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

01

About

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 (mornings & afternoons) private, non-profit, Episcopal nursery school serving approximately 180 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.

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

School History

MEET CCNS

I am so excited to start my third year at CCNS Rye. It really does not feel like work when you have the pleasure to spend your days with amazing teachers and families. Having spent 22 years working in this field, I can tell you unequivocally, that it is the greatest pleasure to watch children grow into their very best selves and to be able to support them on their journey.

I am committed to the parent-teacher relationship so together we can create the best experiences for your children. I am committed to supporting my teachers to learn and grow and bring the best to their classrooms every day. I am committed to the children so that they can learn and grow in a stress-free, fun, challenging program that supports their age appropriate development. I will always push for Christ's Church to deliver the best nursery school experience possible and we will, of course, have some laughs and smiles along the way. Thank you for choosing us to be a part of this journey with you.



Hirsch

Ann


school Director

Meet the Teachers

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Courtney Donohue considers herself to be one of the luckiest members of the CCNS Faculty and Staff. She not only has the joyous job of teaching our three - five students throughout the CCNS Literacy Program, she also has the pleasure of working with all the new families as the Admissions Director.  
Courtney received a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She previously taught first grade at Horace Mann School and fifth grade at The Epiphany School in Manhattan. Courtney is entering her fifth year at CCNS.  She adores all her students and their families. Her free time is most happily spent with her husband, their three grown children and her little terrier. 

Donohue

Courtney


Admissions and Literacy Program

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Returning for her second year at CCNS, Darcey formerly worked in a local Nursery School as an Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper. Darcey loves working with young children and has really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the CCNS community. She looks forward to meeting and knowing all the new students for next year, and having all the children back in the fall. Darcey is a lifelong resident of Rye Neck and lives with her husband and daughter. Outside of school Darcey enjoys their place in the Catskills, the beach and spending time with friends and family.  


Pineda

Darcey


Administrative Assistant
CCNS Business office

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

 Andra is a lifelong resident of Westchester. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Science in Education from The College of New Rochelle. Andra is a certified teacher and has taught for 12 years. Before staying home to have a family and bring up her children, Andra previously taught at Midland School in Rye for 7 years. She is a mother to four wonderful children, two boys, and two girls. Andra enjoys spending family time and finds pleasure in the love of her family! 

o'brien

Andra


head teacher toddler program

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Leigh has been an educator for over 25 years. With her background in Early Childhood Education and Counseling, She is well versed in behavior management, conflict resolution and helping children foster socialization skills. Leigh has taught from preschool through the University level and spends her summers working with children of all ages at day camp. She thoroughly enjoys working with two-year-olds and works diligently to help all of the children in her classes celebrate their discoveries and achievements.


Becker

Leigh


head Teacher, 2's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

A native Californian, Jaime has lived in New York ever since college, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art from NYU. Her son attended CCNS, at which point, she knew she wanted to devote herself more to the amazing CCNS school community. Previously, she has taught in the after-school program at the RyeNeck School system in addition to having daycare experience with children as young as three months to five years old. She enjoys painting, fishing, cooking, reading to children and spending time with her two amazing kids and husband.


Tanaka-Boulia

Jaime


AssisTANT Teacher, 2's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Maria came to CCNS in 2019. Maria has been working in the early childhood field for 25 years and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked with children of many different ages from birth to four years of age. Her outside interests include teaching religious education and assisting with bible camp at her parish in Tuckahoe





Denti

Maria


Assistant Teacher, 2's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Michelle has been working within the nursery school setting since 2001 and at CCNS since 2016. She graduated from Concordia College with a BS in Early Childhood Education. It has been a dream of hers to be a teacher ever since she was a child. She loves to work in CCNS’s nurturing, loving environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence while they play. 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 another great year in the Green Room.


Nickels

Michelle


Assistant Teacher, 3's Class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Kathy is a lifelong resident of Westchester and is one of our longest tenured teachers, having joined CCNS in 2003. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from Iona College and an MS in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle. Prior to CCNS, Kathy taught at Central School and Mamaroneck Ave Pre-k. To spend any time around her is to know that her students truly benefit from 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 and grandchildren.

Moran

Kathy


head teacher, 3's class 

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Nancy is returning for her fourth year at CCNS, and truly enjoys working in our Threes Program. Her kind and patient demeanor are a true asset to our classroom and program. She has plenty of experience working with children after many years of managing mommy & me classes. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and traveling.





Doherty

Nancy


Assistant teacher, 3's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Returning for her fourth year at CCNS, Erin returns to continue to inspire and enjoy her little students. Erin lives in Rye with her husband and two daughters, who attend Osborn Elementary School. She holds a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Fordham University and previously taught third and fourth grade at The Churchill School in NYC. Outside of school, Erin enjoys taking her children on fun trips during their summer vacation.



