The Hopatcong Board of Education supported and approved a Full-Day Kindergarten program for the 2014 – 2015 school year. The audience applauded the 8 yes, 0 no votes from the Board of Education at its March meeting.
“I can’t tell you how excited and pleased I am with the Board of Education’s decision”, said Principal Tracey Hensz. “With the new Common Core requirements, our students will now be able to progress and soar like all other students who are afforded a Full-Day Kindergarten program. Hopatcong deserves the very best.”
Last year, the Hopatcong School District implemented a Pilot Full-Day Kindergarten program. Throughout the year, data was collected regarding this class and at a February presentation to the Board, Hensz offered the proof of success of this program to the Board with a plea to go entirely full-day for all Kindergarten classes. The Board of Education listened and made a commitment to the “New Hopatcong” by approving the full-day program. Mrs. Mortello, the Full-Day Pilot program teacher, who also presented at the Board meeting, worked hard all year long with her students and supported the full-day concept from the beginning. “What a difference I witnessed in the students’ overall academic, emotional, and social growth this year. They have the time to truly learn. I am ecstatic that the Board approved and supported this initiative.”
Kindergarten students, Ashly Sgroi and Lauren Bastedo, can be seen below assessing their own writing skills using a Rubric, a skill Mrs. Mortello worked so hard on this year with her students. This was a process that Mrs. Mortello took very seriously. First she had to teach her kindergarten students to become independent in their own writing. This took lots of modeling and mini-lessons from Mrs. Mortello. Each skill from the Assessment Rubric was taught in isolation first and in the end the students had no problem writing and assessing their own work. Students stand proud of their work. All her students are currently reading on grade level too!
Thank you, Hopatcong Board of Education, for supporting, “The New Hopatcong”. The entire district will eventually reap the benefits of this very important program. After all, Kindergarten is where is all begins!