By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District will participate in a study that will focus on pre-kindergarten programs.
On Aug. 8, the Board of Education approved the district’s participation in a supportive partnership with the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). The partnership will be for a study regarding sustaining early learning gains and will look at the influence of district, school and classroom factors associated with child outcomes over time.
Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic said the goal of the study is to determine what gains are being made by implementing pre-kindergarten programs and how children retain what they learned in pre-kindergarten through third grade and beyond.
He said the focus of the study will be on achievement, executive functioning, social and emotional development, and overall school progress.
“We believe it is important to participate in such studies as there is a constant discussion of the value of pre-kindergarten and we want to do our part to contribute to studies that provide reliable quantifiable and qualitative data,” Tomazic said.
As stated in the board’s agenda, the research will begin in the summer of 2017 and continue for four years as pupils are followed and studied from pre-kindergarten to third grade.
According to Tomazic, research will be conducted through classroom observations and child assessments, coupled with teacher and administrator surveys.
In other business, the board approved a partnership with Applewood, a continuing care retirement community in Freehold Township. Entitled “Tools for Schools,” the partnership will see Applewood residents and staff assist the district’s elementary school pupils and teachers by providing school supplies throughout the year.
Board President Michael Lichardi, Vice President Susan Greitz and board members Paul Jensen, Paul Ceppi, Bruce Patrick, Margaret Rogers and Annette Jordan voted to approve the partnerships. Board members Jim Keelan and Michele Tennant were absent.