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Primary Prep Elementary School

Private | K-8 | 257 students


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Living in Jersey City

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $235,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,130.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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43 reviews of this school

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Posted June 7, 2014

Our kids just finished their first year at Primary Prep, in Kindergarten and Second Grade, and we couldn't be more pleased. They have both made amazing progress academically, and are both really sad that the year is coming to an end - both lamenting that they don't want school to end because of how much they will miss their teachers and fellow students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 20, 2014

We agree that the school has gone downhill. The school uses contests, awards, and even grades as more of a motivator as opposed to recognizing those who truly deserve it (as evidenced in the poem recitals, science fairs, and monthly awards). We attended the spring show recently and were stunned that it didn't let out until 9:30pm! The children were expected at school the following day and our kids didn't get to be until 11:30 because they were so wound up! The event was overcrowded and we could barely move around or see our children perform. This money maker is a complete joke and we are disgusted that the principal would expect us and the kids to sit through over four hours of what seemed to be torture. Instead of breaking up the classes and nights of the show, the school took the easy way out by cramming parents and children to sit through almost four hours of song after excruciating song. This situation was an abuse of our time and the last straw for our family. We are convinced that Primary Prep doesn't have the best interest of the child in mind.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 11, 2014

Great School. We moved our son from an other private school in the area. He is very happy and school is very strong academically. We are glad we made the move.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 31, 2013

Wast of money! My daughter attended that school for 3 years. The academic was very basic. She did received straight A's for academic 1 grade below her current grade. If your child is smart and outstanding I do not recommend sending him/her to this school. If not, this is the place for for them. Submitted by a parent
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 31, 2013

I have two children at the school and love it. You cannot find the same combination of strong academics and dsicipline along with such a rich focus on the arts in any other school in the area that I have seen. My kids are so happy to go to school and are learning a lot. Counting the days until Fall!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 20, 2013

Our child transferred to Primary Prep from the West coast and we took a chance on the school based on the high recommendations of a few other families that attended over 7 years ago. We made a mistake. After a very 1.5 years, we decided to switch to another school. It turned out that Primary Prep was not a good match for our very creative and sensitive child. Creativity and expression are not encouraged at the school and in the older grades, the school's flat academics became stifling to our child. Like cogs in a machine, the school teaches kids to follow orders instead of allowing for some free thinking and real learning. There were also bullying issues that went minimized and overlooked and this was disappointing. A bit of advice we hope will help parents who are in the difficult process of transferring their child from other state/country: choose a school based on the teaching method opposed to the recommendations of others. Others have different standards and the stresses involved in moving to another state often cloud important factors in choosing the right school for your child. We wish someone would have reminded us of this.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 16, 2013

I can't help but question the comments of the submission made on June 12. Did this parent take the time to research the school before registering? It would have been obvious that there was no grass or garden if it was a true concern at the time. Did this parent ever walk the halls of the school and take time to view the artwork that covers the walls or hear the sounds of the children singing along with a phenomenal choral director? As for fundraising, it's always optional and keeps tuition down. Sounds like this parent is not a team player and is only looking for a school that will entertain their child instead of actually being educated. Primary Prep offers a perfect balance of creativity and education.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 29, 2013

I have very mixed feelings about this school. The physical space is very clean and cheerful and my daughter's PreK 4 teacher is wonderful, but I am very disappointed in the curriculum. My daughter now dreads school, when she used to be so happy to go. Her 3 year old Abbot program used a HighScope curriculum and it was much more creative and connected to the children's interests. Now she is being drilled on writing her letters perfectly (You can do better!) is a common comment on her homework and the approach feels very old school in a bad way. Fingers crossed that we can get into a charter. We are considering leaving for a public school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 18, 2013

My youngest started in Pre-K 3 and has been at Primary Prep for a few years now. He absolutely loves, loves, loves it! The elementary school teachers are truly caring and nurturing. He is, academically, far beyond his friends that attend the public schools in Jersey City. He is counting money (including coins), adding, subtracting, telling time, and reading in Kindergarten. IT'S A GREAT SCHOOL FOR GRADES 4 AND BELOW, but I wish I could say the same for the middle school! it's really sad how something so wonderful can fall so flat the next year! Parents are involved but very cliquish...and you literally have to 'donate' your time, goods, or funds for your concerns to get answered. I know of children whose parents were told there was no room in some grades for their child, but the next school year we would see new students in those same grades! Pre-K through 4th grade I give 5 STARS all the way! Middle School at Primary Prep gets 1 STAR.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 28, 2013

Primary Prep is a very good school from Preschool through maybe 2nd grade, but it's gone down since then. Friends with kids in 7th and 8th grade say that they are happy again with the upper grades. There are some very good teachers, but also some weak ones. The school reminds me of a catholic school from the 70s, without the religion. Kids with any behavioral problems don't do well at the school, but most other kids do fine. Teachers can be punitive and there is a huge emphasis on rote learning and making sure that kids are reading and writing before most experts think it's developmentally appropriate. Mrs. Hoffman is definitely not open to hearing this (or much other feedback- you have to stay on her good side!) Tons of homework, which causes stress every night and all the kids get turned off. We like the arts program, but my kids only want to go to school at the beginning of the week. Most families I know admit to applying for the 2 decent charter schools, but Primary Prep is a good option if you don't get a spot in them. It's more affordable than other private schools and better (in my opinion) that the public schools in Jersey City.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 19, 2011

