The PreK-3rd Path to School Success
High-quality preschool is the first step in early learning that puts children on the path to school success. As New Jersey has made great progress on the preschool front, ACNJ is also focusing on continuing this quality early learning experience through third grade.
A child’s preschool experience should be closely coordinated with the early elementary years, with a strong emphasis on early literacy. To accomplish this, teachers, school administrators and parents must work together across grade levels to ensure that all children’s learning experiences build on past years and connect with those to come.
ACNJ is working with a broad group of educators, state officials, education associations and other stakeholders to build this quality early learning system that can help our children succeed in school and grow up to be productive members of our communities.
An effective pre-k through 3rd grade experience provides:
· High-quality and coordinated learning in well-staffed classrooms
· Well-prepared teachers and aides to educate children in the 3-8 age range
· Supportive school district policies
· Strong school and district leadership that includes supporting professional development time for teachers to plan for effective coordination across and between grades
· Families and communities that share accountability for young children's educational success.
The goal is for all children to complete 3rd grade with the skills they need to succeed in school.
What is the Linking Learning Initiative?
ACNJ’s Linking Learning Initiative is an effort to coordinate and make connections across the early years of children's learning. The goal is to create coordinated early learning systems that give our youngest learners a strong start on the path to school success.
This is accomplished through three primary strategies:
· Advocating on PreK-3rd issues on the district, state and federal level. This includes preschool expansion, mandatory full-day kindergarten and state regulations that support a coordinated system of early learning.
· Providing professional development opportunities in PreK-3rd for district administrators and teachers focusing on leadership, teaching and teacher quality, curriculum and standards, family engagement and transitions. Through these trainings, New Jersey teachers and administrators are learning to work together across grade levels, build strong connections and link learning experiences during these critical years.
PreK-3rd Leadership Training Series
After sponsoring a successful PreK-3rd grade training from October 2009 through March 2010, ACNJ is launching a second training series in October 2010, aimed at equipping school administrators with the tools they need to create quality learning programs from preschool through 3rd grade. ACNJ has also added a more advanced series for educators who took the first course.
Research shows that strengthening children’s early childhood education, from preschool through 3rd grade, helps ensure they are reading by 3rd grade and able to grasp math and other concepts that will lead to school success.
Sponsored by ACNJ through a grant from the Foundation for Child Development, the seminar assists school administrators in evaluating their early childhood programs, as well as successfully leading their instructional staff to improve the quality and consistency of those programs.
The course equips participants with:
· An understanding of the importance of a quality pre-k to 3rd grade program.
· Tools to assess and refine classroom practices in collaboration with teachers
· The ability to use data to drive decision-making to promote student achievement and family engagement
· Techniques that teachers need to successfully instruct for all types of learners
To learn more, contact Cynthia Rice at email@example.com.
ACNJ’s partners in this effort include the New Jersey Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood Education, and the New Jersey Principal and Supervisors Association, Foundation for Educational Administration.