Brooklyn Heights’ AltSchool has been spotlighted in a New York Times article, “The Bold Idea Behind a Brooklyn School.” AltSchool was founded by former Google executive, Max Ventilla two years ago and has four locations in San Francisco and another in Palo Alto, CA. The Brooklyn Heights Branch opened this fall and currently has thirty students ranging from Pre-K through third grade. Additional schools are planned for the East Village (opening 2016) and Chicago (opening 2017).
Per the AltSchool’s website, “each school fosters personalized learning in small environments while benefitting from the larger AltSchool community of students, parents, and educators across the country. The respective local neighborhoods are an extension of the classroom.” (In Brooklyn, gym takes place in large part in Brooklyn Bridge Park). Their approach and curriculum is student-driven with technology playing a vital part in the classroom experience and each student’s individual lesson plans. The Times reports AltSchool’s goal is to “ultimately, after years of data-keeping, self-assessment and reassessment, is to take its best practices and technological innovations to the universe of public schools.”
Brooklyn Heights resident and parent of a Kindergarten student, Nicole M. is pleased with the AltSchool so far. “Our son [name removed] loves AltSchool and is thriving. It’s been everything we hoped it would be. In a short period of time, we’ve been amazed by his growth. His teachers are top notch. They’ve made school fun for him by rooting learning in his interests while challenging him in new ways. The Times commentary chose words like “experimental” and “dubious ideas.” We choose words like “thoughtful,” “rigorous” and “common sense” to describe AltSchool.”