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.
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.
- 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 (mornings & afternoons) private, non-profit, Episcopal nursery 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 passionate, educated head and assistant teachers.
Ann has 19 years of experience in preschool education and has served as Director of Landmark Preschool in Redding, CT for 17 years and recently opened another campus for the school in Bedford, NY, managing both programs simultaneously. In addition to her preschool teaching and leadership, Ann has been in the elementary school classroom teaching English and Math in the public school system. Ann has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Western Connecticut State College and holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Lehman College.
During her tenure as Director, Ann created and enhanced preschool curriculum, provided ongoing professional development for the staff, was involved in fundraising to enhance learning programs and other initiatives, and worked with Admissions to share the good work happening in classrooms.
Ann brings a commitment of providing the best learning environment for preschoolers. She strongly believes in the parent-teacher relationship and how together we can help all children to grow into their best selves.
Leigh 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.
Michelle has worked in a nursery school environment for 16 years, and we are very lucky she joined our team last year. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Concordia College. Michelle's list of "favorite things" are going to museums with her 10 year old son and creating art projects with him at home.
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.
Nancy is returning for her second year at CCNS in our Threes Program. She has plenty of experience working with children after many years managing a children's party and running their mommy & me classes.She enjoys spending free time with her family.
Erin is a native of Rye and in her second years at CCNS. She holds a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Fordham University. Before moving back to Rye, Erin taught Third and Fourth grade at The Churchill School in NYC. She enjoys taking her children on fun trips during their summer vacation.
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 1998. 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.
Florence Taylor joined the staff of CCNS in 2015. She holds a BS/BA in Psychology/American History from SUNY Binghamton. Her MS 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.
A lifelong resident of the Sound shore, Roseanne holds an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Roseanne came to CCNS in 1999 and has worked with all of the age groups at our school. Her outside interests include her eleven grandchildren who keep her very busy.
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. Deana joined CCNS in 2015. She has 3 children,3 dogs, loves traveling, the arts, photography, being outdoors, Disney World and Montauk!
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.
Ann Hirsch, Nursery School Director
Kim Wilson - Vestry Liaison, Board Chair
Lisa Pell - Secretary
Natalie Blundell - Treasurer
Kristan Watson - Co-Chair, Parent's Association
Eileen Alberi - Co-Chair, Parent's Association
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
Our morning programs run
Monday through Friday
8:45 - 11:30.
Our afternoon programs run
Monday through Friday
Our toddler program runs
on Fridays from
9:00 - 11:15
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.