the best school $75 million can buy

by gurumommy on July 12, 2011

in from the desk of

I always look to NYC for the most extreme parenting examples.  This week is no exception with the talk about a new ‘for profit’ private school, Avenues, they already claim to have 5,000 applications  for 1,320 spots and they aren’t even opening until the fall!

None of that may matter, thanks to the brute reality of the Manhattan private-school admissions race: There is a serious supply-demand imbalance between school seats and children, especially downtown. The population of children under age 5 in Manhattan has risen 32 percent in five years, while the number of seats at top independent schools has inched up by 400 in the past decade, Mr. Whittle said. And, he said, those spots are going to siblings and legacies.

But Avenues is not just about offering new private-school seats. It also proposes to educate children differently. The world has changed, Team Avenues says, and the way private schools educate has not.

The founders say students at Avenues will learn bilingually, immersed in classrooms where half of the instruction will be in Spanish or Mandarin, the other half in English, from nursery school through fourth grade. The school will be part of a network of 20 campuses around the world with roughly the same curriculum. If Mom and Dad move to London, little Mateo doesn’t have to find a new school, or maybe even miss any class. When Sophia is in middle school, she can spend her summers in Shanghai, and when she’s in high school, she can globe-trot by semester. Avenues will foster “mastery,” finding students’ passions early and building on them.

The founders say students at Avenues will learn bilingually, immersed in classrooms where half of the instruction will be in Spanish or Mandarin, the other half in English, from nursery school through fourth grade. The school will be part of a network of 20 campuses around the world with roughly the same curriculum. If Mom and Dad move to London, little Mateo doesn’t have to find a new school, or maybe even miss any class. When Sophia is in middle school, she can spend her summers in Shanghai, and when she’s in high school, she can globe-trot by semester. Avenues will foster “mastery,” finding students’ passions early and building on them.

“Schools need to do a better job preparing children for international lives,” Mr. Whittle said. He and his team call themselves “fervent evolutionaries,” purposefully shying away from the r-word since, as they (now) acknowledge, most parents aren’t too keen to mix “revolution” and “my children.”

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

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