PJS was founded in 1983 by Juliana S.C. McIntyre and Helen Craven, who both adopted educational premises from the former Miss Mason's School, where they had taught.
We started PJS in 1983 with twelve preschool students and four very creative teachers in a local church basement. Enrollment grew, and eventually we were able to purchase a parcel of farmland on which to build our own schoolhouse, designed from the beginning to be an oasis of learning for young students.
We completed our spacious new schoolhouse in 1998, nestled on seven quiet acres of meadows, woods, and woodlands near the intersection of historic Kings Highway (Route 206) and Fackler Road in Lawrenceville, just outside Princeton, New Jersey. The building's structure, with a soaring central Commons, brings together the entire school community and evokes a cozy, home-like feel. Our physical space inspires a child's natural curiosity, creativity, and imagination.
Outdoor facilities include separate preschool and elementary school playgrounds, playing fields, a hilltop organic garden with vegetables and flower beds, as well as a stream and small orchard. We use these grounds for exercise and to study environmental sciences throughout the school year.
Our educational community includes faculty, staff, parents, trustees, and special friends of the school – all of whom invest themselves fully in the academic and social development of each and every child.
Our focus on academic excellence in a nurturing environment encourages children to become creative, effective problem-solvers, innovators, and good citizens of the world. At PJS, children are at the heart of a loving community, where they can acquire the academic skills they need to become lifelong learners and the social skills necessary to be kind, compassionate young people.
Our excellent teachers are dedicated to early childhood education. Classrooms are rich with literature, science, and art projects. Our program of "specials" classes (in art, music, technology, sports, library, and Learning Through Landscapes) is interwoven with classroom curriculum so that children approach specific subject matter through a variety of hands-on experiences.
Princeton Junior School is one of only a handful of private preschools that offers a dedicated classroom for two-year-olds. We do this because we want to plant the seeds of imagination and a lifetime love of learning as early as we can, and parents are often looking for just the right preschool environment for this age.
Students arrive here from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds through our non-discriminatory admissions process and financial aid program. Our commitment is to find and cultivate avid learners who can develop strong moral character while achieving academic excellence.
One parent described Princeton Junior School as "a miniature United Nations." Our students do currently represent over 15 nations! An alumna recently said that PJS gave her "an unbreakable core…supporting me, leading me into the world."
Children graduate PJS after Fifth Grade – we are proud to say that our graduates go on to attend the middle school of their choice, and are sought after by local public and private middle schools throughout the Mercer County, NJ, area.