All about The Brunswick School in Jersey City, NJ
The Brunswick School in Jersey City Quick Points:
- Two locations, one in Newport and the other, near Hamilton Park
- Parking on-site for parents; Citibike stands just opposite the school
- On-site outdoor playgrounds
- Meals included in tuition
The mission of the Brunswick School (TBS) is to provide a safe, nurturing, and inspiring learning environment, and holistic education that considers children’s physical, cognitive, social/emotional, language, and life-skill development and progress. TBS helps children reach developmentally-appropriate milestones, using an adaptable curriculum that meets the unique needs of each child and allows teachers to scaffold learning catering to each child’s talents and strengths.
We believe that fostering creativity, offering hands-on experiences, and connecting the classrooms with the real world through monthly themes, are effective ways to engage and develop young minds so they can thrive in elementary school and beyond.
The school was founded on the belief that we should celebrate the diversity of Jersey City. We are committed to fostering meaningful connections with those in our neighborhood and extended community of students, families, teachers, and staff.
An Interview with Jillian Hernandez; Founder of The Brunswick School
How did the Brunswick School come about? What inspired you?
We opened in July of 2015. Obviously, I have a passion for children in early education but my background is in Human Resources so I wanted to start a business that could make a difference in the community. I spend most of my time interacting with the teachers and making sure they are happy. If teachers are happy, children are happy, and as a result, parents are happy. The teachers here have a true passion for what they do…I wish I could spend more time in the classroom…but the highlight of my day is when one of the teachers brings a couple of kids in here and shows me what they’ve done.
I also recognized that there was a huge demand in this area for quality education. There are so many young families here now in Jersey City. At the time when we started building the school, there were not many options…now fortunately there are a lot more options for the community which is great, as it will bring more people to Jersey City.
What is the teacher/child ratio in your school:
Under 18 months: 1:4, 18 months – 2.5: 1:6, 2.5 & older: 1:10
But we always have extra hands and staff too.
How many classrooms do you have in the school:
With two locations, we have over 30 classrooms operating from Infants-1st Grade.
Do you provide an option for catered lunch:
Yes! Our chef and team are fantastic. We provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks to the children. It’s all organic and super healthy (click here for a sample). It’s included in the tuition and we can make accommodations for allergies of any kind. We also teach the children about what they are eating and why—connecting students with the ingredients really promotes trying new foods.
Do you have early drop-off and aftercare options available:
We are open from 7:30A-6:30P, which is convenient for parents who work and commute. Our core day starts at 8A and ends at 4:30P but those extension times can help any family in need. Our Brunswick Street campus also offered part-time schedules (8A-12P). Schedules can be modified monthly for families needing flexibility.
What kind of curriculum do you follow:
We are very lucky that we have a team of people here at TBS that built an in-house curriculum, called P.A.C.T., for Infants-Pre-K 4 and then we merge onto the McGraw Hill Research-Based Curriculum for Kindergarten and above—a beautiful and seamless transition. We believe that each child learns at his/her own rate and with that, our curriculum’s fluidity needs to stay modern, open-minded, and beyond all, designed with no end caps. This means that if a child bypasses the goals for his/her grade, we can access other grade-level material to challenge them further. Likewise, we can pull resources from lower grades if a child needs more support. We control their goals alongside the student, so there is no need to stick to any kind of script. Click here to learn more about The Brunswick School Experience.
What extracurricular activities do you offer:
We believe that most extracurriculars belong to part of a child’s school day and not after school when parents would need to pick/choose which classes they can attend or afford. We want our students to be well-rounded so we present weekly enrichment classes each semester to make sure our students are experiencing learning opportunities they may not choose if provided a la carte. For example, our Toddlers receive weekly Yoga and Theater/Dance while our Rising Preschool and Pre-K 3 also get Language. Pre-K 4 experiences Chess as another class and Kindergarten + receives a logic-based add-on, like Engineering or Coding. Beyond enrichments, our outdoor time is extremely important to us. With on-site play yards, we make sure each class goes outside at least twice a day.
Do you offer Summer Camp programs:
Yes, we do have a summer program offered for internal Elementary students (who are on a 10-month schedule) and external students, entering Pre-K 4-2nd grade. This program runs during the summer months, end of June through August, and is non-academic but filled with physical, creative, and outdoor fun and exploration.
How do you foster Diversity?
We celebrate every holiday and ask parents to come in and celebrate with us when allowed, or to visit us via Virtual means. Our teachers are from different backgrounds and speak many languages. We call ourselves a Universal school which means every holiday is important to us and we want to learn all about each holiday in depth. Teachers are encouraged to use music, clothing, and stories from different countries/religions to help students understand how diverse, but how similar, our world and its inhabitants are. When rostering, the diversity of a classroom is also part of our internal equation.
In your opinion, what sets your school apart from others?
-We have the best teachers; they are just amazing human beings that care with great educational backgrounds and many are certified, specifically required for our Pre-K 4 and above-grade levels. We follow a unique curriculum so, with that, our teachers really have a great balance of organization and autonomy to keep their classrooms interesting at all times. Children that are engaged learn better and faster.
-Our food program is definitely one of a kind. Made on-site, all organic, and made to be visually appealing for our young brains, the food program here at TBS allows students to try foods slightly out of their comfort style which promotes the broadening of their palettes. With this broadening also comes an immense sense of comfort as our chef team works tirelessly to ensure each child is eating well, balanced, and have filled bellies all day long. Well-fed children also equal better learning.
-We are beyond a daycare, we are a school, and an Elementary Prep school at that. Every move we make is to prepare our students in Early Education for the world around them—not just academically but socially, emotionally, and physically. Mental health is just as important as their academic achievement and our goal is to make sure each student reaches his/her own personal potential, even if that differs from their class as a whole. We believe in independent thought and with that, free and motivated learning.
Email them at: [email protected] for any questions.
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Updated June 23rd, 2022