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200 Riverview Plaza
Trenton, New Jersey,08611
Managing Editor, Software Revue
Association for Children of New Jersey
Board of Trustees Member
University of Michigan
Join EarlyEdU Alliance
Ellen Wolock, NJ Division of Early Childhood/CEELO (Ellen.Wolock@doe.state.nj.us)
Clarke School Sump Pump Sinks Inspection
In an August 17, 2010 letter Silva received from Ellen Wolock, Director of the New Jersey Office of Preschool Education, a Division of Early Childhood Education, which a reporter for NJ News & Views requested under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), Wolock informed the Lakewood superintendent the state would no longer fund the district's $4,267,572 contract to educate 349 children enrolled in Tiny Tots, a non-public preschool.
"Lakewood has a unique opportunity to meet many, if not all, of the program requirements outlined in Elements of High Quality Preschool Programs - N.J.A.C. 6A:13A, and provide a high quality early education experience that can set the stage for each child's school success," Wolock wrote Silva. Wolock described an April 2010 tour by state representatives of the Tiny Tots Oberlin Street site. "We were very concerned about the very low quality of the program at that time and recommended non-renewal or a complete revamping of both facility and program," Wolock said in her letter. "Classrooms were substandard in both size and cleanliness, and evidence of high quality programming was completely lacking. Materials and furniture were sparse and in poor repair, and the classroom environment did not contain essential learning areas and in some cases was even dangerous, with hanging electrical cords and unprotected outlets." During a follow-up visit on August 16, state representatives became even more alarmed, according to Wolock. Their findings indicated Tiny Tots school facilities contained numerous health and safety hazards. Wolock said walls, floors and ceilings of rooms used for instruction were not free of moisture, peeling paint, plaster and potentially hazardous materials. She also said the second floor hallway ceiling had an active water leak and ceiling damage. The building's ceiling was not only peeling, but had holes in it. There was also water damage to the basement window and wall. Wolock said there were metal staples on the walls, painted electrical outlets and broken floor tiles in several locations. Hardware problems included several doors that were out of alignment and could not be closed, or lacked closers or view windows to ensure building security. Wolock also said there were no emergency exit instructions posted and no phone access in classrooms. A classroom vent cover was missing and return vents were not maintained, Wolock said. Wolock said state inspectors found additional safety concerns in the school and on school grounds, including gas cans in the basement electrical room; water/sewer issues in the basement; a barbed wire fence around the HVAC next to the playground; lack of a window child guard; a fire extinguisher tagged 2008 located next to an electrical panel; exposed electrical boxes and broken wall electrical plates; and 6-foot tall cabinets that were not secured to the wall. She said the Tiny Tots Monmouth Avenue facility was not licensed by the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), as required of all private preschool contractors. Wolock also said Tiny Tots staff lacked prerequisite certification and preschool general education knowledge to provide high quality experiences for all young children, particularly diverse populations. Prior to the start of the 2010-11 school year, state inspectors that visited Tiny Tots again in August made the same determination about the non-public school staff, leading Wolock to inform Silva the DOE would no longer fund the district contract with it. According to Wolock, Tiny Tots staff were unable to answer questions about curricula, optimal instruction for English language learners, appropriate uses of assessment, common structured classroom quality observation instruments, optimal scheduling for preschoolers, transitions, handling challenging behaviors and essential family involvement components. "Before the DECE could consider supporting a contract with Tiny Tots, the Tiny Tots staff would have to participate in the leadership and coach training offered by the Department," Wolock told Silva. Wolock also stressed the necessity that Tiny Tots obtain a current DCF license and that all facilities concerns be inspected and approved for operation by DECE and Greenfield's office. Wolock informed Silva that the district must find an alternative provider to operate its preschool program as soon as possible.
Is There a Reasonable Approach to Handling Violence in Video Games? | Children's Technology Review
From Children's Technology Review, July/August 2002 by Ellen Wolock, Ed.D.
It's a bit unnerving to hear your seven-year old daughter shout "Kill him! Kill him!", even if she's only hollering at the PlayStation 2. That's what happened last week at the CTR offices when Erin and her 10-year-old brother, Austin, dropped by to test a new sword-fighting game called Pirates.
Administrator, Division of Early Childhood Education Director, Office of Preschool Education
Contact the CSR Editors
Managing Editor: Ellen Wolockellen@childrenssoftware.com