+ countries, and speak nearly 30 different languages at home.  With nine percent of our student body comprising international students, our diversity and small class size are the cornerstones of our identity.  Kew-Forest’s allocation of $3 million in financial aid to our families in recent years has made possible our vibrant diversity. 

Woven through Kew-Forest’s core curriculum from preschool to 12th grade is the spirit of our founding mission, “To make every child a force for good.” Our students are fierce, confident, smart, and prepared to be the radical catalysts that move our country and world to a better place, where diversity is a given and power lies in an educated mind and compassionate heart.  100% of our graduates matriculate to 4-year institutions, including many highly selective colleges and universities.  While Kew-Forest has maintained a traditional curriculum, our students across divisions now engage in expanded and enriched curricula in technology, music, arts, and performance. 

Our youngest students in the Lower School (Preschool-Grade 5) begin their learning in a play-based program.  As they transition away from early childhood years, students use Patterns of Power, Patterns of Wonder to explore writing and grammar; Inquiry Journeys to ask questions of and learn about social studies; and Mystery Science, which provides an inquiry-based approach to learning about the physical world around them. Each program and its approach to teaching and learning is further enhanced by The Kew-Forest School’s June 2023 acceptance as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program.* 

Kew-Forest’s acceptance as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program* ensures continuity for our Lower School students as they transition to learning in the Middle School (Grades 6-8). The Middle School Years are defined by seeing and understanding others as a framework for seeing and understanding oneself.  Coursework in Public Speaking and Writing Workshop (in addition to English classes) enable students to consciously identify and articulate connections between themselves and others.  The newly introduced 8th Grade Capstone project is a collaborative endeavor with Global Minds Institute.  Students learn by engaging with and developing solutions for problems being faced by various New York City communities.  This year students are exploring the impetus behind and the impacts of progress/development/improvement in these communities.  

Kew-Forest’s Upper School (Grades 9-12) is perhaps the most traditional division in terms of curricular content, yet programming is equally impactful on students’ learning and growth.  Through courses such as International Relations (9th/10th) and Myth & Identity (11th/12th), students are presented unique opportunities to explore the global perspectives and cultures that extend beyond typical history and English classes. Students enjoy a wide array of advanced, college-level courses, many of which boast some of our most intimate class sizes. Co-curricular programs such as  Model UN, Mock Trial, the Science Research Club, and participation in the American Mathematics Competitions offer access to field experts ranging from UN diplomats to practicing scientists.  Such opportunities enable students to expand their interests and learning beyond the classroom and immerse themselves in real-world contexts.  Through athletics and student-initiated and student-led clubs, our Upper Schoolers have ample room to exercise initiative, hone their leadership skills, and explore their passions.  

One of our great pleasures is welcoming back our alumni to the Kew-Forest campus.  We relish their stories of the ease of integrating into their college environment. They attribute their social and academic successes to their time here, where during their most formative years our highly educated faculty and 1:5 faculty/student ratio ensured they were seen, heard, and encouraged by our whole community to uncover and meet their full potential. Kew-Forest’s accomplishments can be measured by our alumni’s achievements in the areas of education, film, publishing, science, technology, and television, to name a few. We are so proud of our alumni community and how our tradition of excellence is reflected in each of them.

Kew-Forest is a rich, diverse, and close-knit community of caring individuals committed to making a difference within and beyond our school. These individuals inspire and keep me at Kew-Forest: students who support each other and explore thoughtfully; parents who not only trust but partner with us to support their children’s growth and learning; faculty who take the time to know each child and continually refine their craft; a Board that is working to ensure the school’s long-term future; and alumni who cherish and share fond memories, remain connected, and give back to the school.

I invite you to join us. Become part of a warm, vibrant, and extraordinary learning community.

Tiffany D. Trotter
Head of School

* The Kew-Forest School is a candidate school for the PYP and MYP. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education- that we believe is important for our students.
Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (DP), or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.
For further information about the IB and its programmes visit http://www.ibo.org.

About Tiffany D. Trotter

Tiffany D. Trotter has been an independent school educator for 24+ years.  Educated at Stanford University (BA) and the University of Chicago (MA, ABD), Tiffany worked at The Latin School of Chicago, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Avenues: The World School before coming to Kew-Forest in 2018.  As the second female Head and first Head of color, Tiffany is honored to lead a challenging and nurturing school that is as diverse as the borough of Queens.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Preschool through Grade 12.