We recently had the opportunity to talk with our friends at Barrow Street Nursery School in New York City to get to know them and the wonderful work that they do. Read our Q&A below and visit their website to learn more.
Q: Barrow Street has had its doors open for almost 50 years. What are 1-2 leading factors behind its success?
A: Barrow’s teachers are unparalleled. Their passion for early childhood education and professionalism create warm and nurturing classrooms which support both children and parents alike. Teachers are on continuous paths of learning – we have 8 enrolled in Masters or PhD’s supported financially by the school this year – as well as various professional development initiatives created by teachers themselves.
Our parents support educators and their children help to build a community experience both inside the walls of 27 Barrow Street and beyond. Our parent volunteers enrich the curriculum and experience of families by providing opportunities for engagement that strengthen the connections and celebrate the diversity of our school.
Our parent education focus means we are educating the whole community, which connects everyone in unique ways. Strong communication between all is built into the program.
Q: Tell us about Barrow Street’s teaching approach. What is your goal(s) for students to walk away with after a school year?
A: Our approach is centered on collaboratively designed learning experiences. We want students to leave Barrow and enter the world with compassion, curiosity and confidence in how they think. With the world rapidly changing, we believe we are laying a foundation within children that teachers them how to problem-solve and approach unknown, essentially how to think, not what to think.
Barrow’s philosophy blends two progressive approaches to education, Bank Street and Reggio Emilia. At Barrow Street Nursery School, our mission is to help students build the foundation for life-long learning, appreciation of the arts, care for the community and environment.
Q: What are the steps in your admission process and when would you recommend a family to sign-up for the upcoming school year?
A: Parents apply the year before they would like to enter our school. Applications will be available on September 1st for the 2024-2025 school year. We will host an in person Open House before our application deadline.
For applicants through the application lottery, they will be invited in for a small group conversation and tour. We also host child visits in January and offer many optional opportunities for families to get a better sense of our school, program and community.
Q: Barrow Street has an extensive list of programs. Can you highlight a few of them and what they offer?
A: In addition to our gross motor spaces, rooftop, tricycle track and gym, our students participate in specialist classes, built into their daily schedule, such as music, movement, pottery, art and science.
We also offer extended day programming which allows our children the opportunity to register for classes both before school and afterschool. We have a huge variety of partners, currently about 15 different programs who host classes on our premises, such as Super Soccer Stars, Yogi Beans Yoga, Tribeca Language, and Dance with Miss Rachel.
We are proud of the programming we are able to offer and grateful for a large facility and dedicated group of specialists that allow us to do so.
Q: Ahead of our partnership this fall, would you speak to how families will see some of our providers in your school or how you will be providing BFC sitter services to your teachers?
A: We will be using Bell Family to:
- Support our on-demand needs at the school as substitute teachers in the classrooms.
- They will also be a resource to teachers who need on-demand coverage of their own children. Barrow will be covering the cost of 5 days per year for teachers.
- Barrow Street teachers may volunteer to work as a Bell family sitter if interested
- BFC will engage may also engage with us as a workshop resource for our families
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