By Benyamin Davidsons
The new school year is right around the corner. While most schools are still in the midst of uncertainty regarding how classes will be administered next year, one school has it all worked out. An elite private school named, Avenues: The World School, is making plans to open a new ‘flex’ location in the Hamptons, where many of NYC’s elite have been escaping.
The ultra-exclusive school already has existing schools in New York City, Sao Paolo, Brazil and Shenzhen, China. This school, however, will be different. Avenues Studio Hamptons will have all classes, assignments and teachings only online, and students may be based anywhere in the world. As reported by Business Insider, the school is actively searching for a small building with more than 3,500 square feet in the Hamptons, that will only be used for events, meetings, and group project work. Tuition cost for the year of online school will be $48,000, which is about 15 percent less than the $56,400 tuition cost at the Avenues New York City location.
Tara Powers, Avenues’ global director of communications, told Business Insider that “a growing number of parents and students want options and flexibility when it comes to schooling, which is what prompted the creation of our Studio model as these plans were being developed prior to the pandemic.”
The school is slated to open in August 2020. Already, there have been over 100 inquiries from interested families, as per Powers. Only 10 percent of the interest came from families who live full-time in the Hamptons, primarily the Sag Harbor area. The rest of the inquiries have been from families based in New York City, who have a second home in the Hamptons or in a nearby town like Watermill.
As previously reported by the WSJ, since the pandemic hit, shuttering schools and all nonessential businesses, New Yorkers have been fleeing the city to the Hamptons. Real estate and rental prices in the area have been booming, as an increasing number of families are looking to stay long-term. The families are planning to enroll their children in schools in the Hamptons, so that they will have private backyards to enjoy the outdoors while social distancing, as well as forgo the use of crowded buses or subways to get to school.
Avenues is a highly selective school, where many applicants will be turned away. The original Chelsea, Manhattan location reportedly serves the children of entrepreneurs, tech millionaires, and celebrities. Suri Cruise, the daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise is said to have attended. Those who do get accepted will be given MacBooks and iPads, and receive a modular innovative curriculum which will include yoga, dance, and second languages.
At Avenues Studio Hamptons, the student’s Monday-through-Thursday schedule will include two hours a day of online classes, two to four hours of course work daily, and one hour on community-centered learning. Fridays will be devoted to individual courses of study.
Powers told Business Insider that Avenues believes this flex experience will be typical for the duration of the pandemic. He also noted though, that Avenues doesn’t plan to permanently change its full-scale campuses into flex schools. Although Avenues has not yet specified specifics for health and safety standards, they said the school “will always meet or exceed external requirements”.