Washington School is a child-centered learning community for students in Pre-K and grades 1-3. For the 2016-2017 school year we introduced our Integrated programs in Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 along with a Pre-K 3/4 ABA class. The teaching staff is a body of compassionate and caring professionals who, through their own unique styles of teaching, have created an interactive and nurturing learning environment. Staff members utilize a variety of innovative techniques to foster the development of our young emergent learners.
We utilize the Math in Focus program for instruction in mathematics. This is the Singapore Math program written for U.S. schools. It combines pictorial, concrete, and abstract applications for deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. The program emphasizes student mastery of grade-appropriate concepts. Our Reading program is Good Habits, Great Readers. It is a comprehensive and consistent program that integrates whole-group shared reading along with guided reading. For the 2017-2018 school year we adopted the Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop Units of Study. Project Read is our phonics/word study program. Students at Washington School have the advantage of excellent physical education and arts related programs. In physical education classes, students receive instruction in all aspects of age-appropriate movement related sciences. Sportsmanship, teamwork and fair play are essential elements of each lesson activity. In our vocal music program, students lift their voices in song as they begin to understand the fundamentals of sound, rhythm and choreography. Grade 3 students learn to play recorders. Concerts are presented for parents and others in the community with all students participating. The art program exposes students to various art styles and movements, with brief studies of pertinent artists and plenty of time for personal expression.
Throughout our school district, we take great pride in the computer technology program that we have integrated. Each classroom is equipped with Internet access. We have SMARTBoards in every classroom. Washington School is now a 1:1 learning environment with Chromebooks available for all students simultaneously at any time. Additionally, we have computer carts equipped with Chromebooks for full classroom research in Lab Science and Enrichment along with three carts equipped with iPads for our Pre-K students. Our library has a technology station with six computers and a mounted SMARTBoard. Numerous educational software programs are available for teacher and student use. We utilize the Google docs classroom pages for homework and announcements for greater parent-teacher communication.For the past eight years, students at Washington School have enjoyed our Environmental Science Study Garden and Outdoor Classroom. Designed in conjunction with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the garden provides our students with a hands-on, natural habitat for scientific discovery and inquiry. This 5,000 sq. ft. parcel features a planting zone, an exploration zone, a composting area, and classroom seating for formal instruction. It enables us to fully engage our students in our current science curriculum, which is rich in the earth, life and physical sciences. Students in grades 1-3 participate in laboratory-based environmental science lessons conducted inside and outside of the school building. The garden also allows us to further their sense of environmental and civic responsibility.
Washington School provides support programs for those students who may require additional services. Our staff includes Response to Intervention (RTI) teachers in Language Arts literacy and Math, a Reading Specialist, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, a Speech teacher, a teacher of the Gifted & Talented, an Occupational therapist, a Physical therapist and a Student Assistance Counselor (SAC). Through our three-tiered RTI program, our young learners who are in need of assistance are identified early and provided with support. In recent years we have also been able to offer Title I Instruction after school for eligible students in Language Arts Literacy and Math across grades 1-3.
Washington School is a proud member of a progressive school district where all curricula are written to meet or to exceed the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Teachers are provided with extensive professional development opportunities both outside of our school and within our own community. Professional Learning Communities present workshops on important educational topics to fellow faculty members.
Washington School maintains excellent relationships with local community groups. These associations provide extended learning opportunities for our students and foster their understanding of practices for safe, healthy living. The school has worked closely with the Rutherford Fire Department and the Rutherford Police Department (RPD). RPD officers visit our school daily. To enhance student appreciation and use of the library, our students and teachers take field trips to the Rutherford Public Library.
Washington School students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of after school programs. Classes are currently available in theater enrichment, golf, tennis, gardening and science, among others. Community resources and PTA funding are effectively utilized for field trips designed to raise the educational and cultural awareness of our students.
An awareness of cultural diversity and responsible citizenship is fostered in a variety of other ways as well. Our children learn about the history of various holidays and cultures. Multicultural awareness is stressed through plays, assemblies and biography days. Our students participate in a school-wide assembly each morning where we salute our flag, raise our voices in patriotic song, and discuss cultural and ethnic events pertinent to the day. We honor local military veterans at our annual Memorial Day assembly program. Washington School students gain an appreciation for community service through active participation in charitable works that benefit those in need.
Parents play an integral role in our success at Washington School. A very active PTA conducts numerous events throughout the year, raising funds that benefit the school and enhance our academic and cultural programs. Our students enjoy many assembly programs that focus on specific academic areas, cultural awareness, and character education. Through our annual Scholastic Book Fair, the PTA helps to increase significantly the number of volumes in our library. Our PTA also sponsors visiting authors and helps us build community spirit at our grade-level social events. Parents visit our classrooms as guest readers and participate in American Education Week as well as Read Across America Day. Parents also participate in discussion groups with our teachers through a program called “Second Cup of Coffee.” The goal of these meetings is to empower parents with valuable strategies they can use to foster their child’s learning experience.
A positive spirit is ever present at Washington School. The energy in our classrooms and the overall commitment from our entire school community prepare our students to be lifelong learners and respectful, productive citizens.
Mr. Bill Mulcahy, Principal