Name of School: Pusteblume International Preschool
Size of Student Body: 50-55 students
Educational approach or philosophy: “Our philosophy is basically to have a multicultural environment where German and Spanish serve as catalysts for the development of the children,” says Carola Grundmann, co-founder and marketing director. The school offers immersive classes in both languages and follows the International Baccalureate plan of education. Students, who range between 2-5 years old, become fluent in the language or languages in which they are instructed (some students switch weekly between Spanish and German). Along the way, they have plenty of fun: “We follow an inquiry-based curriculum that fosters a lifelong love for learning,” Grundmann explains.
Once a week the school’s educational director, Mindy Guss, visits the classrooms to teach English circle time. That way “she can gauge if the children have everything they need to seamlessly integrate into an American continuing school,” Grundmann says. “When the children are five years old, they age out, and we don’t want anybody not to be able to function in a public or private school that is strictly American language…we want them, of course, to do well in whatever continuing school they choose.”
What makes the school unique: Pusteblume (its name signifies a white, fuzzy dandelion) is the first and only licensed preschool in the city to offer German and Spanish language immersion. Its distinctive curriculum, which includes activity-based after-school immersion classes for children up to age 12, draws students from throughout New York City. Thanks to its proximity to the 14th Street PATH station, the school also has a contingent of children from the Jersey City and Hoboken, NJ areas.
The Parent Council is extraordinarily involved and engaged, Grundmann adds. “They help with a lot of school events and things that pertain to the school community.” A holiday bazaar and market is planned for the first Saturday of December—true to the Pusteblume’s spirit, it will feature a visit from St. Nick along with churros, Spanish-style hot chocolate, and a piñata.
Circle time at Pusteblume International Preschool
Courtesy Pusteblume International Preschool