Principal's Page

September 2020,

Dear Parents/Guardians:


I hope you and your children have had a nice summer.   It is my pleasure to welcome you to the James A. Garfield Early Childhood Learning Center.  I would like to welcome back our returning four-year-old students as well as our new three-year old students.  We are excited to have you as part of our Preschool family. 

This school year, the COVID-19 pandemic, will impact the structure of our Preschool instruction.  The Garfield School District has determined, that for the safety and well-being of all students and staff, the school year will begin with students learning remotely from home.  Preschool students will follow a daily schedule which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  During Phase I, Preschool students will receive daily live instructional lessons and recorded developmentally appropriate learning activities which the Preschool teachers will share via their classroom websites.   Online virtual Preschool lessons/activities will be presented via Microsoft Teams.  We ask that all parents/guardians assist their Preschooler with joining his/her classmates and teachers on Microsoft Teams each school day and follow the daily schedule to engage in play-based learning activities in the development of the social/emotional and academic foundational skills.   Please know, that daily student participation in the virtual lessons is obligatory and daily student attendance is required and recorded.

Preschool families will now have access to Parent Portal as a means of communication.  You will be supplied with login information and are encouraged to log into parent portal regularly to receive documents, links and messages as limited paper notices will be sent home.  You are reminded to log-in as soon as possible to sign-off on district required forms.  (  Be sure to complete the breakfast/lunch application available on Parent Portal.   The Preschool Phase I Parent Handbook can also be accessed on Parent Portal.    We kindly ask that you review the Parent Handbook and familiarize yourself with all the policies and protocols of the Garfield Preschool Program.

We kindly ask, that you provide your email address to your child’s classroom teacher, as you will be receiving important emails from the classroom teacher and the administrators.  It is imperative that we have a current email address and phone number to be able to be in contact with you. 

Please know, we are here to support you, our Preschool family, as we navigate together to meet the challenges of this public health emergency.  Please do not hesitate to email or call us with any difficulties or concerns you might have to ensure a positive Preschool student learning experience.  Remember to check the district and school websites regularly for important notifications and updated information regarding COVID-19 and any other revised Garfield School District learning plans.   (

During Phase I of remote learning days, meals to Garfield district students will be distributed from two central locations:

Three Saints Russian Church                         James Madison School # 10

474 Outwater Lane                                         55 Lincoln Place

Garfield                                                           Garfield

Meal Distribution Times:

September 8th : Meals will be distributed at both locations from 7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

September 9th and until further notice:  Meals will be distributed at both locations from:     11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


We are extremely excited, that your child will be with us and plan to make their Preschool experience as educational and enjoyable as possible and earnestly look forward to being able to welcome back the children to the building soon.

Once again, welcome!   The James A. Garfield Early Childhood Learning Center is committed and looks forward, to collaborating with you, as your parental participation and involvement are essential to your child’s success.   We are prepared for a great year ahead as we embrace the challenges of the pandemic and look forward to a successful school year.  On behalf of the entire James A. Garfield Early Childhood Learning Center, please accept our sincerest best wishes for a safe, healthy, happy, positive and productive 2020-2021 school year!




Mr. Frank A. D’Amico, Principal                                      Dr. Nicole Grillo, Vice Principal


973-253-6604                                                                 973-253-6602

A short book for children explaining the Coronavirus (in MULTIPLE languages)

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