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Our Approach to Quality Education

At the Lauren Wendroff Early Children’s Academy, we strive to find the balance between play and work. For many of our students, this is the first time they are in school; our goal is for them to have a positive learning experience that sets a strong foundation for the love of learning.  

Using thematic units, we are able to expose the children to new ideas in a classroom and community setting. Focusing on smaller ideas helps to develop a better understanding of more complex concepts. Thematic units also encourage exploration of topics that may not always be covered at this age. Whether it is a sensory activity in the classroom or a walk in the park, we encourage all of our students and teachers to try to  learn something new. When a class is covering a theme and the children find something they would like to explore in more depth, the class is able to dig deeper into that topic. This allows the class more freedom in learning and establishes a sense of ownership on their education.

Literacy skills like reading and writing are focused on in great depths throughout the day. Early practices of journal writing, letter writing and recognition, name writing and recognition, and pretend reading help to develop skills necessary for language comprehension. Math skills are also focused on during daily activities. Using manipulatives and real life scenarios, children begin learning one-to-one correspondence, ratios, and basic algebra and geometry. We enhance the learning experience by incorporating science, technology, social studies, physical education, and foreign languages.  

Our goal is not to measure our students’ knowledge of materials by lengthy assessments, but to observe the daily knowledge they gain while interacting with the world around them. Each child will have a different learning journey, but it is our job as educators and parents to help encourage and promote any and all ways that will foster a love of learning.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a learning environment in which every child can benefit. We believe that learning should not be measured in percentages, but in daily progress. We aim to provide the opportunity for every student to learn in a different way each day. Each child is a unique learner, and at our nursery school we focus on creating a plan that focuses on each individual.  We strive to help create a positive experience with learning and promote each child to develop a love of learning at a young age. We also welcome parents’ ideas and encourage them to have open communication with the teachers.

Our Teachers

Our full-time staff include Lead and Assistant Teachers who facilitate, plan, encourage, and support you and your child on his or her journey to social and academic success. The Lauren Wendroff Early Children’s Academy is a licensed facility through the Department of Children and Families.

All staff attend in-service training and educational workshops as part of their continuing education. Staff undergoes a comprehensive training period prior to stepping into the classroom.

Opportunities to learn and engage with contemporary teaching practices, licensing codes, health and safety, and other areas of the Early Education environment ensure our teachers are ready and well-equipped to adapt to the continuously evolving classroom environment.

Daily Routine

Our busy and exciting days begin with an 8:30 drop-off in your child’s assigned classrooms.  In the morning, some students and parents may find drop-off to be difficult, but with time it becomes much easier. We ask that parents do not linger in order to best help children transition into the day.  

By 9:00, the class gathers for Circle Time and Morning Message to start the day. At this time teachers introduce daily activities, specials, events, and goals. As the day continues, our students work on their literacy skills--especially reading and writing--math skills, and specials like science, technology, and foreign languages. Our students also work on their gross motor skills by participating in physical education and playtime in the park and on our patio. Play is encouraged throughout the day as a means to explore the surrounding environment and promote and develop prosocial behavior.

Children settle in their classrooms for lunch at 11:30. All food is supplied by the parents and must be nut free; we do not refrigerate or microwave lunches or snacks. For our children who are half-day, pickup is at noon. For our children who are full-day, nap time begins at noon, and lasts for approximately and hour and a half. Naptime is mandatory for children participating in the full-day program; if children settle down and are unable to sleep, they will be given an option of playing with a quiet activity. Rest promotes development and helps children unwind from the day and get ready for the rest of the day.  

Kindergarteners have half-an-hour rest time after lunch, and  during this time they can play on tablets, play with manipulatives in their classroom, or relax.  

Once rest/nap time is over, our students continue with their active day until snack time (around 3:30). All students should be picked up by 4:30 unless they are enrolled in our late pick up program.  

The Academy also offers Early Drop-Off and Late Pick-Up. These extended hour programs are offered per diem or per month; the purpose of this programming is to allow convenience for parents and help students engage in social skills. We recommended giving another snack daily per program.  

Early Drop-Off: 6:30-8:30
Late Pick-Up: 4:30-6:30*

*Reminder: The JCC closes at 6:00 PM every Friday.

Enrichment

We offer many enrichment classes throughout the week for our children to experience. We have Spanish and Mandarin to help them broaden their foreign language skills. Research has shown that when children are taught foreign language at a young age, they are able to pick it up faster than when they are taught at an older age. We also have technology class in which the children learn how to use programs on the computer and tablets. Science enrichment allows each student to experiment, hypothesize, and observe experiments throughout the day. They work on labs building bridges and structures, sorting and counting different objects, and learning about body systems in STEM. One enrichment class that the children have every day is physical education.  In physical education the children work on their gross motor skills by playing in our gymnasium and out in the park. Our Physical Education teacher works with them on coordination, endurance drills, and skill games like soccer.

Tips for Transitioning Into School

Entering school can be a very complicated and confusing event for children--particularly very young children. At the Lauren Wendroff Early Children’s Academy, we strive to make this difficult transition as stress-free as possible for every child who walks through our doors; however, we do need your help. Here are a few tips in making this life-altering change a bit easier for all involved:

  1. You should visit the school with your child before he or she attends school.

  2. Discuss school with your child, and make small decisions with him or her--choose a backpack, what clothes to pack in his or her extra storage bin! Even the youngest children can begin to understand that they have fun in school and that you will always pick them up at the end of the day. It is important to reiterate these points several times during those first couple of weeks.

  3. The staff will give you suggestions on the best possible way to drop your child off in the morning. Each child is special and unique; we have found that entering the room, giving your child a kiss, a hug, and an “I love you,” then quickly departing, works the best for the majority of children. Remember the general rule: The longer you stay, the longer your child will cry!

  4. You must be excited when dropping him or her off. Do not get upset when your child does not want to leave school at the end of the day. These may or may not occur, but please accept them as part of the transition process. Even a child who carries on and cries will eventually adjust, acclimate, and realize that he or she enjoys school. This is not only important, but remember: It is what you want!

There are children who never have a problem coming to school. These children walk in the door the first day, say goodbye to mommy and/or daddy and never shed one tear. There are also children who do not cry the first day, but cling to mommy and sob the second day; then, there is the child who has trouble for a longer period. DO not fret if any of these children become yours! Everything discussed on this page is common and expected by the staff. Some children regress in the potty training process when they begin day care, and some refuse to eat at school for a short period of time, while others have trouble sleeping for a couple of days--PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP OR WORRY IF THIS HAPPENS - IT IS 100% NORMAL!!

Trust the staff here at The Lauren Wendroff Early Children’s Academy. We have been doing this for a long time, and we will do everything in our power to make your child (and you!) feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Sometimes transition takes time, but it will all be worth it in the end!

For more information, please contact Nina Lupo at (201)-436-6900 or nina@jccbayonne.org.