WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Charles Olbon School Principal Giovanna Irizarry shared a presentation with the Board of Education on Oct. 21 about the district’s expanded pre-kindergarten program.

Currently, the school houses two integrated classes and one disabled class, serving a total of 34 students. The full day program uses the “Creative Curriculum for Pre-School” program as its guideline. It aims to identify knowledge, skills and concepts that are important for pre-school children to acquire in a number of areas including social/emotional development, literacy, motor development and much more.

Teachers take a studies approach, integrating content learning through in-depth investigation of topics. Students raise questions and discover answers through exploration. They also work on a “question of the day” and take part in small group instruction. 

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 Students in the pre-K classes investigate interest areas. They are able to engage with each other and manipulate materials in their own way. The curriculum program used provides teachers the opportunity to engage in meaningful play with the students. Students are also able to explore centers such as music, art and more.

The school district was recently awarded $261,360 in pre-K expansion grant funding by the state. Going forth, the district plans to reopen School #1 on McBride Avenue for the 2020-2021 school year and offer tuition-free pre-K to approximately 115-120 students. “The goal will be to expand on the number of students serviced each year,” said Dr. Michele Pillari, district superintendent.