Edgemont's Special Programs
One of Edgemont's distinctions as a school is its diverse array of special programs that complement both the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content 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.
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 Peach 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 foreign countries. 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.
Lincoln Center Arts in Education
Edgemont's partnership with Lincoln Center is a long and fruitful one. During the summer, the principal and teachers participate in workshops conducted by professional artists in the areas of dance, music, drama and visual arts. They then take this training into the classroom during the school year. In addition, Lincoln Center artists make special visits to the school for both all-school assemblies and special workshops with students. For example, Edgemont students were treated to a performance of the Japanese Art of Kabuki Dancing by Ms. Achiyo and her troupe of performers. Kabuki Dance employs gestures and the use of special makeup, props and costumes to create and retell stories of the Japanese culture. Lincoln Center artists worked with each classroom on ways to express stories using Kabuki style movements and dance. Students also created their own masks--a reflection of the masks that Ms. Achiyo used. Other past participants have included storytellers, musicians and dancers.
Orff Schulwerk Music Program
The Orff-Schulwerk music program, the basis of Edgemont's music program, is a multi-sensory approach that combines speech, movement, and music to promote children's active participation while they learn. The program, under the direction of Music teacher Melanie Koebel, makes use of full Orff instrumentation, including base, alto and soprano metallophones and xylophones, glockenspiels, timpani and a wide variety of rhythm instruments. Edgemont is proud to host the Orff ensemble, a performance group open to 4th and 5th graders by audition. The ensemble plays at school assemblies, Montclair festivals and other events throughout the year.
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." The students are familiar with this process under the nickname "CAPS." 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 French, 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.
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. Roskam, the Rainbows Coordinator, at 973-509-4281.
World Languages and Cultures
As part of the Montclair Schools Global Education efforts, Edgemont now enjoys a special opportunity for the students to explore world languages and cultures. In this evolving program, children receive foreign language instruction each week in accordance with the New Jersey State Core Curriculum Content Standards. Far more than a foreign language curriculum however, the program is geared to enabling students to enjoy familiarity with different world cultures and comfort in moving in and out of them. Thus, the concepts of expressiveness, investigative learning, and respect are carried to their fullest extent in the challenges of learning about other cultures. Edgemont's unique and extremely diverse student body is an extraordinary asset in pursuing this cross-cultural program.
Like other Montclair schools, Edgemont offers a program called the "Writers' Room" which brings trained volunteers (or "coaches") into the classroom to help strengthen the writing skills of 3rd-5th grade students. Coaches, who have been trained in a specific Writers' Room method, meet one-on-one with students each week to discuss their writing. Coaches may help a child brainstorm ideas for a story, or critique the student's first draft, or suggest a way to put finishing touches on final revisions. In all cases, their approach is to identify a strength in the child's writing, and then gently suggest how that stength could be further applied to improve the overall piece.
Page Updated: Feb 26, 2013