New NYC High School to Try Out That Whole Experimental Thing

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The forthcoming Grace Church High School, slated to open for the 2012 school year in lower Manhattan, will house only about 40 students at first, and they'll be the city's rich little guinea pigs. "What encumbers your ability to innovate around the needs of students is traditions and structures," explained the head of school in today's The Wall Street Journal. And so the new upper school will feature rooftop gardens, a theater with a sloped floor, and a library that "will focus on information, not printed books." That's not all for "reinvention":

That may include the school day, which will run until 5:30 p.m., officials said. Ninth-graders will take turns cooking lunch for other students, sourcing ingredients and crafting menus. Tenth-graders will have classes suspended for a month — dubbed "March Madness" — to pursue an independent project.

Building and operation costs are estimated at $165 million, $20 million of which will be borrowed. Tuition is expected to be about $36,000 a year, or just on the outside the city's new $40,000 club.

New School Sets Agenda [WSJ]