The roof playground at 203 Atlantic Avenue. Let us know if you recognize yourself.
After studying at Bank Street College, Michael and Patricia French founded Open House Nursery School in the early 70’s. Originally located in a brownstone, the school quickly outgrew this space and moved one block away to Atlantic Avenue. When that building was sold in 1993, Open House found a new location at 318 Warren Street. The large ground floor space was totally renovated using talents and energy graciously contributed by parents. A long sunny rooftop area was set aside for outdoor play. In 2010, the parent body undertook fundraising for a large and colorful multi-use climber which has now become a joyful focus of activity in our already busy and well-furnished playground area.
In the 80’s Open House was reorganized as a Not-for-Profit. We are an independent school, and tuition and fundraising are the main source of funds for our operating budget. A Board of Directors, mostly composed of parents, governs Open House and officers are elected every year. We actively outreach to parents to join our Board and to participate in a wide range of other school organizational activities. Parent involvement is important to us at many levels. We believe that everyone–children, staff and parents–benefit from a strong ongoing interaction between home and school.
From our beginnings, we have sought to serve the needs of our community and our families with a wide variety of program choices. Over the years we have expanded our options in many ways. Families may now choose from a wide selection of schedules which range from a 3-day a week morning program to a 5-day a week 8-6 program. In addition, families may extend their child’s day as needed by purchasing vouchers for our Extended Day Program. In recent years we have added lively classes such as gymnastics, music, and story-telling to this part of our day. Although our “regular” program follows the public school calendar, we have developed wonderful theme-based vacation camp programs for holiday breaks and for our summer camp sessions as well.
Open House is a founding member of BECDA
(Brooklyn Early Childhood Directors Association), an association of Brooklyn early childhood schools providing guidance and support for its members.
Over the years Open House has grown from a small brownstone-based, half-day nursery program to a full-day, six classroom center which is able to serve families eleven months a year. We are proud of the wide range of scheduling options we have come to offer and of our long-standing dedication to an interactive-developmentally appropriate approach. We look forward to many more years of providing children with a rich and happy early school experience.