A lawsuit has been filed in the New York courts by Manhattan mom, Nicole Imprescia, against a posh, private preschool for not doing enough to prepare her four-year-old daughter, Lucia, for an Ivy League education.
Charging $19,000 a year for tuition, the York Avenue Preschool promises to provide Upper East Side children with a custom-tailored, age-appropriate education in art, music, physical activities and language. Imprescia claims the school’s laid-back teaching style caused them to fail in delivering on their promises. She says this could have sabotaged Lucia’s opportunity to be accepted into an elite private school and thus irrevocably hindered her chance to be accepted into a top U.S. college.
Although the year-round school offers its young pupils access to teachers with master’s degrees in early childhood education, the curriculum is largely the same as any preschool classroom – learning the alphabet, singing songs and finger painting – except for the French lessons given to the four-year-old children.
Imprescia claims her daughter wasn’t properly prepared for the standardized Educational Records Bureau (ERB) entrance test used by highly-competitive private elementary schools in New York City, including Dalton, Chapin and Spence. Instead, Lucia and her peers were taught their colors and shapes.
The Imprescia family lawyer is equating the situation to theft and false advertising, saying Imprescia was duped into believing the thousands of dollars would be money well spent on a first-class education. Imprescia says her daughter was forced to mingle with two-year-olds and basically spent her days playing instead of learning. She pulled her daughter out of the school less than one month after enrolling in the fall of 2010.
Imprescia is seeking class action status for the lawsuit. The case has also sparked widespread debate in media outlets and online about the cost versus the quality of an elite education and the high expectations that are being placed on very young children to succeed.
York Avenue officials released their own statement to the media, saying these are the first charges brought against the preschool in its 30-year history and that they hope Lucia has found a school that better fits her needs.