Portfolio team has set out to offer an answer for schools with a reimagined vision of learning and operations. It enables us to produce a better learning environment at a lower cost. This mitigates the risks of being new while offering a world class education for our learners.
Disruption in an industry takes place with a better product at a lower cost. We at Portfolio School are doing this with the growing movement of micro-schools (A fancy term for small schools/campuses). Micro schools not only make learning more organic, personal and agile, but in fact are ideal for urban education. A city like New York has so much to offer that building out fancy gyms or theater facilities etc is redundant. Each neighborhood in our city provides these experiences for our kids. Our kids learn a lot more when we partner with existing world class facilities rather than trying to create them in-house on a limited scale. For instance, at Portfolio, if our middle school kids are assigned a project to put a theatrical play together, part of their experience would include them planning and executing a full production including renting a close by theater, setting up ticket sales, marketing, set and costume design etc.
That's the kind of holistic experience and understanding that kids should have. NYC houses the perfect partners for us to develop these kinds of programs. We’re not planning and building a huge space because it’s not needed for true education. In fact it encumbers the best learning approaches that you can enable in an urban environment.
Not only is this a better learning experience, but operationally enables us to be much more efficient. Our elementary school campus for 80 students will be a 6000 to 8000 square feet space. Some of this operational efficiency is passed on to the parents in the form of lower tuition than almost all Manhattan private schools and there is no expectation to make donations on a yearly basis.
Here is our plan for the next few years:
- For academic year 2017-2018, we plan to stay in the same space. We will take no more than 30 students due to space requirements.
- Plans for 2018-19 include moving to a new building in Tribeca. This will be our first full fledged campus for ages 5 to 11 and we're looking forward to this move. Planning and search for the space will begin this summer.
- From there on, we will be growing on a pace that matches the demand. Our second elementary age campus will be built at the point where we see a considerable demand and the campus can be self sustained. The initial setup of each campus requires much less capital than what it costs to build out a traditional school.
- Our first middle school campus will start in 2019-20.
Our approach gives us a much more robust plan to be successful in the highly competitive NYC education space with a higher quality learning approach at a lower cost to the families. We’re very excited about what we’ll be building in the next few years.