John F. Kennedy Elementary School, located in suburban Wayne, NJ, is a thriving school community serving a diverse student population where more than fifteen languages are spoken. Our diversity is our strength. Respect for individual differences and a shared sense of responsibility for the well being of others is fostered through the Six Paws of Character, a strong character education program. Positive messages help children build the resiliency needed to work through life’s challenges. At JFK, the traits of respect, responsibility, fairness, trustworthiness, citizenship, and caring are celebrated. Social-emotional learning is enhanced through character education lessons taught by our School Counselor and LEAD officer. In addition, the Wayne Alliance supports after school programs for our 4th and 5th graders.
Our Language Arts and Math curricula are deeply rooted in the NJ State Learning Standards which clearly articulate what children need to know and be able to do at each grade level. Balanced Literacy provides the framework for creating a genuine appreciation and understanding of both literature and non-fiction texts - all within the context of "workshop" teaching. Differentiation is inherent in the workshop model and emphasizes growing young readers and writers through focused mini-lessons, guided practice, independent practice and opportunities to enhance understanding through shared learning experiences with peers. Additionally, the Fundations program provides our youngest students with the foundational skills necessary to grow into strong and proficient readers. Our Mathematics program teaches basic skills and procedures as well as complex problem solving while deepening understanding through the integration of the eight Mathematical Practice Standards. Students benefit from lessons that teach mathematics concepts at different cognitive levels using a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.
Our Environmental Program, developed and implemented through a partnership with Ramapo College, enhances our science curriculum and includes both in-school and outdoor lab activities and family science nights. Our 5th grade students participate in a two-day, overnight residential encampment at the YMCA Fairview Lake in Stillwater, NJ.
Our Visual and Performing Arts program includes musical performances at every grade level as well as an annual Art Show. In addition, a 4th and 5th grade band and chorus, and a special art program for artistically talented children, enrich the curriculum. Our PTO sponsors an afterschool drama club in which students can hone their performance skills through our yearly musical production.
Students who demonstrate and meet specific criteria in the areas of problem solving and critical thinking can expand and strengthen their knowledge in the Gifted and Talented program. John F. Kennedy offers students in need of special education, academic support and learning English as a second language targeted intervention programs to meet their individual needs.
Our active Parent-Teacher Organization enriches our learning community and generously supports the efforts of our staff and students. The positive parent-school partnership that JFK enjoys is vital to our success. Afterschool clubs, run by teachers and sponsored by the PTO, have offered students a great way to enrich their learning experience.