New McKinney private school won't require algebra or calculus

The Renaissance School is set to open in fall 2022 with a focus on life skills that founder Sam Banerjee said lacks in many other educational settings. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Renaissance School is set to open in fall 2022 with a focus on life skills that founder Sam Banerjee said lacks in many other educational settings. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Renaissance School is set to open in fall 2022 with a focus on life skills that founder Sam Banerjee said lacks in many other educational settings. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Renaissance School is coming to McKinney in fall 2022 with a focus on educating the whole child and equipping them with basic life skills, including financial literacy, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, meal preparation and car maintenance. Founder Sam Banerjee said that these essential skills, along with others he said he deems important for adult life, will be the guideposts for the school's educational philosophy. Advanced subjects such as calculus and algebra may not be required for students.

Math, science and literature will be mandatory, but Banerjee said the school will likely not require pupils to learn about subject matters that they "see no use for."

He said higher math falls into the category of potentially not being useful for some students.

"That's not the life skills I'm talking about. I'm talking about the life skills you and I use in our daily lives," Banerjee said.

"A lot of schools teach kids a lot of subjects that they'll never use as adults," he said. "We're not going to require all kids to study these topics. We will have them for the kids that are interested in them, ... but we're not going to make everyone study them. I think this is something that turns kids off, that they're forced to study things that they see no use for."

Instead, Banerjee wants the school to have a focus on the Socratic method of instruction and dive into basic math, science, history, an introduction to literature, art and music. He said he wants to encourage students to take responsibility for what they are interested in learning and to pursue their intellectual curiosity instead of having classroom curriculum tailored to teaching specifically for tests.

Banerjee said some details are still in flux, but tuition is expected to be around $12,000 annually. During the first year the school will be available to students in middle school and high school, but staffers hope to offer elementary-level education in the future.

An exact address will be determined at a later date.
By Francesca D' Annunzio
Francesca D'Annunzio covers K-12 and higher education, development, planning and zoning, and transportation in Frisco and McKinney. She attended college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she reported for the Daily Texan and interned for the Austin Chronicle. When she's not reporting, she enjoys spending time outdoors and experimenting in the kitchen.


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