Philosophy and Characteristics of Full Day Kindergarten

The purpose of full day and extended day kindergarten are the same. Both strive to help children grow in cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and linguistic skills. However, full day kindergarten affords the time needed for the broad variety of learning experiences necessary to maximize the growth and development of each individual student. Rather than extending the curriculum vertically or imposing excessive structured paper and pencil activities, additional time available to the full day program allows for broadening and enriching curricular experiences.
Full Day Kindergarten in Florham Park has been in existence since 1993.

Based on a unanimous decision to commit to an all day kindergarten program the board approved the all day kindergarten program on March 12, 1993. The Superintendent of Schools was directed to implement the program for the 1993 – 1994 school year. Since that time, the kindergarten staff continues to review and revise kindergarten curriculum through committee to keep up to date. In addition, the district has also made current the initial screening process employed to determine individual needs. The district is committed to continuing its full day kindergarten status.
Today’s kindergarten children, with their diverse abilities and experiences, need a program to focus on overlapping basic skills. The full day kindergarten program allows for an in-depth exploration of skills in the areas of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. It provides children with more opportunities to develop responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Children have varied maturational levels and experiential backgrounds; therefore, it is the responsibility of the kindergarten teacher to determine each child’s state of development and guide his/her progress accordingly.

It is believed that:

To give a child a good kindergarten experience, is to give him/her an excellent start on the road to a satisfying and productive total school life.

Kindergarten is not just a preparation for first grade, but it occupies its own unique position in the child’s school experiences.

The fostering or building of a child’s self-concept needs attention at an early age. A feeling of worth and belonging developed in early childhood promotes security in coping with the problems he/she encounters.

The kindergarten child should be provided with many and varied experiences. Exposure without pressure must be present in the atmosphere of the kindergarten room. The full day program allows flexibility and minimizes pressure caused by lack of time.

The child who leaves kindergarten happily anticipating the next step in the learning process has had a good experience.

The sum of these experiences will enable the child to live and work happily and purposefully with others. He/she will begin to understand the world about himself/herself, and continue to develop as a worthy and useful human being.

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