early childhood

Preschool registration for the 2020-2021 school year
is now open!

Registration

FAQ about preschool

Morris School District

31 Hazel Street – Morristown – New Jersey 07960

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Morris School District Publicly-Funded Preschool Program


 

ELIGIBILITY: 

  1. Must we be residents of the Morris School District to participate?   

Yes, all applicants MUST be residents of Morristown or Morris Township, without exception. 

  1. Are there income or other restrictions for free-tuition spaces? 

Tuition is free for our full-day preschool classrooms, regardless of family income. Funding is provided through grant funding called Preschool Education Aid from the NJ Department of Education. 

  1. How old does my child have to be in order to attend a district preschool classroom? Students must be age 3 or 4 on October 1st of the year in which they begin preschool. 

 

  1. Does my child have to be toilet trained? 

No

  1. What medical records are required prior to the start of school? 

    1. Up-to-date immunizations

    2. Current physical (from within one year’s time)

    3. Proof of a dental visit (no more than 1 yr old)

    4. A flu shot is also required by December 31st of each school year. 

 

REGISTRATION: 

  1. When and how do we register for this program? 

Registration needs to be completed online at https://www.morrisschooldistrict.org/offices/registration

  1. Are there limited spaces? If so, how do you determine who gets in?  

We have limited space and will conduct a lottery if our initial number of applications exceeds the number of available slots.

  1. What happens if we have twins or multiple children eligible for preschool?  

An application for each child must be completed. If one sibling is awarded a spot, the other sibling will also be given a spot.

  1. Is registration required every year? 

Three-year-old children that were in our program and want to continue to be in our program as a four-year-old will not need a new application.   


PLACEMENT:

  1. Where are classrooms located?   

Classrooms are located at the Lafayette Learning Center Preschool and at our partnering providers. Our partnering providers for 2020-21 include: Head Start, The Greater Morristown YMCA , Neighborhood House, Temple B’Nai Or, Salvation Army, and FM Kirby Children’s Center

  1. How did you select district partners?  

The district first identifies existing licensed early childhood education centers within the area that are already demonstrating a quality program.  Once these sites are identified, a district team conducts site visits to identify whether facilities and classroom requirements are met per the NJDOE guidelines.  

  1. Do families get to select preferred locations or are placements assigned? 

No, placements are assigned by the Morris School District according to sending area (neighborhood zones) first.  Depending on the applicant pool, your child may be assigned to any one of our participating partner sites.

  1. What if I am not happy with my placement? 

Placements are determined by location and spaces available. If you are unhappy with your placement, you have the option to decline the spot. 

  1. Are siblings given priority, even after older child is out of Pre-K? Would they go to the same site? 

If an older sibling is out of Prek, the younger sibling is not given priority or the same placement the older child was given.

  1. Can I request that my child be placed at the same site as another prospective student? 

Requests for same placement as another student cannot be granted.

 

HIGH QUALITY PRESCHOOL:

  1. What are the class sizes? 

There is a maximum of 15 children in a class.

  1. What is the length of the school day? 

The regular school day is 6 hours and 20 minutes. The school year is 180 days from September through June. All preschool programs follow the district calendar.

  1. What is the student:staff ratio?  Are all staff fully certified?

There is one teacher and one teacher assistant for a class of 15 students. 

All Certified Teachers shall hold a Bachelor’s Degree and, at a minimum, a certificate of eligibility or certificate of eligibility with advanced standing for Preschool through Grade Three certification or other equivalent preschool certification, as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:9B et seq. All Teacher Assistants, both new hires and existing staff have, at a minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent.

  1. What curriculum is used?

All preschool classrooms in our in-district and partner classrooms use the Creative Curriculum, a research-based, comprehensive curriculum for  3- and 4-year old students. The Creative Curriculum is built on age-appropriate developmental theories that affirm that all children learn through active exploration of their environment and therefore the environment plays a critical role in learning. The goal of the Creative Curriculum is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive and enthusiastic learners by actively exploring their environment. The Morris School District plans professional development opportunities throughout the year that allow for collaboration for all of our classroom teachers. 

  1. How do you assess students?

All sites use a developmental screening within the first 30-45 days of school. Families will be notified prior to the screening and with the results. All preschool classrooms in our in-district and partner classrooms use Teaching Strategies GOLD which is an ongoing, observation-based assessment system for assessing children from birth through kindergarten. It helps teachers to observe children in the context of everyday experiences, which is an effective way to assess what they know and what they can do. Teaching Strategies GOLD is based on 38 objectives for development and learning that include predictors of school success and are based on school readiness standards. The objectives are aligned with the NJ Student Learning Standards and NJ Birth to Three Early Learning Standards. These objectives are at the heart of the system; teachers use them to focus their observations as they gather information to make classroom decisions.

  1. How are satellite classrooms monitored by the district for consistency? 

The Morris School District and all the partnering providers use the same curriculum and assessment. There are monthly collaborative meetings with the LLC Principal and our partner directors. These meetings are centered around program quality and implementation of the curriculum and assessment. Program oversight by our Master Teachers and Preschool Intervention and Referral Team (PIRT) Specialist is continuous through the use of structured observation tools that determine quality teaching practice.  These tools include Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS 3) and Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT). Our Master Teachers and PIRT regularly conduct observations and provide support to classroom teachers through observations and coaching.  

  1. Will transportation be provided? 

Families may complete and submit a transportation request form at the time of registration. If you qualify for transportation, bussing will be accommodated for transportation to and from school within Morristown/Township locations only. 

  1. Will there be tours of placement sites?  

Yes, site visits will be available in April, after placement results are shared with families.

  1. What are the options for before and after school child care?  

Most sites offer before and after care. Extra costs and other parameters regarding this before/after icare are set by each individual program, not by the district. 

WHEN DISABILITY IS SUSPECTED: 

  1. What if I suspect my child has a disability? Who do I contact? 

Parents who suspect their child has a disability should contact the Lafayette Learning Center Office (973) 292-2222 and ask for the Child Study Team.

  1. When do services begin for a preschooler with qualified disabilities? 

A student with a disability is eligible to receive a free and appropriate education at the beginning of their third birthday. 

  1. What placement options are available for my child with disabilities? 

Our preschool program has both general education and self-contained classrooms at locations.  Placement will be determined upon eligibility.  Our self-contained classrooms are located at the Lafayette Learning Center.  Our inclusion classrooms are throughout Lafayette Learning Center and at our Head Start locations. 

  1. Is space limited for preschoolers with disabilities?  

No, we have unlimited space for students who qualify for special education and related services.


 

Special Services

Project Child Find

If you are concerned your preschool child is developing or learning differently, you can call the district to request an evaluation for preschool special education and related services. For more information call: 973-292-2222. Three year old children with special needs are eligible for Preschool on or after their 3rd birthday.