Key Advantages of Private Elementary Schools

With a large number of public and private elementary schools in Brooklyn, parents often find themselves in a dilemma while deciding on the kind of elementary school which will be right for their child. While both public and private schools have their fair share of pros and cons, the advantages of private elementary schools often outweigh those of public schools.

images-7

Let’s have a look how:

Better Student-Teacher Ratio

According to a 2002 survey by the U.S Department of Education, the student-teacher ratio in private schools averaged at 13:1, while the same value for public schools averaged at 16:1. Due to this, teachers in private schools can focus on students better and even give individual attention if required.

Emphasis on Discipline

Private elementary schools in Brooklyn put more emphasis on discipline than public schools. Teachers in private elementary schools encourage various disciplinary practices such as verbal resolution of issues, rewards and incentives to disciplined students to maintain a harmonious environment in the classroom. Teachers are usually trained to enforce discipline and encourage the students for the same.

Better Education Standards

Private schools are mostly self-funded unlike public schools, so providing high-quality education to the students is of utmost importance for them. According to a study by the U.S Department of Education, private schools require about 3.1 years of Mathematics and 1.5 years of foreign languages, as compared to 2.7 and 0.5 years respectively for public schools.

Private School Facts (As determined for the year 2011-12)

  • There were 30, 861 private schools in the U.S, with an estimated enrollment of 5.3 million students (which is roughly 10% of the total number of PK-12 students in the U.S).
  • About 24% of all schools in the U.S are private schools.
  • According to the National Association of Independent Schools, average tuition fees for private elementary schools in Brooklyn was about $31,041 and $35,833 for New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guide for Getting Admission into a Good Private Elementary School in NYC

Finding the right elementary school for your kid in New York City can be a tiring experience. Parents want their kids to attend the best elementary school, and most are willing to pay whatever it takes. But with elementary schools popping up in every corner of the city, the value of quality education has increased manifold.

But is it really true that getting your kid into the top private elementary schools in NYC is as difficult as getting into an Ivy League college? Yes, it definitely is, looking at the number of applications these schools receive as compared to the number of seats available.

Picture1.jpg

Honestly speaking, the hype over elementary school admissions is analogous to the weekend madness as half of New York tries to squeeze into the same trendy restaurant on a Saturday night. You can brag in front of your friends about how you managed to get a table there or how you spotted Brad Pitt in the lounge, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they serve the best food.

It’s for the prospect of dining there and the exclusivity that you pay so much for.

Same is the case with elementary schools. There are many private elementary schools in NYC that provide quality education, some even surpassing those top-tier elementary schools. Sure, big schools have a status or brand name associated with them, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they provide the best education. With the growing number of private elementary schools in NYC, the options for your kids are abundant.

There are good private schools but how does one find the best and most suitable school for their child?

The answer to the above statement are many – the best ways to find out are through parent testimonials, colleague recommendations and the internet. Look for positive reviews, make a list of schools that fit the bill for you, and visit them one by one.

It’ll be only a matter of time before you find the perfect school.

 

 

 

Preschools in Brooklyn

Early Years of Education

Kids start learning from a very tender age. They learn how to crawl, how to stand up, how to walk, how to say ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ and the list goes on. While the most basic form of movements can be taught at home, there comes a time when kids make an advance to the next level, i.e. development of social and communication skills. As early years of learning prove to be most effective owing to the fact that the brain can absorb more information in the initial years of life as compared to their later years, parents usually tend to send their kids to a preschool for better development, because of the structured program in a nurturing environment.

Day care kid

Preschool Activities

 There are a lot of preschools in Brooklyn, which cater to the needs of young, developing kids. While they are known as ‘preschools’ in Brooklyn and in the entire United States, the western world labels them as ‘kindergarten’. They tend to children about 2-5 years of age, and usually employ experienced teachers and staff for nurturing them. Preschools usually follow different standards for various learning components, depending on the age of the concerned group of children. Children are given to choose from a variety of activities, such as playing, building blocks (Lego), puzzle solving, painting, listening to stories etc. The main aim of these activities is to promote cognitive development in the children, among various factors.

