WARREN, NJ - Mountain Top School at Temple Har Shalom announced a year of “New Beginnings,” including the hiring of Laurie Ptalis, as the new Mountain Top Principal and the re-branding of the school’s website, logo and mission to better fit the needs of today’s families.

Laurie Ptalis, the new Mountain Top principal, brings with her more than 25 years of early childhood experience, including being the Founding Director of Hartford Hospital’s Preschool Education Center for 10 years, which was identified as a model school by the State Licensing Staff and received National Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Ptalis is also a certified NJ Teacher (K-5) and has taught kindergarten in both the private and public school sectors. “I am thrilled to be a part of the Mountain Top community,” Ptalis said. “This is a year of new beginnings, including a new individualized kindergarten readiness curriculum, a new Mountain Top website and new flexible hours to accommodate the needs of busy families.” In keeping with Mountain Top’s history of serving the community’s changing needs, the school is pleased to offer parents early drop off options starting at 7 a.m. and remaining open until 6 p.m. Parents will also be able to take advantage of the many updates to the school, including the convenience of not having to pack lunch and instead ordering lunch for their children through the online Food Days program.

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This year, Mountain Top School will be incorporating the Creative Curriculum for Preschool that looks at the whole child and works with the individual from his/her starting point. “We recognize no two children are alike, and we will tailor our teaching toward the developmental needs of each student—enriching his/her social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical skills,” Ptalis said. The first day of school this year will be Monday, September 8th. Limited spots are still available. Parents can enroll students online at www.mountaintopschool.org or call Laurie Ptalis at 732-356-8777 ext. 107. Mountain Top School has been educating students from Warren, Watchung, Basking Ridge and several other local towns for more than 20 years. In addition to a top-notch kindergarten readiness program, the school offers parents the support of a strong social community with an active Parent Committee.

Throughout the year the Parent Committee plans a variety of fun, social activities geared toward moms, dads and the whole family. Additionally, the school is offering a FREE Mommy and Me program for area residents. Sessions will be held on Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to noon, lead by a Mountain Top teacher. Parents should register online or by calling Laurie. Space is limited. Mountain Top School at Temple Har Shalom offers children’s classes for infants through Pre-K. The school provides young children with a rich and stimulating environment that is warm, loving, and supportive of each child’s own rate of learning and development. By offering a supportive, non-pressured atmosphere, each child acquires a solid sense of security, positive self-esteem, and a lifelong enthusiasm for learning. Carefully planned theme-related programs and activities expose the children to a wide variety of age-appropriate learning activities that meet their emotional, social, intellectual, and physical developmental needs and is the curriculum expected from a tried and true school. Mountain Top offers Mommy and Me classes, “Toddlers in Transition,” a dynamic early childhood curriculum and a summer camp. To learn more visit www.mountaintopschool.org. Mountain Top School at Temple Har Shalom is a private, nonprofit organization. While the school offers an environment rich in Judaic teachings and values, the school welcomes all families into the community— regardless of religion or ethnicity.