Only in New York!
When school is dismissed at the end of the day, there's nothing unusual about seeing a rush of children plow through the doors in a frenzy of excitement. But instead of the student body pouring out of the new Academy of St. Joseph, little Sebastian Reardon and Intonina Machniewska-Schlussman are the only students leaving to go play.
That's because at the Catholic school in Greenwich Village, Sebastian and Intonina are the student body.
"It's a great school and we're willing to experiment, just try it out," says Gosia Machniewska-Schlussman, Intonina's mother.
And it's an experiment that costs $25,000 a year in tuition to test. But because Sebastian and Intonina are the only students in their pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, they are receiving individual hands on attention from their teachers, which suits their parents just fine.
"I wanted a small environment for him and Catholic education would be good for him," said Emily Reardon, Sebastian's mother.
Added Mrs. Machniewska-Schlussman: "It's a great school. We went to see last Friday what she has learned in a week and it was amazing."
Right now the school only offers pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, but the archdiocese plans to add a grade each year all the way up to 8th grade.
"We have a business plan and we are confident, based on the research that we have done, that the school will succeed," said Joseph Zwelling, of the New York Archdiocese.
The archdiocese, which runs the school, blames low enrollment on the fact that parents were not able to come to any open houses before it opened.
"We were expecting 4, 5 to start in pre-k and kindergarten, but we were hampered from getting to that point because the school was under construction," Zwelling said.
Machniewska-Schlussman says she's not worried about Intonina not being surrounded by other students and missing out on the ability to socialize. "We are going to the park. She will have plenty of interaction with plenty of classmates from previous school," she says.
The renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the month and open houses will begin in October. Each classroom will have Internet access for its students, who aside from the basics will learn French, Italian, Latin, architecture, and principles of character.