rotate-4

 

Quick Facts

GENERAL SCHOOL INFORMATION

 

How many students are enrolled at MCPK?

 

Approximately 200 students aged 3-5.

 

What education program does the school follow?

 

Learn more about our educational program.

 

What programs do you offer?

 

We are sensitive to the importance of experience and relative maturity among our students, and seek to meet their age-appropriate needs in a variety of classroom combinations. Based upon the child's birthdate and in consultation with family, children may attend up to three years with us, including a transitional kindergarten and dual-language immersion Spanish/English classroom option.

 

Click here to learn more about our curriculum.

 

What are your class sizes and ratios?

We follow the guidelines and recommendations as set forth by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in determining our class size and teacher/child ratios. In our 3-year-old program we maintain a class size of 16, with a 1:8 staff/child ratio. Our 4-year-old classes have a maximum of 20 children with a 1:10 staff/child ratio.

What are the staff members’ qualifications?

MCPK’s excellent teachers possess a depth of experience and qualifications. Our teaching faculty members hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in early childhood education, humanities, psychology, educational leadership and related fields of education. TOur Teaching Associates have extensive experience and many possess the Child Development Associates Certification (CDA). Many of our faculty members are certified by the State of New Jersey in Early Childhood Education (P-3 Certification) or Elementary Education. In addition, many of our faculty members have attended educational seminars and workshops including Harvard University Project Zero Summer Institute with Dr. Howard Gardner and Bank Street College of Education Summer Institute.  

Learn more about our team.

What part do the holidays play in your curriculum?  

We present a global perspective to the year demonstrating that there are holidays every day somewhere in the world. Parents are invited to share their family traditions with the classes, minus the religious symbolization. One of the most wonderful features of our school is its diversity, which gives children an opportunity to learn more about each other and respect our differences as well as our similarities.

How is discipline handled?

Our approach to discipline is a positive one.  We discuss feelings, possible solutions to problems, and use logical consequences for behaviors.  If a child is having difficulty in an area of the class, the teacher and child will discuss the problem, consider alternatives and redirect the child to another area if necessary.  In the rare circumstance where a child is having great difficulty, he/she may have to spend time sitting with the teacher engaged in a one-on-one activity.

Does my child have to be toilet-trained?

Yes. MCPK is designed for children who are completely toilet-trained and do not require diapers or pull-ups. Children who enter school in September must be able to take care of their own toileting needs, including wiping, flushing and re-adjusting clothing. Pull-up diapers are not permitted as underclothing.

 

REGISTRATION

Are children required to be Montclair residents to attend?

No. MCPK enrolls children from Montclair and the surrounding communities. However, tuition assistance is available to Montclair residents only.

When can I register my child?

We accept registrations on a rolling, first-come first-served basis, though families are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

What is the age requirement to enroll my child?

All children must turn 3 by October 31 of the current school year.    

What documents are required for enrollment in MCPK?

Families are required to provide four (4) proofs of residency: a lease or tax bill as well as three (3) other documents of residency (i.e., cable bill, utility bill, phone bill, etc). For those seeking tuition assistance, financial statements must be submitted including a current 1040 tax form and three (3) consecutive pay stubs from all your current employers.  In addition, the universal health record, proof of immunizations and a copy of the child’s birth certificate are required and must be presented at registration.  No registration is complete until all paperwork has been received. A child’s enrollment will be in jeopardy if the enrollment packet is not complete by JULY 1. For more information, click here.

 

STUDENT HEALTH

What are the vaccination requirements for my child?

State law requires that all children be up-to-date on their immunizations before they attend school, following the recommended schedule approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, children must receive a flu vaccine between October 1 and December 15. The state health department’s complete list is available here.

Do you have a nurse on staff?

MCPK has a full-time registered nurse who is experienced with pediatric and school health and acts as our on-site health coordinator.  Staff training in infection control, food allergies, and child safety is conducted by the school nurse.  The entire staff is certified in CPR every year and in first aid every three years as outlined by the American Red Cross. The school nurse reviews student health records, immunization schedules and the health needs of all students. Prescribed medications such as asthma inhalers, antibiotics, epi-pen and others are given by the school nurse. In addition, the school nurse conducts hearing and vision screenings for MCPK students, and makes follow-up referrals if needed.

What is your policy for nuts and other potential allergens?

Students are allowed to pack snacks and lunch foods without restriction, including peanuts. We offer a nut-free seating arrangement at snack and lunchtime.

 

CLASSROOM

How is class placement determined and when will I find out who my child’s teacher is?

