Before the Brunswick Center, Seventh and Brunswick was home to Holy Rosary, a traditional Catholic school that educated hundreds of Jersey City residents through the years.
And while the location now hosts many fitness, health and wellness-oriented businesses, its legacy of educating JC’s youth continues, first with the Brunswick School, a pre-school for children from 6 months old to Kindergarten.
Owner Jillian Hernandez and director Erin Van Horn say they’re well aware of the history of their new school’s digs.
“So many adults who are born and raised in Jersey City and have strong ties here have come up to us and said, ‘That was my school,'” said Hernandez. “They would talk my ear off with all these stories about nuns and the church and they were excited to see what we’re doing with the center and keeping the integrity of the school as a school.”
Hernandez says they will use up to 10 classrooms in the former school, including some partitioned into music or technology enrichment centers. They hope to have up to 150 students and 20 to 25 staff members including teachers, receptionists and chefs (no nuns, though).
While the Brunswick School is, in some ways, continuing a tradition, it’s also innovating and providing a curriculum that Downtown Jersey City parents can get behind.
“I think it’s extremely important to do a good job developing children at a young age — a child’s brain really develops in the first three years of life,” explained Hernandez.
The Brunswick School focuses on core education but also places emphasis on more creative activities. For example, kids at the school learn visual art, music and dance and can also take yoga and Spanish classes.
“We want children to learn without realizing they’re learning and just having fun,” said Hernandez. “Our curriculum provides creativity in a structured format…children at this age thrive on routine and structure, and we’re providing it, but it in a way that makes learning fun for them.”
Hernandez says they’re also particularly sensitive to parents’ needs. The entire program runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate early drop-off and late pick-up and includes meals prepared in a state-of-the-art kitchen. Parents can also choose between different day packages depending on how many days they want their kids to be at school.
“It’s really exciting to see all the businesses here with art, dance, music and fitness,” said Hernandez. “We’ve already gotten so much great feedback from people.
“We’re having fun developing this school. It’s important for this community and goes hand-in-hand with all the development going on in Jersey City.”
For more information, visit TheBrunswickSchool.com.