NORTHVALE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT (03-3730)

NORTHVALE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Northvale Public School Staff provides a quality education to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Since students begin kindergarten at varying stages of developmental readiness, our primary grades’ curriculum stresses listening, speaking, following directions, letters, sounds, sight words and word families, hand writing, and fine and gross motor activities. We utilize the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Program at grades two and three.  The Handwriting Without Tears Program continues to create very positive results at the kindergarten and first grade levels.

Kindergarten begins an introduction to numbers 1-20, addition, subtraction, shape recognition, money, and time: clocks and calendars. Among many other things, the first year of school is about learning to get along in a group and how to develop the necessary skills for reading, as well as written expression.

In the first grade, our Language Arts program is literature-based and focuses on comprehension, decoding skills, and daily writing. Students use manipulatives as they learn basic concepts. Reasoning, problem solving and independence are stressed in all areas. Science and Social Studies focus on the students’ immediate world.

In second grade, reading comprehension is a major goal. Students learn word analysis using phonetic and structural skills as well as parts of speech, punctuation, spelling and types of sentences. In Math, students learn place value, multiplication and division facts, and liquid and linear measurement. In Social Studies, students examine neighborhoods and communities in the United States. They learn about the world around them by studying maps, globes, and culture.

In third, fourth, and fifth grade multiplication and division are the focus of Math, and in Science, students study sound, energy, the solar system, simple machines, and the community of living things. In preparation for their transition to middle school, students are called upon to develop increasingly higher organizational skills such as time management, responsibility for work, and respect for people and their community.

Throughout the elementary journey, students also develop their love for Art, Technology, Music, and Physical Education. They participate in many enriching activities and the Parent Teacher Organization sponsors a variety of assembly programs that reinforce the concepts being taught in all curricular areas.

At the sixth through eighth grade levels students travel to different classrooms for each subject area. Block scheduling is utilized in grades seven and eight in the areas of Math and English Language Arts. Students attend STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) classes on a regular basis. There they engage in hands-on learning activities to enhance their 21st Century skills and better prepare them for college and career.

In Math, the students continue to work with decimals, fractions and percentages, as well as expanding on traditional mathematic operations. In Science, they study geology, earth, life, and physical science. Sixth grade students and teachers take a three-day trip to the Greenkill Outdoor Education Center for a hands-on approach to outdoor-environmental education.

Students in sixth grade Social Studies begin the year learning about the methods employed by archaeologists to uncover the past. From there, they travel through time examining human development, starting with early humans who were hunter and gatherers, and ending with the age of global encounters and the expansion of empires. Authentic tasks, performances, publications, interdisciplinary activities, and discussions of current events are incorporated throughout the year to extend learning beyond the classroom.

The historical focus of the seventh and eighth grade Social Studies classes is American History. Seventh grade topics include: Three Worlds Meet (Exploration), Colonization and Settlement, the American Revolution, and the Growth of the New Nation. Eighth grade topics include: Westward Expansion, the Antebellum Period, Civil War, Reconstruction, Overviews of World War I, the Interwar Period, and World War II.

In seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts, students work towards the mastery of skills introduced in previous years. Continued grammar practice, sophisticated vocabulary units, and study skills strategies will be utilized to enhance student communication in both the public speaking arena and written works.  Students also use short stories, novels, poetry, and mythology to identify the various elements of literature such as, setting, characters, conflict, point-of-view, theme, etc. Furthermore, students are developing and refining their reading comprehension, inferential thinking, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills. 
 
Our Board of Education has approved an annual class trip for students in each of our grade seven and eight classes. Our seventh grade takes a one-day trip to Philadelphia where they visit the Franklin Institute and various historical sites throughout the city. At the eighth grade level, students take a three-day trip to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. where they visit many of our country’s national monuments and memorials.

Both students and staff enjoy a facility that is clean and inviting. We have one of the finest gymnasiums in the Northern Valley for Physical Education instruction, as well as both intramural and interscholastic programs. Our Media Center and Technology Lab are state of the art and the district recently purchased 75 mobile iPads and 60 laptop computers for students in kindergarten through eighth grade to use! In addition, our Art, Instrumental, and Vocal Music rooms are bright and spacious.

Our goal is to continue the tradition of excellence within the Northvale Public School and build on the reputation we have developed as a quality sending district within the Northern Valley Regional School District. As stated previously, this success can only be maintained with the support and assistance of the entire school community. Please feel free to contact me via telephone or e-mail at pinajian@nvnet.org. I am interested in your ideas, comments and views on issues both large and small. I welcome every opportunity to hear from you.