The median number of applications to New York schools
has increased 32 percent over the past decade



How does LEAP differ from other school search tools?

Existing search options can only deal with the superficial – what we call "objective" – factors, such as the location, size, and religion (if any) of the school. These facts, with a little help from an internet search engine, are easily gleaned.

What are the subjective factors measured by LEAP?

Do you remember the feeling you had when you stepped on to your college campus for the first time, and somehow knew that it was the right place for you? Or the visits to the schools you didn't choose, when you just knew that it didn't "feel" right? LEAP embraces the subjectivity, the emotion, the feelings that are involved in figuring out when a school is the right fit for your child.

What do we do with the results?

LEAP won’t tell you which school your child should attend. It will open your mind to new possibilities, and perhaps get you to look at some familiar schools in a different way. Once you have results, you can begin by viewing the school’s website or visit School Search Solutions to speak with a school placement expert.


  • Learning

    This dimension describes the importance of a school’s reputation, the prestige factor for parents, and the environment in which a child learns. It represents the different teaching styles and methodologies employed by the school as well as how open the school is to teaching to accommodate different learning styles. It characterizes the school’s methodology and philosophy towards teaching and learning.

  • Ethos

    This dimension describes a school’s profile with regard to cultural, racial and socio economic diversity, as well as providing a gauge of the schools’ inclusion of spiritual or religious teachings in its curriculum. It measures the type and level of expectation for involvement from parents, (financial and time) and the approach teachers’ use when resolving conflict in classrooms. It also assesses the school’s formality with regard to the ways faculty are addressed and how they use their time to interact with parents.

  • Achievement

    This dimension is a measure of the philosophy and type of athletics programs at the school, the strength of music, art and drama programs, and the type of language options available for students. It assesses the philosophy around the use of technology in classrooms and the quality and availability of after school learning opportunities. It is also a measure of how important up-to-date facilities are to parents when selecting a school.

  • Principles

    This dimension describes a school's rules and codes of conduct - the rules or beliefs governing the school and the tolerance for particular behaviors of faculty and students at school. It assesses the standard or rules of personal conduct and moral codes of the school through: exploration of a school’s dress code; philosophy around competition; tolerance for discussions about sensitive issues and current events; acceptance and involvement with anti-social behavior; use of electronics and cell phone; freedom to leave the school’s premises; approaches to discipline; and expectations for student leadership.



Liz Perelstein
Chair and Founder
Liz Perelstein is the Chair and Founder of School Choice International. A seasoned educator herself, she started the company as an expatriate in London over ten years ago. Prior to founding School Choice International she was a teacher, an educational administrator, a school board member, and worked at all levels of education, from nursery school through university. In 2006, she co-founded the British International School of New York, the first British curriculum school in the New York metropolitan area. She frequently writes and speaks on topics related to education, relocation, and women owned businesses. She was named as one of Fortune Magazine’s Ten Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2010. She is also a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), the premier peer advisory organization connecting top women entrepreneurs who own multi-million dollar companies. Ms. Perelstein holds two Master’s Degrees in Educational Administration and Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Timothy Dwyer
Chief Executive Officer
Timothy Dwyer is Chief Executive Officer of School Choice International. Tim has more than 20 years experience in global mobility, international compensation, and human resources. His recent experience includes almost four years as Americas Regional Manager in Goldman Sachs’ Global Mobility Services department. Prior to that, Tim spent a decade at KPMG, serving as National Director of the firm’s International HR Consulting group, where he developed its online survey of international HR policies and practices. Earlier in his career, he worked at Manufacturers Hanover, ORC, and MasterCard International where he provided HR support to its expatriate and local national population. Tim received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, and also holds a Degree of Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
Sue Evens
LEAP Designer
Sue Evens has worked as a consultant in the Organization Development field for more than 20 years. With years of talent management experience, having worked for leading companies including Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Cartus across a variety of disciplines in Human Resources Management, Sue now works as an independent consultant focusing on Leadership and Talent Development. Holding a Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology, Sue has supported a multitude of Fortune 500 companies with performance management, leadership training and development, talent management, and global mobility program design to enable them to better attract, retain and reward their talent. Certified as a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) practioner, Sue works with individuals and teams to help them gain a better understanding of their own and others' personality preferences. Sue's extensive experience and additional certifications in Situational Leadership® II (SLII®), Global Practioner in HR (GPHR), and the Overseas Assignment Inventory (OAI), make her well qualified to work in the people development field.
Alexandra Ruttenberg
Deputy Director of Research and Education Services
Alexandra “Alex” Ruttenberg began her career in the relocation industry 16 years ago working for The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). During her time at The World Bank she held several positions all focusing on education and spousal support. Her roles include: Director and Education Advisor, The World Bank and IMF; Co-Team Lead and Founder Global Mobility Center, The World Bank; and Spouse/Partner Career Advisor, The World Bank and IMF. Alex joined Dwellworks in 2007 as the Director of Education Services. Alex’s work experience outside of the relocation industry has primarily been in the field of teaching where she taught high school comparative religion at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland and undergraduate psychology research at George Mason University. She was also a Senior Research Analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital. Alex earned a B.A. from Yale University, Ed.M. from Harvard University and Ed.S. from George Washington University. She is a Certified Education Planner (CEP) and a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).