Small by Design

christ's church nursery school
rye, new york

Large in Learning

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Inside CCNS

... purposeful play
for lifelong learning

Christ’s Church Nursery School (CCNS) is Rye’s “Small by Design, Large in Learning” nursery school. Our students flourish through exploring, creating, engaging and experiencing the world around them in a purposeful play based curriculum that is small in structure as well as student/teacher ratio. The caliber of our teachers is a hallmark of our school - all of our Head Teachers have their Master's in Education.

Menu:

the daily 
program

MEET CCNS

as our signs say, “We’re the Episcopal Church, We Welcome You!” Our core values are reflected in a curriculum that supports the young learner. Those values include offering children a loving place where they feel nurtured and valued. Learning cannot take place unless a child feels safe and secure in their environment and with the adults who interact with them.

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

- CCNS was founded by the Vestry of Christ's Church on September 20, 1965

- In 1987, CCNS was the first school in Westchester County to be accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children as a model of excellence in programming for young children.

- CCNS maintains membership in the National Association of Episcopal Schools which makes us both an education community and a faith community

- The school began with 12 four year olds attending class Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays with one parent and one "qualified" teacher in charge. Since then the school has grown into a half-day, private, non-profit, Episcopal pre-school serving approximately 143 children ranging in age from 16 months through 5 years.

- Children attend from one to five days per week and each class has a professional staff consisting of a certified head teacher and assistant teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

School History

MEET CCNS

Kathy is a lifelong resident of Westchester. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Iona College and a MS in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle. She joined the staff of CCNS in 2003. Prior to CCNS she held full time teaching positions at Central School and 
Mamaroneck Ave Pre-k. It has always been her dream to be a teacher and work with children. Her outside interests are a good book, the beach and spending time with her four daughters.

Moran

Kathy


head teacher, 3's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Debbie has worked at CCNS for 21 years, 10 as an Assistant and 11 as a Head Teacher. She holds an MA in Early Childhood Education from Manhattanville College. Her son, currently in law school at Villanova, is a CCNS alum! Debbie enjoys family vacations in Vermont and on Cape Cod.

yarter

Debbie


head teacher, 3's and 4's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Florence Taylor joined the staff of CCNS in 2015. She holds a BS/BA in Psychology/American History from SUNY Binghamton. HerMS ED is from Brooklyn College with post-graduate studies at Bank Street School of Education. Her outside interests include face painting, yoga, gardening and mothering her three fantastic children.

Taylor

Florence


Head teacher, 4's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Deana is a lifelong Westchester resident who holds a BA from the Catholic University of America with a major in painting and a minor in Early Childhood Education. Deana also has a Masters in Elementary Education from lona College, is a certified children yoga/mindful instructor and is working on a 240 hour yoga/SUP certification. Deana joined CCNS in 2015. She has 3 children,3 dogs, loves traveling, the arts, photography, being outdoors, Disney World and Montauk!

Pizzutello

Deanna


head teacher, 5's class

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ABOUT

History

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Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

A life long resident of the Sound shore, Roseanne holds an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Roseanne came to CCNS in 2000 and has worked with all of the age groups at the school. Her outside interests include her eleven grandchildren who keep her very busy.

Lovallo

Roseanne


Assistant teacher, 4's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Regina was educated in Ireland and received additional training in early childhood development at Westchester Community College. She has been an assistant teacher at CCNS since 1999. Regina has been the Senior Head Teacher at Kids' S.P.A.C.E. for the past 15 years and the Arts & Crafts Director at the Rye Rec Lower Camp since 2008. Visits to her homeland of Ireland are always the highlight of her year.She also enjoys reading, gardening and music.

cullivan

Regina

Block Room Teacher
Assistant teacher, 3's & 4's

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Myrna holds a BA in Language Arts and French Literature from Damascus University in Syria. Myrna joined the faculty of CCNS in 2012 and has been the Assistant Teacher in the Orange Room since then. She is a long time resident of Westchester who enjoys traveling, walking and golfing with her husband and four boys. Myrna is very passionate about teaching and inspiring children to love to learn.

Kara

Myrna


Assistant teacher, 5's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Erin is in her first years at CCNS. She hold a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Fordham University. Before moving back to Rye Erin taught 3rd and Fourth grade at The Churchill School in NYC.

