Learning Math

Unlocking Math and Science Potential in Tessa Primary Program

Have you ever wondered how a rocket blasts off to space, or how a tiny cell becomes a whole you? Understanding the world around us is an incredible adventure, and math and science are the tools that unlock its secrets!

At Tessa International School, we don’t just teach math and science, we ignite a passion for discovery! That’s why we have a Math & STEM Specialist on our faculty – a unique advantage you won’t find at most primary schools. Our specialist creates a fun and engaging environment where kids become curious explorers, asking questions, solving problems, and building the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

Importance of Math and Science in Primary School Education

The early years of education are critical for children’s ability to handle key concepts and shape their belief in lifelong learning. Math and Science education at the primary level serves several important purposes:

  1. Building Blocks for Future Learning: Early STEM exposure significantly influences later educational outcomes. Incorporating STEM into early learning helps children develop fundamental knowledge that will be built upon in subsequent school years. Research also shows that early STEM instruction leads to better language and literacy outcomes, all of which are essential to children’s current and future potential. 
  2. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Math constitutes a fundamental part of human thought and logic, and STEM learning encourages logical reasoning, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills. These cognitive abilities are crucial not only for understanding the content of other school subjects but also for enhancing their life chances.
  3. Creativity and Innovation: STEM fields are at the forefront of innovation. By engaging with these subjects early on, children learn to think creatively and approach problems with innovative solutions. Studies indicate that young learners are already capable of using engineering habits of mind in their free-play STEM activities.
Primary STEM Education at Tessa

It’s never too early to dive into STEM learning.

How Tessa’s Math & STEM Specialist Sets Tessa Primary Program Apart

  • In-depth Exploration: Unlike many primary schools, Tessa has a specialist that ensures students not only learn the basics but also explore more advanced topics that stimulate intellectual curiosity. Our school offers a curriculum that dives deep into Math and Science concepts. 
  • Engaging Activities: Learning at Tessa is far from rote memorization. Our specialist employs hands-on activities, experiments, and projects that make Math and Science come alive. This approach helps students see the real-world applications of what they learn, making the subjects more relevant and exciting. 
  • Strong Foundation: By focusing on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, our program prepares students for future academic and professional success. We aim to instill a love for learning that will last a lifetime, encouraging students to pursue STEM fields with confidence. 
Tessa Primary Program

Our dedicated Math & STEM Specialist provides rigorous and engaging instruction for students.


Choosing the right primary school for your child is a crucial decision that can shape their educational journey and future success. At Tessa, our commitment to excellence in Math and Science education sets us apart. With the guidance of our dedicated Math & STEM Specialist, we provide a stimulating and supportive environment where young learners can thrive in a technology-driven world. 


Ready to cultivate your child’s potential in the only international leading private school in Hoboken? 

Contact Tessa International School to learn more! 

A boy is riding a horse.

Why You Should Send Your Child to Summer Camp

Summer is a season of adventure, exploration, and growth. As the school year winds down, ensuring their children spend their time in an enjoyable and enriching way may become a challenge for many conscientious parents. One option that often stands out is sending children to summer camp. This choice can be very beneficial, offering advantages that extend far beyond the few weeks of summer.

A boy in the water game

At Tessa Summer Camp, students explore a range of fun multi-sensory activities in the target language.

Benefits of Summer Camp

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), the camp experience is recognized by child development professionals as valuable in helping children mature socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally, and physically.

A girl visiting the science center

Summer camps promote children to grow, learn, and thrive in a supportive and stimulating environment.

Gaining education outside a traditional school setting

Summer camp is an exciting opportunity for kids to fill long summer days with engaging activities and outdoor play. Kids learn and socialize in a community that is more flexible and vibrant than the traditional settings of school or home.

Dr. Peter Scales, internationally known as one of the world’s foremost authorities on positive youth development, described camp as “one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression, and true participation in a community environment.” He believed that most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Hence, camps are designed to maximize students’ summer vacations and improve learning in ways that schools often fall short.

