Types of Education Available in Jersey City
There are many forms of education available for students but finding the right one, may be slightly overwhelming. Terms like montessori or Waldorf may force you to do a furious Google search to understand the meanings of these types of education. That is why we compiled a list of the Types Of Education Available in Jersey City!
SCHOOL DEFINITIONS OVERVIEW:
In the United States, the public schools are divided into districts. Some school districts include only one city or town, but other districts include more than one city or town. To find your local school, you can look in the New Jersey School Directory, https://homeroom5.doe.state.nj.us/directory/
Public schools are free because they are reliant on federal, state, and local tax dollars.
They must follow state guidelines on what they can teach and how children are evaluated.
By law, public schools must accept every child in its district, but this doesn’t mean your child will get into the school of your choice.
The way schools place students in certain schools varies radically by region. In many lager school districts, students are placed in schools via a lottery. At the high school level, enrollment can be based on students’ GPAs, artistic portfolios, or test scores.
Public schools must offer children with differentiating abilities a “free and appropriate public education” which means special services tailored to their needs and free testing.
They depend on their own funding, which may come from parents through tuition, grants, donations, and endowments.
Because they’re autonomous, private schools are free to offer religions education, and/or curriculum not regulated by state standards. Some good schools are not accredited, although most are. Accreditation ensures that the school meets regional or national standards set by a group of peers. It also ensures that the school’s administration and academic programs undergo review by an outside group at least once every few years.
Religious schools tend to be cheaper because of their additional sources of funding.
Private schools are not required to accept every child and often require extensive applications that involve multiple interviews, essays, and testing.
Many private schools do not have special education programs or teachers trained to work with students with differentiating abilities. Some private schools will try to help all the students they admit, but extra resources may come at an additional cost.
Like traditional public schools, charter schools are free, but spaces are often limited. Charter Schools are independently run, and some are operated by for-profit private companies, but in return they have greater accountability for performance than a public school.
If a school is mismanaged or test scores are poor, a charter school can be shut down.
Many charters are smaller schools, which can result in smaller class sizes, but there is no norm among school-types as to what the student-to-teacher ratio will be, so it’s wise to investigate.
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered and play-based educational approach based on scientific observations with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. It is a holistic view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating self-guided learning in a supportive,
thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that honors and fosters the human spirit and potential by providing opportunities for children to be interdependent and flourish in a mixed-age community. Thus, providing children opportunities to think and reason at a higher level and become self-sufficient as they work alongside their peers with teachers as gentle guides. The Montessori method can be applied in a public, private, or charter setting. Therefore, it’s important to distinguish the effectiveness of the Montessori program you are considering by looking for trained and certified teachers and/or accreditation.
Source: American Montessori Society, www.http://amshq.org/
REGGIO EMILIA SCHOOLS:
Another school of thought, or method of teaching adopted, is the Reggio Emilia Method. Evolved in Italy, this approach also believes in teaching through activities. However, the approach differs in the type of activities and the core values it promotes. Reggio Emilia believes in & is aimed at enabling the child to make their own place in society. It encourages communication with others, forming relationships, and promotes the child to wonder. The classroom acts merely as a catalyst that consists of material facilitating learning. The children are encouraged to communicate through music, art, dance, writing, and more. The parents are also involved in designing the curriculum and the entire progress of the child is recorded. Look for Reggio schools who are members of; or involved with the NAREA. You can learn more by visiting, https://www.reggioalliance.org/
Waldorf method is also another popular method of teaching—evolved in Germany. The method focuses on enabling the child to grow through imagination. This school of thought believes in developing the ability of thinking and imagining among children. A child must be able to use their imagination and create through it. Thus, children are told stories, taken for walks, made to play games and create toys out of available natural material. The method of teaching kids grounds itself on the fact that reading and writing are not be introduced to children of such a small age and their education must be entirely oral and replete with creative imagination. There are also different age groups for which separate curriculum is subscribed. These age groups are 0-7yrs, 7-14yrs, 14-18yrs. Learn more by visiting, https://waldorfeducation.org/
If you want to be directly involved with your child’s school experience, consider a cooperative preschool. Parents are actively involved with their little one’s education daily and work closely with the classroom teachers. This hands-on approach allows parents and children to learn
together in a nurturing environment with a focus on teaching preschoolers how to cooperate and resolve conflicts. Parents share in the business operation of the school by serving on the school’s board of directors. Co-ops aren’t for everyone because of the responsibilities and time commitments.
SCHOOL/DAYCARE ENROLLMENT PROCESS OVERVIEW:
Toddler Program: must be 2 years old by Oct 1st.
Transitional Three’s Program: must be turning 3 years old between Oct 2nd – Dec 31st.
Pre-K 3: must be 3 years old by Oct 1st.
Pre-K 4: must be 4 years old by Oct 1st.
Kindergarten: must be 5 years old by Oct 1st.
PRE-K DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM GUIDELINES:
Students must be residents of Jersey City and meet the age-eligibility for enrollment as regulated by the same date for determining age eligibility for kindergarten. Eligible children must therefore be four-years old by October 1st. The Pre-K Dual Language classrooms are configured so that half of the 15 students (7/8) speak English and the other half (7/8) speak Spanish. The Pre-K Dual Language Program is available in Jersey City in 4 schools: PS #3, #5, #6, and #30.
The application is usually between February and March. The Pre-K Dual Language Applications can be accessed from all the public schools, the Early Childhood web page, or can be picked-up from the Early Childhood Department located at: 346 Claremont Avenue. Applications are printed in English and Spanish. Completed applications must be submitted by hand, certified mail or email.
