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Re: St Bridget's School
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St. Anne's School is having an open house today from 1 to 3pm and another one on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30pm. They're located at 255 Congress Street.

Posted on: 2008/4/27 17:29
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Play and Learn is a great school. They have two locations in Jersey City and it's mostly free. If you don't make the cutoff because of your income then it's just about $300 a month with meals provided.
Iknow some parents that have taken their kids there and have been very happy.

Posted on: 2008/4/27 14:28
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Quote:

preschool1 wrote:
Can anyone please let me know if I can register at both st. bridget and PS3 and later decide in Sep which one to go to.


Sorry if this is late. I think you can register at both P.S. 3 and an independent Abbott, but not at two different public pre-K's.

Example: if you want to send your child to the "regular" public pre-K program, you register at your zone school (maybe P.S. 3), then, if you want to switch your child to another zone school, you apply for a variance later.

But, if you're interested in St. Bridget's and P.S. 3, I don't think there's an easy way for St. Bridget's and P.S. 3 to see if you've registered at both places.

Posted on: 2008/4/14 15:03
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Re: St Bridget's School
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St. Anne's School on Congress Street in the heights has a great pre-k program. They are a learning pre-k with very attentive teachers who communicate on a regular basis with the parents. I would highly recommend this school if you're still shopping around.

Posted on: 2008/4/14 14:07
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Unless your child is very complacent and obedient, I wouldn't recommend the Erie St. M. - lots of kids get the boot.


When you think about it, that is a daming indictment of a [pre]school. This is their profession! How can they possibly be unable to handle "lots" of children?!

If it was one or two cases it could be attributed to special needs children with problems, but for a school to consistently be unable to cope with children says they are simply not up to scratch.

If as school expels a pupil, that school has failed. A pattern of such failure tells me there is something seriously wrong with that school.

Robin.

Posted on: 2008/3/5 4:01
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Can anyone please let me know if I can register at both st. bridget and PS3 and later decide in Sep which one to go to. will the 2nd school accept my form in case registration is already done in 1st school

Thanks

Posted on: 2008/3/5 3:29
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Re: St Bridget's School
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I agree with Alb, the bureauracy at the public schools can be a nightmare.

You must get a money order for the precise amount each month to pay for Casper, you aren't told in adavance how much it will be so are often left rushing around to get money orders sorted out at the last minute.

Lunch money must be paid in exact change every Monday, which makes life difficult, why can't I just pay with a cheque for the whole term?

Communication is poor, I still haven't managed to find out about the PTA, and am someone who is interested in getting involved. I think this is because PreK are not considered separate from the rest of the school, and are not involved with school organisations such as this.

I also agree with Alb that there is not enough sports and physical ed - once a week is not enough, they should be doing PE every day!

But none of this should detract from the fact that the elementary public school system downtown is great. In my opinion, the public schools are a better place for children than any of the yuppy private schools mentioned above.

Though I may change my mind when my daughter gets to high school age

Robin.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 23:22
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Quote:

LifeOfRiley wrote:

I don't think the same can be said for Waterfront Montessori. I could be wrong, but I don't see the school equipped with PCs


Payment red tape: OK, the cash/money order thing isn't a big deal, but it's the sort of thing that can make daily life a pain in the neck if you're pressed for time. On the other hand, the public pre-K program does serve breakfast and lunch. If you give in and let your kid eat the school meals, that saves a lot more time than the payment red tape costs.

Waterfront parent-teacher interaction: For parents who can pick up children directly from the school, maybe it's OK. For parents who use after care, it's terrible. You're really not supposed to be communicating with the teachers about your child when you pick up and drop off, but there's no other informal mechanism for finding out what's going on. Park Prep is probably the best, in this regard, because it's small enough that the people who are there with your kid in the morning are also there when you pick up in the evening. The cooperative preschools are probably the next best, because volunteering gives you a chance to see what's really going on.

PCs: Many parents think of pre-K computer use as being comparable to pre-K TV watching. I think Waterfront is a non-PC school, at least at the pre-K level, but mainly because of PC skepticism, not at all because of budget issues. I think Waterfront spends a lot more on art classes, music classes, Spanish classes and other extras than the other schools spend on computers.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 17:34
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Quote:

worm wrote:
Anyone know if there is a huge waitlist for the OLC kindergarten program?


It's hard to tell. The school, especiallly Little Harbor, is really growing rapidly. Last year they had one pre-k four, and this year they have three. There are now three pre-k threes and a transitiional three for younger three year olds.

They only have one K this year, and it's quite full. I think they want to have two Ks next year, but they give priority to the kids in the three pre-k four classes. Registration for current students happens before open enrollment.

So to answer your question, it's not that easy to get in. But I think if you go early enough and commit, you have a good chance.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 17:01
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Alb - Thanks for the information. I am glad that I don't have to do a wrap around but that sounds annoying to have to go through.

linky - Thanks for the tip about calling the school directly. I think I have been calling Little Harbor and although someone always picks up and takes my information down, no one ever calls me back.

