View Full Version : Manhattan-Downtown Chelsea school, Avenues, will offer avenue to get a global education

02-18-2011, 09:34 AM
This from The Villager (http://thevillager.com/villager_408/chelseaschool.html) by Scott Stiffler:
A luncheon/launch event on Feb. 1 for a new-concept school drew a capacity crowd in Chelsea, but the focus went far beyond the Lower West Side locale.

Invited community members, parents and education advocates — including former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein; Teach for America C.E.O. Wendy Kopp; and CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein — politely listened and occasionally nodded affirmation as leaders of Avenues: The World School put forth their plan for fall 2012. That’s the preordained time when 259 10th Ave. — a 1928 former warehouse that bears the mark of renowned architect Cass Gilbert — will make its debut as Avenues’ flagship campus.

Presented as “A new school with global ambitions whose Chelsea location will be a template for things to come,” Avenues will school its students in the shadow of the High Line and mere steps from Chelsea Piers. Organizers frequently referenced a mutually beneficial relationship between the school and these two neighborhood institutions — also foreseeing synergy between artistically inclined students and local galleries. As for the school itself, renderings portrayed a space whose 10 floors and 215,000 square feet have been refitted to flood every classroom with natural light. Holding forth in those classrooms will be teachers whose annual pay/benefits package totals $110,000. In coming weeks, information sessions will be held for parents considering early enrollment. In 2012-2013, Avenues will have classes from nursery school to ninth grade. Grades 10, 11 and 12 will be added over the next three years. Avenues’ first graduating class will be in spring 2016.

“As the first truly global network of pre-K-to-12 schools, Avenues is uniquely equipped to prepare students to excel in the highly competitive and networked 21st-century world,” declared Benno Schmidt, Avenues’ chairperson. A former president of Yale University, who currently chairs CUNY’s board of trustees, Schmidt is only one of the major education names who’ve signed on to the ambitious Avenues vision of a 15-grade educational cycle to produce bilingual world citizens of the world.

Others include Avenues co-head Tyler T. Tingley, who led Phillips Exeter Academy for 12 years; Robert “Skip” Mattoon, Jr., also co-head of the school and former headmaster of the Hotchkiss School; and Nancy Schulman, head of Avenues’ early learning center and director of the 92nd St. Y’s Nursery School since 1990.

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