Cassin

Erin


Head teacher, 3's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Regina was educated in Ireland and continued her education in early childhood development at Westchester Community College. She has been as assistant teacher at CCNS since 1999. She enjoys reading, gardening, music and travel. 

cullivan

Regina

Block Room Teacher

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Florence Taylor joined the staff of CCNS in 2015 and 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. She is a great resource for our families and our staff and brings unbridled energy to her classroom. Her outside interests include face painting, yoga, gardening and mothering her three fantastic children.



Taylor

Florence


Head teacher, 4's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Ro is a lifelong resident of the Sound shore, and came to CCNS in 1999! Roseanne holds an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. and has worked with every age group at our school. Her compassionate and kind nature has endeared her to our many new and long-time families! Her outside interests include her eleven grandchildren who keep her very busy.

Lovallo

Roseanne


Assistant teacher, 4's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

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

Pizzutello

Deana


head teacher, 4's & 5's class

Next Teacher

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

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Carlene returns to CCNS for her second year, having previously taught Kindergarten and preschool for the past 19 years in the Greenwich School District. Her teaching certification extends from Birth to Grade 6 with a cross-endorsement in Special Ed. She brings a passion for learning and inspires her students with her knowledge and experiences. 

Carlene believes believes her passion for learning keeps her teaching. Carlene’s passions include photojournalism and Scandinavian design, from her time living in Denmark. She has also spent time studying at the Academy Of Dramatic Art where she studied drama, mime, costume, and facial design. Carlene went on to pursue her graduate degree at Southern Connecticut State and resides in Greenwich CT.  


Burgess

Carlene


co-Head Teacher, 4's

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Nancy is a lifelong resident of Rye, NY who holds a BA from the College of New Rochelle in Psychology and Elementary Education. Nancy also received her Masters in Education from Manhattanville College and previously taught at Milton and Rye Country Day School. Nancy loves working with young children, guiding and nurturing them to learn and grow. She is married with five children, two dogs and spends her free time watching her children play sports, dance and they all enjoy vacationing at the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey. 

Lavelle

Nancy 


co-head teacher, 4's class

Next Teacher

ABOUT

History

staff

Board of Trustees

MEET CCNS

Ann Hirsch - Nursery School Director
Lizzie Bommer - Vestry Liaison, Board Chair
Lisa Pell - Secretary
Megan Belniak - Co-Chair, Parents' Association
Ahna King - Co-Chair, Parents' Association
Connie Dempster
Kendall Truman

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 16 months 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:

Sept 20 | Back to School Night
Sept 30-Oct 1 | No School - Rosh Hashanah
Oct 9 | no Schoool - Yom Kippur
Oct 14 | No School- Columbus Day
Oct 19 |  Touch A Truck Fall Fair
Oct 31 |  Halloween Parade









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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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raves

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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 morning programs run
Monday through Friday
 8:45 - 11:30.

Our afternoon programs run
Monday through Friday
 12:30 -3:15.

Our toddler program runs
mornings only
9:00 - 11:15


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
TOddler program M/w, T/TH & Fridays

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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 classes, known as the Yellow and Green Rooms, are dynamic, nurturing, and child-centered classrooms. They are 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 Handwriting Without Tears Program is also introduced in the the three's and continues through the fours.  Each year of this fun and exciting program is designed to be age appropriate and gently helps children develop their fine motor skills as well as their alphabetic awareness.  

inside The  Yellow and Green Rooms

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.

Blue, Green and purple 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 nina ossof



with gym on wheels

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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

our  music program is an integral part of the CCNS curriculum.
Our students sing songs, chants and rhymes while learning about different beats and rhythms.
Our students will continue developing their musical capacity through exposure to different mediums and styles of music, Hearing patterns and making movements, all of which provide exercise for the brain and help develop their recall memory and fosters self-regulated learning. 
Exposure to different instruments, such as rhythm sticks, tamborines,  guitar, ukelele, autoharp, and many others,  is an important feature for our student's active learning and Participation.
The children have a wonderful time as they embark on this musical journey!

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movement

CCNS is very fortunate to have gym on wheels working with our children in Creative Moment. our students are  learning about spatial and body awareness as well as working to coordinate gross-motor skills. the children are also learning how to listen and direct their bodies and minds accordingly in their responses. Our children love movement! 

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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

Back to Programs

& Programs
at CCNS

Special Days

03

raves

Fall Touch A Truck Fair
Halloween Parade
Grandparent's Day
Children's Holiday Concert
100 Days of School
Saturday At School
Tim and The Space Cadets
Music & Munchies
June Bugs Camp

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 and Peter

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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HEAR FROM YOU

We can't wait to 

Start the Application Process Using this Form

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

View Admissions
Policies Here

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We'll BE IN TOUCH SHORTLY!

THANK
YOU!

Process & Policies

Application

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year Will be Available in Late September of 2019.  Tours are arranged on an individual basis and will be  conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays during school hours by Appointment. Please call the school office to schedule a visit to CCNS (914) 967-5758. WE HOPE YOU CAN COME SEE OUR VIBRANT SCHOOL AND HAPPY STUDENTS IN ACTION.

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.


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Your Tour

personal tours
are available by 
appointment only.