Grades K-2 - Regular Session: 8:30 am-3:20 pm
Single Session: 8:30 am-12:30 pm
Mahala F. Atchison School is a primary school comprised of kindergarten through grade two, as well as a preschool with disabilities program. Our school is dedicated to providing a nurturing and challenging environment for all students. We strive to equip students with skills that allow for each to meet his or her greatest potential.
We offer outstanding educational programs which include a variety of learning environments: Looping, Montessori, and Traditional classrooms. In each of these learning environments, we strive to meet the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards and the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. At the same time, teachers differentiate instruction and provide opportunities that foster awareness of multiple intelligences and learning styles.
Our Looping Program offers opportunities for those students who would benefit from the continuity of a two-year time frame with their teacher and classmates, to develop self-esteem and encourages critical-thinking and long-range planning. Our second grade Montessori–style classroom, allows students to engage in meaningful activities under the guidance of their teacher. Through their work, students develop concentration, motivation, persistence and discipline. Teachers direct students in developing respect and caring attitudes for oneself, others, and the environment. Our traditional classrooms afford students the option to move to a different teacher every year. Here, students are presented with challenges in the area of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and the New Jersey Student Learning Standards have been implemented throughout all curricula. Our language arts program is designed to provide students with meaningful learning experiences that will lead them to be lifelong readers through a balanced literacy philosophy. This program encompasses the five communicative arts: reading, writing, speaking, viewing and listening, in an interactive manner. Students develop and actively use literacy skills to construct meaning from the content, synthesize information and transfer knowledge. Students engage in the 100 Book Challenge Program, along with many other activities that promote the development of reading, writing, and communication skills. Our mathematics program provides opportunities for hands-on exploration so students can strengthen their understanding of mathematical content, master grade level computation skills, and apply problem-solving strategies to real life situations. In social studies, we promote an understanding of ourselves as responsible members of home, community and nation. Our science curriculum is based on the use of conceptual themes and scientific methods of reasoning and thinking. These themes provide valuable tools that chart the way for students to recognize and understand the application of science to life and living.
Our school’s Music, Art, Physical Education/Health, Technology, and World Language programs enrich our students’ learning experiences. These classes are designed to offer students opportunities to learn through the use of a cross-curricular approach. All students have Music class once a week and our second grade students have the privilege of participating in keyboarding. Our Art program provides students with creative ways to express their ideas, through multiple art forms. Our Physical Education and Health programs provide students with the skills necessary to live a healthy, active life. Students visit the computer lab regularly to work on science and social studies projects using the Internet, tailor-made web pages, the Promethean Board, and engaging software. Students also participate in Spanish lessons; these lessons focus on vocabulary-building, culture and conversational language.
Our In-Class Enrichment (I.C.E.) uses the school-wide enrichment model to enrich the classroom curriculum in grades kindergarten, one and two, while giving students the opportunity to make connections to real world situations.
To promote character education, we base our program on the Six Pillars of Character, along with the Peaceful Bus Program. Our guidance counselor provides many different levels of service including individual support, small group assistance, and whole class lessons to promote positive social behavior. Our Child Study Team consisting of a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant, School Psychologist and School Social Worker provide assistance to the school community, as well.
Parental involvement is an important factor in the success of our students and programs. We are supported by our PTA through their sponsorship of our Art Shows, Music Concerts, Autumn Kick-Off and Family Fun Night. Seniors from a nearby community volunteer weekly to go into the classrooms and work one-on-one with the students. This has helped to foster inter-generational friendships and adds a different perspective to learning for our students. Parent volunteers read, on a monthly basis, to our students, as a part of our ABC Reading Program. Citizenship is highlighted through an annual, award-winning, Veterans Day Program. The Little Sprouts Garden Program functions with the assistance of parent and community volunteers to beautify and maintain school grounds. Students are introduced to the rewards of gardening, in connection to our science and reading/language arts curriculum.
We are honored to be recognized as a Governor’s School of Excellence and the recipient of two State Best Practice Awards. We continue to build on these achievements and work to develop academic success, personal growth, self-esteem and school pride.