Academics: Little Chiefs Preschool

The Little Chiefs Preschool is an integral part of the child development curriculum at Hopatcong High School.

The preschool program is a preparation program for Kindergarten and will take place 3 days per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) at the Hopatcong High School. 


2021-2022 Enrollment

Begins March, 2021

Please email Michele Cuclasi to be put on the interest list.



The Little Chiefs Preschool Program is a lab, within the high school, taught by our student teachers. It is available to Hopatcong residents with children who are four years of age and eligible for kindergarten at the start of the 2021/22 school year. Children need to be 4 years old by October 1, 2020. All children must be fully potty trained (out of pull ups). The program will run three days per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00-1:00. It will begin October 8, 2020 and end June 10, 2021. The program is free; however the parent/guardian is responsible for providing transportation. For additional information, please contact Mrs. Michele Culcasi, the preschool teacher, by email, at

Application Process


The Little Chiefs Preschool Program is a lab, within the high school, taught by our student teachers.  As this program is facilitated by high school students, it may not be the best fit for all children. In order for the high school students to complete their assignments, the preschoolers need to work with their student teachers cooperatively and effectively for it to be a mutually beneficial experience. If you think your child would be a good candidate, please begin our application process.

The application process begins with a visit to our classroom where your child will have an opportunity to participate in a lesson, work one on one with an “experienced” high school teacher, and interact with the children. An application will be completed at this time. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program, visitations will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. Once all visitations are completed, 25 children will be recommended for a lottery where 15 preschoolers will be randomly selected. The remaining 10 will be place on a waiting list. Parents will be notified of their child’s acceptance by May 31st.


The Little Chiefs Preschool is a free preparation program for Kindergarten that includes a variety of curricula approved by the New Jersey Department of Education. The program adheres to the Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards set forth by the State of New Jersey. Under the direction of a dual certified teacher, with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, high school students will be both teachers and observers in order to gain confidence, knowledge, and experience working with young children.

Our one to one ratio makes amazing things possible; every lesson is tailor made for your child and their progress is charted daily. Teacher driven instruction promotes early literacy, science concepts, and growing math skills. Student exercises support these lessons using individualized instruction, learning centers, and of course- PLAY!  

This is a high energy environment filled with lots of discovery centers, art, crafts, stories, blocks, bikes, icky squishies, and plenty of opportunities to experiment with a wide variety of materials.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is a lab for a high school class. In order for our students to be successful, they will be required to complete their assignments in a timely fashion. We reserve the right to enroll another child in your child’s place if your child requires more structure than student teachers can provide, your child is not sent all 3 days per week, and/or has poor attendance.


Watch the Little Chiefs Preschool Graduation Video