Blue School is expanding to middle school.  Sophia Hollander of The Wall Street Journal reports that Blue School, the downtown Manhattan elementary school founded by members of the Blue Man Group theater company, is adding a middle school:  The Blue Man Group Tries Out Middle School

Hollander explains in detail Blue School’s new middle school offerings, which include a fresh approach to academia, social activism, and STEM.

Hollander asked me my view of what New York City parents seek from a private middle school.  I said:

New York City parents prefer middle schools that continue through high school, to spare their families the stress of running another admissions gauntlet, said private-schools consultant Emily Glickman, who founded Abacus Guide Educational Consulting.

Perhaps more worrisome is feedback she has heard from clients—including enrolled families—who “are concerned about the Blue School because they think that creativity is foremost and rigor is less important,” she said.

By middle school, academic standards become even more critical, she said, and parents look for a school that will prepare their children to excel in high school and succeed in the competitive college admissions process. For older children with more at stake, those concerns are “going to be even more magnified,” she said.

Blue School maintains that they will well prepare their middle school students, stating “We don’t see play or project-based learning and standardized testing as mutually exclusive.”

It is always exciting when private schools expand or open, adding to the pool of available seats for New York City students.