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Williamsburg Northside Schools

152 North 5th Street / 70 Havemeyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

(718) 599-7300


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Art studio, computers, theater arts, music, dance, second language, physical education. Pre-math, pre-literacy and pre-sciences.

From the Director:

The Reggio Emilia approach uses an emergent curriculum that is developed and guided by the children’s interests. Children engage in long-term small-group and large-group projects, which involve hands-on investigation, finding the answers to questions, reading about a topic, visiting sites or places, talking to experts and visually representing their learning through a variety of medium. Group meetings, or assemblies are held at specific times during the school day to allow children to plan their project ideas and to reflect and expand on their work.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

In Reggio Emilia schools, the teacher is an active participant in the learning process rather than a direct provider of information. The teacher uses observation and documentation to develop questions and gather information about the children’s interests, abilities and understandings. This information is used to guide the teachers in the set-up of the classroom environment, presentation of materials, development of curriculum and in communicating with the families and school community. Small group work and teacher ratio is highly valued in order to ensure that every child is engaged, encouraged and thriving.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Williamsburg Northside Schools are inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy which is based on the on the following principles:
-Image of the Child
-Teacher as Researcher
-Environment as the Third Teacher
-Project Approach

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers and families form a strong connection that begins with a welcoming process at the start of the school year. Many methods of parent-teacher communication are used, including photographs, journals and shared portfolios, to encourage parent-teacher collaboration. Back to school night is scheduled in the fall and parent/teacher conferences are held twice a year. Erb testing is available on site although is not required for admissions at Northside.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Transition from Home to School – The faculty and staff will make every effort to support your family through the transition phase from home to school. Therefore, your child’s teacher will send you a welcome letter with their picture and a supply list by the end of August. During the month of September children will follow various transition schedules as a way to ease families and children into the school year. Transition schedules will vary through age groups. Each family will receive a school calendar with specific information regarding their child’s transition schedule during enrollment.
Play dates – the administration will send families a list of the children enrolled in their child’s class so that parents can begin to set up play dates over the summer and children can begin to form friendships before they enter school. Play date lists will be available to parents at orientation however; they can change over the course of the summer so revised play date lists will be re-distributed again in September and is updated throughout the year.
Orientation – parents are invited to an orientation meeting in June to meet other new families and become more familiar with WN’s policies and procedures.