To the relief of many Columbia Grammar and Prep families distressed at increased levels of security at school, the Trumps have withdrawn their son. According to my sources as well as Vanity Fair, many Columbia Grammar parents were stressed with the first son in attendance and welcome what should now be relaxed security.
Now Barron is to attend St. Andrew's School in Potomac, MD, the first presidential child ever to go there. According to my colleagues in DC, St. Andrew's is a lower-profile school dedicated to educating all kinds of learners within the Episcopalian tradition. While pundits expected a more conventional choice, a big-name and conservative school, they were wrong.
St. Andrew's is an intriguing school. I respect that it seeks to help all students with all levels of ability. It is easy to teach traditionally bright students, and much harder to help those who need more support in their learning. The school's Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning is specifically dedicated to using the latest educational research to help all students.
Another email from clients whose child will be attending a top NYC private school kindergarten:
We’ve been busy writing thank you notes to all those who wrote letters and made calls on (child's) behalf and we now have the most important note to write, and that is to you. We absolutely would not be here if it wasn’t for you and will be forever grateful for having your guidance.
We cannot believe (child) will be at (top NYC private school) next fall and have not stopped jumping up and down with excitement since we heard. We did it!!
We truly feel blessed to have been able to work with you through the process. We could not have felt more prepped for our parent interview, your advice on when and how to send letters was spot on and your support through the entire process was priceless. You knew exactly what to say to us when we were feeling anxious and gave us the confidence we needed to successfully get through the admissions process.
You are amazing at what you do and you will forever hold a special place in our lives. Sending (child) to (top NYC private school) is our dream and the best gift we could give her. Thank you, Emily, from the bottom of our hearts.
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.
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.
We received this email from Trevor Day School today:
Dear Trevor Community:
I am writing to announce one of several upcoming strategic initiatives at Trevor. After extensive discussion, data collection, and market research, we are excited to announce a reduced cost structure for our Pre-Kindergarten program. It is our belief that this step is an essential one in reinvigorating our Pre-K enrollment within a highly competitive market of independent, neighborhood-based, and Universal Pre-K options.
The new Pre-K annual cost, effective for the 2016-2017 school year, will be $27,000. This cost is competitive with other high-quality Pre-K programs in our school neighborhoods and around the city. This change speaks to our commitment to the long-term affordability of an independent school education and to furthering socioeconomic diversity at our school.
For more information about our Pre-K program, please contact Emily Walker Bracchitta, Director of Lower School Admissions, at 212.426.3317 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are thrilled to be able to make such a magical foundational education available to even more families.