Improving Academic Competence

Summer camps often integrate educational components into their programs, enabling children to learn in a fun and interactive environment. A review on multiple research indicates that students completing summer programs aimed at preventing summer learning loss can be expected to score about 20% higher than students who don’t participate.

Fostering Independence and Confidence

At summer camp, children have the opportunity to make decisions and navigate life away from the comfort of home. This independence fosters self-reliance as they learn to manage tasks and challenges on their own. Overcoming obstacles at camp boosts their confidence and helps them realize their capabilities.

Developing social skills and build friendships

Camp encourages children to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds, fostering a sense of community and friendship. Through collaborative activities and shared experiences, children learn valuable social skills such as communication, cooperation, empathy, and respect. According to a study on young adolescents from six different camps by the ACA, parents reported significant positive changes in their children’s social skills and happiness levels after attending summer camp.

Summer Camp at Tessa

Finding the best summer camp for children can be a real challenge. It is important to look for a camp that will suit your children’s needs and your expectations.

Tessa “Fun, Friends, and Discoveries” Summer Camps offer a perfect balance of academic and fun activities. One of the biggest differences between us and other camps is that we are a language immersion camp, offering a unique and enriching experience for children. Studying a language can be enjoyable and effective; at Tessa Summer Camp, campers love to learn Spanish, French, or Mandarin!

Tessa International School Summer Camp offers these advantages:

  • Excellent native speaking teachers
  • Varied outdoor and indoor activities
  • A new theme and adventure each week
  • Weekly registration and extended hours
  • A bright and inviting space
  • Rigorous safety measures with dedicated staff
  • Flexible cancellation and refund policies

Through exploring a range of multi-sensory and highly interactive activities with their teachers in the target language, our campers have fun while learning a language and being exposed to different cultures. All our teachers are native speakers with experience in bilingual education, able to emphasize the culture of their countries in an authentic fashion with support from a team of dedicated experts.

Learn more about why a language immersion camp can be a better choice for your child(ren) here


The benefits of summer camp can last a lifetime. It is an opportunity for children to grow, learn, and thrive in a supportive and stimulating environment. At Tessa Summer Camp, with excellent teachers and diverse activities, we strive to provide the most memorable and rewarding summer experience for our children.


Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken? 

Contact Tessa International School to learn more! 

We offer bilingual education.

Bilingualism at Tessa International School

As communities worldwide become more interconnected, bilingualism has emerged as a crucial asset, enriching individuals’ lives in myriad ways. Bilingual instruction is also unparalleled compared to other learning strategies and has proven tremendously beneficial to students. 

At Tessa, bilingualism is one of the three core pillars of our school philosophy that craft our educational approaches. We challenge our students in English, French, Mandarin, or Spanish, empowering them to reach their full potential. 

Benefits of Bilingualism

Beyond facilitating cross-cultural communication, early exposure to bilingual education also offers a wealth of cognitive and academic advantages. 

  • Bilingualism improves executive functioning and builds cognitive connections in the brain – the parts responsible for multitasking, memorizing, focusing, and planning. Findings show that bilingual children are on average 6.5% more efficient in their thinking skills than monolingual children. 
  • Researchers at American University show that by the end of middle school, students in dual-language programs were performing one grade level higher on reading assessments than their peers who were not enrolled in these programs. 
  • In a large-scale study of Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 students, bilingual students outperformed monolingual students in mathematical reasoning and problem solving.

Learn more about advantages to have a bilingual brain through the video below:

Our Immersion Progression Model

Bilingualism is integral to every stage of the education experience at Tessa. To ensure that our students develop strong language skills in both English and the target language, the Immersion Progression Model is strategically designed and applied. For an overview, our 80:20 immersion (Preschool) and 50:50 dual-language (Primary School) teaching approach is designed to promote students to become fully bilingual and biliterate. 

80:20 Immersion Stage: From Nursery through Kindergarten, the majority of instruction (80%) is conducted in the target language, allowing students to build strong, life-long foundations in the language.

“Bilingualism is an experience that shapes our brain for a lifetime.”

– Dr. Gigi Luk, the associate professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education

50:50 Dual Language Stage: Starting in Grade 1, students will receive instruction and absorb knowledge in English and the targeted language equally in order to gain proficiency in both. 