Individual Development

 Each child is independently monitored by the teachers. They encourage kids to build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. The environment of a typical preschool in Brooklyn is more of a playing environment, as children respond more effectively to learning when they actually have fun while doing it. The teachers ensure that the general social rules such as ‘rule of law’ of the American justice are followed, promoting verbal apologies in case of disputes rather than physical confrontations, lightweight punishments such as ‘time-outs’ in case of misbehaviors etc. Teachers are usually treated as partial substitutes for parents as they look after the kids and take care of their needs while at school.

Brooklyn Elementary School

Continuation after Preschool

 Nowadays, many preschools in Brooklyn have extension schools for levelling up the education to primary school. They are normally known as incorporated schools, which start at preschool and finish at high school. Parents satisfied with their kids’ advancement in preschool can further allow them to study in the same institution, onto higher levels, thus ensuring the continuity of their education until they’re able to qualify for college studies.
This process is advantageous for students enrolled in prestigious schools, as they don’t have to compete with others for a seat in primary and high school. However, parents can also transfer their kids to another school for primary education, if there are any budgetary concerns.

How I Found the Perfect Day Care for my Kid

I am an obsessive parent who is never satisfied with most things when it comes to my eighteen months old baby.

Single motherhood, over protectiveness and limited resources have developed and nurtured an OCD in me, I think.

a

I had to look for a day care in Brooklyn for my baby girl as I could not afford to waste time on travel to pick and drop her every day at the day care (due to my work). I started looking around on my own and inquiring with my neighbors and colleagues too about the best Brooklyn day care centers.

The world is full of people to advice you on things when you don’t really need it, but when you ACTUALLY need good advice, people are like, “Nah! No idea!”

At this point, when I generally start hyperventilating and give up all hope, mercy was bestowed upon me.

b

The next block to where we live has a day care and apparently, it was one of the best ones in in town!

Obviously, I would see for myself before seeking admission. (Duh!)

Without much ado, I visited the day care facility on Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn.

It was a spacious, airy and well-lit happy place, alive with the chatter of kids and cackle of babies as young as 3 months.

Infrastructure-wise, this Brooklyn day care had all that was necessary- play pens, swings, slides, toys and spacious rooms. Compliance with safety and hygiene requirements, all were in place.

c

Faculty at the day care included teachers and co-teachers for the toddler classrooms, which had one head teacher (with minimum qualification of a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in education) accompanied by two or more co-teachers per class.

d

Infants were looked after by experienced caregivers who give individualized attention to each infant.

Day care timings were flexible- day begins at 8:00AM, but parents can drop their kids as early as 7:30 in the morning and ending time is 6:00PM.

I signed up for their 5 days a week program (There were 2 and 3 days a week programs too).

e

I am glad I found the perfect day care for my kid without having to break a sweat and that too within a convenient distance from where I put up.

Learning the Organic Way in Brooklyn Day Care Centers

Lessons learned:

1) Moving into a new suburb with only your child for company and moral support is not easy

2) Finding a house is comparatively easier than deciding on a good day care or preschool for you kid in your new city.

I am talking about the time when I moved to Brooklyn. After everything else was in place, I started to look for a day care center for my kid. Speaking to my neighbor about it was of no help. So I turned to Google and looked for day care centers in Brooklyn. A lot of viable options popped up. I made a list of the best ones whose agenda and amenities appealed to me. Out of all my options, I finally zeroed in on a Brooklyn day care center, located at a convenient distance from where I was living.

I visited their campus the next day and was really impressed by the enthusiasm of the teachers. I got to witness an art class in progress- kids were scribbling away on their sheets with great interest and attention.

I got my son admitted in their day care and preschool program on that very day.

It has been six months since that day when I went hunting for a day care center in Brooklyn and I am really happy and satisfied with the place I decided to send my son to. He loves his teachers and I never have to remind him to complete his homework. The nurturing and stimulating environment at the center has promoted positive personality developments in him and fostered his curiosity, creativity and general awareness.

