The Challenge

The Christina Seix Academy is an independent school in Trenton, NJ that serves children from PK 3 to eighth grade. The school was specifically designed to reach underserved young children living with acute economic needs and one adult caregiver. Every student that meets these criteria and is accepted into the school is provided a full scholarship for tuition, materials, transportation and meals. The school aims to provide each student with a strong education, critical core values and a safe environment so that they may be put on a track to attend some of the best high schools and 4-year colleges in the United States.


“I could go on and on about the many positive results I’ve seen with my students using the Kindergarten Tools of the Mind curriculum. My students are progressing into First Grade performing at a much higher level academically, socially, and emotionally, than I’ve seen with other programs. Because of the focus on self-regulation and the use of various mediators, such as the Dispute Bag, I see much less tattling and arguing.  The students are able to solve problems independently and regulate their own behavior.”

—Cari Welsh

Kindergarten Lead Teacher, Christina Seix Academy

The Process


Committee search to choose the right curriculum.


Selection of Tools of the Mind PreK and Kindergarten Curriculum & Professional Development.


Tools training and implementation for all PreK 3, PreK 4, and K staff.


Teaching and learning review and outcomes.

infographic-christinaseixThe Results

Current Literacy data (August 2015) on our incoming 1st Graders, who began Tools in 2012 as 3 year olds:

86% of these students already meet/exceed the beginning of the year 1st grade Literacy benchmark (as evidenced by the Reading Roots assessment administered by the school).

36% of these students exceeded the 1st grade level expectation, scoring at the beginning of 2nd Grade reading level.

We sought an evidence-based curriculum that could provide engaging experiences for our children and a robust professional develop program for our faculty.

Tools of the Mind met our interests on both fronts. As we embark on the fourth year of our partnership, the Tools of the Mind staff continue to exceed our expectations by showing a sincere interest in responding to the evolving needs of our instructional team, families and students.

Ultimately, the Tools of the Mind program has helped the Academy establish a high performing early grade academic program, as well a tight-knit, confident team of instructors who enjoy a thorough understanding of the developmental needs and interests of our students.

Case Study

Long Branch Public Schools

Long Branch, a community with many strengths and opportunities, is socio-economically and culturally diverse, with approximately half the preschool student population coming to school with a native language other than English.

Learn More