LifeofRiley - Thanks for the link for OLC. I am hoping now to check out PS3. Do you know if they have any open houses scheduled soon? Or do I just have to call and schedule it myself?

Posted on: 2008/1/3 16:49
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From their website:

http://olcschool.org/admissions.html

OPEN HOUSE FOR THE 2007-2008 SCHOOL YEAR.
JAN. 31, 2007 Call for an appointment 201-434-2405.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 16:18
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Anyone know if there is a huge waitlist for the OLC kindergarten program?

Posted on: 2008/1/3 15:54
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Re: St Bridget's School
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I received quite a few booklets, but only filled out 2 forms that dealt with emergency contact information and another acknowledging school policies.

My daughter is not in the wrap around program and we did not have to register at the Urban League. That was one option, another was to register at the school.

Paying with cash and money order is a trivial concern when you consider how little you are paying for what you are getting. I think it is quite practical. I mean come one now, do you expect you kid to be handling a credit card or a debit card?

My daughter's teacher replies to my emails and handwritten notes. I also have a chance to talk with her and her assistant when I drop her off at school in the morning and more formally after each school quarter at open house night at the school.

I don't think the same can be said for Waterfront Montessori. I could be wrong, but I don't see the school equipped with PCs (@ PS3 my child and teacher have access) and their teachers don't stick around very long.
Surely, for what you pay to have you child attend that school, the teachers are not leaving because they are underpaid. The owner's background is in business and not in education.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 15:28
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Quote:

LifeOfRiley wrote:
I have not experienced any "silly red tape" with the PS system.


Examples of what I'm thinking of in terms of red tape:

- When you start, you'll get a huge packet with about 15 forms that you have to fill out, or at least sign, and you have to go through the booklets, etc. one by one to find all of the forms. My daughter's teachers were shocked that we'd found them all.

- Even if you don't want the "wrap around" care program (which fills in when the regular school and the regular after school program are off), you have to (at least at my daughter's school) fill out the Hudson Urban League wrap around program form and go to the Urban League offices, a few blocks south of the Martin Luther King light rail stop, to prove to the social workers that your income is too high for you to qualify for free wrap-around care.

- You have to pay for everything a different way. You have to pay for the after school program (CASPER) with a money order, and nothing else, but you have to pay for school lunches with cash, and nothing else.

But, in general, now that the school year is under way, the public pre-K program seems to me to run about was well as the private programs do.

My impressions at this point: the very, very most working-parent-friendly programs that I've run into are the Park Prep program in the Heights and the River School program.

The one where you seem to get to know the school and parents best is Garden. (I assume Stevens is probably like that, too.)

The best afterschool activities are at Waterfront Montessori.

The teachers that seem to have the best ability to handle "strong-willed children" seem to be the public pre-K teachers. I don't know how how well Hamilton Park Montessori is at handling strong-willed children, but the Erie Street Montessori and Waterfront are not that great at it.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 14:52
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Re: St Bridget's School
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TFC_in_dtjc wrote:
I was trying to get more information on OLC's preschool but have not been able to get through to anyone.

Can anyone give me an approximate cost?


We pay about $6,000 for our daughter in K, and I think $6,500 for our daughter in Pre-K four. The prices vary slightly from Montessori Toddler through K and upper grades. You usually pay a little more for the younger kids because of the smaller student/teacher ratio. There are also some fees such as registratiion, and you are expected to do some fund raising.

They also offer a 20% discount for additional siblings.

Registration is scheduled for this month.

Call the school, they always answer the phone when I call. Don't try to call Little Harbor Academy, just call the OLC school and you'll get the office.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 13:45
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Re: St Bridget's School
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St. Anastasia's Montessori pre-K, Teaneck, circa 1973. I talked too much one day so they put a band-aid on my mouth to shut me up.

True story.

(This is for a laugh, not an anti-Montessori message. Actually, probably a pro-Montessori message, now that I think about it... )


Posted on: 2008/1/3 1:39
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Montessori winter break is 2.5 weeks and no, not going stir crazy w/my child at home. My daughter absolutely loves the school despite the fact that they don't have an indoor gym.

Posted on: 2008/1/3 1:26
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Re: St Bridget's School
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I was told at the time of being wait listed, as in not yet officially confirmed St. Bridget's will be using a lottery system this year. As for PS3 and other J.C. public schools, look for the open enrollment period, which IIRC is around March/April. The enrollment period is open for about a month, but I'd recommend registering early. It is advertised in the local newspapers, including the Jersey Journal. It's easy - you need proof of residence (i.e. phone bill) and copy immunization records of your child. You can find more information here: http://www.jcboe.org/

Posted on: 2008/1/2 22:14
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Re: St Bridget's School
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LifeofRiley - how did you enroll in PS3's program? You have mentioned the dreaded line and I have the same fears as well since my daughter is headed towards PreK 3 now. Did you have to do the same with PS3 as you did St Bridget?

