School Designs

While there are currently, no charters being issued in New York City, Stairs Academy has a charter school proposal, which it hopes to file with the SUNY Charter Schools Committee, when the charter cap in NYC is lifted.  Until disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak, Stairs Academy was working in partnership with the NYC Department of Education on an innovative public school design, through Imagine NYC Schools. We look forward to picking up this work once the Covid-19 crisis has been mitigated.



In 2017, the original team of Graeme Sibirsky, Christopher Finn, China Aroh and Professor Gail Sachs was formed, with the intention to explore creating a STAIRS Academy Charter School, with the motto “School of Technology & Arts Innovation Reaching for Success”. In 2018, our Letter of Intent was accepted. In 2019, before our now larger team could complete and submit our Full Proposal, NYC’s Charter Cap was met and we were informed there would be no new Charters approved in the 5 boros until it was lifted. To learn more about our proposed programs, team members, curriculum, leadership, vision and philosophy, visit


In 2019, the STAIRS Academy Board was invited to participate in IMAGINE NYC SCHOOLS, an initiative to create new NYC DOE Public Schools, which would operate within the DOE system. Our team of Graeme Sibirsky, China Aroh, Christopher Finn, Gail Sachs, Eileen Fin, Erik Lieber, Isabel Lieber (student) and Mindy Giraud met with DOE Division of New Schools officials and Imagine Schools staff three times and were on track to build STAIRS Academy Public K – 8 School, when the Covid shut down began, in March 2020, two days after our last Imagine Schools meeting. The program was scrapped due to Covid and new public schools stopped being considered. Click to learn more about our Imagine NYC Schools journey.