MANCHESTER – The Township School District’s Early Childhood Education Department recently hosted fellow teachers from all over Ocean County to share ideas and solutions to teaching the youngest students.
Director of Early Childhood Education Director Lori Burns said, “the Manchester Township School District’s Early Childhood Education team and I were proud to host this event for our county colleagues.”
She explained, “(Preschool Expansion Aid) funded school districts must follow the language of the grant and the guidance of the Department of Education. Hosting this meeting enabled participating school districts to collaborate in order to ensure fidelity. We hosted over 10 school districts and there were about 30 educators and leaders from those school districts.”
“It is in these gatherings where we can share the amazing progress that our school district has made in regards to early childhood education while assisting our colleagues in connecting with one another to support all of our students and programs,” Burns added.
She said, “during this session we accomplished the task of connecting with fellow educators and district leaders who received the Preschool Education Aid (PEA) grant. Building principals, supervisors and district leaders were able to discuss best practices regarding curriculum, instruction, professional development and facilities.”
“The Preschool Instructional Coaches (PIC) were able to collaborate with neighboring school districts regarding curriculum, instruction and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). Preschool Intervention and Referral Specials are able to collaborate regarding best practices for supporting all preschool-age students,” she added.
Burns noted, “the Community Parent Involvement Specialists (CPIS) were able to discuss the many ways to involve parents, guardians and community stakeholders in their preschool program in order to ensure success. Overall, all of the participating school districts benefited from sharing their experiences, ideas and best practices in order to support their programs.”
Participating school districts included townships in Manchester, Berkeley, Central Regional, Lakehurst, Jackson, Ocean Gate, Plumsted, Stafford, Barnegat, Lakewood, Brick and Waretown.
“We will have more in the future as the interest is building. The feedback from participants in this initial meeting was overwhelmingly positive,” Burns added. The Township School District’s Early Childhood Education Department plans to host the ECEC on a quarterly basis.