Unlike most of the other Brooklyn day care centers I checked out, the one we picked follow the Reggio Emilia model for early education of preschoolers. This model is an educational philosophy based on a post-World War II Italian town’s preschool concept. The Reggio Emilia approach promotes learning through experiences of movement, touching, listening and observation. Children are encouraged to express their views and are perceived as ‘knowledge bearers’ while the teachers’ role is not limited to an instructor, but extended as a co-learner and collaborator. Children are encouraged to explore and actively communicate to learn more and imbibe knowledge from the environment.

I am assured that my son is in good hands and am very happy with the daycare center he goes to.

Daycare: Caring Beyond a Family

Children and families form intricate, unique relationships. Such an intricacy leads to diverse childcare needs, needs which a daycare like Williamsburg Northside’s Infant and Toddler Center acknowledges and deals with in a professional manner. Via a multi-dimensional approach to early child education they give due emphasis on the development of a warm, responsive and stimulating learning environment for all children. It is highly recommended that this strategy is also applied by childminders, relatives and stay-at-home parents.

According to a study done by the researchers at Maynooth University, children who have access to daycare services, tend to develop better motor skills such as hand-eye coordination. However, when it comes to a variety of other skills, such as language skills, a family plays a crucial role alongside daycares.

Day care kid

The researchers used data collected from the national longitudinal study of children, ‘Growing Up in Ireland,’ which allowed them to sample a large representation of more than 11,000 infants and 8,500 children. This allowed them to study the influence of different early childcare education models on child development between the ages of nine months to three years.

According to the study, babies in daycare enjoy improved and fine-tuned motor skills (for example the turning of a page or the holding of a pencil) than babies who have never gone to daycare. Report author Catriona O’Toole said: “The research highlights there is no single childcare type that is necessarily better or worse than any other”. The study also highlighted the relevant roles that grandparents play in early child development. The fruitful outcomes in toddlers when it comes to language and communication skills indicate that children associated with grandparents do particularly well when they and their families have access to a wider social support.

The researchers concluded that children’s physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development is influenced by earlier developmental indulgence and initiatives taken by family members. In other words, a family’s wealth and social status played a significant role. Investing in a professional daycare experience for your child (such as the programs offered by Williamsburg Northside Day care) can act as the ultimate instrument for abolishing such inequalities by balancing the influence of a child’s background and allowing all children a comprehensive, positive early education experience that will benefit them for life.

Where Children Practice The Hundred Ways of Learning

Glorious butterfly gardens, sparkle painted marmalade jars repurposed as planters, dragonflies created out of wood planks and ceiling fan blades that adorn the garden areas. These attractive art works created by the children are few of the masterpieces that beautify the classrooms and common areas.  A young mind can fly thousands of miles to investigate its creative ideas. For example, at Williamsburg Northside Schools, the Reggio Emilia School in Brooklyn, NY, the teachers are also companions. They fly with these young minds, ready to think outside the realm of their understandings.

In Brooklyn, New York, every year more and more parents who learn about this unique approach to education, are eager to get their children into a Reggio-Emilia School. A school, where the child is a part of a rich and collaborative way of learning and where the child is seen as a part of the social network. Students who attend a school that is based on the Reggio Emilia philosophy, in my opinion are far ahead in how they approach the world around them.

The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be there motivations and the richer their experiences

                                                                                                          -Loris Malaguzzi

 

Educators at a Reggio inspired school draw the ideas for the classroom projects from their student’s interests, ideas, and curiosity. They support their student’s journey of learning. They listen to the ideas of the young minds, and create a new challenge, a new activity for them. With every new activity, students discover a new insight.

About the Reggio Emilia Approach-

The Reggio Emilia Approach originated in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Since its development in the 1940’s, this approach has been used worldwide. The approach fosters child development by encouraging them to explore and express through their communicative and cognitive languages. This approach believes in child’s own methods of learning.

At a Reggio Emilia School, the belief is that every student have hundreds of ways to express and understand the world. Schools that follow this approach use various media elements like music, art, movement, storytelling, dramatic play and construction as part of their daily tools which are incorporated into the learning experience. Various projects are based on various developmentally appropriate topics in order to foster a child’s learning and growth.