I hate numbers.
I just read a article in Patch about Niche's ranking of NYC Private HS. They did very well nationally and you will all be curious to read how each school did on this very narrow and subjective list. First, congratulations to them! (my tone is sincere). My quibble is not public vs. private or even which schools are the best- it is Patch's quote, "NY City is a dry, dry desert for prestigious public schools".

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Basis Independent

There is a new STEM based Independent School opening in Brooklyn in fall of 2014. They are a for-profit K-12th grade program that will be housed in new construction in Red Hook on Sigourney Street.

They have an in interesting pedigree. They began as a charter school network in Arizona, Texas and DC and they have grown to become one of the most highly respected High School programs in the country according to US News and World Report. They have 14 charter programs and they are opening 2 new independent schools in Brooklyn and San Jose, Ca. The school is accepting applications for K-10th grade (there may be some "bridge classes" depending on enrollment). Tuition is $23,500. for all students. There may be merit scholarship (no needs based financial aid) opportunities in the second year and beyond.

The HS program is 3 years with a 4th year "Essentially, 12th grade Capstone courses transition students from student-centered learning to independent learning. Capstone students study subjects like Category Theory, Organic Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics, Differential Equations, and Game Theory. These courses delve deeply into advanced material and are roughly equivalent to upper-level college courses. The result is that BASIS students enter college prepared to excel in at least intermediate-level college work." - Basis Charter website

Specific admissions information is coming shortly, including applications. They don't have age cut off set yet. They are happy to talk to families on an individual basis about this. There isn't any open house information yet, but I will list it here and in the newsletter when they are scheduled. Student:teacher ratio, 15:1 (first to fourth grade); 25:1 in middle school and smaller again in high school.

Read their interesting FAQ page for answers to questions like:
Why move from charter to independent?
What is a for-profit independent school?
Arizona to NYC, really?
Why no standardized testing?
Red Hook? - there will be transportation (for an additional fee)

Information Sessions:
Wed. 11/13 at 6:30pm

brooklyn heights montessori is opening an expanded campus

The lovely and progressive preschool through 8th grade program located on Court St. and Bergen in Cobble Hill has added a new Middle School suite and Firehouse Theater as well as more outdoor space. They have a new Learning Kitchen that will enhance their math and science curriculum. They have added 11,000 sq ft to the existing campus.

"Recent articles in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall St Journal, have reported that a Montessori education is likely the best preparation we can give students for success in the 21st Century. Numerous high-profile entrepreneurs such as the founders of Google, Jeff Bezos founder of Amazon, and countless others have publicly cited their Montessori education as the key contributor to their success. The critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed through a Montessori education will only become more valuable in the new economic structure that future generations will face."

Open in 1965, BHMS students learn reading, writing, and mathematics skills focusing on the process of discovery versus merely retaining information. BHMS engages students in a challenging and meaningful curriculum that inspires independence, confidence, curiosity, leadership, and collaboration.

world class learning

I got the call to come to the east village and check out World Class Learning Academy (WCL). It was an easy trip to the old La Salle High School building on East 2nd St. which has gotten a spiffy renovation to accommodate this for profit nursery through 5th grade program (eventually growing to 12th grade). The WCL Group has been operating schools in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston and Washington on the British model for many years.

They are using the IPC International Curriculum, which is an inquiry and integrated theme based model, and they explain it compellingly with examples of student work from the other WCL schools. Although there are currently no children enrolled in the classrooms, you will get a feel on a tour that it will be a welcoming environment, and they have a strong track record and staff with a lot of experience in their other schools. The facilities have large classrooms, beautiful light, a roof top playground and several indoor play spaces.

They will be opening the school with Nursery through Year 5; ("Nursery" ages 3/4, half or full day), Prek ("Reception" ages 4/5) and Kindergarten ("Year 1" ages 5/6). They will be following the ISAGGNY dates. Click for information or call 212-600-2010.

the blue school

I love to report on new opportunities! The Blue School is not technically in Brooklyn, but with a brand new, permanent location (for 2011) at 241 Water St. they might as well be (access to many subway lines!). They are moving into a beautiful large new space that will accommodate them with classes for two year olds through 3rd grade next year. "The six-story building will comfortably allow the Blue School to grow through 5th grade over the next three years with multiple class sections and generous common spaces."

Applications and deadlines for the 2011-2012 academic year will be extended to December 15, 2010 to accommodate new families. For more details or contact Jeni Ardizzone-West, Executive Director at jeni@blueschool.org

Greene Hill School

I got a little note from the Greene Hill School this morning and I thought that I would pass it on.

"Greene Hill School is thrilled to announce that we have found a truly spectacular permanent home for the school at 39 Adelphi St. The school building -- which has been in continual use as a school for more than 100 years -- has large classrooms with floor to ceiling windows, a library, an auditorium with a stage, and an outdoor play space. We are so pleased to be able to stay in the neighborhoods that inspired Greene Hill and invite you to contact us to learn more about out program for the fall.

