Pre-k program to get its own school
Brian Ginty, formerly the principal of Verne Critz Elementary, is now the first principal of the South Haven Early Childhood Center. 


Pre-k program to get its own school


South Haven Early Childhood Center will house full-day and half-day programs

The pre-kindergarten program at South Country Central School District has a new home: South Haven Early Childhood Center on Montauk Highway in Brookhaven hamlet. Brian Ginty, who has taught and been an administrator in South Country, will lead the school. 

Ginty has served the district for 10 years, most recently as principal at Verne W. Critz Elementary School and formerly as an assistant principal and principal at Bellport Middle School. Prior to his tenure at South Country, Ginty also taught high school social studies at Bethpage High School and at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip. This will be his first venture in the younger age group, but he is excited for the opportunity.

“I’m very happy to be in the pre-k program,” he said.

The building is completed refurbished, with newly painted walls and improved facilities. Technology will play a part in the program as well, with new smart boards in each classroom. 

“The experience of technology for both the teacher and the learner is state of the art,” Ginty said.

South Haven will host full-day and half-day programs. For those who were unable to secure a full-day schedule, the district will, for the first time, offer an “extended day” program, which will give additional time for students in either the morning or afternoon half-day classes. About 140 students will be enrolled in all. 

Ginty is especially proud of the teachers who have been brought on board. Each class will have a teacher and a teaching assistant. The school will also have security personnel and an in-house school nurse. 

The new principal said one of his main goals will be to have positive connections with parents and their students, in order to foster a learning environment that is supportive and nurturing. Teachers will use a standard curriculum that combines academics with social and emotional skills. Ginty also wants the environment to be comfortable for parents, who are sending their children to school for the first time. His first priority: students.

“I will not have it be anything but students first,” Ginty said.

Though the program has been active already, this will be the first time it has its own space at South Haven. The school was previously a supplemental learning center, which was moved to Bellport High School. The program for the first time will also have a busing system, though parents will still be able to drop students off.

“We are simply thrilled with the opening of the South Haven Early Childhood Center,” said superintendent Dr. Joseph Giani, explaining that the new center will provide their youngest learners with a unique educational opportunity with a “safe, engaging and supportive learning environment.” 

Important dates

Sept. 3 @ 12:20 p.m. - Pre-K Orientation

Sept. 25 @ 7:45 p.m. - Meet the Teacher Night