The Mattisyn School is a new early childhood education center that aims to offer the highest standard of education for young minds in the western communities.
The school, which opened in November, is the vision of owner Paula Francese, who has always had a love for children. This is the first school that Francese has opened. “For me, academics have always been important,” she said. “Even when I was young, I could never get enough of school.”
For more than 14 years, Francese was a practicing attorney focused mostly on her career. All of that began to shift when she had children. “I started getting really involved in learning different curriculums between private and public schools,” she explained, noting that the school is named in honor of her two children, Matthew and Addisyn.
Four years ago, Francese, originally from Rhode Island, moved from Arizona to Florida with her children. She discovered that there wasn’t enough superior-quality schooling in Florida for small children. After all, early childhood education has been proven to be extremely effective in shaping the positive development of children.
Francese came to the conclusion that schools did not work hard enough to empower children. “After practicing law, I started to get into self-development, motivational teaching and leadership training,” she said. “I did that for seven years, and I wondered why we weren’t doing that for our children.”
Through the Mattisyn School, Francese created a curriculum that incorporated all the things she thought were lacking in other early childhood education programs.
“The first seven years of a child’s life are so important,” said Francese, who has a degree in psychology. “I’ve done research that proves that it’s crucial because these are their formative years.”
Francese developed the Mattisyn School from concept to completion. She decided the curriculum, designed the layout and décor, and chose the teachers. “Every teacher I hired here is just like me,” she said. “They’re very passionate about teaching children and are highly educated.”
Francese ensured that the school was built to the design standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “These are the highest standards in the country, and it’s very hard to get accredited because they have such demanding criteria,” she said. “Most of the schools in Florida are not NAEYC-accredited, and that’s one of my goals for our school.”
Francese wants the Mattisyn School to set the standard for quality education in Florida. “Either the schools in the area will follow us because we’ll be the leader,” she said, “or they’ll change their early childhood education standards because they have to follow us to be competitive.”
The Mattisyn School accepts children from six weeks old to pre-kindergarten. Since opening, Francese has seen the progress in the children at her school. “Our VPK kids are two levels above; our 2-year-olds, who never spoke a word, are now speaking, and most of them are now potty-trained; and we have babies who have completely come out of their shell,” she said. “The moms are also happy with their kids’ progress because they sleep better and eat better, and none of the kids want to leave.”
The Mattisyn School is located at 8289 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, across from Berean Christian School. For more information, visit www.mattisynschool.com or call (561) 318-5750.
Mattisyn School Aims To Empower Young Children”>Above: Paula Francese, founder and owner of the Mattisyn School.