The Ignacio Cruz Early Childhood Center in Perth Amboy follows The Creative Curriculum Program. This framework rests upon research-based theory and developmentally appropriate practice to address students’ social-emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. The Creative Curriculum seeks to “empower confident, creative, caring learners” and differentiate learning and instruction for each individual student in our program. Classroom interest areas include blocks center, art center, science center, library center, dramatic play center, music center and more! These centers or interest areas provide hands-on opportunities for teaching and learning within a context that provides for the growth and development of the ‘whole child’.
For the 2021-2022 school year, Ignacio Cruz Early Childhood Center housed 36 preschool classes. New for the 2022-2023 school year, we have integrated our three and four year old students into multi-age classrooms that will give all of our learners the opportunity to work toward their highest potential by learning from their peers as well as their teachers. Ignacio Cruz is home to Dual Language (Spanish and English) classrooms, preschool disabled classrooms and inclusion classrooms, as well as general education classrooms. We are excited to welcome all of our young learners this year!
Teaching Strategies Gold continues to be our primary source for documenting and assessing student learning. At Ignacio Cruz, one of our goals during 2021-2022 was to improve students’ ability to understand shapes. During our final assessment period of the school year, 86% of our students were at or above grade level for this objective. This is only one example of the developmentally appropriate objectives that we have for our preschool students at Cruz. We work with students in the areas of social emotional development, language, physical (fine and gross motor), cognitive, literacy and math. Our integrated curriculum and assessment tools allow teachers to deeply know their students and their abilities and work to help them achieve their best.
Students and teachers in our classrooms are observed using the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS) and the Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) throughout the school year. Both of these coaching tools seek to improve our students' classroom environment in order to enhance their learning. School Social Workers and Master Teachers work closely with teachers to use the TPOT and ECERS to plan effective instruction and interventions for their classrooms.
At Ignacio Cruz, a variety of activities are planned for students during the course of the school year. This year, we are beginning the Ignacio Cruz Art Gallery where students will have the opportunity to learn about famous artists and create works of art that are inspired by the artists and art that they learn about.
Parental involvement is always a priority. Learning celebrations are often held at the conclusion of a unit of study and we are thrilled that families are once again invited into Cruz so that students can demonstrate they have learned. In these study celebrations, students and teachers participate in family activities that relate to all content areas.
The Week of the Young Child is a school-wide celebration of young children that takes place each year in the Spring. The National Association for the Education of Young Children creates dynamic and developmentally appropriate programs that we integrate into our curriculum for the week that gives our students a fun and inspiring opportunity to engage in activities. This year, the Week of the Young Child is April 1-7, 2023 and we are looking forward to the exciting programming that we will plan for this yearly event.
Ignacio Cruz is proud to be the first stop for our young scholars on their educational paths from PreK through Grade 12 with the Perth Amboy Public School District. We know that thetime the students spend with us here at Ignacio Cruz will be productive, engaging, and fun!
Pamela Spindel, Principal