Schools that have more applicants than the number of spaces available for each language (Spanish/English) have a lottery. All parents are notified of the event and are invited to attend.
Entrance into the Pre-K Dual Language Program due to a sibling already enrolled will be considered.
Students not chosen in the lottery are placed on a school waiting list per their “Waiting List” lottery number.
You can find out more information from the Department of Education’s Bilingual Education and ESL Bureau, http://www.nj.gov/education/bilingual/
PRESCHOOL PROGRAM & FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM:
Parents/Legal guardians must be Jersey City residents who have a child who will be three-years or four-years old by October 1st. Early Childhood staff can be contacted at (201) 915-6045 for more information.
School’s registration form.
District’s health questionnaire—with physical examination conducted less than 12 months’ prior. If you need support with health insurance, you may qualify for New Jersey Family Care. Learn more by visiting, http://www.njfamilycare.org/ NJ Family Care offers free or low cost health plans for children under age 18 whose parents qualify. NJ Family Care is also available to qualified legal immigrants and has the “Medical Emergency Payment Program for Undocumented Residents”. Anyone can call NJ Family Care: 1-800-701-0710.
Child’s immunization from a NJ doctor or recognized health authority from your last place of residence, or an approved notice of exemption. Learn more by visiting, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
Copy of your child’s last school report from your last place of residence (if applicable)
4 proofs of residency (i.e. utility bill, apartment lease, valid driver’s license, or notarized affidavit (sworn statement) of residency).
Child’s original birth certificate (a passport is not usually acceptable by itself). Any original documents not already in English should have an English translation provided from a reputable translator source such as your country’s consulate.
2 emergency contacts for school records.
Check individual school requirements for each of the above, as they very and can change from time to time. These are usually listed on the school district’s website. If in doubt, you should call the Board of Education in the township where you will be living to clarify what is needed.
Source: Nashima Harvey (Downtown Union City Ambassador for Family Resources) www.nashimaharvey.com
The private school admissions process typically starts about a year in advance of enrollment.
Schools hold open houses in the fall, when parents and potential students can visit the school and learn about the programs offered. Open House’s registration is usually online.
During Open Houses, parents usually receive Pre-Applications. They need to be completed along with a non-refundable deposit for an interview/evaluation to be scheduled with the child. Deadlines vary, but most are December or January.
Once the Pre-Application is received, an interview with the child and a staff member is scheduled.
Families are notified of Admissions by an acceptance letter mailed, usually in March, for the September semester.
Families are required to respond within one week of receiving an acceptance letter.
To secure space, a contract needs to be signed and non-refundable and registration fees paid.
All charter schools hold lotteries for admissions. Charter schools usually begin accepting applications on October 1st for the following school year through January 15th. Usually lotteries are a week after application time is over.
Every child who is in that initial pool of applicants will either be seated in a grade or will be placed on a wait list in the order their name is selected at the lottery. Anyone who applies after January 15th will be placed on the wait list in the order they apply. Applications are usually accepted until the school year starts. The wait list expires at the end of each school year, so applicants must reapply each year. However, once a child is accepted they do not need to reapply each year; they are automatically re-enrolled.
Source: BelovED Community Charter School
You will always be your child’s first teacher. There are many ways to be an integral extension of your child’s learning experience; let these helpful hints guide you:
Attend school functions and volunteer to go on field trips. Better yet, ask to volunteer on your school board if there is one and help set up and run school activities. This will allow you an opportunity to connect with staff and parents more deeply and feel empowered.
You can also help school administrators make decisions about school programs by attending group meetings such as: Parent Advisory Councils, School Improvement Committees/Teams, and/or Parent-Teacher Associations or PTA’s. If your child’s school has such groups, this will allow you a platform to give ideas and advice about school programming.
Talk to principals, teachers and counselors. When you stay on everyone’s radar, they will take the extra time to get to know your child. You will feel more informed and heard as you gently hold everyone accountable in your vision for your child’s learning goals.
Ask to volunteer in your child’s classroom. There may be opportunities to go to your child’s class and read to them, share your profession with the students, or talk about your native country. Children often feel important and special when their parents make time to join them in school.
Attend Open Houses and Parent-Teacher Conferences. When you stay in the loop you will appreciate the inside scoop on your child and be more able to keep up with their learning needs as they grow and develop.
Facilitate playdates with students whom your child doesn’t get along with, as well as whom they say they like. It may seem counter-intuitive, but your child will find common ground with the non-preferred children, with your guidance and a little fun. You don’t want to find out your child is getting bullied, so stay in tune and proactive when your little one shares about friends and “not-yet-friends”.
At home, you can help your child be successful with homework by creating a consistent study space and time to complete assignments. Offer a snack and a mental break before tackling homework, but be aware to not let it get too late should your child get too tired
to do homework rationally. If your child is struggling, be patient and responsive as you guide them to complete their work and help them better understand what is expected of them. Get a tutor or have your sitter support your child if helping them with homework is too overwhelming or frustrating for you—as that will better preserve your relationship vs battling them. Always communicate with your child’s teachers if homework is too hard or confusing so that they may get support and/or an extension on their work. Sometimes, doing homework outside the house can allow your child to be more successful. If so, the local library can help. Getting your child a library card, and letting them check out books after they finish their homework, can also be a healthy incentive to completing.
Source: Miss Megan of MindfulMontessori.NYC