Staff Roles and Responsibilities as defined by the New Jersey Department of Education: Preschool Program Implementation Guidelines:
Preschool teachers must understand how young children learn and develop, as well as their role in facilitating the growth of each child in all domains, from early math and language arts literacy to social and emotional development and science understanding. Preschool teachers must accommodate the individual growth of each child, while taking into account his or her unique circumstances. All preschool classrooms must be staffed with one certified teacher and one teacher assistant.
- Inclusion Teachers are special education teachers responsible for working with children who have been evaluated and determined eligible for special services. They work with the general education teachers and other school professionals to reach the goals outlined in each child’s Individual Education Plan. The inclusion teachers work with the children in the general education classroom within the established daily routine.
The primary role of the Master Teacher is to assist in curriculum implementation by conducting classroom observations & feedback as well as coaching teachers using the principles of reflective practice to improve instruction. In addition, a lot of time is devoted to planning professional development experiences for classroom teachers.
Preschool Intervention and Referral Team:
The Preschool Intervention and Referral Team (PIRT) is in place to help preschool staff modify children’s challenging behaviors (i.e. physical, social, language) that block successful participation in a general preschool classroom through the development and implementation of intervention plans. Intervention plans address a variety of behaviors (i.e. child who hits, a child who doesn’t have any friends, a child with separation anxiety, a child who stutters, a child who does not speak, etc.). The primary role of the PIRT members is to provide support and suggested interventions to teachers so that all children can succeed within the general education classroom.
The four (4) member team in Orange is comprised of a Social Worker, Speech/Language Specialist, and two (2) Behavioral Specialists. It is important to note that these individuals do not work directly with children; rather they work with the instructional staff.
The school nurse is a health service specialist who assists students, families and staff in attaining and maintaining optimal health and healthy attitudes. School nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children and staff. The nurses will:
- Conduct health screenings: vision, hearing, dental, height, weight and blood pressure
- Monitor and follow up on individual child health records
- Document and communicate with staff and parents about allergies or other health issues
- Assist parents in locating appropriate medical and health resources, as needed
- Provide health-related training to staff, families and children
Community and Parent Involvement Specialist (CPIS):
The Community and Parent Involvement Specialist is responsible for facilitating the community needs assessment, staffing the Early Childhood Education Advisory Council as well as organizing family involvement plans and activities, and coordinating work with other school district professionals and community agencies and providers.
School Social Worker:
The School Social Worker is responsible for collaborating with the classroom teachers, master teachers, CPIS and other school district professionals to support the families. In conjunction with the CPIS, the School Social Worker must reach out to families, determine individual needs, provide advocacy services and help obtain available community services. In addition, the Social Worker’s responsibilities include assisting parents in learning about child development, nutrition, providing a safe environment and how to support the curriculum chosen by the school district. This is done by designing and providing family workshops based on identified needs and topics revealed on parents’ surveys.