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An elite NYC private school is opening a 'flex' location in the Hamptons with classes taught entirely online — and tuition will be $48,000 a year

Katie Warren   

An elite NYC private school is opening a 'flex' location in the Hamptons with classes taught entirely online — and tuition will be $48,000 a year
  • Avenues: The World School, an elite private school with campuses in New York City, Brazil, and China, is opening a location in the Hamptons, the school confirmed to Business Insider.
  • Avenues Studio Hamptons will have a small physical hub for group work and events, but all classes will be taught online.
  • Annual tuition will be $48,000, and each student gets a MacBook and an iPad.
  • Students at the school's original campus in Manhattan have reportedly included the children of hedge-fund managers and entrepreneurs, tech millionaires, and celebrities.

Avenues: The World School, an ultra-exclusive private school, is opening a location in the Hamptons, the affluent vacation destination for New York's elite.

The new location will be in addition to the school's existing campuses in New York City; Sao Paolo, Brazil; and Shenzhen, China.

Starting in August 2020, Avenues Studio Hamptons will offer a "flex experience": it will have a physical hub in the Hamptons for events, meetings with mentors, and group project work, but all classes will be taught online and students can be based anywhere in the world.

The annual tuition will be $48,000 — about 15% less than tuition at the school's New York City location, where tuition is $56,400 per year.

Throughout the pandemic, New Yorkers have been fleeing the city to the Hamptons, causing skyrocketing demand for rentals. Many of those families are looking to stay long-term and enroll their children in schools in the Hamptons, where there's room to play outside safely and they won't have to take a crowded subway to school, as Leslie Brody reported for The Wall Street Journal.

Tara Powers, Avenues' global director of communications, told Business Insider that "a growing number of parents and students want options and flexibility when it comes to schooling, which is what prompted the creation of our Studio model as these plans were being developed prior to the pandemic."

An ultra-exclusive school for the children of the elite

Students at Avenues' original location in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood are the children of hedge-fund managers and entrepreneurs, tech millionaires, and celebrities. Suri Cruise, the daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, reportedly attended the school.

Avenues is highly selective. David Buckwald, the school's admissions director, told Business Insider last year that while the school doesn't publicize its admissions rate, it receives many more applications than it can accept.

Those who manage to get in are given MacBooks and iPads, take yoga and dance classes, and graduate fluent in either Mandarin or Spanish.

The New York campus was the first to open in 2012, but Avenues plans to build campuses in at least 20 cities in the next decade, including Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Miami, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Singapore — and now, the Hamptons.

Avenues Studio Hamptons: 'small by design' and full of NYC kids

While the exact location of Avenues Studio Hamptons' physical hub is yet to be determined, the school has already gotten more than 100 inquiries from interested families, according to Powers.

About 90% of interest has come from families based in New York City who have a second home in the Hamptons or a neighboring township such as Watermill, she said. The other 10% has been from families who live full-time in the Hamptons, mainly from Sag Harbor.

The school is searching for a space with at least 3,500 square feet, Powers told Business Insider. The studio will be "small by design," only serving a maximum of 150 students at a time, per the website.

The school has not yet announced any coronavirus-related safety measures it will be taking when it opens in August, but Powers said the school's health and safety standards "will always meet or exceed external requirements" and that the school will look to practices put in place by schools reopening around the world.

Some countries that have started reopening schools, including Israel, Japan, Denmark, and China, have implemented precautionary measures like mandatory temperature checks, holding classes outside, and spacing desks and tables apart.

At Avenues Studio Hamptons, a student's typical Monday-through-Thursday schedule will comprise two hours per day in online classes, two to four hours per day on course work, and one hour on community-centered learning, per the school's website. Fridays will be dedicated to individual courses of study.

Powers told Business Insider that Avenues expects this flex experience to become the norm throughout the pandemic.

However, Avenues does not plan to permanently turn its full-scale campuses into flex models, but will operate multiple models at its locations around the globe, she added.

A completely virtual application process

At Avenues' Manhattan location, where students range from nursery level to 12th grade, the admissions process involves supervised playgroups for younger children to see how well they follow directions and make transitions, and collaborative design challenges for middle-school aged kids. For high school students, there's a standardized test followed by a 20-30 minute in-person interview.

At Avenues Studio Hamptons, the entire process is virtual, and students entering grades five through 11 anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.

The application process has three steps. First, the student fills out an online application and creates a video of themselves completing a challenge given by the school. Next, the student will receive feedback from the school with the option of recreating the video if it doesn't meet requirements. The final step is a one-hour video interview.

Avenues Studio Hamptons' $48,000 tuition includes a MacBook Air, iPad, and Pencil, as well as all materials, books, software, and service subscriptions for each student.

The school is offering discounted tuition for families that make less than $320,000 and owns assets valued at less than $1 million. For a family with a household income of $50,000, tuition could be as low as $7,500 per year.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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