Cassin

Erin


Assistant teacher, 3's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Nancy was most recently the Assistant Director at JW Tumbles in Mamaroneck, where she was also the Class Leader for the Mommy and Me class. Before starting a family Nancy was a Branch Manager at Wachovia Bank.

Doherty

Nancy


Assistant teacher, 3's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Michelle has worked in nursery school settings for 16 years, most recently at the Larchmont Temple. She completed her BA in Early Childhood Education this year at Concordia College. It has been a dream of hers to be a teacher ever since she was a child. Michelle's list of "favorite things" are going to museums with her 10 year old son and creating art projects with him at home. She is looking forward to a great year in the Red Room!

Nickels

Michelle


Assistant Teacher, 2's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Leigh Becker has been an educator for all of her adult life. With her background in Early Childhood Education and Educational Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counseling, she is well versed in behavior management, conflict resolution and helping foster socialization skills. Before joining CCNS, she taught at Mount Tom Day School, where  she developed and taught several enrichment classes. She also teaches Ballroom Dance in the White Plains elementary schools and has two teenagers at home. 

Becker

Leigh


head Teacher, 2's class

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ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Debbie Yarter, Interim Director

Kim Wilson - Vestry Liaison, Interim Board Chair
Suzanne McNiff - Secretary
Natalie Blundell - Treasurer
Kendall Truman - Co-Chair, Parent's association
Kristan Watson - Co-Chair, Parent's Association
Holly Melville
Joanna Napolitano
Lizzie Bommer

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Welcome to Christ's Church Nursery School community in Rye. We are pleased to share this virtual tour of our early childhood program and invite you to come for a personal visit. CCNS is dedicated to providing your child with the highest quality early education experience. We offer morning and afternoon programs for ages two through Pre-K and partner with local organizations to provide extended day enrichment opportunities. 

On behalf of our teachers, our families, and children welcome! We look forward to seeing you soon.

The CCNS Family

Coming up at CCNS:

NOV 11 | NO SCHOOL FOR veterans day 
Nov 15 | NO SCHOOL 
nov 23-25 | thanksgiving break
Dec 20 | Last day of classes 
dec 21 | Christmas chapel
dec 20-30 | christmas break

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programs

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as active constructors of their own development 
& learning"

"At CCNS, We see children

We value children as individuals and strive to create classroom environments that are nurturing and sensitive to their changing needs that will inspire a love of learning and a strong self of self. Our "Small by Design/Large in Learning" school is truly a place that children feel safe

to explore, connect, create, learn & Grow

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The theoretical roots of our educational approach are derived from the work of Erikson, Piaget, Dewey and Vygotsky. Our developmental – constructivist approach applies knowledge of children’s stages of development to help each child become a competent, self-confident learner. Respectful attention is paid to issues of separation, and to the establishment of each child’s positive self-concept. We observe the children at play in order to discern areas of competence which allows us to set goals for individualized and differentiated instruction. 

We understand that children must learn how to regulate their behavior, how to negotiate taking a turn, and how to function as part of a larger social group. We encourage children’s efforts to be independent while simultaneously providing them with the structure they need to be successful.

We believe that learning is an active, constructive process and know that children learn through play. Therefore, our classrooms are arranged into interest centers. Sand/water, blocks, art, writing, table toys, dramatic play, science/discovery, music, games, library and meeting areas – plus our outdoor playground – offer exciting and meaningful learning experiences.

Research directly links play to children’s ability to self-regulate as well as master academic skills such as literacy and numeric reasoning. When we reference play we mean child-directed play with the active presence of a teacher versus simply “free play” (although there is a value and a place for that in our program as well!). We are quite cognizant of the “changing face of kindergarten” and have incorporated an additional literacy enrichment segment to the curriculum. We incorporate blocks into our curriculum beginning in our 2’s class. Blocks are the cornerstone for a child’s ability to think in abstraction. These tangible tools of mathematical reasoning open the door for children to build a solid mathematical foundation.

Educational Approach

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Our 2 year old classes operate from 9:00 - 11:30 in the mornings and from 12:15-2:45 in the afternoon.

Our 3 & 4 year old program is as follows:
  Morning Program: Monday-Friday 8:45-11:30
  Afternoon Program: Monday-Wed 12:30-3:15,
        Thursday-Friday 12:00-2:45

Our 5 year old program is five mornings per week from 8:45-11:30.