To meet this ideal, different language teachers – all of whom are native speakers of the language they teach – regularly collaborate to exchange their classroom observations and enhance the learning experience. Our teachers not only teach the language but also teach content through the target language, which enables students to gain linguistic competence while making academic progress in core subjects, including Science, Social Studies, Language & Literacy, and Math.


Check out this short video of our students talking about bilingualism: 


The power of bilingualism is undeniable, conferring a multitude of advantages that improve individuals’ lives and enhance society as a whole. By embracing bilingualism, our students are prepared to navigate the complexities of the globalizing world with confidence and proficiency.


Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken? 

Contact Tessa International School to learn more! 

A boy is reading a book.

How Bilingual Children Learn to Read

It is a common misconception that bilingual students might lag behind their monolingual peers in reading proficiency. In fact, decades of research have proved that bilingual students may become advanced readers and show advantages over their peers in a single-language learning environment. With encouragement and practice, bilingual children are able to achieve full biliteracy! 

How Bilingualism Puts Readers at An Advantage

A bilingual student is reading.

Bilingual education enables students to develop key components of successful reading.

Metalinguistic Awareness Development

Research has shown that bilingual children possess more elaborate reading strategies than monolingual children, presumably due to higher metalinguistic skills. 

Metalinguistic awareness refers to the ability to reflect upon and manipulate the structure of language. It is a set of skills that are related to multiple linguistic elements, including phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical awareness. To some extent, bilingual children can transfer these skills involved in learning one language to another, consequently accelerating their language learning.

Literacy Acquisition

As bilingual children develop their metalinguistic skills and language proficiency, they can gain further advantages in literacy acquisition. Exposure to multiple languages from a young age enables them to better understand the word structure and build a broader vocabulary range. These foundational capabilities could explain the finding that bilinguals tend to spell more complex vocabulary words in later grades.

Students in dual-language immersion programs perform as well as, or better than, their peers in core academic content areas by late elementary school. […] By the end of middle school, students in dual-language programs were performing one grade level higher on reading assessments than their peers who were not enrolled in these programs.”

Researchers from American University, 2016

Cognitive Development

Bilingualism fosters cognitive development, providing students with a robust cognitive reserve. Bilingual individuals typically exhibit stronger working memories and attention spans, contributing to academic and behavioral enhancements. Moreover, their ability to switch between languages cultivates flexible thinking and problem-solving skills. By navigating between different linguistic systems, bilingual students become adept at critically evaluating and resolving complex tasks.

How to Help Bilingual Students Gain Reading Fluency

Our teacher helps students in literacy acquisition.

With sufficient support, students can boost their reading abilities in both languages.

Even though bilingual education can provide students with many unique strengths, without proper instruction, their literacy in one language may become stunted. Here is a list of possible methods that adults can use to promote their students’ reading skills:

  • Recognize differences between the languages that may confuse emergent bilingual students. For example, extra support may be necessary for English-speaking students learning the Chinese writing system. 
  • Select strategically between the simultaneous and sequential dual-language programs for students. For instance, the Immersion Progression Model at Tessa International School facilitates a smooth transition from full immersion to balanced bilingual education, ensuring optimal language development.
  • Assign reading tasks in both languages to reinforce literacy skills across all languages in a student’s repertoire.
  • Encourage students to read aloud to each other, providing opportunities for collaboration and confidence-building.
  • Engage families in students’ bilingual language development by providing take-home library books and other resources to strengthen language skills outside the classroom. 


Fostering positive attitudes toward bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism is essential for creating optimal learning environments. While the journey may differ from traditional monolingual learning, bilingual education offers unique advantages that empower bilingual children to excel in reading and language skills for a lifetime.


Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken? 

Contact Tessa International School to learn more!

A teacher and her student on Graduation Day

Excellence in Education

Excellence, by definition, is the unwavering commitment to do anything to the best of our ability. At Tessa International School, it is not an abstract ideal. Excellence is one of the three pillars of our fundamental philosophy that underpins everything we do. 

