Free Preschool for Paterson Children
Studies show that children who attend preschool have a long-lasting advantage in school. If you are a parent or guardian of a Paterson boy or girl who is 3 or 4 years old, they are entitled to a full day of preschool instruction at no charge. Registration should take place at the preschool center of your choice. Click on the following links for more information.
The Early Childhood Education Collaborative
The Paterson Public Schools district is committed to providing the children in Paterson with the highest quality and most comprehensive early childhood educational experiences. The Early Childhood Collaborative partnership seeks to expand and improve educational opportunities and services for children and their families. The initiative is committed to creating a well-coordinated, citywide Early Childhood Education Program for young children and their families.
From Home To School: Transitioning to Preschool
The Preschool Intervention and Referral Team
The Preschool Intervention and Referral Team is composed of learning, language, and behavior specialists who support classroom teachers in providing for the needs of each child. They guide the implementation of the social-emotional curriculum and the preventative classroom systems which support a quality preschool environment, using the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. The Pyramid Model is a framework of evidence-based practices developed by two national, federally-funded research and training centers: The Center for the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), and The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI). Together with Master Teachers, the “PIRT Team”coaches teachers in implementing these preventative classroom systems, which are the hallmark of all quality early childhood environments.
Intervention specialists are also able to provide a process that will aid the teacher and family in understanding and working with a child’s persistent learning or behavior challenges, despite the best efforts of the adults in the classroom. They observe, coach, model strategies, provide feedback, and meet with teachers, families, and other specialists to analyze documentation and plan for next steps.
In some cases, this process indicates the need for further assessment. Here the PIRT specialist will facilitate the formal involvement of the Preschool Child Study Team.
Our preschool centers employ registered nurses that provide a broad range of medical, dental, and nutritional services to preschool children. The goal is to promote preventive health services for children and their families, as well as health education programs for families and staff. The registered nurses assist families in acquiring the necessary information and skills to facilitate their participation in an ongoing health care system that ensures that the child continues to receive comprehensive health care after leaving the program.
Registered nurses provide free health exams and screenings (vision, hearing, dental, height and weight measurement). All results are kept confidential. Screening results are available for parents to review. Screening reports are sent home if the child has to be referred for additional medical intervention.
Services for Children with Special Needs
The Department of Early Childhood Education is committed to the education of all children, including preschoolers with special needs. When children exhibit persistent learning and/or behavior difficulties, a Preschool Intervention and Referral Team (PIRT) provides strategies, classroom modifications, interventions, and training so that all children can succeed in their general education classrooms.
After PIRT has implemented a variety of interventions, or there are other circumstances which require a specialized program, students will be referred to the Child Study Team. Children who are found eligible will receive interventions and accommodations in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which guarantees children with disabilities the right to general education program adaptations, as specified in their Individualized Education Plans (IEP). The preschool program for children with special needs, focuses on identifying individual needs, linking instruction to the early childhood curriculum, providing appropriate support, program modifications, and evaluating their progress.
There is a full range of programs available to meet the individual needs of preschoolers with disabilities. Programs range from fully inclusive classes with typical peers to self-contained classes taught by special education teachers.
Please visit the Special Education Department for more information.