Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Bennett International has a team of seasoned consultants who focus solely on New York City and the surrounding areas. They know the NYC education landscape and the culture of the many different schools and neighborhoods. Our consultants have lived in New York and the suburbs and collectively have placed hundreds of families in public and private schools. Over the past several years, they have noticed a slight shift in what many families are looking for when they begin to imagine themselves as New Yorkers – working and raising a family in the Big Apple.
In the past, many families would begin the school search process with a list of schools they had sourced from colleagues and friends. The schools on this list weren’t always the best fit for their children or even an option, given intake grades at various schools. Families would also often come to the initial conversation with a vision of what their NYC experience was going to be like. They might envision a lovely brownstone with flower boxes filled with greenery in the front windows. They would walk their children to school before work – maybe through the park. Their children would wear smart uniforms - a little plaid jumper or a tiny blue blazer. The neighborhoods families most often mentioned were those on the Upper East or Upper West Side.
There just happen to be many fantastic independent schools in those neighborhoods, so those families were on the right track. Many of the schools on the UWS and UES are well-established, traditional schools with long storied histories of providing an excellent, traditional, rigorous education.
Today, many families still want that same thing, but many want something different. They are interested in a progressive education that is child-centered and child-driven, and they are interested in neighborhoods that previously were not sought after. Many families now start the conversation with their first choice destination as Brooklyn, and the independent school market is responding to the demand. The Winchendon School opened a new campus in Brooklyn last year and The Whittle Schools and Studios are opening their third “truly global and modern institution” in Brooklyn in September of 2020. Public schools in Brooklyn are also seeing greater interest in enrollment. The only Japanese/English public school is located in Williamsburg and PS 110 has a French/English dual language program that often has a long waitlist for many grades.
Our NYC team has visited all of these schools and had conversations with their leadership teams. The Whittle School isn’t even open yet, but members of our team have attended a presentation hosted by the founder, Chris Whittle.
Cities are dynamic and everchanging places, and it can be overwhelming to find the best fit school for life long New Yorkers, let alone a family moving from London or Sydney. Our NYC consultants are on the ground, attending Open Houses, touring schools, and seeking out new and innovative places for families moving to the city. We are looking forward to discovering the next neighborhood of choice for the families we serve!
For more from Bennett, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.