NEW YORK, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Just five months since it launched – and still over a year until its first campus opens – Avenues: The World School has realized unprecedented demand for its innovative nursery through 12th grade education. More than 1,200 applications for its early admissions program were completed by the June 15 deadline. Some 3,500 parents have attended over 50 different parent information events, and parents have registered 3,250 students on the school's website, the first part of the application process. Further, the admissions staff has completed over 2,000 interviews with parents and children. And the school's website has had in excess of 135,000 visits.
"Having worked for years to develop this new global school with its first and flagship campus right here in New York, our team expected a strong response, but this is beyond anything we imagined or have ever witnessed," said Dr. Ty Tingley, Co-Head of Avenues: New York and former Head of Phillips Exeter Academy. He noted that over the past several years, "We believe nine independent schools have opened in the city, with an average first-year enrollment of only 52 students."
Added Dr. Robert "Skip" Mattoon, Co-Head of Avenues: New York and the former Head of The Hotchkiss School, "This is an unprecedented response from parents and students. What makes it even more remarkable is that we are not yet in peak admissions season. Our regular admissions program will be in the fall, and based on this spring's response, we are preparing for an even larger surge of parent interest and applications at that time."
The institution, to be located in a 10-story, 215,000-square foot landmark building on the High Line in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, will be the first of a worldwide system of 20 or more highly-integrated independent schools to open over the next decade around the globe, in major cities such as Shanghai, London, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi and Sydney. Connected by a common vision and shared curriculum, Avenues' worldwide network of campuses will deliver an exceptional education to prepare students for global life.
The school will open 12 of its planned 15 grades in the 2012-2013 school year, including all grades between nursery and 9th grade. The 10th, 11th and 12th grades will be added over the following three years. Avenues' first graduating class will be in spring 2016.
Based on results to date, the school expects it will receive about 4,000 total applications for the seats available on opening day in fall 2012.
"The exceptional admissions results are not due to any single factor," Tingley said. "Perhaps the most powerful draw is our commitment to truly prepare children for international life with best-in-class Mandarin and Spanish language immersion programs, a K-12 World Course being prepared under the direction of Professor Fernando Reimers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and multiple study abroad programs that are highly integrated into our curriculum."
Mattoon echoed these sentiments, adding, "We estimate that in about 50 percent of the families visiting with us, one or both parents were born outside the United States before making New York their full-time home. They know the importance of global preparedness and want to ensure their children have those benefits."
Other ingredients of the Avenues program were also cited as significant contributors to the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response, according to Dr. Gardner Dunnan, Avenues' Academic Dean and Head of the Dalton School for 23 years and Founding Head of The School at Columbia. "The leadership team we've been able to assemble gives parents a great deal of confidence in the quality and rigor of the educational program. Nancy Schulman, Libby Hixson and Tom Bonnell, the Heads of our Early, Lower and Middle Schools, come to us from leadership positions at such institutions as the 92nd Street Y, Dalton and Savannah Country Day School and have followings here in the city and beyond," he said. "Also, our 26th Street location allows easy access for both downtown and uptown families and gives us direct connections to the art community of Chelsea and the athletic facilities at Chelsea Piers. Finally, though a facility doesn't make a school, we're blessed with a great one that is attractive to parents, students and faculty alike."
"Of particular note," said Susan Robinson, Director of Admissions, "is that we had expected the robust response we are receiving for our entry grades—nursery, kindergarten, six and nine. But the interest across all grades has surpassed our expectations." In fact, Avenues has received 560 applications for its entry grades and more than 650 applications for all other grades—pre-K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8. "Our early admissions program will produce a strong nucleus of students for each grade, and we'll build upon that in regular admissions. We've met one-on-one with every family applying to Avenues, and we've heard not only about their belief in the mission and vision of Avenues but their excitement about the depth of the academic experience found in the leadership of the school."
In other Avenues developments, the school's leaders said that:
- Construction of the flagship campus is well underway and scheduled for delivery in advance of the fall 2012 opening.
- Recruitment of the 30 lead faculty members will be completed this fall, a year in advance of opening. Roughly one-quarter of this leadership has already been filled. With their assistance, recruitment of the remaining 150 person faculty will occur during the coming school year.
- On the curriculum side, the Avenues "World Course," a study for grades K-12 of history, geography, economics, political science, demography and other social studies, is nearing completion by a team working under Harvard University professor Fernando Reimers.
For more information on Avenues and admissions, visit www.avenues.org
DKC Public Relations
Bruce Bobbins / Juliet Horn
212-981-5190 / 212-981-5221
SOURCE Avenues: The World School