Your child will embark on a unique and enriching educational journey at Tessa International School. Choose from one of our three bilingual tracks – French, Mandarin, or Spanish – which, combined with English instruction, will provide your child with a multicultural and immersive learning experience in a bright and modern space. At Tessa, we employ a comprehensive approach, incorporating the world’s best educational practices to deliver excellence in education. With highly credentialed native-speaking teachers, we ensure an engaging and dynamic classroom experience that fosters language fluency and cultural understanding. Recognized as a NAIS educational model, we are committed to being leaders at the forefront of educational excellence.
Why a bilingual school?
Research demonstrates that bilingualism has numerous benefits. Bilingual children exhibit better literacy, math, and multi-tasking abilities and they are also more adaptable, confident, and empathetic. They have the opportunity to participate in the global community, learn more about people from other cultures and their brains are very active and flexible.
The languages offered by Tessa International School are some of the most spoken worldwide.
What does language immersion look like in the classrooms?
The preschool and KG grades are immersed 80% in the target language with 20% English throughout the day. Starting in Primary, the immersion is 50/50. School days for these grades alternate in English and the target language.
What is the teacher-to-student ratio?
Our Adult to Child Ratios do not exceed 1:5 in Nursery, 1:7 in Preschool, 1:10 in Kindergarten and Primary. The class size does not exceed 19 students. Staff Teams include a Classroom Lead Teacher and Teaching Assistant(s) to maintain the ratio.
What accreditation(s) does Tessa hold?
Tessa International School holds three premier global accreditations, which serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to academic excellence: the International Baccalaureate, the French Homologation, and Cognia. These distinguished certifications highlight the high standards we maintain and the exceptional educational experiences we provide to our students. With these renowned accreditations, Tessa International School ensures a seamless transitionfor students into similar institutions worldwide, facilitating their global mobility and fostering their continued success. Read more about our accreditations and affiliations here.
What are the qualifications and experiences of the teaching staff?
All of our teachers have teaching certifications from their own home country. We also provide IB and PYP training for all of our teachers here at Tessa.
When will you announce the teacher for the next school year?
Typically, you can expect to know next year’s teacher by the second half of August.
What is your calendar based upon?
Our school year starts the week after Labor Day and ends shortly before the end of June. We follow the usual calendar holidays and have a few days break in the middle of each term as well. With working parents in mind, we offer vacation care during these breaks. We offer 9 to 10 more effective school days during the school year – a full two weeks – than most other prominent independent schools in the area.
How do students learn?
We have an inquiry-based curriculum that is highly engaging. Learning happens through play for the younger grades and for grades 1 and up there is a transition from “play” to “research”. Regardless, both are still led by inquiry.
How do you discipline the students?
We view mistakes as learning opportunities and young children are expected to make mistakes. Students make choices and are responsible for their decisions. We address situations as they arise and on an individual basis. Our goal is to help the students develop self-control and make positive choices for the right reasons. We have a strong social-emotional program in place, which continuously helps guide students in this area so they learn to manage their feelings and behaviors at school and beyond.
Are there “Specials”? Who teaches them?
We work with The Liberty Science Center(Science), our librarian and PE, math and music teachers, as well as language teachers to bring enrichment programs to our students weekly. These additional programs, carefully customized to Tessa International School’s learning objectives and curriculum, provide opportunities for our students to express themselves, problem solve, and work in collaboration with their peers.
How much time do children spend outdoors?
Since children benefit tremendously from fresh air, exercise, and gross-motor play, the students play outdoors each day, during all seasons, except in the case of extreme temperatures. We look at the outdoors as an extension of our classrooms, and are very lucky to have our own playground, which is rare for city institutions.
Can you explain how lunch works at your school?
We have 2 options:
Students bring their own snack/ lunch from home. Each classroom is equipped with a microwave and refrigerator to store and heat up food.
We believe that celebrations can enrich classroom experiences. All families are encouraged to share their unique traditions and customs with the classrooms. And opportunities to bring in local or global customs/celebrations are planned for students and teachers throughout the year.
Does your school have opportunities for parents to get involved?
Absolutely! We have a Parent-Teacher Organization as well as many opportunities for parents to volunteer for various activities and events throughout the year (field trips, career week, end of unit celebrations, etc).
