A miffed Manhattan mom has filed suit against a $19,000-a-year Upper East Side preschool, charging it wasn't sophisticated enough for her four-year-old and failed to properly prepare the tyke for the city's elite schools.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Nicole Imprescia says her daughter Lucia was forced to spend time with lesser-minded two- and three-year-olds while the attending York Avenue Preschool instead of focusing on test preparation.
The school told Imprescia it would "prepare her daughter for the ERB, an exam required for admission into nearly all the elite private elementary schools," but as time went on, "it became obvious that defendant's promises were a complete fraud," the suit says.
"Indeed, the school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom," the suit says.
School owner Michael Branciforte declined immediate comment, except to say Imprescia's charges were a "first" in their 30 years in business.
Imprescia's suit seeks class action status on behalf of "all other consumers of preschool services provided by [York] during the years 2009 through 2011," and cites many news articles on the importance of a preschool education, including one that said, "It is no secret that for many Manhattan parents, getting a child into the Ivy League starts in nursery school."
The kindergarten process may be crazy but this mom has gone off the deep end. I saw in another article that her daughter spent less than a month at York Ave before she puller her out and sent her to Catholic school. What do you expect in less than a month? I think she just wants her money back because of a difference in philosophy and only using the test prep thing as an excuse.
York Avenue Preschool Fights Back Against the Suit
York Avenue Preschool, the UES Preschool named in the suit by Nicole Imprescia for not prepping her daughter for the ERB, responds by updating its website with parent testimonials. Some of the comments include:
"The education that our daughter has received at York Avenue Preschool has far surpassed our expectations. Not only has she learned the preschool "basics" (i.e. shapes, colors, numbers), her world has been even further expanded through exposure to artists and authors, cooking and music, and French lessons and gymnastics. Through the individualized attention our daughter has received from her teachers, she has grown and flourished tremendously over the past 2 years. As parents, we have benefited greatly from the detailed feedback provided to us about our daughter's experiences in the classroom which have helped us encourage her learning at home. Lastly, the daily communication and the many opportunities we have to be involved in the school activities help to create a welcoming community for all the families to enjoy. "
"York Avenue Preschool has provided a well-rounded and challenging curriculum for our son for all three years. He has enjoyed taking French, science, computers, art, music and yoga classes which are all taught by specialists. He has been very well-prepared academically as well as socially from his time spent at York. We unreservedly recommend York Avenue Preschool."
-J.R. and T.P.
"York Avenue has a reputation for being one of the most academic nursery school programs, as well as providing structure, discipline and socialization. The students bring home a daily schedule, which lists concepts they have learned. My two children have benefited enormously and my daughter is now thriving at one of the city's Gifted and Talented programs."
"We cannot say enough good things about York Avenue Preschool's approach to early education. Our older daughter thrived during the three years she spent at York, gaining skills, confidence and a love of learning that she will carry throughout her life. She emerged from York more than prepared for the top-notch ongoing school she now attends, transitioned very easily, and continues to have great success in her education. Our younger daughter is flourishing in her first year at York, and enjoying every minute she spends at the school. York continues to exceed our expectations, primarily the breadth and depth of the curriculum, the nurturing and talented teachers, the well-run organization, and the strong sense of community."