Sophia Hollander of the Wall Street Journal offers the most comprehensive article to date about Manhattan’s Speyer Legacy School:  School for ‘Gifted’ Is Aiming Higher.   Speyer is gaining a new middle school, a new, specially designed building, and a new head, Randy Collins, formerly of NYC’s renowned Hunter College Campus Schools.

The people running Speyer are looking to brand the school as the expert on gifted education.  Hollander insightfully deals with the thorny issue at the heart of Speyer’s raison d’etre:  what does “gifted” mean, especially when children are often identified as such when they are four years old?  It’s not a simple question.  People’s intellectual and emotional capacities are complex and change over time.

Hollander writes:

“There’s a lot of bright children in New York and there are not enough schools that teach to this group,” said private schools consultant Emily Glickman.

Speyer’s definition of gifted relies less on test scores than on intellectual curiosity and quick, open minds, administrators say, an ethos they hope their new school building will embody. …

New York City parents can be wary of paying more than $30,000 for an unproven school. Speyer, which opened in 2009, is still considered by many parents as a “backup” to more established schools, Ms. Glickman said. But with a new building—its third in five years—”I think its profile is going to grow,” she said.

NYC private schools are expanding,  improving and specializing to appeal to increasingly demanding New York parents.  The “gifted” or alternatively, “accelerated learner” label is attractive to many New Yorkers, and now Speyer has even better facilities and leadership to appeal to this group.