Preschool Information

Supervisor Early Childhood Education

Mrs. Colleen Bretones
Mrs. Colleen Bretones - Supervisor Early Childhood Education

Hamilton Township Preschool Program

Great news!  Hamilton Township School District now provides a full day preschool program for both three and four year old's at the Joseph C. Shaner School and the Gateway Headstart Early Childhood Center.  

*Preschool students are eligible to participate in the Kids Corner before and after school program if they are potty trained.

Welcome to Hamilton Township School District’s
Full Day Preschool Program

We are pleased to announce that Hamilton Township was selected in 2014 to receive a federal grant to provide a quality preschool program to grant defined eligible children. The grants, which have been awarded jointly by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services are to be renewed annually for up to four years.  Grant requirements specify that the district must serve those eligible students who are below 200% of the poverty level. 

The funding through the Preschool Development Grant will help more private preschool programs hire certified teachers, implement a developmentally appropriate curriculum, provide coaches to support preschool educators to work with children with disabilities and English language learners, and reduce class size.
Since that time, we have expanded all preschool to full day for both 3 and 4 year old's living in Hamilton Township and we have grown to 24 classrooms, including our continued partnership with Gateway. 
Mrs. Laurie Derringer, Mrs. Heather McGinty, and Mrs. Andrea Russomanno are our instructional coaches who provide consultation and feedback to the teachers in all classrooms. In addition, they provide professional development training and coaching, particularly with Creative Curriculum and Second Step which will be implemented at each site.
Please know that we value your input on all matters related to your child’s education and encourage you to call or email if you have a question, concern or idea that you’d like to share. By working together, we can ensure that your child is successful, productive and happy in school. This is sure to be an exciting year for you and your child, and we look forward to a great year with much enthusiasm!

Preschool Philosophy

The Preschool Curriculum is based on the belief that young children, regardless of background and abilities, can be nurtured and challenged in an atmosphere that provides structure and routine, offers enriching, creative and developmentally appropriate activities, fosters a warm, social, and accepting environment, and promotes parent involvement.  All children will engage in “typical” childhood routines, activities, and behaviors while addressing individual variations and making accommodations/modifications when necessary. 

Primary Beliefs
·      Placed in a secure, rich learning environment in which they are respected and challenged as individuals
·       Space is provided for individual, small and large group activities in view of an adult (learning centers) 
·       Given the appropriate tools
·       Provided a daily routine that encourages children to make choices and includes activities that meet the individual needs of all children. 
·       To advocate for the development of the whole child by recognizing and nurturing their potential and individuality. 
·       To participate in ongoing professional development and collaborate with colleagues. 
·       Consult with the Master teacher on a regular basis
·       Maintain the highest level of professionalism
·       To work in partnership with the district, as parent involvement is vital to the success of the program. 
·       To be a positive role model and resource
·       To participate in parental outreach opportunities, such as parent workshops, meetings with the family worker, special classroom events, etc.…  

Important Preschool Links
Early Childhood Advisory Council
New Jersey Administrative Code: 6A:13A, Elements of High Quality Preschool Programs:

Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards


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