All about The Brunswick School in Jersey City, NJ
The Brunswick School in Jersey City Quick Points:
- Conveniently located in downtown JC, two blocks from Hamilton Park.
- The vast parking lot for parents.
- Citibike stands just opposite the school.
An Interview with Jillian Hernandez; Founder of the new and growing Brunswick School
How did the Brunswick School come about? What inspired you?
We opened a year and a half ago, 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 mths: 1:4, 18mths – 2.5: 1:6, 2.5 & older: 1:10
But we always have extra hands and staff too.
The Brunswick School in Jersey City
How many classrooms do you have in the school:
We have 11 classrooms and in the process of opening up an additional classroom and indoor playroom coming very soon. This used to be a catholic grammar school, so it’s nice that we can continue to expand into additional spaces that already exist within the building.
Our program starts at six months up to Kindergarten. We have two baby rooms, three young toddler rooms, four older toddler rooms, One Pre-K room, and One Kindergarten room.
Do you provide an option for catered lunch:
Yes! Our chef is fantastic. She provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks to the children. It’s all organic and super healthy (it’s busy bee organics). It’s included in the tuition.
We also teach the children about what they are eating and why.
Do you have early drop off and aftercare options available:
We are open from 7 am – 7 pm, which is nice and convenient for parents who work and commute. Our core day starts at 8.30 am and ends at 4.30 pm, but before and aftercare.
What kind of curriculum do you follow:
Our director Erin and I built the curriculum. We researched various different curriculums that are out there and created our own. We didn’t want to subscribe to one but take the best of all.
A lot is based on Arts & Crafts, Music, Movement but heavy on Academics (Math, Reading, Writing, Science, History) by utilizing different creative outlets. That’s our whole premise here..teaching the children to enjoy the process of learning. For the little ones it’s more about socialization and maintaining a structure, trying to maintain the routine the parents have at home, here in the school.
What extracurricular activities do you offer:
The kids get Zumba and Yoga, and the older kids have Science Enrichment once a week and Spanish a few times a week. We also have Rockasorri coming in once a week for Music. We also have an outdoor play area and we take them out twice a day.
Do you offer Summer Camp programs:
Yes, we do have a summer program. Most of the spots go to siblings that aren’t in the school. Our summer camp is separate from regular school. We have a separate classroom for summer and it’s more fun-based with field trips, visits at Hudson Play, etc. And the kids are older. Enrollment for camp is open and we ask for a two-week minimum.
How do you foster Diversity?
We celebrate every holiday and ask parents to come in and celebrate with us. Our teachers are from different nationalities and backgrounds and they also help us carry things out like that.
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 are certified.
-Our Food! These kids eat better than most of Jersey City! Super healthy and organic. The chef makes sure they are getting a balanced diet between what they like, fruits and vegetables. We also take care of dietary restrictions.
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