Tessa International School is the only international school and the only bilingual preschool in Hoboken. Our school seeks to be accredited from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) which is recognized worldwide as the mark of high quality education. We also have a low ratio of 1 adult for six children. The result is an exceptional, enriching, and happy learning experience for students.
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.
Why 80% in the target language and 20% English?
Research has shown this full-immersion model to be more effective than a 50/50 split. The reason being the target language gets stronger while the level of English remains the same, whereas a 50/50 model has shown the target language to be weaker and the English remain the same.
What is the teacher-to-student ratio?
We staff at a 1:6 adult to child ratio. The class size is 18 students. Staff Teams include a Classroom Lead Teacher and Teaching Assistant(s) to maintain the ratio.
What are the qualifications and experiences of the teaching staff?
Our Lead Teachers have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Education/Language either from a US university or from their country of origin. In addition our teachers are native speakers of the target language and have 3+ years teaching experience. We also recruit happy, nurturing, positive and passionate educators with an attitude for international-mindedness.
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.
Are there “Specials”? Who teaches them?
In the 2019-20 school year, we work with The Liberty Science Center(Science) and Tone Academy (Music – Suzuki method) 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.
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.
Do you celebrate holidays?
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.
At what age can my child begin school?
Children must be 2.5 years old to enroll in the Pre-K program. Our cutoff date is December 31st for January admissions, and August 31st for the full year.
Applicants to grades 1 and above are assessed based on the last year of completed school. However, applicants are encouraged to apply for the grade to which they are eligible based on the August 31 birthday cutoff.
Does my child have to be toilet-trained to attend?
For children entering our Nursery (ages 2.5-3), 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 classrooms (ages 3.5-4) the expectation is that they are fully potty-trained.
Can an applicant Reapply?
Applicants are welcome to reapply for the next admissions year.
TUITION & FINANCIAL AID
Does Tessa offer a sibling discount?
Yes, Tessa offers a 10% 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.
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!