Academy Of Excellence Preschool in Jersey City
Academy of Excellence Preschool is a prestigious early learning center in the heart of downtown Jersey City. Owned and operated by Dorota Mani who has led the school for over ten years now in the same location, as a director. Her two beautiful daughters were the inspiration and driving force, behind this exciting educational endeavor. Though her children are now moving into middle school and high school, she takes pride in continuing to foster a love for learning in our JCT youngest community, who continue to attend her academically acclaimed school. On many occasions, we have heard Dorota proudly talk about her team of educators, each coming to her school with a passion for teaching and a wealth of experience in the early childhood setting. We hope you will enjoy this glimpse into AOE as we did. It has been a pleasure to get to know some of the AOE staff and hear what the teachers had to say.
About the Owner
Dorota Mani has been serving the Jersey City Educational Community since 2011. Dorota believes in nourishing each child’s curiosity by opening their mind to the endless world of possibilities before them. As an owner, she makes sure that every one of Academy of Excellence Preschool students is encouraged and aided to achieve their potential. Dorota Mani graduated with a master’s degree from Pratt Institute and is currently seated on the University of Phoenix Board of Trustees, Jersey City Youth Committee, and Hudson County Work Force Development board. Dorota Mani started her first school in 2010, in Jersey City, as an educational platform for her own children (you can read more about Dorta’s business endeavors at www.DorotaMani.com). The school quickly grew from 50 students to 125 students, from 1 to 2 locations (Academy of Excellence being the 3rd one), and from 12 teachers to a family of 52 as of today.
The curriculum at Academy of Excellence Preschool Jersey City
At Academy of Excellence Preschool, they understand the challenging, yet exciting decision parents face when researching the first school for their child. They know that each child is different and unique, having their talents and interests. Inspired by this, their comprehensive accredited curriculum, infused with STEAM, as well as social and emotional learning, has been specifically designed for their school by leading educators in Early Childhood. The flexible program can be adjusted up or down, allowing their teachers to implement successful personalized learning geared toward your child’s developing needs. AOE’s accredited curriculum is being delivered in layers. The students participate in various educational experiences, hands-on activities, and many enrichment programs provided both on and off-campus. The state-of-the-art facility, schedule, and culture have been carefully designed to foster a lifelong love of learning. AOE only hires the best and brightest educators who are dedicated to making a difference in your child’s life. At Academy of Excellence Preschool, they set the standard for high-quality education devoted to supporting their student’s academic, social, and emotional needs.
Social and Emotional Learning at AOE
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which we acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve goals. SEL establishes vital skills, such as feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining supportive relationships, and making responsible and caring decisions. Students in SEL programs are more likely to attend school and receive better grades and are less likely to have conduct problems. Successful infusion of SEL can result in positive behaviors, increased academic success, and caring communities.
Based on a model by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), New Jersey has identified the following five social and emotional competencies that AOE will be supporting:
- Self-awareness: The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.
- Self-management: The ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and achieve goals and aspirations.
- Social awareness: The ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts.
- Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.
- Responsible decision-making: The ability to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations.
The Academy of Excellence Preschool celebrates every student’s individuality. AOE knows that no two children are exactly alike, and therefore, no two children will potty train in the same time frame or even in the same manner. On average, children begin showing signs that they are ready for potty training between 18 and 24 months. However, rather than sticking to strict time frames, AOE follows each child’s personal signs indicating that they may be ready to start potty training. There is no right or wrong age to potty train a child. Much like learning how to walk, every child will choose to take those steps when they are ready. The qualified and experienced teachers at AOE will work alongside you to ensure that your child is potty-trained in a developmentally appropriate and timely manner. The teachers at the Academy of Excellence Preschool, believe in working as a united front with parents, ensuring that the lessons taught in school transition smoothly to the home. Students at Academy of Excellence Preschool are not required to be fully potty trained until they are in our PreK-3 program.
