The J. Harvey Rodgers School proudly offers diverse and expansive opportunities for our Pre-K and Kindergarten students. It is our goal to provide each student with a comprehensive academic and social foundation that will enable them to meet the challenges of the new millennium. All programming has been designed to meet the requirements of the ESEA-Entitlement Grant, the Preschool Education Expansion Aid and is aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. In short, the Rodgers faculty provides its students with the latest research-based, cutting edge, data-driven best practices in education.
The Creative Curriculum has helped our Pre-Kindergarten faculty address the social/emotional and academic needs of our youngest students during our full day programming. Creative Curriculum balances teacher-planned and child-initiated learning, emphasizing responsiveness to children's strengths, interests, needs, and learning styles. It helps teachers plan and implement content-rich, developmentally appropriate programs that support active learning and promote children's progress in all developmental areas that include social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
Our Preschool program is a mixed-age grouping model that includes students who are three and four years old in each of our classrooms. This is a model for preschoolers that allows children to be grouped according to different age ranges. The goal is to build confidence in younger children as well as enhance their language and behavioral skills alongside maximizing intellectual potential. Meanwhile, older children benefit from multi-age grouping because it allows them to ‘mentor’ younger children, which builds on their sense of responsibility and empathy skills. Younger children working in mixed-age groups are also capable of contributing to complex activities and mixing well with other children as they get to understand each other better. Additional benefits include:
- Nurtures Early Childhood Learning and Leadership
- Establishes a Sense of Uniqueness
- Supports Children Being More Cooperative than Competitive
- Grows Confidence in Children
- Introduces New Ways to Develop and Grow
Literacy instruction in the Creative Curriculum classroom focuses on creating an environment and experiences that inspires children to read and write. This includes literacy as a source of enjoyment, vocabulary and language, phonological awareness, knowledge of print, letters and words, comprehension, and books and other texts. The Pre-Kindergarten faculty builds upon children’s interests to promote mathematics learning as well, with the goal of assisting students to fully understand mathematical concepts and skills through application.
Our Kindergarten Language Arts Literacy is a 130-minute LAL block through Wit & Wisdom. The Wit & Wisdom curriculum is built on engaging and high-quality texts and presents strong multimedia options alongside printed texts. The materials provide strong opportunities for students to hone their writing, speaking, and listening skills throughout the content while demonstrating their growing content knowledge. The four modules of Wit & Wisdom that will be explored throughout the year include: The Five Senses; Once Upon a Farm; America Then and Now; The Continents.
Daily instruction will also consist of Phonemic Awareness, Word Studies, and Handwriting (Fundations), Small Group Instruction (Geodes), Whole Group Instruction (Wit & Wisdom) and an opportunity to extend learning through Play-based Knowledge Centers.
Individual student achievement is closely monitored, and data is continuously collected using MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) Reading Fluency. MAP Fluency enables teachers to efficiently measure oral reading fluency with an online, adaptive benchmark and progress monitoring assessment. In addition to fluency, the test measures foundational skills and literal comprehension. This, combined with collaboration among grade level members and our ELA Supervisor, allows the faculty to proactively address student needs.
Math has brought fun back into learning for our Kindergarten students and their teachers through Eureka Math! Kindergarten mathematics is about (1) representing, relating, and operating on whole numbers, initially with sets of objects; and (2) describing shapes and space. The sequence of the six Kindergarten modules aligns with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and include: Numbers to 10; Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Shapes; Comparison of Length, Weight, Capacity, and Numbers to 10; Number Pairs, Addition and Subtraction to 10; Numbers 10-20 and Counting to 100; and Analyzing, Comparing, and Composing Shapes. Each lesson throughout the modules has a fluency practice, application problem, concept development, and student debrief.
Each grade level builds upon and extends the previously taught concepts and skills so that children can approach a new challenge with a firmly established foundation. Our teachers consistently bring renewed energy and enthusiasm to provide support to each student to address his/her individual strengths and weaknesses.
To accommodate the needs of all students, the Rodgers School provides many ancillary programs as well. This includes Basic Skills support for Language Arts, English as a Second Language (ESL) programming, and an Extended Year program for our Special Education students. Students at risk (academic and/or behavioral) are serviced through the Intervention & Referral Services Team (I&RS). This team identifies intervention strategies and best practices for teachers to use with the referred students. If it is found that the strategies are not successful, a student may be referred to the Child Study Team for further testing.
At Rodgers School you will also find active, child-centered character education programming based on Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to ensure the behavioral success of all students. Through this program, we continue to address the emotional and social needs of our students through a variety of activities. This includes the selection of a Student of the Month from every classroom and opportunities for positive reinforcement through the Bulldog Buddies program.
Parents and families also play an active role as members of the Rodgers community. Our PTO meets monthly to discuss any schoolwide issues and to plan fundraising activities that will benefit our students. Parents regularly volunteer to assist staff, dispense fundraiser items, chaperone field trips, assist at the Scholastic Book Fair, or help at class parties. Family Participation Nights also happen regularly at Rodgers and are well attended. Previous activities have included Family Dances, Movie Nights, and Family Literacy/Math Nights, just to name a few!
District Curriculum Supervisors:
- Catherine Torbik – Director of Special Education
- Brandi Sheridan – Supervisor of Math and Science
- Andrew Pancoast – Supervisor of Language Arts and Social Studies
- Amy Masso – Supervisor of Basic Skills
- Sue Kornicki – Supervisor of Educational Technology and Visual & Performing Arts