View Full Version : BK-Greenpoint/Williamsburg Reposting from local parent listserv - Williamsburg Northside recommendation

Anna Brandt
10-21-2011, 10:52 AM
I was asked to repost the opinion I shared on my local parent listserv on this board. My opinion was in response to a parent's request for opinions about Williamsburg area preschool/elementary school options.
See below:

My sons go to Williamsburg Northside Preschool (Infant Toddler Center). I am also trying to decide where they will continue and am strongly influenced by the amazing teachers, community, and philosophy of WNP. WNP follows the Reggio Emilia approach (I've included a link below for more information about this approach). I recently went to a talk presented by the school to parents. They had a Reggio Emilia educator visiting the school (an inspiring woman). I already knew that the teachers in my older son's class were amazingly attentive, observant, and able to communicate wonderfully about my son's interests and development. The school has a great feel (i.e., many materials for exploration and learning but not a lot of imposed structure). In the context of a student directed approach the teachers support the children in activities with an interest in them learning and exploring topics from several different angles. So there is a very delicate balance (that we all try to find) of support and freedom. My son is young so I was surprised to already see these aspects in his 'school'/ daycare. Then I attended the workshop that I mentioned earlier in the post and was extremely impressed by the philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach. I think it is a fabulous match for the sort of learning that takes place between infancy and 6 years. Which is the focus of the approach. But it also easily extends to older children (and WNP is growing into an elementary school). The elementary school is very young so that might be a drawback, but there are also other schools that follow the approach. For us, to be part of a school that is local and builds our local community would be wonderful and that would be a trade between the newness of the upper school.

Here is a link to a site with a quick overview of the approach. I'm sure there are better sites to visit but I'm doing this quickly!:


There is also an initiative to start some charter schools in the neighborhood under the umbrella of "The Tapestry Project". There have been posts about it around. That would be an even greener initiative (to start in the fall of 2014?)but a public school option in addition to the other public schools. A better informed parent could probably correct me and elaborate here.

I feel quite overwhelmed by these decisions too!

Good luck,
Anna mom to Lewis 2 and James 5m