Academy of Excellence Preschool is a prestigious early learning center in the heart of downtown Jersey City. Owned and operated by Dorota Mani who has led the school for 10 years now in the same location, as a director. Her two beautiful daughters were the inspiration and driving force, behind this exciting educational endeavor. Though her children are now moving into middle school and high school, she takes pride in continuing to foster a love for learning in our JCT youngest community, who continue to attend her academically acclaimed school. To celebrate the 10th year anniversary of Dorota’s educational leadership in JCT, we decided to look through her teacher’s eyes. On many occasions, we have heard Dorota proudly talk about her team of educators, each coming to her school with a passion for teaching and a wealth of experience in the early childhood setting. We hope you will enjoy this glimpse into AOE as we did. It has been a pleasure to get to know some of the AOE staff and hear what the teachers had to say.
Safety Precautions during COVID-19
They aim for success in everything that they do, and they are up for any challenge. Safety is their top priority, especially while facing COVID-19. AOE viewed reopening during the global pandemic, not as an obstacle but as a chance to look outside of the box and improve its operations. Not only they are following all the CDC guidelines and state requirements but are doing much more. Academy of Excellence is working diligently, on monthly basis, to enforce and review all the security procedures outlined by the CDC and NJ Health Department, taking every step necessary to protect the safety and well-being of every child in their care. AOE consistently upholds its enhanced protocols for cleanliness, security, and peace of mind. When your child is in their care, you can be sure that AOE will go above and beyond to make sure the little learners are happy and healthy.
Location and Programs: Academy of Excellence Preschool Jersey City
Academy of Excellence Preschool is in the heart of Downtown Jersey City. Two blocks away from the light rail and 5 minutes away from the Grove Path Train station. Their address is 159 2nd Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302.
The school caters to infants, preschool-age children (including Kindergarten) and offers three academic programs to choose from:
Morning Program 8.30am-12.45pm
Full-Day Program 8.30am-3.30pm
Extended Day Program 7.30am-6.00pm
The Academy of Excellence Preschool promotes eco-friendly and natural materials, recycled supplies, and green and sustainable cleaning products. The school facility consists of Library, Art Studio, Geography & Multicultural Studies Center, Science Lab, Music Center, Gym, Public Speaking Center, Private Playgrounds as well as Outdoor Urban Gardens. Their Classroom Centers consist of Class Library, Listening Center, Social/Emotional Center, Writing Lab, Sensory Center, Mathematic Center, Blocks & Architecture Center. The school provides a variety of daily Enrichment Programs such as Chess, Yoga, Music, Soccer, Drama, Silly Science, Chinese, Fine Art, Fitness, Cooking, and many more.
Summer Camp at AOE Location
Let the fun begin! Each year, AOE’s exciting summer camp program is a balance of fun and creativity, with an emphasis on student-driven, inquiry-based approaches to learning! During each week’s unique theme, such as Mad Scientist, Under the Sea, Top Chef and much more, our campers will visit stations that inspire them to use their imagination, build their fine and gross motor skills, encourage creativity, promote exploration and discovery, and incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) in a way that is meaningful for each child. This program is offered to children ages 4 months through 1st Grade. The summer program is broken down into four sessions from July through August, which provides families with flexibility.
Mommy and Me Wyoming Adventure
Every year, Academy of Excellence Preschool offers a “Study Abroad” trip to Wyoming at Curt Gowdy State Park. During the first 2 weeks of July (including July 4th!) the students explore the scenic lands with Ms. Anna and her friends. During that time, the young explorers experience the beautiful campgrounds and surrounding attractions native to the region. Activities include kayaking, fishing, marshmallow roasting, hiking, fossil, and dinosaur hunting, and of course, horseback riding! While moms and dads are offered organized activities native to this beautiful region.
Interview With the Teachers:
Hi, my name is Alyssa and I am the Pre-K 4 teacher here at Academy of Excellence Preschool. I have 11 memorable years of teaching in an early childhood setting. I knew at the young age of 8 years old that I was meant to be a teacher. I absolutely adore doing what I love each day in this wonderful setting, as teaching is my passion! Academy of Excellence Preschool is a warm and welcoming school for not only students but teachers too! We work together as a family each day. Our goal is to create a home away from home for all! We are here to provide quality care and education as well as build lifelong friendships with all who walk through the doors of our classrooms. Our small teacher-to-student ratio allows us to challenge and attend to each child based on their personal learning needs. I have found great joy and have had such a wonderful experience during my time here at AOE. The setting, program, and curriculum allow me to teach in the most creative way possible!