The Daily
Program

CCNS Offers

2 & 3 day programs for 2 year olds
4 or 5 day programs for 3 year olds
5 Day programs for 4 & 5 year olds

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Explore

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The Red Room is a place where children develop a love of learning and become confident in the context of separation and individuation. It provides a safe, stimulating and loving environment that allows children to develop a sense of self and autonomy. We work on independence, including self-help and self-care skills, in a gentle classroom setting. 

In the Red Room children are prepared with core foundational skills that they take with them as they progress through school. These foundational skills include core social, play and self-regulatory skills. For example, children learn to become confident in the context of separation from their primary caregiver(s), begin to play cooperatively and symbolically, learn how to resolve conflict in a prosocial manner, and form a sense of community and belongingness in their small group. 

The Red Room integrates routines that help children feel safe and secure as well as a sense of mastery over their environment. Some of the children will move onto the 3’s class fully toilet trained! Children are able to actively explore their classroom environment with a variety of materials including clay, paint, play dough, sand and water. 

inside The  Red Room

2's Class

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Explore

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The 3’s class, known as the Yellow Room, is a dynamic, nurturing, and child-centered classroom. It is organized with different learning centers: blocks, dramatic play, library, art materials, mathematics manipulatives, and sensory tables. The centers promote learning through play and this developmentally appropriate environment invites children to explore, examine, question, predict, test, and investigate. 

Children use their imaginations as they take on pretend roles and further develop a sense of symbolic thought and mental representation. The classroom teachers function in accordance with the dynamics of the classroom, adjusting to individual and group needs. A creative and dynamic curriculum is used which is revised as children’s needs and interests change. Frequently the children self-select a particular focus, allow for an emergent curriculum which illustrates our respect for each child’s capacity to think, plan, act, work and play.

inside The  Yellow Room

3's Class

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Explore

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The 4’s classes, known as the Blue and Green Rooms, are warm, nurturing, and aesthetically pleasing classroom environments that promote learning through exploration. We recognize that children’s play is the building block of learning, as it contains key questions and allows children a vehicle to explore the answers to their questions. The classrooms integrate a strong visual art component that provides a link to literature, literacy, math and science. 

Children take an active role in their learning and exploration of classroom materials and create their own literature which helps them to develop a deeper understandings of explored social and academic concepts. We believe in scaffolding children’s learning; that is, we come alongside them in order to support their learning and development. 

The Green and Blue Rooms are places where children learn to how to love to learn. Our classrooms provide a safe place for children to make friends and become socially aware. Each child is individually supported within a group environment. Children leave the Blue and Green Rooms ready for a successful experiences in Kindergarten or in a 5’s class.

inside The  Blue & Green ROoms

4's Class

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Explore

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The 5’s class, the Orange Room, is comprised of children who will turn 5 years-old in late summer, early fall or winter. This classroom is ideal for children who will benefit from an extra year to grow socially and emotionally before beginning kindergarten. Our child-centered classroom immerses students in creativity and learning. It teaches children a strong sense of responsibility and community and provides a nurturing environment that encourages children to express their point of view and personality through painting, sculpture, drama and play. 

Daily literacy activities and materials enable children to actively engage in storytelling and retelling and develop letter-sound awareness as well as reading/listening comprehension. Children are given opportunities to develop their expressive language throughout the day in their play, art, writing and game playing. Children are provided with rich experiences and time to develop a sense of natural curiosity and love of learning.

inside The  Orange ROom

5's Class

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Explore

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ENrichment
programs

CCNS Offers

with Mrs. Courtney Donohue



with Mrs. Jean  Young



with Miss Samantha Stialianese

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Literacy

Music

Movement

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Literacy

Courtney Donohue

Every week Mrs. Donohue transforms Christ’s Church’s Sunday School classroom into a goldmine of hands-on literacy and language experiences. Oral language is the foundation for acquiring later reading skills. The rhymes, poems, stories and chants that Mrs. Donohue shares with the children each week provide the bedrock for a happy transition into the formal acquisition of reading skills. She also creates an inviting physical environment based on the literature that she shares with the children. At this level children are engaging with language and while being exposed to the printed word the primary goal is for them to enjoy the sheer pleasure of “reading.” The confidence they build in a language based environment is more meaningful than learning skills out of isolation or focusing on “the alphabet.” 

