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November 3, 2017

Our Commitment to Families

This week, we made the painful decision to close two of our lab schools after this school year: Palo Alto and East Village. Starting in Fall 2018, our lab school network will have four locations: two in San Francisco (Fort Mason and Yerba Buena) and two in New York (Brooklyn Heights and Union Square). This change is incredibly hard, but it enables us to commit to the long-term success of this smaller number of schools.  

I am deeply sorry for the disruption that we have caused families by making this the final year at two of our campuses. For East Village, we are offering all families placement in one of our other New York locations. For Palo Alto, we have brought on dedicated support for families to find placement in other local schools. At both locations, we are taking additional steps to retain teachers and to maintain an outstanding student experience through the end of the school year. But none of that will undo the hardship for families in the campuses we are closing.  

Our vision remains to enable all children to reach their potential. AltSchool exists because we believe that education can be much better for all children. That means, first and foremost, that our lab schools help students thrive. That means supporting our educators in their continuous professional development. That means taking every step we can to ensure that we can run our schools at the highest standard of excellence for the long term. But, if we ever arrive at a point where we can no longer operate one of our schools -- that also means working with parents to ensure the best transition possible under the circumstances.  

As an AltSchool parent myself, I know that becoming part of a new school is a huge leap for any family. But, when I go into our schools, I see children developing a love of learning while they grow as people. I see students in deep discussion, developing their skills through constant practice, and engaging with peers in project-based learning. I see world-class educators working tirelessly to meet the needs of their students and to support student agency.

If our students are successful, our schools will be successful. If our schools are successful, we have the foundation to start to achieve our vision. Being part of the broad change we seek will take time, but we will get there.

We are incredibly appreciative of the families and educators that have joined with us to make AltSchool what it is. Thank you all for your optimism, openness, and partnership on this journey.

Sincerely,

Max Ventilla

Founder & CEO

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