Cultivating excellence in our students goes beyond academic achievement. It encompasses developing positive character traits, fostering global visions, and instilling a lifelong passion for learning. We are committed to helping students internally embrace the notion of excellence and strive towards it. 

Excellent Educational Practices: Our Global Accreditations

Tessa’s program has been built on the principle of incorporating the world’s best practices in education. Our school holds three premier global accreditations, which highlight the high standards we maintain and our commitment to academic excellence. 

These renowned accreditations ensure a seamless transition for students into similar institutions in the US and around the world, facilitating their global mobility and fostering their continued success.

Excellent Teachers: Our Foundation and Support

Central to our pursuit of excellence is our team of passionate and experienced teachers, who dedicate themselves to the educational experience at Tessa. Our teachers are highly credentialed professionals, mostly holding advanced degrees and specialized training in their subject areas. 

The group photo of teachers

Our teachers create a supportive community that inspires students to reach their full potential.

We provide a child-centered approach tailored to each student’s unique needs and interests. With a low teacher-to-student ratio, we prioritize personalized attention, ensuring that each student receives the support and guidance they need to thrive academically and emotionally. Simultaneously, language immersion, project-based learning, and an international perspective are integral to our curriculum. 

Each member of our team is a native speaker. With their diverse backgrounds, our educators bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, enriching the learning environment and fostering multicultural exchange. At Tessa, we celebrate our differences. It is through understanding and respect that we cultivate knowledgeable, caring, and excellent individuals who are equipped to navigate an increasingly interconnected world. Our teachers may have different origins, but they all share the same love of language and culture, and the common goal of empowering students in a warm and supportive environment. 


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

– Will Durant, paraphrasing Aristotle.


By all means, we aim to motivate our students to pursue excellence intrinsically. It is not just a destination but a journey we embark on. Through the incorporation of world’s best educational practices and a team of highly credentialed native-speaking teachers, we strive to provide a world-class education that promotes students for excellence in an ever-changing global landscape. 


Are you ready to explore the only international leading private school in Hoboken? 

Contact Tessa International School to learn more!

Two students happily smiles

An Education Based on Happiness

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human aspiration, demonstrably linked to positive life outcomes. Beyond subjective well-being, research increasingly reveals a causal connection between happiness and cognitive function, academic achievement, and social engagement. Happiness plays a key role in how well students learn and a child’s emotional well-being is the strongest predictor of adult life satisfaction. 

Any great school needs to foster a deep-seated love of learning. At Tessa, happiness is one of the three pillars of our school mission. Ensuring the well-being and happiness of our students is at the heart of everything we do. 

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient or EQ, is the ability to perceive and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. This ability is essential for preparing students for real-world interactions and becoming happy and effective global citizens. 

Emotionally intelligent individuals often cultivate fulfilling relationships that contributes to happiness.

Our school employs RULER, the renowned methods of the Yale Center for Social and Emotional Intelligence (YCEI), to guide students towards enhanced emotional awareness and interpersonal skills. RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence: 

  1. Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  2. Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  3. Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
  4. Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
  5. Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

Research on the impact of RULER shows that emotional intelligence can benefit youth development by modeling people’s behaviors and maintaining positive school climates. Implementing RULER can also improve leader, educator, and student outcomes in schools serving PreK to 12 students. Specific outcomes include: 

  • Development of emotion skills
  • Fewer attention and learning problems
  • Greater social and leadership skills
  • Less anxiety and depression
  • Less stress and burnout
  • Better performance in school

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

 A healthy physical school environment promotes learning by ensuring the safety of students and staff. Additionally, researchers found that school facilities, such as lighting and space, can also affect students’ degree of happiness. 

Located on three floors of the Monroe Center, our facility has been designed to offer our students a modern, bright and warm space. The architectural features are designed to promote healthy learning, enhance students’ focus, and encourage a positive attitude. Through bright classrooms and purpose-built facilities, our community’s well-being is our priority.

A bright and warm classroom at Tessa International School

Classrooms at Tessa are designed for a positive learning experience.

Take a virtual tour of Tessa International School here.

