The New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association (NJPCSA) is pleased to announce a new public charter school will be coming to the state. The school, which will be a part of Brilla Public Charter Schools Network, will be opening in 2023 in Paterson, New Jersey.
“Public charter schools are a vital part of the public school system in Paterson and families want more of them,” said TJ Best, director of government affairs at NJPCSA. “We are excited that community leaders have joined together to reimagine what a public school with a proven program and importantly designed to meet the individual needs of students in Paterson could be and that Brilla will begin to educate students and support families in our community in 2023.”
The school will be located at 24-26 DeGrasse Street in Paterson, New Jersey, next to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The school will originally be open for children in kindergarten, first grade and fifth grade.
“As a former educator, it has always been my dream to provide the finest educational opportunities to the children of Paterson. After visiting the Brilla campus in the South Bronx and learning about their classical and virtue based approach to education, I was so excited to think of how many lives could be changed if we were able to start such a school here in Paterson. During my visit, I was blown away by the educational environment and the active engagement with the parents and families of those children attending the school,” said Monsignor Eugene (Geno) Sylva, Rector at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. “I believe that the combination of the Brilla pedagogy and their ‘love and logic approach’ will help our children in Paterson have all opportunities in life. The people of the City of Paterson are truly blessed to have so many supporters who have worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality!”
“When we first decided to bring Brilla Schools to Paterson and did the initial application for the charter school, we reached out to as many people as we could to let them know about the benefits charter schools offer,” said Ivannia Vega, a community organizer in Paterson. “We held over 50 focus groups, tabled outside on Main Street and met with parents of a variety of students to get their input. After nearly two years of outreach, I am excited to see how Brilla Schools will impact the students of our city.”
The Brilla Charter School Network embraces a unique educational model that views learning as an introduction to love and celebrates the diversity of cultures and backgrounds of all of their students and families. The school itself will be modeled after their New York schools, but will have specific characteristics that will be created for the community of Paterson.
“The Brilla model of New Jersey, and for Paterson specifically, will be very much aligned with our model in the Bronx yet, because it’s in Paterson, we want to make sure that we’re building on the unique strengths and assets of the community. We want those strengths and assets to be reflected in the academic, character and culture aspects of our school, as well as the way that we build our family partnerships and relationships,” said Aaron Brenner, General Partner and Chief of New Charter School Growth at Seton Education Partners. “We hope to continue creating these relationships as we build the school and get it ready to welcome students in the fall of 2023.”
A groundbreaking for the school is expected to take place this summer.