My son is now in the 7th grade and has been going to this school since 2ng grade. My child began with many challenges, one including lack of concentration and consistantly poor grades because of it. The principal Mrs. Hoffman was involved every step of the way and nurtured our son and helped get extra help for him. Faculty in this school know the students by name. They know their interests. They have amazing extra curricular activities, such as drama, 2 hour art classes, 2 hour physical education classes, piano lessons, guitar lessons, glee, etc...the extra music lessons are an extra fee a month depending on the teacher, but they are great. Academically they are on par. When you need to communicate with the can easily because they all provide you with the primary prep email addresses. The only thing I wish to change is the lunch. Its just not healthy, chicken nuggets, etc. You of course have the option to send your kids with their own lunch and that is perfectly fine....I love this school and so does my son!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 30, 2011

We feel this school is the best fit for our daughter. She is highly self-motivated and has a strong academic and social competence. We feel this school's curriculum challenges her intellectually. Their arts department and after-school activities offer a variety of social, spiritual and emotional development.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 28, 2011

The staff, not only the child's teachers, knows each of the students by name and face. The teacher is also looking out for the social development of a child; aside from academic growth. The facilities are clean and well-maintained. The principal encourages parents to volunteer, but not pressure them into it. There are after-school activities aside from "after-care." These activities range from piano, guitar, dance, soccer, karate, chess, bricks4kidz, foreign languages, and religious education. Each class charges an extra fee, depending on the activity/teacher. It is usually more affordable than getting this class on your own from an outside teacher/institution. "This allows families to have more time with each other on weekends", according to the principal. I totally agree. Instead of running around to different places for each child (for mulitple children), most of their extracurricular actitivities have been covered during the week. This is a private school. Everything comes with a price; but you won't be disappointed with the quality with what you're paying for.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 12, 2011

I have a son who went to this school: he enjoyed first grade through fifth grade. It was a great elementary school. But then, things began to go sour. The teachers for middle school pay absolutely no attention to the students. The academic program is horrible. I would not recommend sending your children to this school for middle school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 27, 2011

One thing that struck me in this school was that the staff truly cared for my son. He's a new student in 1st grade and they said that he is "too quiet." I liked that they were concerned with his social development even if he's doing well academically. The students are respectful and mindful of their manners. In this city, during these "modern" times, it is a delight to see children with great manners. The school has a well-balanced curriculum. It has a good academic program. The 1st graders have a reasonable amount of homework every day (except Friday). I like that they still have music, visual and performing arts, when a lot of schools have already taken that out of their curriculum. They do not force us into fundraisers, but as with any other school, it is highly encouraged. The after-school program offers time for homework and extra-curricular activies. I love it when the principal said, "we're offering these activities in school so you have more time to spend with your children on weekends."
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 9, 2010

I have two daughters, one who graduated from Primary prep and one who still goes there. They love it very much. I like it because the teachers will work with you if your child has a problem
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 6, 2010

Horrible school, with teachers that care only about themselves and pay no attention to the students. They teach just to make the day pass by, not to actually teach and inspire. Those who are smart and are doing good, are usually just left to fend for themselves as the others receive large amounts of attention to no avail. If your child is smart and outstanding I do not recommend sending him/her to this school. If not, this is the place for him.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 4, 2010

Our kids love going to this school and are excelling as we have always hoped they would. There is a really grounded, common sense, and wholesome feel about the school and the kids are very well behaved. There are many fundraisers which can be annoying but no pressure to participate as the school is not financially dependent on parents. The leader of the school is very intelligent, experienced, and kind and clearly runs a tight ship. We highly recommend this school and are glad we found it!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 11, 2010

We have been with the school for over three years and are very glad in the choice we made in Primary Prep. The school is very intimate and the children are very respectful and seem well rounded. The school expects a lot from the children and there isn't much tolerance for bad behavior. The academics are very good and interestingly, many different teaching methods are incorporated. we give the school a lot of credit that our children have fun at school, love to learn, and look forward to going.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 4, 2010

We are very pleased with Primary Prep and believe that it provides the right environment to help children reach their full potential. The class sizes are small and the curriculum is very thoughtful and challenging. The kids seem to get the perfect balance of being nurtured and listened to while also learning to respect and value others. The school is diverse and the children are enriched by it. The children of the school are well behaved and sweet for the most part. The principal of the school is kind, experienced, and dedicated. The school doesn't advertise too much and has flourished by word of mouth. So glad that we were lucky enough that someone directed us to the school!
—Submitted by a parent

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Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 33% 16%
White 28% 51%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 18% 9%
Two or more races 12% 1%
Hispanic 9% 22%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian


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  • College preparatory


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  • Library
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41 Tuers Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
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Phone: (201) 333-8844


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