Newsletter – August 2018

Welcome Letter from our President, Mary Sievers


Welcome to the start of another school year at the Garden City Nursery School. It has been a wonderful summer for my family and I hope you have been enjoying these long, beautiful days.  Summer seems to pass in the blink of an eye, the long days and relaxing family time, and too quickly we arrive at this transition into fall.  I hope this doesn’t stress anyone. Personally, I am ready and looking forward to settling back into a routine and seeing our children happily engage with classmates and teachers again. It is going to be a great year and I hope your children are getting excited and not too anxious.

In the spirit of offering advice to our new parents, I laugh about all I don’t know and am quickly reminded of all the help given to me over the years.  I am a mother of four and still amazed (and sometimes crazed) by my children’s development. They are constantly learning, changing, and navigating new challenges and I am very grateful for having experienced so much of it at GCNS.  Please know there are many resources, experienced teachers and educated parents here to help. I would be surprised if someone here hasn’t already dealt with a similar issue or challenge, so please reach out to Francie or your teachers with questions.

As I embark on my sixth and final year at GCNS, I can’t help but reflect on the many wonderful experiences I have been a part of at this school.  They are too numerous to list, but for me, the most impactful has been becoming part of such a positive community. We are far more than a school, we are a community of families, teachers and friends.  The community obviously starts in the classroom, but quickly grows to encompass social engagements, play dates, school trips and much more.

In the initial weeks of school, we start with a slow introduction to the classroom.  Parents are invited to stay with their children for the first few classes to help ease the transition. And, although we are all initially focused on the child and their introduction to a new environment, I would like to remind and encourage you to engage with your new school and get involved with your class. From my own experience, it is a wonderful way to make new friends and get to know other families.

Every new friend is a new adventure…

…the start of more memories

~Patrick Lindsay

I look forward to seeing everyone in September!
Sincerely, Mary Sievers

Board of Trustees 2018-2019


President:  Mary Sievers

V. P.  Fundraising:  Bridgette Mastaglio

V. P. Membership:  Courtney Inman

V.P.s Maintenance:  Michael Cassaro & Brian Escaravage

Treasurer (Billing):  Aracelis Pisano

Treasurer (Payables):  Jessica Fabilli

Treasurer (Receivable):  Jackie Colon

Communications:  Mairead Garry & Meredith Mormile

Secretary:  Karen Stellato


Thursday, Sept 6:  New Parent Orientation, 7:00pm

Friday, Sept 7:  Parent-Teacher Conferences (you will receive a letter in the mail with your time slot; conferences take place during the day)

Saturday, Sept 8:  First Maintenance Session, 7-9:30am

Wednesday, Sept 12:  Classes begin – short sessions for Nursery Classes

Thursday, Sept 13:  Classes begin – short sessions for Playgroups & Pre-K Classes

Friday, Sept. 14:  Short Sessions for Nursery & Pre-K Classes

Monday, Sept. 17:  Short Sessions for Playgroup & Pre-K Classes

TBA:  Back to School Nights

New Parent Orientation: Sept. 6 @ 7pm

This highly informative meeting is required for all new parents and former Playgroup parents who did not attend the September meeting last year.  It is also a good refresher for those who have been away from the school for a few years. Our director, Francie Cohn, will discuss your child’s first days in school and how you can make him or her more comfortable during the transition.  You will learn how to sign-up for your participation days and have an opportunity to meet our teaching staff.

Committee Assignments
Each family serves on one committee.  The fundraising committees for 2018-2019 are still being formed.  Please submit your preference form if you haven’t already done so.  Please email Bridgette Mastaglio to receive a form or with any questions at
First Maintenance Day,
Saturday, Sept. 8 @ 7-9:30am

The purpose of the session is to prepare the building and playgrounds for the opening of school:  weed and spruce up the grounds, power wash playground equipment, wagons, sand toys and ready our extensive playground for the children.  Please email Michael Cassaro or Brian Escaravage  if you plan to attend.  If you have a power washer, please bring it to this session.      
Parent-Teacher Conferences
Friday, Sept. 7th
A strong home/school connection is essential when building a good environment for young children.  We will begin the school year with a “Get to Know Your Child” conference. Only by sharing information can we build a bridge strong enough to support our children.You will receive a letter with an appointment time.  Conferences take place during the day. Interview form and Special Education Services form will be emailed to you in August.  Please fill them out and bring to your conference. Teachers have found that an early conference in which parents can share information about their child, their expectations for the school year and so forth, is especially useful.  During the spring semester, another conference date will be set when the teacher can report on the progress your child has made during the year.If your scheduled appointment is inconvenient, arrangements will be made for an alternate day and/or time or a phone conference.
Tuition Due for the 2018-2019 School Year

Playgroup:  $2,100
Nursery: $2,700
Pre-K: $4,200           

There are three options for payment: (1) payment in full (2) by semester – June and February or (3) monthly (payable in 6 installments the 1st Friday of each month from June-November).

