Communities such as Chatham, Summit, Basking Ridge, Warren, Berkeley Heights, and New Providence have excellent elementary public schools, so why would one consider a private language immersion school?
1. Smaller class sizes and low student: teacher ratio– in most public schools, the class sizes can be over 20 students to 1 teacher vs. 14 to 1 in some private schools. Many parents feel that this smaller class size is critical during the early grades when children are forming foundational skills in reading and math. The attention that teachers can provide sets the interest and love of learning.
2. Fewer discipline issues–because private schools tend to attract those families who value education, there may be fewer classroom management issues or students who may bully others. This enables more of the time spent on learning.
3. Challenge– gifted and talented students may need environments that offer more challenge vs. that found in public schools who have to teach to the middle. Smaller program can sometimes more easily differentiate or have groups of students who are at a similarly high level and the overall pacing of the class may be faster.
4. Teacher quality–sometimes private schools have more flexibility to hire or terminate teachers to meet the specific goals of the school.
5. Unique focus–private schools such as language immersion programs provide a way to develop a unique skill and approach with advantages beyond what is available in a monolingual public school program. Other examples of focus may be special needs, schools, or Montessori programs.
HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS) is an independent school that has been a pioneer in language immersion for the past 15 years in North Central NJ. HWIS supports children ages 2- grade 8 on two campuses - one in Stirling, NJ and another in Midtown West, NYC, HWIS has small class sizes in preschool ranging from 1:5 to 1:8, and in elementary and middle school averaging 1:10. HWIS is able challenge students through differentiation and flexible grouping. As a result students becoming bilingual in Mandarin or Spanish while developing advanced skills in reading, math and other subjects.