Are microschools the future of school?

With the rise of Altschool and other micro-schools, some are calling micro-schooling the hottest growing trend in education.

So, are microschools the future of school?

We’d like you to invite you to find out for yourself at our NYC micro-school tour January 27–31. You will have the opportunity to visit and get an inside look at 12 NYC schools, coops and playgroups that we’ve identified as exceptional learning environments for toddlers, kids and teens.

NYC micro-school tour (January 27–31)

This particular tour features interactive learning opportunities. Tour attendees will get to participate in special activities including a tinkering project at Brooklyn Apple Academy, lecture by educational philosopher Peter Gray hosted by Agile Learning Center and classical performances by the kids at Child’s Play NY. The tour includes a reception with wine, cheese and dessert and a private educational consultation with CottageClass founder, Manisha Snoyer. Sign up by January 19 for our early bird special that includes visits to two additional schools in Manhattan and Queens!

Step 1: Sign up here

Step 2: Select the schools you’d like to attend

Step 3: Attend the CottageClass info session to get valuable information about each school and meet the CottageClass team.

Schedule of events:

CottageClass reception (Carroll Gardens) Wednesday, January 27, 7pm. All ages. CottageClass is a community marketplace for childhood education. We empower families to find high quality, affordable learning opportunities that fit the needs of their unique family. Our info session/ kick-off event in Manisha’a home will be a, fun, relaxed opportunity for parents to meet and mingle as well as ask questions about our partner schools, the admissions process and the ins and outs of building a comprehensive educational plan for their unique child. Wine and cheese for parents. Childcare by our fabulous intern Nzi in the adjoining kid’s room.

Agile Learning Center (Upper East Side/East Harlem, Event in Chelsea) “Peter Gray in NYC” Thursday, January 28th, 6pm. Ages 7–16. New York City’s first Agile Learning Center is an independent school for self-directed learners. Students at Agile Learning Centers individualize their learning within the context of a supportive community. We have adapted simple tools for self-organization and intentional culture creation to better support young people in engaging with their passions and curiosities while shaping the environment of the school. Note: Agile is in East Harlem, but the lecture is in Chelsea.

Maple Street School (Lefferts Gardens). “Musication with Jeremy Zmuda!” January 29, 10–11am. Ages 2–4. We are an NAEYC-accredited parent cooperative preschool that emphasizes nurturing, play, and hands-on learning. We also emphasize parent involvement, connection to the community, and a cooperative spirit. In our classrooms, we value each child as unique and growing. Play is central to our progressive philosophy of education and, as such, is an important part of the curriculum. At Maple Street School, all families participate to ensure that our children learn and grow in a safe, creative environment. This includes obligations such as providing classroom snacks, maintenance of the building, serving on a co-op committee, and fundraising. Participation is at the core of our mission and operation. At Maple Street School, families and teachers together provide a rich, nurturing, creative, first school experience and foster a lifelong love of learning for children.

Willow Nest (Lefferts Gardens). “Open Play,” January 29, 10–11am. Ages 2–5. We offer a home-based preschool alternative for children ages 2–5. Opening in November 2015, our inaugural program, Story Tree Play Group, offers small group sizes with a 4 to 1 student/teacher ratio in a unique, peaceful, nurturing and aesthetically charged environment. The Willow Nest Studio space has been carefully designed with young children in mind, beautifully outfitted with a materials lab, an extensive children’s library, and moveable spaces for light and shadow, theatric arts and movement, spaces for paint and clay, for loose parts, and cozy, restful comfort. The space is open and full of transformative possibility!

Brooklyn Free School (Clinton Hill) “Special workshop led by teens” January 29, 1pm. Grades Prek-12.Brooklyn Free School’s mission is education for social justice. Always advocating for young people’s voices to be heard, BFS engages students and staff in democratic decision making and problem solving. We honor student choice and facilitate student-centered learning through play and exploration, constructivist teaching, collaborative course work and self-directed student initiatives. We support social and emotional development through conflict mediation, personal reflection, diversity awareness and community responsibility. BFS works in the service of students and their families, partners with progressive educators, and embraces our larger community.

Freebrook Academy (BedStuy) January 30, 12–13pm. Grades K-12. Freebrook is a democratic community committed to supporting students’ potential to be successful and their ability to define their own futures. Through a progressive approach, and a community, cultural, and social justice foundation, we enable students to explore their world and challenge themselves, while simultaneously encouraging them to challenge injustices, think independently and critically, develop their talents, love learning, and become innovative adults.