Class placements are made during the summer months, prior to the start of school.  There are many factors considered in the placement of children and a great deal of time and effort is spent in doing so.  We follow the directives of the Montclair Public Schools and balance our classes by gender and race, as well as other factors such as student schedule and input from the Social History Form. The Social History Form is an opportunity for the parent/caregiver to give us their insight into the child’s personality, interests, needs, etc., all of which helps with placement.  The form also asks parents/caregivers to describe the type of educational and social environment you feel best meets the needs of your child and your family. This form is critical so please take time to complete it.   Each family will receive a packet of information in August that will include class placement. In addition, your family will be contacted by the teaching team in late August to schedule a home visit prior to or early on in the school year. This visit will allow you and your child to meet and speak with the teaching team and get to know each other. Our Family Services Director, Susan Bryant-Gaither, is available to answer any questions or concerns about class placement.  All packets must be complete by July 1 for a child to be placed in a classroom.

Do the children play outside every day?

Outdoor play is an essential aspect of our program and all children must be prepared to participate as a class member. The children play outside every day unless there is severe weather, i.e. extreme cold and wind, rain etc.  The children should be dressed appropriately and ready for outdoor play each school day.  This includes a warm coat/jacket, hat, mittens/gloves, boots and snow pants for play in the winter. If you believe your child is not well enough to play outside, the child should stay at home until they are well enough to participate in all school activities.

Will my child rest during the day?

The State of New Jersey mandates that any early childhood program open for more than four hours a day must offer a rest time lasting at least 30 minutes.  Therefore, all of our students who are here for a full day must have a rest period. Many children sleep during rest time; many do not. Those who don’t sleep can rest quietly with a book or listen to music.

What items must my child have at school everyday?

  • Lunch box
  • Extra set of seasonally-appropriate clothing
  • A crib sheet or beach towel for rest mat
  • A backpack

Any items sent from home, including coats, sweaters, hats, etc., should be labeled with your child’s name.

 

 

LOGISTICS


When does the school day begin and end?

 

We strive to meet the needs of busy families by offering flexible scheduling options. Our full-day school program is from 8:30am - 2:30pm, with morning and afternoon Extended Care from 7:00am-6:30 pm. Please see this complete schedule:

7:00am - 8:30am:

8:30am - 12:30pm: Half-Day School Program (5 days)

8:30am - 2:30pm: Full-Day School Program (5 days)

 

2:45pm - 3:30pm: After-School Enrichment Classes (when in session)

 

2:30pm - 6:30pm: Afternoon Extended Care

We also offer a combo program consisting of 3 full and 2 half days (parents may choose their own schedule), as well as a punchcard system which provides an Extended Care drop-in option on an occasional basis.

Families may change their schedule at any time throughout the year (with two week’s notice).

When does the school year begin and end?

We follow the Montclair Public Schools (MPS) calendar. Our school year starts in early September and concludes in late June. We observe the same holidays and closings as MPS, including delayed openings and early closings due to inclement weather. For our current school year calendar, click here.

How does Extended Care work?

Families may register their children for Extended Care by the month anytime, and may choose 2, 3, 4, or 5 days per week, during the mornings, afternoons or both. Families can indicate their interest on their enrollment forms, or pick up an Extended Care registration form at the front desk.

How do I use the “Punch Card” so my child can attend Extended Care on occasion?

Pay-as-you-go, morning or afternoon Extended Care is available starting the third week of the school year by request at the front desk. Please see the fee schedule below. Kindly note, tuition assistance is not available for punchcards.

Fees:

5 sessions - $140 ($28 each)

10 sessions: $250 ($25 each)

For more information click here .

How does After School Enrichment work?

We offer three sessions of After School Enrichment classes each year, in the fall, winter and spring. Students dismissed at 12:30 p.m. may return for After School Enrichment. Classes are 45 minutes long and begin at 2:45 p.m. or 3:45 p.m. Class offerings vary from session to session and currently include science, math, art, soccer and French. To see the current schedule and registration form, click here.

What transportation options are available?

MCPK provides and encourages curbside drop-off service in the morning. Children are greeted by MCPK faculty at the curb and safely escorted to class.  Families may also choose to park their cars and take their children directly to their classroom.  At the current time, no bus transportation is available.

Does the school offer a hot lunch program or do I have to pack a lunch for my child?

MCPK does not offer a hot lunch program to our families.  All children must bring in their lunch from home.  Lunches that need to be served warm must be heated at home and sent in a thermos. We do not microwave lunches as per our licensing requirements.