More about Greene Hill:
Greene Hill School is a newly established progressive elementary and middle school located in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Brooklyn. Conceived by neighborhood parents and educators, Greene Hill is an engaging, supportive and socially responsible community of active learners. In September 2010 GHS will offer small classes for children ages 4-8. Greene Hill School is currently accepting applications for children 4-8. If you are interested in visiting the school, please email us at info@greenehillschool.org or call 718.230.3608 to set up an appointment. www.greenehillschool.org"

I can't wait to see the new space. I would also like to add that they have a progressive focus, very knowledgeable directors, rich classroom environments and now that they have a space of their own, I think that they will really take off. Did I mention that they are among the Independent school bargains?



musical chairs for private school heads

St. Ann's has a new headmaster, Vincent Tompkins, the deputy provost of Brown University. The New York Times, mcbrooklyn, and the Brooklyn Eagle each have their own spin on the story.

The former head of St. Ann's, Larry Weiss, is moving to Brooklyn Friends just down the street where he began his career in the 70's. In the intervening years he was the Director of Chinese Studies at Sidwell Friends School and Head of the Upper Division at Horace Mann in Riverdale.

new schools, new locations

Private School:

The Greene Hill School has been incubating at Irving and Putnam in Clinton Hill with the Coop School, but they have found a new long term space in the neighborhood at 39 Adelphi. They are a progressive Independent program - growing to 8th grade - that is priced for middle class families. They will be having a 3/4's program in September. (If you have been shut out of a threes program you might give them a call!) They will be offering classes for children aged 3 through 8 in Sept. If you are interested in visiting the school contact them to set up an appointment: 718 230-3608 or info@greenehillschool.org

They will be holding a fundraiser, The Greene Affair, on Apri 26 at Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo. Contact them for information.

Public School:

There is a new "Common Application" for all charter schools in the city. You need to deliver or mail an application to the charter schools of your choice by April 1. Insideschools has an updated list of new charter programs opening in the fall.

Insideschools also reports about new programs, "some schools are opening to ease overcrowding in existing neighborhood schools while others are targeting families looking for choices beyond their zoned schools, sitll others are replacing schools that are closing. Several schools will occupy newly constructed buildings."
District 17: The New American Academy an "open classroom" trilingual (English, Spanish and French) program will open with a K and first grade in Crown Heights.
District 20: four new schools in new facilities in new zones. PS 310, PS 971, PS 264, PS 748 will accept students from across the district.
District 13: a new middle school, Ft. Greene Prep opening in the PS 46 building, has already been proven to be very interesting to 5th grade parents across the district.

internation school of brooklyn's new address

International School of Brooklyn is moving to Carroll Gardens in the fall of 2010. They have much larger digs at 477 Court St. in Carroll Gardens (that is the corner of Nelson St.). The whole school will be moving to the new location and they anticipate enrollment to be 180 students in nursery through 4 th grade. They will have enough space at this location to continue to grow each year through middle school which is wonderful news for parents interested in a strong language program. They will launch their middle school in 2012. International School of Brooklyn is an independent school following the International Baccalaureate curriculum that has language immersion beginning at age three in Spanish or French.

With the popular dual language French program at PS 58 on Carroll St. and Hands on World just down Court St. Carroll Gardens is beginning to have a distinctly French flavor.

International School of Brooklyn and Dual Language at PS 84

It is a big news day for you language immersion and dual language fans!
The International School of Brooklyn which is an independent school , (currently nursery through 3rd grade) has a language immersion program in Spanish and French is moving to a big new location. They will be moving their whole school to a former Catholic School building in Carroll Gardens next year. The new location will triple their current space and allow them to launch their middle school in 2012. They anticipate almost doubling their enrollment for the 2010 school year.

Are you interested in Dual Language Spanish or Dual Language French in a public school?
Check out PS 84 in Williamsburg. Not only do they have a new principal, Jake Hobson, they have just announced that next year they will be rolling out a new dual language French program to join their Spanish program. A large number of local families have been working to organize this program over the last year.

They will have a meeting for parents on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6pm at the school (wine and cheese courtesy of the French Embassy).

They will also be screening a French cartoon + snacks on Sat. Oct. 24 at 11am. Bring the kids and tell your friends to show local support for this great new neighborhood program. Everyone is welcome.
RSVP frenchinwillburg@gmail.com

Williamsburg Northside Grows Up

Williamsburg Northside's Director, Amy Warden, just wrote to tell me that the school is going to open a K through 5th grade school called Williamsburg Northside School. in the fall of 09. They will start with a Kindergarten of 20 students. It will be located at 70 Havermeyer St. They are anticipating one class on a grade of 20 students each.

I am touring the raw space with Amy next week and I will blog about all the details then.