'Tis the Season...the school application season...and everyone is talking about schools -- at the playground, on anonymous online message boards, at the supermarket-- but are you talking to the right people and are you getting the right information?
- How do you know what the right school is? What do you really need to know about tours, play dates, thank you notes, lottery schools, testing, etc.?
- Financial aid for private schools – is it real?
We have done the research for you and have put together a group of parent experts from the schools that you want to attend, who are ready to share their experiences. Let’s Talk Schools is having a social mixer, to provide parents applying to schools an opportunity to connect with other parents in an informal setting to 'talk schools’ with each other.
Come mix and mingle at our School Information Speed Date Night with parents that will give you the real, unedited scoop on schools and answer your questions live, one-on- one. Our Parent Experts have knowledge of ongoing schools*, experience of successfully completing the application process and they don’t mind talking about schools all night long!
Come join our conversation.
*Schools represented include the following:-
- Fieldston Lower / Dalton / Trevor Day / Riverdale Country /
- Bank Street / Columbia Grammar & Prep / St Hilda’s and St Hughe’s / Spence
- NEST+m / PS 166 G&T / Hunter /PS 180 /Manhattan School for Children / Ascension
- New York French-American Charter School / Upper Westside Success Academy
- Weekday Preschool / Claremont (now MontClare) / Twin Parks Schools – Riverside, Central Park and Park West Montessori
* Final list of schools subject to change
We reached a milestone in October – Noey gets dropped off at school and awakes from her nap without any tears or sadness. Yeah!
This month the school held a curriculum night where they presented a PowerPoint presentation regarding the Montessori philosophy and photos of the children at “work.” After the general session, the parents were invited to their child’s classroom where the teachers discussed the daily routine and demonstrated some of the ongoing activities. Noey’s day begins with a open work cycle where the children are encouraged to engage in the various activities in the classroom. The work cycle includes puzzles, sorting, arts and crafts, washing dishes, bathing baby dolls and other hands-on activity. After the morning work cycle the teachers lead group time which typically includes storytelling, musical instruments or song. The children are not required to participate in group time and may continue working on their individuals activities. Each morning the children also take a walk around the neighborhood. They usually walk to one of the neighborhood parks to play outdoor or local fruit stand to purchase their morning and/or afternoon snack. Each day they learn about and taste a new fruit or vegetable. After the morning walk (or gym time) they come back to the classroom for lunch and their nap. I was advised that Noey gets tired during their nature walks and confessed that I often use the stroller when we’re out and about.
A few weeks ago the teachers organized a social where the parents are asked to bring in a favorite dish or one representing their culture. The social was held in the school’s gym. It was a good opportunity to meet the other parents and observe the children at play together.
Last month Noey began a twos program at a Montessori school on the UWS. She attends the school three days a week from 8:30 am (or whenever I drop her off) to 3:30 pm. There are ten children in Noey’s class and three teachers.
As a new student, the school required Noey to participate in phase-in period which I thought would be difficult as a working parent. Luckily, her teachers were extremely accommodating in accelerating the period based on Noey’s comfort level. Although Noey was only scheduled to attend school for one hour her first day of school (with a parent in the classroom), she adjusted so well that she was able to stay until lunch. I was able to leave after 45 minutes in the classroom and her father picked her up. The next day she stayed through lunch and the following day she stayed through her nap and the phase-in period was complete. Typically, the teachers increase the time by an hour each day and slowly move parents out of the classroom as children become comfortable with their teachers and environment.
The school does not have a kitchen so parents must pack a lunch each day. I packed Noey’s lunch the first week and quickly learned how difficult it is come up with a different lunch each day. Especially in a nut free school that does not permit peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches. I decided to enroll in the school’s Red Rabbit program which includes a daily hot lunch, fruit & veggie snack and drink. It’s an additional cost but well worth the money for the time saved trying to come up with a lunch each day. The school does provide Cheerios and milk for the children to snack on in the morning and a fresh fruit or vegetable as a snack. The children are not permitted to have sippy cups. As part of the schools focus on personal care, children are encouraged to pour their own beverage, use glass dishware and wash their dishes. This may seem extreme to some parents, but the children seem to enjoy it. Washing dishes is a play activity for them.