Mandell families have started calling us for assistance in school placement. Families have let us know that Mandell School’s kindergarten-8th grade will close in 2017. Rocket Group, the for-profit parent group of Mandell, does not want to continue operating Mandell since it is not sufficiently profitable. Mandell wrote its families:
The Mandell K-8 School opened nine years ago. It has succeeded in delivering a superb education to hundreds of children. Regrettably, the K-8 school revenues have never come close to covering the costs of providing that education. The current owner, Rocket Group, has contributed significant capital to maintain and enhance the K-8 school.
Fascinatingly, BASIS Independent school will take over the building, also operating it as a K-8.
BASIS is a very successful school, doing so well in its less than two years in operation that it is now expanding into Manhattan from Brooklyn. BASIS is very smart with this building acquisition. I am sure that many Mandell families will happily flock to BASIS, giving the school a head start in enrollment. BASIS–with its emphasis on academic rigor and STEM–has done a superb job differentiating itself in a crowded for-profit school marketplace. Its low tuition–approximately half of other private schools–is another draw. Mandell’s location on the Upper West Side is also helpful for a new private school as I believe there is sufficient demand to support a private school with a clear and sought-after mission.