At what age can my child begin school?
The age requirements are as follows:
Nursery (PreK2): Should be 2 years old by December 31st*
PreK3: Should be 3 years old by December 31st*
PreK4: Should be 4 years old by December 31st*
Kindergarten: Should be 5 years old by December 31st
Elementary: Older students generally advance to the next grade.
*Some exceptions may be made for varying birthdates
Does my child have to be toilet-trained to attend?
For children entering our Nursery and PreK3 (ages 2-3), it is not a requirement of Tessa’s for them to be toilet trained. We will work on the process in partnership with you as parents to make the change as stress-free and comfortable as possible while your child transitions between pull-ups and using the bathroom. For children entering our Pre-K 4 classrooms the expectation is that they are fully potty-trained.
Does my child need to be fluent in the target language (French, Mandarin or Spanish) in order to apply to Tessa?
For Preschool and Kindergarten, we consider children with all levels of exposure and ability in the target language. Our classes are carefully balanced to include fluent speakers, beginners, and a range of levels in between.
While a language background is a plus in Primary, Tessa International school is now accepting beginners and all levels in Spanish, French, and Mandarin for grades 1-3. Call (201) 755-5585 for information.
Can an applicant Reapply?
Applicants are welcome to reapply for the next admissions year.
Can I meet the teacher before we enroll our child(ren)?
To be respectful of everyone’s time we generally don’t ask teachers to meet with parents or students who haven’t yet enrolled, however we will provide parents with a bio about the teacher so you can learn more about them.
TUITION & FINANCIAL AID
Does Tessa offer a sibling discount?
Yes, Tessa offers a 20% sibling discount on the school year.
How does Tessa determine my eligibility to Financial Aid?
We encourage all families to consider an education from Tessa International School regardless of their financial situation, as we are committed to providing financial support to families with demonstrated financial need. We use a third party, TADS, to evaluate the financial ability of each applicant. Financial need is estimated based on a combination of factors, including income, family size, and adjustment for cost of living in the tri-state area. There is a $39 application fee.
What is the language immersion for the summer camp?
Tessa “Fun, Friends, and Discoveries” Summer Camps are thoroughly enjoyable language immersion programs in the language of your choice: Spanish, French or Mandarin!
How many students are in a group?
For Summer Camp, there are as many as 18 campers per group.
Will lunch be provided?
Bring your own lunch and snacks or use a catering service: Daily Delicious or Catering Solutions.
What are the camp fees?
Rates vary on the number of weeks you register for, and the number of children you enroll. The more weeks you register, the greater the discount!
Are we able to pick and choose the weeks we would like to enroll instead of registering for the full sessions?
Each week features a new theme. These themes enable your child to join seamlessly at any time throughout our nine-week camp session.
What is the cancellation & refund policy?
To give you more flexibility, a full refund* will be granted up to two week before the beginning of camp.
*Minus registration fees
Are your staff CPR certified and do you background check all the staff?
All of our administrators and most of our teachers are CPR certified. We run background checks for all of our staff members.
What will a typical day look like?
A typical day varies on the age group. Kids will participate in various indoor and outdoor activities, related to the theme of the week. For a sample of a daily schedule, please refer to our Summer Camp Themes and Schedule page.
AFTERCARE & AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS
What is the difference between after care and after-school programs?
The aftercare program is a childcare service we provide to our Tessa families from 3:30pm to 7pm.
For the afterschool program, we are offering a wide range of activities from languages to music, crafts and sports. Language and culture classes are opened to students not enrolled with Tessa International School.
What afterschool programs do you offer?
We offer a wide range of activities from languages to sport, music and crafts. Activities may vary from a semester to another; you can find activities from the current semester here.
Would it be possible to sign up for After Care occasionally?
Aftercare and Before Care are open to our Tessa families only. You can register yearly, monthly or for one day only.
Do you provide vacation care?
We provide vacation care to our Tessa students during most breaks and holidays.
How much does after care cost?
You will find our rates here. Yearly aftercare / before care registration can also be included to your school tuition.
I have some more questions. How can I get in touch?
We welcome questions and comments from families! Feel free to email us at email@example.com or call (201) 755-8555. We look forward to hearing from you!