CottageClass Micro-school potluck” (Carroll Gardens) January 30, 6pm. All ages. (for anyone running or considering starting a microschool). This is a special event for existing CottageClass partner schools and any serious about starting their own play group or microschool who would like to connect with other microschool leaders and learn more about the process.

Giocare Playspot (Park Slope) “Toddler time” Sunday, January 31, 10am-12pm. Ages 0–5. Giocare offers a number of opportunities for children including full preschool options as well as short drop off and parent attended classes and drop in play. Whether you want a short one-hour drop-off class each week or need care for your child 10 hours a day we can meet your family’s needs from 0–5 (including UPK). We gently introduce separation and the preschool routine while encouraging development in all areas. Taught by caring and experienced educators — often with a special education background — we understand how to nurture children’s development in a variety of areas. Giocare means “to play” in Italian and as the name suggests, the program has a particular emphasis on play for young children and giving children the space to do this important work. Parent truly are partners in each of our programs so we look forward to meeting you and beginning this partnership!

Brooklyn Apple Academy (Park Slope) “Make your own toy workshop” January 31, 12–3pm. Ages 6–13. We provide an experiential education to home school students. We believe that children should have meaningful experiences with the world outside the classroom. Students at B.A.A. are given the time to play outdoors, and the space and resources they need to sustain their curiosity, and become inspired, independent learners. In 2015–2016 Brooklyn Apple became Brooklyn’s only Home School Resource Center. In addition to our full day programs, we’ll offer classes, events, and room for the community to flourish!

Parachute Playgroup (Park Slope) “Play with Foam” January 31, 12–3pm. Ages 2–5. (Also at Brooklyn Apple Academy) Looking for a structured, but nurturing learning environment before making the leap to pre-school? PPL is a small, innovative drop-off playgroup for young children that will give them the skills to make the transition with ease! Our class size is limited to no more than 6 children per session to offer a truly unique and focused learning environment that benefits the whole group. Led by two trained adults, each session creates positive social experiences by helping EACH CHILD engage with their peers through play and active participation. Our program is ideal for children with lots of energy who like to move around, and learn through discovery and exploration. Daily communication with parents is either written and/or given verbally, as preferred.

South Slope Montessori (Park Slope) January 31, 4:30–5:30. Ages 2–5. Imagine South Slope Montessori is a Spanish-English bilingual, privately owned school which offers early childhood education and. child care. Its philosophical foundation is the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, carried forth by educators with specialty study in the Montessori Method. Imagine South Slope Montessori strives to create a program which minimizes stress in a child’s life and maximizes balance, self-respect and inborn aptitudes. Through cooperative efforts of the staff and parents we can give a child a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Child’s Play NY (Brooklyn Heights) Sunday, January 31 performance! Ages PreK-12. Shakespeare Players (ages 7–9) is at 4:30 and Classic Ensemble (ages 10–14) is at 7. Our Micro-school tour concludes with two exciting performances by Child’s Play NY. Child’s Play NY is a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2009, committed to offering a diverse array of theater arts classes for children. Since its inception CPNY has touched the lives of hundreds of students, encouraging each of them to explore the creative process and become more engaged participants in their world. Our staff has trained at some of the most esteemed drama schools in the world and continue to perform on and off Broadway as well as in television and film. With our low faculty to student ratio and live musicians for musical programming we ensure that children get top-notch training. Ranked in Time Out New York Kids as a top theater program, Child’s Play NY is the after-school theater provider at Packer, Berkeley Carroll, Avenues, and many more schools in NYC.

Special bonus for early birds!

Queens Paideia (Long Island City, Queens) January 20, 9:30am. Grades K-12. Queens Paideia was founded in 2009 by a group of educators and parents who share the concern that traditional large classrooms, with their high student-teacher ratios and limited methodology, cannot accommodate the needs or consider the true potential of most children. QPS offers a viable alternative for parents who seek academic rigor, emphasis on the “whole child,” and greater involvement in their children’s education. QPS is subsidized by the Mechner Foundation as a long-term demonstration of the feasibility of creating an ideal learning environment for children.

Pono (Upper West Side) January 22, 2pm. Ages 2–9. Pono is an independent, democratic, and outdoor center for children set up with the purpose of immersing children in stimulating environments and harmonious learning communities where each child’s interests and natural, innate desire to learn are cherished and nurtured as the children are guided to becoming life-long learners, critical thinkers, and balanced human beings.

CottageClass is a community marketplace for quality, affordable grassroots learning experiences led by local parents and teachers. With CottageClass you can share your wisdom with local children or find the ideal learning experience for your unique child.

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