For questions, please contact our Treasurer, Aracelis Pisano at or our Business manager, Jessica Dowd-Wilde at

Participation Days

During the first days of school, the class mother will introduce herself and discuss online scheduling for your participation days.  Participating parents are expected to arrive on time and stay about 10 minutes after dismissal. The participating parent brings the snack and drink for their Playgroup or Nursery class on “their child’s special day.”

The Pre-K classes (and participating parents) will bring their lunch starting on Monday, Sept 17.  Snack will be added to their schedule in February with the extended day.  The children take their time with lunch so the teachers have found there isn’t a need for snack (or enough time) until the day is extended.


All children in Playgroups and Nursery classes must bring a Ziploc bag, marked with their full name, containing an extra set of seasonal clothes to be left at school:  shirt, pants, underwear or diaper and socks. Please label all items.

Outdoor clothing for all children should be clearly marked with your last name.  For safety on the playground, girls may wear dresses on birthdays only. Please no flip-flops, crocs, slides or clogs.  These types of shoes are hazardous on the playground. Rubber soled shoes, sneakers with socks, are the safest footwear for children.

Mark Your Calendar

Gift Wrap, Cookie Dough & Frozen Pies Fundraiser:  Mid- September to mid-October
Fall Pot Luck Supper:  Late October
Holiday Wreath Sale:  Late October/early November
Cabin Fever:  Winter 2019
Children’s Event:  Spring 2019
Spring Cocktail Party:  May or early June 2019

The Spirit of Giving

Our fundraising efforts are two-fold:  to provide the needed revenue for the operation of our school and to give back to our community.  This past school year we took part in a Water Drive for people affected by Hurricane Harvey held by the Nassau County Association for the Education of Young Children, the local chapter affiliated with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  NAEYC is a nonprofit association dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. Our staff are all members of NAEYC.  During the Water Drive, families donated bottled water to be distributed to affected areas by Island Harvest which is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island. By participating in this project, our children experienced the importance of giving to others in an age appropriate and hands on way.

Our community has supported us through the years; it’s time for us to give back.  Please remember this focus when supporting our events.

Capital Improvements

This year we installed The Ann Amengual Playground over Spring Break.  The new climbing set on the east side was happily received by our families and we expect future generations of GCNS children to continue to enjoy the wonderful set.  Both playgrounds were also repaved.

This summer, we purchased new bookcases for our library books and rugs for our library corners.   A new sliding door was installed on the boat on Playground East, new chains were installed on all the swings, a new tire swing was purchased, and new ground cover was added to the West hill climber.

Capital improvements are funded by our very successful fundraising efforts.  Thank you all for helping us reinvest in our amazing building and grounds.         

Information Required For First Days of School

Immunization Record Required

By New York State Law, no child may be admitted to nursery school without an up-to-date immunization record, giving month, day and year of vaccinations and a physical examination. Dental exams are required by New York State. If you have any questions, please contact our Health Chairman, Amy McGlynn at

Emergency Contact Information

During the first days of school, you will be asked to complete an “Emergency Card” which will be kept on file in the school and given to each teacher.  Please be prepared with your pediatrician’s telephone number, parents’ business contacts, cell #s, etc, and the name of a relative, friend or neighbor with contact information for that person.

Our school participates with “One Call Now” to send out personalized messages to all parents and staff for school closings or emergencies.  You will be asked to provide the school with three numbers where someone can receive a message, text or email regarding the present status of our school.

Child Release Policy

It is the policy of the Garden City Nursery School to provide for the safe arrival and departure of all children.  You will sign a “Child Release” form to be kept on file in the office which designates who the child may be released to.  If your child is to be released to a different person, a note must be sent to Francie and the child’s teacher. We will be asking that person for photo identification before releasing your child.

Enrichment Offering for Pre K Children

Our nursery school offers several Enrichment classes for our four year olds throughout the year.  These classes offer our children a wonderful opportunity to explore new topics and include: Lunch & Literacy, Yoga, Explorations in Science, and Spanish & Movement. These classes run in 8 week sessions beginning in October.  Music Workshop is an 8 week after school class offered by our music teacher, Fran Rissland in the Fall.

More information regarding these classes can be found on our website. Sign-ups are limited and on a first come basis.

Welcome New Families!

