Abacus4A challenge for any new NYC private school is breaking through parents’ resistance to spending $30,000 for a new, unproven school.

Speyer Legacy School took a giant step forward today when the Times profiled the new private school, focusing on its mission to teach the “gifted”.  From the article:

Lillian Yang said that she was willing to pay for Speyer so that her son, Christopher, could get the instruction he needed (he got a partial scholarship). Since he already knows addition and subtraction, he is getting advanced math lessons in multiplication.

“With gifted children, if you don’t let them reach their potential, they will feel pressure to be the same as other kids, and that can cause them to shut down,” she said.

The article did not cover the other side of the debate.  While many parents and educators believe that early developing, bright children should be given accelerated academic material, others are not so sure.  They don’t think that labeling certain children as gifted and teaching them separately is necessary.  Instead, these educators and parents think that the focus in the early years of elementary school should be on socialization.

What I know about Speyer: it is definitely gaining traction with New York City parents.  It has a diverse student body, strong art and music programs, inviting atmosphere and bright kids.  My clients with high scoring kids applying for kindergarten are considering it this year as a possibility.  Everyone’s dream is still Dalton or Trinity—but Speyer is rising, and considered by some a superior option to some less competitive private schools and public.