A group of 5-year-olds made Mount Olive School District history when the school year began on September 8. The nearly 300 young students are the first full-day kindergartners in the district’s history. 

For parents, the offering of full-day kindergarten is an occasion that has been long-awaited in a school system known for its innovation and high levels of student achievement.

“When I joined the district in October of 2018, parents told me that full-day K was one of the programs they most wanted,” said Superintendent Robert Zywicki, Ed.D. “I am thrilled to be able to make full-day K a reality. It will help our students academically, socially, and emotionally.”

In 2013, Mount Olive began offering a tuition-based extended kindergarten program that focused on literacy and language skills. This school year, however, marks the first time an entire incoming kindergarten class begins its Mount Olive educational career with day-long kindergarten.

While not a factor this year because of the staggered in-person instruction, the lack of instructional space had been the biggest stumbling block that prevented full-day K from being offered in the past. Changes of the last two years in the delivery of instruction in Mount Olive, however, freed up space in the district’s schools and allowed full-day K to become logistically feasible.

Expansion of inclusion at the elementary level, for example, brought the instructional support for special education students into their regular classrooms rather than being offered as a “pull out” service; this freed up space previously dedicated to remediation. The district also shifted to mobile instructional technology and away from stand-alone computer labs, further opening up space that can be used for classroom instruction.

A recent survey showed that approximately 90% of school districts in Morris County now provide full-day K.

Student holds tee shirt

Reid Echevarria, a kindergartener at Sandshore Elementary School, shows off the tee shirt he received during the school's kindergarten orientation

Sandshore Elementary School

Sandshore Elementary School
498 Sandshore Rd
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4003

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Mountain View Elementary School

Mountain View Elementary School
118 Cloverhill Drive
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2201

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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School

Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4002

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Tinc Road School

Tinc Road School
24 Tinc Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2203

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Mt. Olive Middle School

Mt. Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road
Budd Lake, NJ 07828
973-691-4006

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Mt. Olive High School

Mt. Olive High School
18 Corey Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
973-927-2208

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