Providing Community Support

Beyond the walls of the classroom, Tessa boasts a vibrant parent organization (PTO), which plays a vital role in Tessa’s community-building efforts. It is the School’s and PTO’s joint mission to build a cohesive, global-minded community and work together to make a difference in every child. Our active and close-knit community provides a strong support system for families, fostering friendships and a sense of belonging. 

Parent Organization organized Back to School Events to raise students' happiness.

Parent involvement can help students make social connections.

A sense of community is vital to help students feel engaged and connected to the learning process. By organizing events such as United Nation Days Celebration and Career Week, parents and teachers can foster social connections with students inside or outside the school. This can be especially important for children to practice their social skills, including learning the rules of conversation and age-appropriate behavior. 


To ensure that our education fosters happiness, we provide concrete support psychologically, physically, and interpersonally for students to thrive in this fast-changing world. We believe that happiness is a fundamental need – a key priority in our educational aims. It is one of the most important assets in fueling children’s life-long success and the achievement of many other goals. 


Do you want to explore education provided by one of the top Hoboken private schools?

Contact Tessa International School to learn more!

Visible Learning – How Can Parents Help at Home?

A core belief at Tessa International School is that all of our teachers should continually improve our teaching practices. Over the summer I read a book that is receiving a lot of praise from renowned educators:  10 Mindframes for Visible Learning: Teaching for Success by John Hattie and Klaus Zierer.

Unlike many books devoted to pedagogy, Hattie and Zierer used scientific-based evidence (for example, several meta studies) to determine ten key ‘mindframes’ for excellent teachers.

One simple take-away for teachers:  instead of going into a classroom and asking oneself, ‘How can I be a great teacher?’ or ‘How can my students learn the best?’ 10 Mindframes suggests that teachers should say to themselves:  ‘My job here is to evaluate my impact on my students.’

I invite you now to reflect when you were a child:  which teachers made the greatest impact on you?  Why?  Which moments with your parents impacted you the most?  Why?  How can you make similar impactful moments on your own child?

As a parent of a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old and a teacher myself, I often ask myself how we as parents (whether we have education backgrounds or not) can help our children become better learners and world citizens.  So I have written a few suggestions for parents who wish to make learning more impactful for students, based on many of the mindframes.

1. I am an evaluator of my impact on my child’s learning

As a parent you have a tremendous impact on your children. Do you occasionally reflect upon the memories that you are making during ‘teachable moments?’ As an example, my family and I just moved all of our belongings from house to another. Needless to say–it was an intense two days and there was a fair share of unexpected moments. My children were a part of the moving process and they saw moments that were a bit, shall we say….frustrating?  As my wife and I occasionally got discombobulated I remained very aware that my children are learning how to deal with frustration—from us.

Your children, especially if they are young, are learning so much…from you! Are you evaluating the impact you are making on your child on a day to day basis?

2. I collaborate with my peers about my conceptions of progress and my impact

Do you consult other parents from time to time, or are you so confident that you are the best parent in the world that you never need to speak to anyone?  In my humble opinion, having an open mind, key to the IB Learner Profile, is extremely important to becoming a better parent. Just because something worked with you as a child, for example, doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work the same way on your own child. As an aside, I’d like to suggest that you check out a fascinating review of a book that compares parenting styles in France, the US, and Peru here

As a general rule, the biggest issue that I see with American parenting is ‘helicopter parenting.’ Giving your children opportunities to take risks is extremely important. And check out Erika Christakis’s The Importance of Being Little if you want some advice on this.

3. I am a change agent and believe my child can improve

Do you have fixed beliefs about your child?  ‘My son is great at… singing, but not so good at sports.’ Have you ever said or thought something like this? Though these observations and ‘rules-of-thumb’ may at times be helpful to you to better understand your child, you also might be making assumptions that simply are not true. And why would such assumptions be bad?  Well, if your child implicitly knows that he or she is not good at ‘x’ or is not meant to be ‘x,’ then guess what? He might just stop trying entirely to be ‘x.’ And he may only be two years old!

