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History & Traditions



PS1 Pluralistic School was founded in 1971 by Joel Pelcyger and Eleanor Coben in order to provide excellence in academics coupled with joyful learning and a sense of community. The school built an environment that encourages personal reflection and social interaction on a scale comprehensible to young children, and quickly acquired a reputation for producing capable and connected citizens. We choose to stay small so that all voices are heard and valued, accentuating both the individual as well as the connections that bring people together. Our original and evolving vision is reflected in our most cherished values and traditions. Our award winning, sustainable campus has been developed as a model for urban elementary education… an ideal setting where learning and exploration flourishes.

Current Head of School, Susannah Wolf, joined PS1 in 2023. Susannah’s intelligence, warmth and approachability, combined with her dynamism, vision and experience, made her an ideal choice to succeed PS1’s Founding Head Joel Pelcyger as our next long-term Head of School.

View our historical timeline by clicking HERE.


PS1 believes strongly in the positive impact of traditions in the lives of young children. We hold many celebrations during the year to help students build lasting memories. From Make New Friends Day to camping trips to Moving Up Day, PS1’s calendar year is full of special events. Some new, many evolved over time, we look forward to these traditions year after year. Take a peek at the calendar, read more detailed descriptions about our main events and download a copy of our school magazine, The Periscope. In addition, you can view a gallery of traditions here. PS1 families enjoy a sense of togetherness that is unlike any other.

School Archives

PS1's Archives is a living library containing photos, videos, DVDs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry books, PeriScopes, brochures, correspondence, awards, and milestones relating to the school's history from 1971 to the present. Examples of student work and the development of curriculum are collected each year and faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute projects, books, and descriptions that represent their classroom and office work. Take a virtual tour, here.