Curriculum Night at Tessa International School

Curriculum Night is an interactive information session hosted by schools all over the country a few weeks after children get back to school every year. It takes place at all levels, from early years to high schools; in public and private schools alike.

Typically, teachers make short presentations focusing on curriculum, routines, expectations, homework assignments and the concepts, skills, and knowledge that will be addressed and attended to during the year–all of which are crucial for a successful year ahead for your child.

A blend of best educational models at Tessa:

Tessa’s mission is to prepare children to be leaders of the 21st century and happy world citizens. At Tessa, we provide a world-class education, based on the most successful international models. This means that we blend French, Spanish, and New Jersey State Standards and combine them with a progressive educational model called the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP). We are currently a candidate school for implementing the IB PYP starting from this month and we hope to get authorized by the end of the academic year 2020-21. The authorization journey is a rigorous process and a transformative experience for the entire learning and teaching community including parents.

The IB PYP is a curriculum framework designed for students aged 3 to 12 years. The PYP transdisciplinary framework focuses on the holistic development of the child as an inquirer–both at school and beyond. The PYP practice is informed by the latest research in how students learn, how educators teach, and the principles and practice of effective assessment. The program places a powerful emphasis on inquiry-based learning.

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop students into inquirers, thinkers, communicators, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and courageous learners. To this end, the IB works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

Unique Language Immersion in Early Years at Tessa:                             

At Tessa, we offer a unique opportunity to our young learners to immerse themselves in either Spanish or French stream (and Mandarin starting in September 2021) all day long. Apart from immersing themselves either in their native language or a new language, children are provided with opportunities to explore their environment and learn about their world through play and relationships with peers, teachers, family and community members.  The IB believes that young learners are intelligent, resourceful and creative individuals who grow, develop and learn at different rates. At Tessa, we aim to make it a holistic learning experience that integrates social-emotional, physical and cognitive development in a dynamic environment that promotes play, discovery and exploration.

Dual language Immersion in the PYP at Tessa:

It is believed that all learners stand to benefit from dual language immersion. Starting from Grade 1, native French or Spanish speakers maintain and develop their first language while acquiring native like linguistic skills in English language or vice versa. Besides language acquisition, children inquire and learn math, content areas (social studies, science) and specialist subjects such as visual arts, music, technology and P.E. through inquiry-based learning. Children will learn to take responsibility for their learning and construct their own understanding in a variety of content areas and strive to become life long learners.

What to Expect on the Curriculum Night at Tessa:

  • Meet the school leadership team including the founder, the Head and the Deputy Head of the school and the program coordinators.
  • Meet your child’s teacher in the classroom to gain an insight into what and how your child will be learning this year. Get a glimpse of the daily schedule, routines, and curriculum expectations for the year
  • Get familiar with your child’s learning environment. This is an opportunity for you to sit in your child’s seat literally as the presentation tends to be in your child’s homeroom. You’ll get a feel for their learning environment.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up to become a class parent.

Padmaja Naidu
PYP Coordinator
Tessa International School

At Tessa, It’s Safety First!

As parents, you take all the extra steps necessary to ensure your child is safe and healthy. High standards for classroom safety and cleanliness are reassurance that your child’s well-being is our top priority. Every child will experience the usual bumps, bruises, sniffles and sneezes from time to time. But keeping these to a minimum should be the goal. An important question you may ask is “How does your staff make safety and cleanliness a top priority for your students?” Tessa International School would like to share with you our objectives toward safety and security.

Security Features and Initiatives

  • Mr. Dan and Ms. Rotana are now regularly greeting families at the front door.
  • A double-entry door is planned behind the front door and architectural drawings are underway.
    • A second door will require parents to buzz in twice and will act as a buffer so that no person may directly enter the school without first being authorized.
  • Hoboken Police Officer Lieutenant Melissa Gigante will soon be visiting the school for a safety survey (and visit to Grade 1!).
  • The Monroe Center now has an armed guard present in the main space of the Monroe Center.
  • Tessa staff members have recently taken a CPR/FA course for certification to ensure we are properly trained in up-to-date emergency procedures.
  • Tessa has continued the Safety and Security Committee. Committee Head Alissa Reeves in conjunction with committee members Maria Cintron and Yoa Meikle are reviewing current safety procedures to denote methods of improvement.
    • Child Allergy/Medication Notes
    • First Aid/CPR responses
    • Procedures for teaching children to recognize and develop appropriate responses for emergency situations (e.g.,.- Dial 911, universal sign for choking, stranger danger, safe play with peers, attentiveness to social-emotional learning)
    • Emergency phone numbers posted in each classroom and at front desk.

Preparation and Drills (Continuing)

  • Monthly Fire Drills.
    • Fire drills are announced through our Amazon Echo Dots. Teachers gather the children and exit by the side door and congregate at one of three locations: The corner of Panello pizzeria, the front of the park on Jackson and 7th, or Hoboken Catholic Academy (inside the gym for Indoor Evacuations).
    • Dan Buck, Head of School, times the drill and collects the count of students from the teachers.
  • Lockdown Drills.
    • Lockdown drills are practiced at least twice per year.
    • Lockdown drills are communicated to staff by the Head of School. Doors are closed and locked, shades are drawn, quiet activity engaged and emergency escape routes planned.

Tips for Parents

  • Don’t forget to check Brightwheel for notices about your child and classroom. Did you know you can update your Contact Information in your child’s profile? Please check your child’s Brightwheel page to verify Emergency Contacts and Approved Pickups.
  • Practice safety and emergency procedures with your child at home.
  • Inform Alissa Reeves of any changes in your Contacts.
  • Make sure that your Universal Health form, allergy information, and flu shots are all up-to-date at the front desk.

Thank you for helping keep Tessa International School a safe and secure space for your child’s education and development.

-Alissa Reeves

What is immersion education?

7Immersion education is a system in which all academic subjects are taught in a target language such as French, Spanish, or Mandarin. It’s best if it’s started when children are young as they are more able to pick up subtle nuances of language. The classrooms are efficient learning environments where classroom procedures and transitions move quickly.

Teachers are fluent and native speakers of the target language and they are committed to speaking the target language consistently. This means they speak the target language during instruction, transitions, outside play, and eating times. Teachers are highly attentive to students’ needs and their individual learning styles.

The classroom is a literacy rich environment with pictures, labels, and other meaningful visuals to help support the target language throughout the day. Teachers are skilled at aiding comprehension through non-verbal clues and strategic teaching strategies.

The day is organized and routines are consistent and key phrases and vocabulary are repeated often to help children gain a foothold on their vocabulary development. Children make connections across the curriculum as the target language and English curriculum are aligned which allows them to reinforce concepts and ideas in both languages.

Will your child lose their English?

Studies have shown that children in immersion settings perform the same if not better than children who are not.

What if you don’t speak the target language at home?

You do not need to speak the target language for your child to succeed and gain proficiency. Homework is designed in a fun and engaging way through songs and games to review classroom learning. Strong communication with your child’s teacher is a key component to success.

For more detailed information please contact Michelle at

Tessa International School

Office: (201) 755-5585 | Location: 702 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 07030