We could not let you go without one final “Weekly Letter from Jean Yves.” This one will be even more special and will end this amazing year with a bang.

We are excited to write to you today to share some major news about the development of our school.

Upon retiring four years ago, Yves Rivaud, the co-founder of The École, correctly identified that securing a long-term lease for our Elementary and Middle School building, as we had done for the Maternelle building, represented one of the most pressing challenges to come.

Since then, The École has experienced tremendous growth in its enrollment. We made the most of the 2019 extension of our Elementary and Middle School facilities, doubling the square footage available through the addition of the lower level, first floor, and mezzanine spaces. We are very proud of the way we have leveraged our space to offer a unique learning environment for our students and make The École a leading and much-in-demand school.

However, the question of our lease was always in the back of our minds, and it quickly became obvious to us that we would soon need more space, most likely in 2025, when we anticipate the opening of a second 7th Grade class. We have enrolled more than 350 students at The École for 2024-2025–a number that shattered our most optimistic expectations, and it’s no secret that the recurring feedback we receive via the bi-annual parent satisfaction surveys relates to the facilities at our Elementary & Middle School Building. Therefore, over the last couple of years, we have weighed up different options, such as remodeling the second floor to accommodate more teaching spaces, seeking additional space in the neighborhood, relocating our Middle School, or moving the Elementary and Middle School classes into a different building. These past few months have been long and arduous, with many setbacks and disappointments and sometimes frustrating negotiations, but we never gave up. In the end, we have found the space that we needed. And, as is often the case, the ideal solution was right in front of our eyes!

We are happy and proud to announce that we have just signed a 20-year lease to occupy half of the first floor and the entire second and third floors of the building directly adjacent to 111 East 22nd Street (east side), starting in September 2025. As our present lease ends in 2025, we will relocate the Elementary and Middle school Building in its entirety to our new space. The entrance will be located just a few small steps away from our current entrance, which was a priority for us as we wanted to stay in this idyllic neighborhood. Each large floor of the new space spans from 22nd Street all the way to 23rd, and we will have our own private entrance and lobby on the ground of 22nd Street with dedicated stairs and an elevator for our use only. As part of this “building within a building” concept, we will ensure the safety and security of our students by not sharing any space with the tenants of the other eight floors.

Our commitment and upcoming move to a brand new building reflect our collective belief that The École is a gem that deserves a wonderful box. With 46,000 square feet–which nearly doubles the space we currently have available–large windows, high ceilings, fewer floors, great layout potential, and what feels like a very positive partnership with Colliers, the owners of the building, it is our ambition to further position The École among the very top schools in the city. We feel that having a brighter and more spacious, custom-built, and modern setting is the crucial missing piece that will enable us to achieve that goal.

We know how much you love The École and what makes it special: its tight-knit community and the care that goes into each and every child. We expect to see more students eventually joining the ranks of our 5th to 8th Grade classes, but we will maintain the two-class per grade model that is the foundation of the quality of our school. The average new classroom space will be approximately 40% bigger than our current ones, which means that with a 20-student-per-class limit, we will have much more space per student. With new open workspaces and a larger gym (although still not full-size due to the pillars that characterize all the many places we have visited)*, this new building will also offer more space for students, teachers, and staff, and for the whole community.

Continuing in the spirit of this amazing, unique philanthropic project, we will move to our new home without any fundraising and without contracting any debt, as Laurence and Philippe will donate over two-thirds of the additional cost over the next 5 years. The rest will be covered by a moderate tuition increase spread over 3 years starting in 2025-2026. This approach will ensure we remain among the most affordable of our peers, and with this amazing new location, we are cementing our position as the best value school in New York City.

We will miss our current space, formerly the famous Elite model agency, which The École (as Ecole Internationale de New York) took over in 2009 when the school was founded. However, we are excited to keep working on this new project in the coming weeks and months and to keep you abreast of the developments ahead.

In the meantime, enjoy a wonderful summer!

Warm regards,
Jean-Yves, Laurence & Philippe

*Therefore, our 4th to 8th graders will continue to use the full-sized gym at Baruch College for sports class.