By Julie Shapiro
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The headmaster of Claremont Prep stepped down without warning last week.
The sudden departure of Irwin Shlachter upset many parents at lower Manhattan’s only for-profit private school, the New York Times reported Thursday. Parents had already paid non-refundable deposits for next year’s $33,000 tuition when they learned Shlachter was leaving.
Claremont appointed Ken Wrye, the former head of the United Nations International School, as interim headmaster during its search for a new leader.
Claremont has been plagued by high turnover among administrators, teachers and students since it opened five years ago, the Times reported. Wyre will be Claremont’s third headmaster, and the school has also gone through three heads of admissions, as well as two lower school and two middle school bosses.
One former Claremont parent told the Times that the school’s curriculum was not challenging enough. Other parents said they were disturbed by the school’s instability.
Michael Koffler, CEO of MetSchools, Claremont’s owner, told the Times that the school’s administrative turnover was nothing more than “growing pains.” Koffler said he had not heard parents were concerned.
Claremont has expanded rapidly since opening with 54 students in 2005. This fall, the school will add a second Financial District campus for its middle school and fledgling high school.