Ms. Andreea Harry, Principal

Principal Andreea Harry

Ms. Harry


Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School is committed to preparing All of our students for college, work and life.  This commitment begins with an environment which nurtures and supports students physically, emotionally, socially, and academically.  Our goals are to increase student achievement by adopting best practices and focusing on the whole child.  Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School provides opportunities for students to achieve their personal best through challenging curriculums and differentiated instruction; while utilizing a variety of evaluation tools, to improve standardized test scores and an increase in overall performance.

In order to ensure student success, our staff utilizes a comprehensive Balanced Literacy Program that supports and focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, writing, technology, and manipulatives within the delivery of instruction.  We also provide a variety of educational programs and activities for all students. We utilize technology based programs that addresses student needs in Language Arts and Mathematics while preparing them for the i-Ready Diagnostic, PARCC and NJ ASK Science Assessments. The Extended Day Program is offered to students with academic needs in grades 2, 3 and 4.  They explore real-world experiences through an interdisciplinary array of skills from math, language arts, science, social studies, technology and liberal arts.  Our students participate in many initiatives that contribute to the development of the whole child.

Our goal is to build self-esteem, enhance creativity, individuality, and develop healthy lifestyles.  Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School, in cooperation with parents and the community, has established high expectations for all students as the standard. We also provide a safe, nurturing environment where our students utilize their skills, talents, and unique abilities to meet the demands of an ever changing competitive 21st Century global society.

Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School is a National Healthier Generation School:  Dr. Charles C. Polk School won a National Bronze Award from The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Foundation.  We were selected to be featured in a showcase video to bring awareness about our program and the importance of health and wellness in schools under the First Lady, Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move Campaign”   The video will be posted on the National Website highlighting how Dr. Charles C. Polk School has embraced health and wellness, before, during and after school, since recess has been cut and eliminated in so many schools.    Dr. Charles C. Polk School is a Healthier Generation School: We only serve healthy snacks, no birthday celebrations (to avoid sugary snacks), no food as incentives for accomplishments and fitness activities are provided before, during and after school.  Our school is also partners in education with WYMCA – Healthy U – CATCH and the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) because we are developing the Whole Child.

Other programs includes but not limited to the following:

BEFORE AND AFTER THE BELL REMEDIAL PROGRAM - The Extended School Day Programs are open to all students but mandatory for students below grade level benchmarks.  The academic instructional program provides students with direct instruction in math, reading, and other skills, tailored to individual student needs. Students also receive instruction in other activities such as: science club, homework help, computer & technology, and recreation.  Small class instruction is held three days a week for three hours.  Instruction is provided by Certified and Highly Qualified educators.

BOOK-IT PROGRAM - The Book-It Program is an incentive-based reading program designed to increase students’ interest in reading.  This Program involves the entire student body with well over a 95% participation rate within the school.  Through this program, students develop an appreciation for various types of literature as well as a joy for reading.  Incentives and rewards are given out monthly and at the end of the school year; certificates and trophies are awarded to all students who participated in the Book-It Program.


This program requires all students to read at home for thirty minutes with their parents.   Parents must monitor their child’s reading by signing a daily reading log, stating that the child has read to them or they both read together.    Students are given a Colored Literacy Bag to ensure that they are following the district language arts curriculum to read consistently and daily.    Each day the bag is sent home with a book and a reading log.   All students are expected to bring their Colored Literacy Bag to and from school each day (Monday – Friday).  Other activities linking school to home in literacy are: Read Across America - Crazy Hat Day, Crazy Sock Day and Dress Up as You Favorite Book Character. 

FAMILY NIGHT (Literacy, Math and Science):

Family Night continues to be a popular program that connects families with the school in a fun-filled atmosphere of learning.   Family Night is a great opportunity for parents and students to spend fun time together.  It is important for students and parents to participate in educational, fun, and hands-on activities.  Parents are able to get involved in the educational process.  These structured activities move families away from TV and promote learning by investigation.   Students develop literacy, math/science skills in a unique and fun way.  Another great attribute is parents are able to meet and greet other parents, which helps to build a positive learning community.


We challenge parents to bring their children to school in support of student achievement.  This monthly activity

demonstrates responsibility, helps to establish appropriate behavior, and provide a daily example of the importance of achievement.  We realize that students enjoy spending time with their parents and other parent figures. We ask father figures and mother figures to join us for breakfast, reading, technology, and small group activities.  We believe parents and other parent figures actively participating in student academics and activities is the corner stone to student achievement.