4.  I strive to provide my child with challenge and not merely have him or her do his or her best

Teachers often learn about Lev Vygotsky’s concept of the Zone of Proximal Development during teacher training.  This fancy-sounding concept is essentially the idea of giving every child just the right balance of challenge and support. Do you give your children too much support?  This is often what I see as an educator when I watch parent-child interactions.  Don’t be afraid to challenge your children. Personally, I have learned the most when I was suddenly on my own with a challenge. Remember the first time you drove a car on your own?  How you suddenly knew, ‘This is real.’ And how quickly you learned a million things?  The same is true with children.

5. I give feedback and help my child understand it, and I interpret and act on feedback given to me

Do you give your child specific feedback relating to the way he or she acts?  Manners such as saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ for instance, don’t come naturally to children. When you see your child acting politely or impolitely, do you give him specific feedback?

6. I engage as much in dialogue as monologue

Are you ‘the rule of law’ in your home, or do you give your children choice?  Naturally, not everything can be a choice. But do you listen to your children when they say what they like or don’t like?

7. I build relationships and trust so that learning can occur, where it is safe to make mistakes and learn from others

How is your relationship with your child?  What could you do to improve it?

8. I identify and build on my child’s prior experiences and initial learning level


Do you make connections to other things that have happened to your child?  For instance, if you have been on vacation with your child sometime in the past, and see something that reminds you of this event, do you help the child make the connection?  In a way, this relates to the teaching concept of spiraling. This is the idea that in the classroom you always return and review what you have learned previously. Imagine teaching your child a concept such as octagon.  You look at Stop signs, you draw them, and your child really understands what an octagon is. Do you ever bring up the topic of octagon again or do you assume that your child knows what it is without reinforcing it?  Naturally, you bring it back.   

I hope that some of these suggestions can help you be an even more awesome parent than you are now! 

Here is to a great year at Tessa International School!


Summer Travel Plans…?

At Tessa International School, we make it our mission to prepare our students to be leaders of the 21st century and happy world citizens. During the summer months, traveling with your children can be a great way to introduce them to the diversity beyond our borders.

Traveling with your children can be a fun and very educational way to broaden their mindsets. When you travel with your children, you are allowing them to observe and experience new places, languages, foods, and cultures first-hand. At Tessa International School, we strongly believe in preparing our children to embrace the world with enthusiasm, confidence, and the strong will to make a difference. Traveling is one of the key ways to help develop their open-mindedness, curiosity, flexibility, independence and many other skills at an early age that are necessary for them to succeed in our highly interconnected and globalized world. Raising global children means sending them off into the world better prepared to tackle the issues of the 21st century.

Here are our top five reasons to travel with your kids:

  1. It is a great way to spend valuable time together as a family. There is no better way to show your child that you care than to spend time together. Travelling will certainly leave you with some remarkable photos and unforgettable memories!
  2. It broadens your child’s mindset and perspective of the world. It is amazing how quickly children catch on to subtle differences in their environment. Travelling presents a wonderful opportunity to spark their curiosity and imagination.
  3. Travel allows your child to develop their self-esteem, confidence and independence. Exposing your children to new and different cultures will undoubtedly teach them new things. It will also a great way to strengthen their character and discover who they are and where they come from.
  4. It teaches them to embrace diversity. Meeting new people, listening to foreign languages, and trying new foods are all great experiences that showcase the differences in our cultures. Celebrate the diversity!
  5. Before you know it, your child will become a seasoned traveler. You may be hesitant to take your little one along for the vacation, however, it is an excellent way to set expectations and let them grow accustomed to what is expected of them on travel days.

It’s never too early to start exploring the world with your little one. Visit our website to learn more about our world class curriculum and language immersion programs in either French or Spanish. At Tessa, we understand the importance of preparing our children to take on whatever challenges life throws at them and embrace global opportunities with enthusiasm and confidence. RSVP to join us at our next information session or call us to schedule an appointment at (201) 755-5585.

Safe travels and we look forward to meeting you and your family soon!

Start Your Journey With Us

Tessa International School

Office: (201) 755-5585 | Location: 720 Monroe St. Hoboken, NJ 07030