WeWork informed mothers on Friday that it would no longer operate its private school in Manhattan after the 2019 -2 0 school year, HuffPost has learned.
“WeWork will continue to operate WeGrow through the remainder of the 2019 -2 020 school year, a quality education and classroom experience for all students, ” a WeWork spokesperson said in a statement. “As part of the company’s efforts to focus on its core business, WeWork has informed the families of WeGrow students that we will not operate WeGrow after this school year.”
“WeWork and the families of WeGrow students are engaging in discussions with interested parties regarding plans for WeGrow for the following school year, ” the spokesperson added.
The small New York City private school has been open since 2018 and costs between $22,000 and $42,000 a year in tuition, depending on the age of the student. Its website calls it a “conscious entrepreneurial school, ” offering students mentorship from WeWork employees, weekly trips to a farm, daily meditation and yoga, while sermon lofty aims about fostering students’ souls.
HuffPost spoke with several people close to the school in the past few weeks to get a better sense of the institution. They described a school that is run like the company of WeWork, subject to constant alters or “disruption, ” sometimes without full consideration for the children these changes impact. However, they also described an idealistic learning space, where children for the most part seem to be happy and thriving. According to one former employee, the company recently redesigned part of the school, which they speculated cost up to several million dollars( a spokesperson for WeWork did not respond to questions about this ).
The school is a casualty of the company’s new efforts to downsize after the implosion of its planned public offering and a staggering reduction in its valuation. The past few weeks have been chaotic for the company, which rents out shared workspaces to businesses and entrepreneurs. Its CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann stepped down and there are rumors of mass layoffs that could impact thousands of employees.