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Music

Jean Young

Mrs. Young’s music program is an integral part of the CCNS curriculum. She helps our children access their “singing voice” and “speak music” by using their own voices as a musical instrument, as well as developing their musical capacity through exposure to different mediums and styles of music. Hearing patterns and making movements provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory and fosters self-regulated learning. 
Ms. Young brings instruments s to class: the guitar, ukelele, autoharp, recorder, dulcimer, kalimba (African thumb piano), harmonica, and pan pipes. She shows the children instruments that they can make at home: kitchen shakers, coffee can drums, tea tin bells and syrup jugs. The children have a wonderful time while they become young musicians!

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movement

Samantha Stiglianese

CCNS is very fortunate to have Miss Samantha Stiglianese working with our children in Creative Moment. While they are dancing and moving they are also learning about spatial and body awareness as well as working to coordinate gross-motor skills. Miss Samantha’s class also teaches the children how to listen and direct their bodies and minds accordingly in their responses. Our children love Miss Samantha and look forward to their dynamic time with her. 

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the BLock ROom

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Of Algebra, mathematics & science...

Building the Fountaions

Physical Development, 
Language Arts, Social Studies.... Patterns, Symmetry, Balance... 
Social & Emotional Skills

Communication,
confidence, & cooperation

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& Programs
at CCNS

Special Days

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Fall Fun Fair
Saturday at School
Grandparent's Day
Music & Munchies
June Bugs

We chose Christ Church Nursery School because we saw first hand the incredible experience our friends with older children had in the CCNS community. 3 boys graduated CCNS and years later entered college as wonderfully grounded and well-rounded young men. They attended different grade schools and high schools yet the boys and their parents remained best friends over a decade later. CCNS' intimate community fosters meaningful relationships between classmates, their families and a caring staff. We are thrilled our children are able to grow and explore in such a nurturing and dynamic environment. 

incredible
experience"

"We saw first hand the

Kristan Watson
Mom to Savanna & John

From the bright, open and engaging classrooms to the incredibly warm and nurturing staff, we've loved our experience at Christ Church Nursery School. After my son's first day, he ran to me and said, "MOM! They have a whole room, just for blocks!" I couldn't believe it when the whole class worked together together to build the Eiffel Tower, hard hats and all. 

and engaging
classrooms"

"We loved the bright,open

Sarah Falcone
Mom to Ben, Leila & Will

We immediately got a sense of a happy family at CCNS. We have made many very good friends there and our boys have flourished. The teachers are warm, the community strong and the learning fun. Our older son has moved on to kindergarten with confidence and our younger son enjoys the endless new activities and experiences

sense of a
happy family"

"We immediately got a

Clare Menzies
Mom to Christopher & Edward

We chose CCNS because of the quality instruction, close-knit parents group, and nurturing environment. The rooms are large and bright, the teachers are engaged and caring, and the children are comfortable in a smaller school setting. My daughter is excited to go to school each day and is thriving in the classroom.  

quality of instruction"

"We chose CCNS for the 

amanda doyle
Mom to niamah & Declan

We chose CCNS because of its small by design and progressive (developmental-interactionist) approach. It has instilled in our children a love of learning, a sense of community and fellowship, and cemented core traits in our children like confidence, empathy, caring and joy. All of the teachers at CCNS share in this love of learning and have a zeal for teaching. The sense of community of CCNS is amazing and our family has found lifelong friends at CCNS.

a love of learning"

"CCNS has instilled 

Sasha Blackwell
Mom to ben & Jolie

We love CCNS! The teachers are thoughtful patient and truly care about my kids. The small size makes everyone accessible and makes us feel like we're part of a family. We've made friendships here that will last a lifetime.

everyone
accessible

"The small size makes 

Nicole Stocks
Mom to Harry & Nick 

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We can't wait to 

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To Get in Touch 
Directly, please email admissions@ccnsrye.org 
or call 914.967.5758

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Process & Policies

Application

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are being accepted now. Tours are arranged on an individual basis. Please call the school office to schedule a visit to CCNS (914) 967-5758. 

Priority in registration is given to children currently enrolled in the school, their siblings, and children of Christ’s Church parishioners. After priority registration is completed in November, we review applications in the order in which they have arrived. Notifications are sent out in early December. We welcome new families every year, so do not hesitate to apply! 

There is no application fee required.

We hope you can come see our vibrant school and happy students in action. For more information or to schedule a tour please contact: courtney donohue admissions@ccnsrye.org (914) 967-5758

Upcoming Tour Dates

November 9, 10, 17 & 30
December 17

Friday tours are 
also available by appointment

Kids at play

join us this fall, apply here

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