WHAT is that new school that suddenly popped up last month on 50th Avenue in the heart of Hunters Point? Well it’s not exactly new, but the Gantry View School at 5-36 50th Avenue is in a brand new building and a brand new location.
Previously known as the Queens Paideia School (QPS) located in Court Square, this educational institution underwent a transformation two years ago after the founders, Dr. Francis Mechner and Karyn Slutsky, were contacted by Leah Tong, who runs Bunny Hill Pre-school on 11th Street. Discussions commenced and fairly quickly the two (and their staff) embraced Leah’s vision to create a larger school to better serve LIC and the surrounding neighborhoods.
What hasn’t changed is the underlying philosophy of QPS which has been in existence since the school began in 2009: “the belief that individualized education: every student working at his/her level of knowledge, combined with collaborative learning, are both important linchpins of a child’s education.”
What also hasn’t changed is the exceptionally low teacher to student ratio. In tandem with the staff stability and commitment, it is still QPS under the hood.
We toured the school last week with Karyn as well as Peter Branscombe, who helps guide curriculum development, and talked about what the new school and facilities mean for the neighborhood. First of all the location allows them to become more integrated with the immediate community.
Most significantly they run an after-school program which is attended by many kids from nearby PS78Q and 384Q. This program includes the essential four C’s of 21st Century child enrichment1: Chess, Ceramics, Coding, & Chinese. Wait, make that five: fenCing! Plus plenty of others.
The physical presence street-side, as well as the more traditional schoolhouse interior including separate classrooms gives the school a more robust appearance which I think is better aligned with the LIC of today than when we first interviewed Karyn about QPS back in 2014. Making Gantry View School an even better alternative for parents “not very happy sandwiching their kid into a class with thirty others at the local public school, and not wanting to ship their child to a private one across the river.”
Gantry View School – Open House this Friday, October 21 at 8:30am, all the details are here
- aka what parents are targeting as essential bio-data to round out an application to Stanvard. LICtalk insider tip: Just one word. One word Benjamin: Oboe. Think about it parents, will you think about it? [↩]