With all the new New York City private schools opening, it is not surprising that shortly after, some new New York City private schools are already closing. Manhattan is a tough market, and not every private school can make it.
The Rocket Group, an education group that purchased the Mandell School in 2013, closed it only three years later, announcing that 2016-2017 would be the school's last year in operation for K-8.
Now another casualty. The New York International School, chartered by the British Schools Foundation, lasted just two years after moving into Trevor Day School's old elementary school building, part of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, on East 90th Street.
The British Schools Foundation runs about 10 schools around the world, as well as the New York International School. The NYIS offers a US curriculum from a global perspective, and a dual language program in Spanish or Mandarin. According to Wikipedia, the New York International School will be closed "due to the failure of the Board of Directors", after only two school years.
I feel sorry for all these families needing new private schools ASAP! That is the problem with enrolling in new schools. Some percentage of them will fail. As an educational consultant, I make it my business to advise my clients on which new schools seem most stable and likely to succeed.
Abacus Mom received this note today from BASIS.ed:
BASIS.ed was recently honored as the first education case study featured in the online global learning resource PISA4U.org developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operations and Development (OECD). The program was chosen as a case study in an effort to identify global good practices, since students at BASIS.ed-managed schools consistently outscore the world's highest-performing countries in math, reading, and science on the international OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment). The evaluation measures critical thinking and application of knowledge, unlike traditional assessment tools.
The recognition of the BASIS.ed program as a proving ground for best practices in education is something that students benefit from daily. Says one parent of their Brooklyn campus, “Many schools offer a competitive academic environment, but ultimately BASIS.ed’s focus on cultivating students' sense of independence, ownership and, above all, interest in learning helped us choose BASIS Independent Brooklyn for our kids three years ago. It's a decision we would make all over again today!"
The first BASIS Independent campus in New York City opened in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2014, and is now in its third full academic year as a robust Preschool - Grade 12 program. The second BASIS Independent Schools campus in New York City -- BASIS Independent Manhattan -- opens on the Upper West Side this coming fall, to grades K-8. The application deadline for fall 2017 admissions on both campuses is January 24th.
Both schools offer ample opportunities to learn about the BASIS Independent program, including tours, information sessions, and student shadow days. The final Open House of the current academic year is scheduled for January 21st and an expert panel discussion on OECD PISA assessments will take place on January 19th.
A record number of new NYC private schools are flooding the New York market, while existing schools are expanding at a rapid pace. The boom comes in response to skyrocketing demand from a growing number of families—and larger families at that—who are choosing to raise their kids in the five boroughs.
“I’ve been in practice since 1999 and I’ve never seen so many new schools opening at once,” said Emily Glickman, head of Abacus Guide Education Consulting, a firm that helps parents with the application process. “The for-profit education market is looking to open schools in affluent places, so it makes sense that New York families are being courted.”
Souccar profiles Wetherby Pembridge, Nord Anglia, AltSchool, Portfolio School and BASIS, all new NYC private for-profit schools with diverse missions. Wetherby Pembridge and Nord Anglia offer the British curriculum, AltSchool and Portfolio offer customized curricula, and BASIS is focused on STEM.
In my own practice, I have worked with clients interested in applying to both Wetherby and BASIS.
Abacus Mom, a NYC top private school consultant, was thrilled to get these two emails from happy clients recently.
I just want to reach out and tell you that your advice from the past two years has been amazingly spot on. The classes and tutoring and clubs that you suggested after hearing about <child's> interests and the approach to the process and the rigor you advised with interviewing... It's been incredibly helpful. Obviously this is your business, so it's expected to an extent. But I think you have a very nice, authentic touch which makes all the difference. We feel very positive about how things are going, and I attribute it to your help to a big degree.
and from another parent:
honestly, i wouldn't make it through this process without your help. having kids, i know you know -- there is no greater gift to us than helping us with our children's education. we love your down to earth and upfront style -- it helps us to really know which direction to turn and where to steer clear. also, your positive energy is so appreciated and means a lot. you have made this process seem doable and less daunting and we cannot thank you enough.
Academy of St. Joseph, a Catholic School downtown serving prekindergarten - 8th graders, shared news with Abacus Mom today:
I trust this finds you well. I wanted to reach out to you to say hello and to share some exciting news from the Academy.
We had our first graduating class in June. These graduates are now attending some of the finest High Schools in the city: Horace Mann, Fordham Prep, Trevor Day and Xavier High School. We are so proud of their stellar placements.
Since we last spoke, we have added a Science Lab and an Art Space to our school.
We now have provisional membership with NYSAIS. They have been a wonderful network of educators to be supported by.
We have an upcoming Open House on September 27th, if any of your clients are interested.
Angela M Coombs
Head of School
Academy of St. Joseph
111 Washington Place
New York, New York
Wetherby School NYC? Wetherby School, the elite London private school that Prince George will attend, will open a New York City branch, to be called Wetherby-Pembridge, in 2017. Will British posh translate?
Both schools are owned by the education company Alpha Plus Group. New York's Wetherby School will be housed on the Upper East Side on East 96th Street, in the building last occupied by Manhattan Country School, which will move to the West Side.
London's Wetherby School previously educated Princes Charles, William, and Harry. British mothers desperately phone the school as soon as their children are born to try to win them places. From the Daily Beast's Inside Wetherby, London's School for Princes:
Kate Middleton has bowed to the inevitable and is to allow her son, Prince George, to be educated at Wetherby, the same private school Prince William and Prince Charles attended, and long famed among aristocratic Londoners for being the city’s most exclusive and intensively academic private “pre-prep” school.
Opening a new New York City private school is a challenging business. For New York families, the question will be if the British school's elite reputation and well-respected offerings translate. It will be fascinating to observe if New Yorkers are willing to view Wetherby-Pembridge as a peer to top Manhattan and Brooklyn private schools. Having a royal connection may give this new Manhattan international school a leg up in attracting discerning families.
October 3, 2016 Update
Sophia Hollander of The Wall Street Journal profiled Wetherby School New York in the Wall Street Journal: British School That Taught Princes is Coming to Manhattan. Thank you, Sophia, for quoting me in your article.