$50,000 private schools tuition in NYC is now becoming more common as private schools' tuition increases, again.
Trinity School and other NYC private schools' tuition plus fees now equal more than $50,000 according to Leslie Brody of the Wall Street Journal. John Allman of Trinity says he believes the tuition system is broken: "we're stymied in trying to figure out a way into a different funding model that looks really sustainable for families across the economic spectrum."
The charges, many private-school leaders say, don't cover the full cost of the rigorous educations provided. Their customers want small classes, arts, extracurricular activities, intensive college advising and teachers with advanced degrees. Leaders of these institutions say most depend on fundraising to fill the yearly shortfalls, in addition to holding capital campaigns for new construction.
Drivers of mounting tuitions include teacher salaries, health insurance, technology upgrades, more services for students with learning disabilities, and maintenance for expanded facilities, school leaders said.
It is clear that top private schools don't have strong pressure to keep down prices, as they are deluged by demand from parents who want the best for their children, and who will often pay multiples of current tuition for access.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, Prince George's parents, William and Kate, have to pay only $26,000 for his elite kindergarten: The best English education money can buy!' Prince George's £20,000-a-year prep gets rave reviews in Good Schools Guide
Can Trinity School fight the class war? Trinity School's headmaster, John Allman, sent shock waves through the city's private-school world by calling out parental entitlement and self-interest.
The Times reports that Allman wrote a letter pointing the finger at:
consumerist families that treat teachers and the school in entirely instrumental ways, seeking to use us exclusively to advance their child's narrow self-interest." He called for a dismantling of "this default understanding of Trinity as a credentialing factory," warning that without it, students would merely ascend to "a comfortable perch atop a cognitive elite that is self-serving, callous and spiritually barren." Without a shift in ethos toward greater commitments to the common good, toward social justice and activism, he said in the letter, "I am afraid we are, for a majority of our students, just a very, very expensive finishing school.
Allman further wrote:
We seek to incorporate public service and civic activism into all aspects of our program in part because we believe that individualism unredeemed by a commitment to purposes beyond the self leads to unhappiness and meaninglessness. Attentiveness to others is essential to well-being.
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.
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.
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.
Lincoln Center will host a free screening of the movie "Tested".
The documentary closely follows about 20 NYC middle schoolers from varied backgrounds as they attempt to obtain a seat at a specialized high school. Experts discuss admissions policy and its implications for underrepresented minorities. From the website:
As part of the Roundtable’s focus on equity and access in our 15-16 program series, we are thrilled to partner with The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Lincoln Center Education in hosting an exclusive screening of the film Tested, including a Q&A with the director, Curtis Chin.
Currently available by private screening only, Tested addresses the fact that the make-up of NYC’s elite public high schools do not reflect the diversity of our city, and has been sparking conversations around the country about equal access to educational opportunities. During our post-screening discussion, we will look at what the NYC DOE is currently doing to close this gap, including the Middle School Arts Audition Boot Camp, explore connections to inequities in arts education and brainstorm how we as a Roundtable community can be part of the solution.