Move over Big Little Lies. The Grace Church School in Brooklyn Heights is the talk of just about every upper-crust social circle in which parents have pre-school aged children in the posh neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Manhattan these days. Last week, Jessica Pressler published a breathtaking exposé for The Cut detailing the battle lines that have been drawn over the last couple of years at “the oldest preschool in Brooklyn” — and certainly one of its venerated institutions. You see, after the school’s longtime director stepped down, the school selected a new director, Amy Morgano, who very quickly tried to make the school a whole lot less, well, old-fashioned.
This new director, in a very short time span, quickly started cleaning house — first by decluttering the tea mugs and disposing of shortbread crumbs in the school’s kitchen — and then by getting rid of longtime teachers and replacing them with her own choices. But her changes weren’t limited to a staff shakeup nor even a curriculum change. As Pressler writes, she sought to bring in a new wave of parents to the school: out with the old and in with the new — kind of like how Soho House phased out its members from finance fields some years ago in favor of members from artsier professions, like fashion. “Specifically, the bankers, lawyers, doctors, and assorted other non-sexy professionals who had long been the bedrock of the Grace Church community, who began to feel like they were being shunted aside for more glamorous newcomers.” Such glamorous newcomers included the children of fashion designers, Instagram influencers, and Met Gala directors — among them, the wife of J.J. Redick who became a fast friend of Morgano’s.
Anyway, we don’t want to spill all the juicy details about this scandal at the Grace Church School, a scandal that has even eclipsed the recently uncovered scandal at the Sidwell Friends School in the D.C. area. Pressler’s narrative is certainly a must-read and, speaking of scandals, we hear the story has been optioned by Scandal creator and mega-producer Shonda Rhimes as source material for a TV series of its own. So do check out the piece and, no, we at Ivy Coach do not help students navigating the pre-school or kindergarten admissions process. If, however, you do want help navigating these churning waters, we recommend Stephanie Sigal of Say and Play Family.
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