12.19.14

EAST RAMAPO UNIVERSAL PRE-KINDERGARTEN (UPK)

PROGRAM INFORMATION


CURRICULUM - ACADEMIC READINESS - PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

CURRICULUM

UPK is a developmentally appropriate, learner-centered educational program for four year-olds. The goal of the UPK program is to provide your child with high quality instruction and structured activities designed to facilitate social-emotional growth, as well as develop language and communication, creative and critical thinking, and gross and fine motor skills.

The importance of play is also emphasized as teachers plan developmentally appropriate experiences for your child. Through play, children explore and construct understandings about the world - and themselves. They interact with peers and adults, and grow socially through the context of play. The UPK program offers them an opportunity to "Play to Learn…and Learn to Play".


CREATIVE CURRICULUM

The Creative Curriculum for Preschool was chosen for the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program because it is directly aligned with the New York State Early Learning Standards and because it emphasizes developmentally appropriate practices. The Creative Curriculum encourages children to experiment, explore, and pursue their own interests.

The Curriculum:

  • Offers children choices
  • Gives children ample opportunities for creative expression
  • Allows children freedom to explore the environment
  • Permits children to get messy during play
  • Encourages children to work independently
  • Values children’s ideas
  • Promotes problem solving and appropriate risk-taking



ACADEMIC READINESS

  • THE BRIGANCE SCREENING

A diagnostic developmental screening will be administered to your child at their UPK site prior to December 1st of the 2014-2015 school year as per Part 117 of the New York State Education Regulations. In New York State, children are required to be screened at the first point of entry into the school district. The diagnostic screening tool used is the Brigance Early Childhood Screen II. This nationally standardized tool covers a broad sampling of a child’s skills in key developmental areas such as language, literacy, math, and physical skills. The data from this screening will help the district identify any children who may require additional services or supports, as well as those children who may seem gifted, or advanced.

  • ONGOING ASSESSMENTS

Ongoing assessments are also an important ingredient to the UPK program. Assessment helps the teachers to plan their instruction, and monitor the growth and development of your children. The assessments are aligned with the objectives and goals of the curriculum, and the NYS standards for pre-kindergarten.




PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

Snacks

Snack time is typically integrated into the curriculum daily and children are encouraged to develop their language and social skills through conversation with peers and teachers during snack time.

We encourage and/or provide healthy snacks and treats.

Children are encouraged to eat independently and to serve themselves.

Sanitary conditions are maintained. Washing of hands by children and staff is required before eating.

Parental Involvement

The role parents play in their child's education is very important. There are many levels of parent involvement and we encourage you to participate to the extent that your schedule permits. Here are some ways you can be involved in your child's UPK experience:

  • Read to your child daily.
  • Implement teacher suggestions to help reinforce learning.
  • Read newsletters and parent bulletins from your child's school.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences.
  • Attend special school events.
  • Communicate with your child's teacher.
  • Keep your child's teacher informed if there should be events in your child's life that may impact mood changes or participation in the program.

Home Language Questionnaire

In order to provide your child with the best possible education, it will be necessary to determine how well he/she understands, speaks, reads, and writes English. Therefore, a Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ), written in your home language, is part of the UPK application packet.

Health Requirements

As required by the New York State Education Department, you will need to submit proof that your child has had a complete physical exam prior to the start of the school year. We also strongly encourage your child to have a thorough Dental Exam by a pediatric dentist.

Immunization Requirements

Each child is required by the NYSED to have a health statement on file, which includes a record of up-to-date immunizations under the signature of the child's source of medical care. The immunization record of all students enrolled in UPK will be reviewed to ensure compliance with NYS regulations. You have 30 days from the start of the school year to submit the completed record of immunizations.

*** All other requirements are explained in the UPK application. ***