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Raising Raiders Preschool Support Staff


Raising Raiders Preschool Expansion Support Staff Roles:


Preschool Secretary

Maria Tetto 



Coordinator of Early Childhood

April Vitiello



Preschool Instructional Coach

Preschool Instructional Coaches are funded in New Jersey's Preschool Expansion programs to provide and maintain high levels of quality by helping and supporting preschool teachers.  Their primary role is to visit classrooms and coach teachers using reflective practice by providing strategies that support the Creative Curriculum and social emotional learning. 


Preschool Intervention and Referral Specialist/Preschool Intervention and Referral Services Team 

The Preschool Intervention and Referral Team(PIRT) is a school-based, collaborative problem-solving team to collaborate with teachers on intervention strategies for children in the general education setting who evidence learning, behavioral, social-emotional, or health difficulties. Students are identified by teachers through the screening process or the observation of the classroom teacher and Preschool Instructional Coach. Parents can also refer their students to the Preschool Intervention and Referral Services Team. 


The Preschool Intervention & Referral Services Team (PIRT) may include the following: Early Childhood Administrators, Preschool Instructional Coach, Preschool Social Worker, Community Involvement Specialist, General Education Teacher, Nurse, Parent/Guardian, and any other district or preschool team member deemed appropriate based on the area of need. 


The Preschool Intervention Specialist (PIRS) facilitates the PIRT team. Another primary role of the PIRS is to coach and support teachers with the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social-Emotional Competence. You can learn more about the Pyramid Model here. In some cases, this process indicates the need for further assessment.  Here the PIRT specialist will facilitate the formal involvement of the Preschool Child Study Team.


Daniella DaCunha is the district’s Preschool Instructional Coach (PIC) and Preschool Intervention and Referral Specialist (PIRS).


Daniella DaCunha



Preschool Social Worker 

The role of the Preschool Social Worker is to collaborate with the classroom teachers, Preschool Instructional Coach, and other school district professionals to foster social and emotional learning in the Preschool Program. The Preschool Social Worker also works closely with families, determines individual needs for students, provides advocacy services and helps refer families to available community services.


Community Involvement Parent Specialist (CPIS)

The Community Parent Involvement Specialist (CPIS) promotes and supports family involvement in the preschool program. The CPIS strives to promote family engagement through workshops, classroom/family activities, parent contact and sharing community resources. The CPIS also chairs the Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC), where both the school community and local community are involved in assessing and addressing the needs of the students in the program. 

Daniella Jernick is the district’s Preschool Social Worker & Community Parent Involvement Specialist (CPIS).


Daniella Jernick



Preschool Nurse

Our preschool nurse conducts health screenings (vision, hearing, dental, height, and weight screenings),  provides health-related training to staff, parents, and children, as well as monitor and follow up on individual child health records and needs. The school nurse also assists parents in locating appropriate medical and health resources, as needed. 


Nicole Pacchini is the district’s Preschool Nurse. 



Preschool Child Study Team

The Preschool Child Study Team is composed of a School Psychologist, Learning Disabilities Consultant, and School Social Worker. Related Services are also provided based on individual needs as outlined in a student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) including but not limited to speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and behavioral consultation. Please visit the Special Services page for more information. 







The Nutley School District serves approximately 4,100 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The five elementary schools serve students K-6 and include Lincoln School, Radcliffe School, Spring Garden School, Washington School and Yantacaw School. John H. Walker Middle School serves students in grades 7-8 while Nutley High School addresses the needs of students in grades 9-12.