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.
I am now giving NYC Private School Admissions Corporate Talks, speaking to professional parent groups about NYC Private School Admissions -- How to Get Into Lower, Middle and High School.
I have been in the admissions field now for over 20 years (!), so I am excited to share my expertise about NYC private schools with working parents in corporate settings. Working parents are often too busy to do educational research on their own. I love showing them efficient and effective ways to help their children succeed.
Most recently, I spoke about NYC Private School Admissions to law firm Davis Polk's Parents' Group. Organizers emailed me:
Thanks again for coming to speak to our parents group. The feedback from your presentation has been extremely positive.
The other organizer wrote:
It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for coming to speak to my colleagues and our firm's clients. One of the best presentations we have had all year. I do hope to keep in touch! It was a pleasure to introduce you.
Over the years, many of my educational consulting clients have asked me if it is harder for Asians to get into NYC private school.
Many have heard that it is harder for Asian-Americans to get into college. This week, one of my clients referred me to the LA Times story: For Asian-Americans, A Changing Landscape on College Admissions. Journalist Frank Shyong reports:
Complaints about bias in college admissions have persisted since at least the 1920s, when a Harvard University president tried to cap the number of Jewish students. In November, a group called Students for Fair Admissions filed a suit against Harvard University for admissions policies that allegedly discriminate against Asian Americans. The group cited the 2004 Princeton study and other sources that offer statistics about Asian Americans' test performance.
Is it harder for Asian-Americans to get into NYC private school?
In my sixteen years' experience helping families, I have found that unfortunately it is more competitive for Asians to get into NYC private schools, especially the core, elite group of well-known schools, because more Asian people are applying. New York City's Asian population is growing and more Asian-Americans are seeking NYC private school places.
Thankfully, however, I do not find that there is an "Asian penalty", as is described in Shyong's article about college admissions and SAT scores. I do see that the Asian applicant must work harder to distinguish himself or herself than was necessary when I first started my practice. On the plus side, while I do not have hard numbers, it seems self-evident that more Asian students attend NYC private schools today.
In the New York Times, Kyle Spencer reports in At NYC Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege from the Inside:
This year, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, minority students make up a third of the population of New York City private schools, and 18.5 percent of all students receive financial aid.
While almost all NYC private schools have embraced diversity, they seek a range of diversity. Peoples' opinions run a spectrum on how diversity should be defined in a cosmopolitan city like New York, or how diversity should enter into the allocation of scarce seats.
In my experience at present, if your child is from a well-represented group of applicants, it can be more competitive, especially if your child does not have a noteworthy record of achievement.
I work with my NYC educational consulting clients, from all backgrounds, from preschool to high school, to help them develop customized resumes to help them stand out from other applicants with similar and different family histories. For more information, NYC top private school consultant or 212-712-2228.
With the debut of the AABL test and the KRT test in 2014, NYC families applying for kindergarten are naturally seeking AABL test prep and KRT test prep for their preschoolers. Despite the claims from the test makers that the AABL and KRT tests are not preppable, as always, children who have been pre-exposed to similar material do better on test day. As long as NYC private schools require tests for admission, parents will want their children to be successful.
So how can you help your child? Here's a round-up of AABL test prep and KRT test prep.
The first workbook specifically written for AABL test prep and KRT test prep is this one from Aristotle Circle, a well-known name in NYC private school kindergarten testing preparation. Check out this new workbook: AABL and KRT Test Workbook
Testing Mom, a test prep website, offers a subscription service.
The Educational Records Bureau, the company that developed and administers the AABL, offers a Quick Facts Guide on their website for AABL test prep.
ISAAGNY explains the KRT on their website.
In 2014-2015, the AABL was required by Horace Mann, Riverdale, Collegiate and Avenues. The KRT was required by Berkeley Carroll, Cathedral School, Chapin, Sacred Heart, Dalton, Mandell, Marymount, Poly Prep, Riverdale and Saint David's.
While the NYC private schools have not yet announced which tests schools will want from their kindergarten applicants in 2015-2016, my guess is that AABL use will spread. Unfortunately, the trend is toward NYC private schools desiring that children be more academically mature, whether that is developmentally appropriate or not.
I am now advising my clients on tutoring as well as private school kindergarten consulting options.
ISAAGNY, the Independent Schools Association of Greater New York, has published a chart for NYC private school kindergarten admissions, confusingly titled ISAAGNY ERB Chart.
What ERB test are they talking about? Is it the ECAA kindergarten test? It seems so, because the columns are titled "ECAA". ECAA stands for Early Childhood Admission Assessment (ECAA).
What is the ECAA? It is another name for a test that includes most subtests of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Why does the ERB--that's the Educational Records Bureau--need to call the WPPSI the ECAA? How oblique does this need to be?
Meanwhile, to make the NYC private school kindergarten story even more intriguing, the ERB has recently introduced yet another test. This one is called the Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners, or AABL.
So does ISAAGNY's chart mean anything at all? Even the NYC private school admissions group doesn't seem sure. From their site:
Please find a chart identifying those schools who will still require the ECAA test for Kindergarten, and those schools who will not for the 2014-2015 admissions season. As always, please check individual school's websites for further details.