Thank you, Ms. Alyssa, for this beautiful introduction, I could not agree more. My name is Ms. Dawn and I am one of the PreK 3 teachers, here at Academy of Excellence Preschool. I have been educating young scholars for over 15 years now and I have quite a bit of experience and knowledge to know what it takes to teach in an amazing school. AOE is that school! All the educators here follow our immersive curriculum infused with STEAM and cover subjects such as Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. But this is not what drew me to this center. One of the wonderful perks about teaching AOE is that we can be as creative and resourceful as the lessons and our students require. Each day, my students learn, inquire, play, grow, and develop while investigating and discovering the wealth of knowledge that we are sharing with them. I have the privilege to work with a great and supportive team of educators, including our director. This combination of professional respect and academic support makes teaching at the Academy rewarding and fun! But there is no one better to talk to about fun, than Ms. Anna, our virtual teacher. I will let her take it from here.
Thank you, Ms. Dawn. I could not agree more. Fun is a crucial part of my educational philosophy. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The passion I have for teaching our younger generation and watching them evolve both academically and emotionally throughout the year is what inspires me to be the best educator. For me teaching is not a job, it is my passion. I wanted to teach at a preschool that shared the same academic and personal growth beliefs as myself because I knew this is how I could truly flourish young minds. Having met the owner, Dorota, who was as passionate as I was in the field, I knew I had to be a part of this fabulous team. Dorota has a light that shines through and makes every student and myself feel right at home. She encourages me and her team to be the best we can be and always think outside the box while academically engaging our students. Without her constant support and willingness to let me take the lead in my classroom, I would not be half the educator I am today. Working at AOE has developed my skills while allowing me to learn something new, every day. Our preschool is supportive, understanding, and most importantly FUN! For this reason, I believe our preschool stands out from others in the most positive way. I am inspired by my young scholars to be the best version of myself and a role model as I am truly helping shape the lives of our future. I am honored and proud to say I love where I work, and I look forward to each and every day!
Thank you, Ms. Anna, I share a similar sentiment. My name is Ms. Mallory, and I am one of the Pre-K 2 teachers here at Academy of Excellence Preschool. I have 9 years of experience working in the preschool setting, and I can proudly say that I love teaching at AOE. We say Academy of Excellence is your child’s home away from home and it feels just the same for the teachers and staff. The classroom and school community we have developed here is like no other I have experienced before. It is a place where differences are embraced and cherished. The school celebrates our unique perspectives and experiences as we work in unison to promote a love for learning in our young students.
Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow, and we do not take that lightly here at AOE. Our lessons are filled with opportunities to progress academically, socially, and emotionally. I am proud of the curriculum, learning opportunities, and activities presented to our students. I would highly recommend taking a tour and learning more about our beautiful school and what it has to offer. But let us not forget, that it all starts in our toddler classroom. Thank you, Ms. Mallory, I will take it from here. My name is Ms. Asher, and I am one of the Toddler teachers here at Academy of Excellence Preschool. I genuinely enjoy coming to our beautiful school each and every day. I wake up excited to see what my little students have in store for me, and let me tell you, each day is an adventure! No school that I have worked for has kept a smile on my face the way AOE does. I enjoy teaching in our state-of-the-art facility where the teachers, students, and families are a team. Even on a rainy day, our school is filled with sunshine. Academy of Excellence Preschool found a way to create a welcoming environment while teaching and challenging their students academically from their first days. I am honored to be a part of the family as we continue to bring joy and wonder to the students who begin their education in my room. Lastly, let us not forget about the safety of our students. Our wonderful, full-time nurse, Nurse Denise, will be able to put your mind at ease.
What can we say here at JCFamilies, it seems there is no other place like AOE. For more details, please visit their website at www.AcademyofExcellencePreschool.com, and to learn more about the owner, please visit her website at www.DorotaMani.com.
Updated April 5th, 2022