I don't mind lining up if I feel like my kid is getting quality ed.

Posted on: 2008/1/2 21:54
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Re: St Bridget's School
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Not sure where you get your information, but for starters, PS 16 has an indoor gym, too that gets used regularly during, before and after school.

Additionally, my daughter is enrolled in PS 3's PreK-3 program and she comes home pleasantly exhausted each day from school. Their facilities are new, clean and modern; it was a selling point for me. For instance, there's plenty of indoor AND outdoor space for the kids to play. Like a real gym, check that, gymnasiums, as in plural, not a fenced in patch of grass like you?d find at Montessori (during warmer weather). At PS 3, class size is limited to 15 students with a state certified Teacher and a teacher?s assistant.

Montessori (Warren St), Stevens, St. Bridget's are much more confined with space ? indoor and outdoor. OLC?s outdoor facility is nice, but PS 3's facilities are new , modern and vast, including outdoor play space specifically tailored to 3 year olds. PS 3?s facilities are most appreciated, now, when the kids are confined to indoors during this cold weather. Montessori?s solution is to have a 3-week winter break. I?m sure many apartment dwelling parents are going stir crazy right now with their kids. (I know I as after a single week of winter recess.)

I have not experienced any "silly red tape" with the PS system. On the other hand, I waited outdoors in the rain and cold, before the crack of dawn, for hours, last year for St Bridget?s to enroll last fall and in retrospect was glad that I was wait listed. Perhaps St Bridget?s instruction is good, but I would not want my child cooped up in a basement classroom this winter, at least not when there are other options.

Posted on: 2008/1/2 21:49
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Re: St Bridget's School
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I was trying to get more information on OLC's preschool but have not been able to get through to anyone.

Can anyone give me an approximate cost?

Posted on: 2008/1/2 19:59
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Re: St Bridget's School
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In my opinion:

- Garden Preschool, which uses the Bank Street method (a lot mellower method than Montessori) is really heaven, if you have the ability to handle the volunteering requirements. Having to volunteer might be a bit of a pain, but the great thing is that you know a parent is always in the classroom making sure things are going right.

- Park Prep (in the Heights) is really similar to Garden Preschool and also uses Bank Street and doesn't require parents to volunteer. The very, very best thing about it is that it's new and therefore has openings.

- The Montessoris -- I think the problem for really active kids or kids who are a little behind socially is that, in practice, people in the schools are hostile toward or ambivalent about the whole concept of punishment, so they end up letting behind behavior slide, or they confuse the child by pretending to offer "choices" that the child knows are not really choices, or they end up cracking down in ways that are sort of harsh, or they just give up.

On the other hand, Hamilton Park Montessori and Waterfront Montessori offer a lot of great extras, along with owners and teachers who really care about the children.

- The regular downtown public pre-K programs -- There's a lot of silly red tape, and not enough phys ed, but the academic program itself seems to be similar to the Garden School program, and the students are great. I might pick one of the private programs over the public pre-K because of concerns about phys ed, after school activities, scheduling, convenience, or access to a good grade school program, but I don't think there's any reason to worry about the academics of any of the public pre-K programs in the downtown schools.

Posted on: 2007/12/7 7:24
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Re: St Bridget's School
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I had my daughter in the Pre-K four from February until June. She was kicked out of the Erie St. Montessori school (long story). Anyway, it was the only school that had an opening. It was okay. Sr. Barbara, the principal is really great. The Pre - K four is different than the Abbott program at the school however. I have heard that the Abbott program is good too though.

I have both of my kids in Little Harbor Academy now. I am extremely happy. They do strict Montessori for two year olds and then have partial Montessori through Kindergarten. OLC definitely has more to offer in my opinion. St. Bridget's is cheaper and their mission is a little different. And because they try to keep the tuition down, they don't have a lot of the extras that OLC has such as music teacher, gym teacher, art teacher, etc. However, St. Bridget's does provide a really nurturing place for kids.

Don't know which Montessori school you are referring to when you say "the Montessori school". There are three that I know of, Waterfront Montessori, Jersey City Montessori on Erie St., and Hamilton Park Montessori. I have friends who send their kids to Hamilton Park M. and really like it. Unless your child is very complacent and obedient, I wouldn't recommend the Erie St. M. - lots of kids get the boot.

Good luck. It's hard to find the right match for your kid. We went through a bit of trial and error.

Posted on: 2007/12/7 1:13
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St Bridget's School
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I'm considering applying for St Bridget's school (370 Montgomery Str) for my son when he's 3-yr old for Fall 08, and I'm wondering if anyone has their kids at this school right now?

I'd like to hear some suggestions / comments if this is a good, healthy school to send my kid to.

Also, how does this compare to other schools like River School, The Little Harbor Academy, and the Montessori school?

Thanks in advance for info.

Posted on: 2007/12/6 18:55
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