Playgroups:  Brady, Curran, D’Brant, Hannan, Kong, Kunz, Macaluso, Nazon, Porto, Tittler, Vickery

Nursery:  Bennetter, Brachio, Clark, Dagan, Damanis, Eng, Fratarcangeli, Maier, Onofrio, Oppedisano, Pennisi, Piser, Ramos, Rodriguez, Strouman

Pre-K:  Cavallini, Fraser, Gallo, Kong, Porto, Shore, Theodore

Returning Families:  Butler, Collins, Colon, Frederick

Welcome to the World

Adeline Unterstein was born 7/12/18, weighing 7lbs 14 oz and 19 ½ inches long.  Big Sister Katherine (Nursery East) is excited to welcome her home!

First Days

It is normal to be nervous as you send your little one out into the world.  But remember, you are giving your child a gift by teaching independence. Starting school is an exciting time, but drop-off can be hectic and overwhelming.  Please don’t tell your child, “I’ll miss you” or “school is only for children.” Be calm and thoughtful in both conversation and your demeanor. There are short sessions for all children during the first week of school because of excitement and fatigue.

New Children 

Please plan to stay with your child until the teacher and director feel that he or she is ready for separation from you.  Even eager four year olds have qualms in a new situation. It is our experience that children make a more solid and lasting adjustment when parents serve as a bridge between home and school for the first few days.  To remind children that they will soon be staying alone is not necessary and only builds up anxiety which can slow their adjustment.
Continuing Children 

Parents of continuing children should be prepared to stay for a short time if the child experiences some anxiety about staying on his or her own.  Once the child is comfortable, please go into the classroom to fill out paperwork which your class parent will provide.

Helpful Reminders

Keep in mind that nursery school is about learning through play.  Many times, parents want to focus on getting children to read.  Doing puzzles, recognizing shapes, scribbling and tracing are all progressive steps on the ladder to reading and later school success.  If any of these important steps are missed, your child will certainly fall off the ladder. We don’t expect a baby to walk before he learns to sit up, and then to crawl.  Therefore, we shouldn’t push children to read before their eyes, ears, fine motor skills, and minds are ready. Learning through exploration, discovery and play will allow your child to blossom in an organic way.

During the school year, please remember a few courtesies:

  • Feed your child before coming to school
  • Don’t send your child to school if he’s not feeling well
  • Read your Parent Handbook (which will be out in September)
  • Notices and our Newsletters will contain important information for you and will be emailed to you by the class parent or GCNS.  Also check your mailbox at dismissal.
  • Finally, please trust us.  We have your child’s best interests in mind when we plan each day.
Welcome to a New School Year!

Staff Changes

Every year brings some changes.  Kathleen Macchia is stepping out of the classroom to focus on her family and her role as Participation Chair.

We welcome back assistant teacher Gail Feldman.  She will be joining Pre-K West. Gail was an assistant in Pre-K East for 13 years before taking a year off.

All other teacher teams remain unchanged.

Attendance Schedule for the First Week of School 


In order for our children to adjust easily, on Wednesday, Sept. 12th, Thursday, Sept. 13th and Friday, Sept. 14th each Nursery and Pre-K group will be divided.  Playgroups will have shortened hour long sessions.

Playgroup East:  Regular School Days, Hours & Teachers:

  • Monday & Thursday
  • Regular Hours: 9:00 – 10:45am
  • Teacher: Carolyn Hoera
  • Assistant Teachers:  Christine O’Neill and Maureen McCartin

Playgroup West:  Regular School Days, Hours & Teachers:

  • Monday & Thursday
  • Regular Hours: 9:00 – 10:45am
  • Teacher: Stacey Young
  • Assistant Teachers:  Carol Knoch and Pam Arlotta

For the first week of school, playgroup children will have shortened sessions lasting one hour.  During the following weeks, we will extend the time of each session as the children acclimate.  Please be prepared to stay with your child (or have a family member or caregiver stay) until your child is comfortable with the staff.  We will be guiding you through the process.

Nursery East:  Regular School Days, hours and teachers:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Regular Hours: 8:45 – 11:15am
  • Teacher: Megan Sorrentino
  • Assistant Teachers:  Emily Merle and Jen Gisolfi

For the first week of school, the children will attend during the below times for Wednesday, Sept 12th and Friday, Sept. 14th.  On Tuesday, Sept 18th the whole class will attend together from 8:45 – 10:45am.  The regular class schedule will begin Wednesday, Sept 19th.

GROUP ONE: 8:45 – 9:55am, Wed. Sept. 12 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Tommy Cardone, Chris Damanis, Alessa DaSilva, Anna Eng, Brendan Maier, Freddie McGlynn, Amelia Russo, Mason Strouman, Emma Terranova

GROUP TWO: 10:05 – 11:15am, Wed. Sept. 12 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Leela Brachio, Wesley DePeiza, Alyssa Fratarcangeli, Lucy Minardi, Max Onofrio, Frankie Oppedisano, