Special Programs

One of Edgemont's distinctions as a school is its diverse array of special programs that complement both the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and the Montessori methods of education. Each of the programs described adds a special dimension to the educational opportunities of students and their families at Edgemont.

painterArt EXTRAvaganza

Edgemont's Art EXTRAvaganza Program is an advanced course of study for approximately 30 4th and 5th graders who have an interest in art and demonstrable talent. Interested students must complete a special assignment at the beginning of 4th and 5th grade in order to be considered for the program. Art EXTRA students meet two times a week during the school day and collaborate on large scale projects such as the Peace Mosaic in the foyer. The group exhibits its work each Spring.

English as a Second Language

Edgemont is one of two elementary schools offering English as a Second Language to Montclair residents who hail from countries around the world. While receiving special instruction in English, a critical component of the program is that students are integrated and welcomed into regular classroom activities. The ESL program is an asset not only to the children who need language instruction, but to the other children in the classroom who enjoy the opportunity of sharing new languages and cultures.

Music Program

In addition to weekly music classes, students have the opportunity to join Edgemont's Band, a performance group open to 4th and 5th graders by audition. Students begin to learn to play instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, trombone, flute, drums and more, The ensemble plays at school assemblies, Montclair festivals and other events throughout the year. Also, third graders enjoy an extra weekly recorder class. The class serves as an introduction to learning an instrument in preparation for possible future participation in the Band.

Outdoor Learning Environment & Lab

Edgemont is fortunate to have a large and beautiful backyard which hosts classroom gardens, a perennial garden maze, natural habitats and a nature trail. An ideal setting for Edgemont's hands-on approach to science and the arts, the backyard is ideal for a wide variety of activities, from quiet contemplation to camouflage treasure hunts, birdwatching and more. The Green Team, a group of parent and family volunteers, designs and maintains these garden areas.

Peaceable Schools Model

In the 1997-98 school year, Edgemont launched an exciting and novel school-wide "Peaceable Schools Model." This program is a multi-step process designed to teach problem solving and conflict resolution skills to staff, teachers and our students. Its inclusiveness is based both on the concepts of modeling and practicing skills, and on a commitment to cooperation and respect. The curriculum is an ongoing part of every classroom. Through classroom activities and all-school assemblies, students build year to year on the basic skills of "Cooling Down," "Agreeing to Solve a Problem" "Listening to Points of View" and "Solving the Problem." In addition, 4th and 5th graders receive special training in conflict resolution and, as 5th graders, receive the opportunity to volunteer as playground mediators for the younger students.

PTA Enrichment Program

Each year, the PTA runs up to three 8 week session of its after school enrichment program. Courses are taught by qualified parents, teachers and community members and are designed to captivate students' interest and provide an introduction to special topics or skills that are not covered as part of the normal school year. Offerings range from instruction in special instruments to basketball, nature studies, art classes, chess club, book club and more. If you have a special skill you can share with the students, please consider running a course yourself. While the PTA makes an effort to keep the costs of registration low, if you are interested in having your child participate in a program and cannot afford it, please talk to the Principal or a member of the PTA. Financial assistance is available in limited amounts.

Rainbows

Edgemont offers support groups to students who may be facing a family crisis or transition that involves some form of loss or separation. When something significant happens in a family, each family member is affected. Even though death, divorce, separation or other types of loss appear to be grown-up problems, they may have a profound effect on the children in the family. Due to age and limited experiences, children may find it extremely difficult to verbalize their feelings of grief, and therefore may need help coping with the loss.

Edgemont has several trained staff members committed to helping children who find themselves in these situations. If your child could benefit from the Rainbows Program, please contact Edgemont's School Nurse, Ms. Riordan, the Rainbows Coordinator, at 973-509-4281.

peruSpanish Language and Culture

As part of the Montclair Schools Global Education efforts, Edgemont now enjoys a special opportunity for the students to explore the Spanish language and culture. In this evolving program, children receive Spanish instruction each week in accordance with the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards. Far more than a world language curriculum however, the program is geared to enabling students to enjoy familiarity with a different world culture and comfort moving in and out of it. Thus, the concepts of expressiveness, investigative learning, and respect are carried to their fullest extent in the challenges of learning about another culture. Edgemont's unique and extremely diverse student body is an extraordinary asset in pursuing this cross-cultural program.

Artists-in-Residence

The Peace Garden Song and Mural Project is dedicated to peace, joy, and mindfulness. Peace murals are created by Edgemont students in collaboration with artists in residence Jennifer Levine and Scott Massarsky. The murals are inspired by songs written using the students' own words and ideas.

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