Every October, Dr. Charles C. Polk School participates in the Jumpstart's Read for the Record, which is a national campaign to promote early childhood literacy and set a world record for the number of adults and children reading the same book on the same day.  Our school joins millions around the world to read.   Teachers, parents and community members are able to read the book through a variety of media such as: teacher read aloud, student’s independent reading, dramatic play, DVD, online computer read aloud, smartboard interactive reading, google Docs, google presentation, email, And skype with other schools.  After students are introduced to the story, integrated activities are conducted across the curriculum in every subject. 

STEM CLUB – Our program generates a greater interest in the STEM fields and inspires students to consider STEM careers. Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School’s Afterschool STEM Program provides students with the opportunity to explore aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  The STEM Club focuses on specific disciplines across STEM subjects that include practical experiments, investigations, group work, competitions, discussion and reflection.  We conduct hands-on activities concepts, explore careers, participate in computer coding, math puzzles, robotics, chemistry, and astronomy.   But, most of all it’s FUN!

SCIENCE FAIR - Fosters first-hand student exploration and investigation in the areas of science through reports, experiments, and presentations. Students present their projects to peers, teachers, parents, and all members of the school community. According to the National Science Teachers Association, early experiences in science help students develop essential problem-solving skills that will empower them to participate in an increasingly scientific and technological world.


Heritage Months are important because it an opportunity to educate our students and parents on the many contributions Hispanics and African Americans have made to the Americas and the world.  The teachers help students understand and appreciate diversity, cultures and traditions of different countries.  We focus on incorporating Hispanic and African American Heritages into all aspects of the curriculum.   We have a large growing diverse population here at Dr. Charles C. Polk School and that’s why it’s important for us to address our growing diversity.


The students, parents and staff provide service projects in our school and community through our food drives.   During our canned food drive in November, December, February and April, we collected thousands of canned goods and turkeys.  We extended our efforts and collected cans of soup (Soup for SUPERBOWL).  All items were donated to the local church food banks.   The principal is able to motivate students to donate with school wide incentive programs. Each year students try to outdo their previous numbers. 

SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAMS:  Our service learning programs provide volunteer opportunities that bring parents, community members, and high school students into the school to provide students with extra remedial services.  The community service project pair’s students with parents, community members, and high school students, who act as academic/reading buddies. Volunteers are supported by staff with both individual and group instruction.  They become participating partners in academic and developmentally appropriate activities.

The Artists Collective for Social Change is an organization that provides grants to support and increase student achievement across the curriculum in schools.  The components of the Arts & Literacy Partnership include an arts-based curriculum unit, professional development for teachers, and creation of interactive projects to strengthen knowledge in literacy skills through the arts. The goal of the partnership is to increase student achievement in Language Arts Literacy at the third grade level.  Our objective is to motivate students about learning, and help classroom teachers explore interactive, creative and integrated methods of teaching.  This program, also offer teachers many opportunities to utilize active learning techniques and dramatic activities to bring reading (books) and writing to fluency.

The iRead program is a Summer Reading initiative that Dr. Charles C. Polk School and Agape House of Worship has established. It is a reading program that helps students stay academically productive during the summer months.   The best predictor of summer reading loss or summer reading gain is whether or not students read during the summer.  The goal of this program is to assist students with maintaining reading progress they have made during the school year. We are encouraging them to read daily.  

Second Baptist Church Book Bag Donation Program helps ensure that children have the tools they need to learn.  They provide school essentials such as a brand-new backpack, pencils, notebooks, glue, crayons, a ruler, and more.  It not only provides students with basic learning tools, but also with the added confidence he or she needs to be successful in school.

CHARACTER COUNTS (Bullying) - In keeping with Polk School’s mission of striving to create an atmosphere of mutual respect among students, teachers and community. Polk School embraces the concept of Character Counts.  Polk School has high expectations for responsible and civic behavior.  Making good choices, helping others, positive values and good stewardship are accented and rewarded.  Students are encouraged to use good decision-making skills when interacting with community, peers and family members.  Fostering positive behavior in the way students relate to others enhances the school climate and develops skills that enable them to be more successful in life.  Through Character Counts, the students learn trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

MAN, INC. (MINORITY ATHLETES NETWORKING) - MAN, Inc. is a group of professional athletes, corporate executives, attorneys, entrepreneurs and performing artists involved in youth mentoring, community outreach and educational forums.  MAN, Inc. meets with a group of approximately 15 - 20 boys, once a week, offering mentoring services.  The program is facilitated by the grandson of Dr. Charles C. Polk.

PROJECT LEARN - The Boys & Girls Club of Union County offers students an After School Educational Enhancement Program at Dr. Charles C. Polk School.  The program operates Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  The program is also a safe and rewarding alternative to latch key.  All students who register for the program are provided with complimentary annual membership to the Boys & Girls Club of Union County.  This is one more way that Dr. Charles C. Polk School and community-based programs share services to better serve the families and students at Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School.

Contact Person:  Andreea Harry, Principal

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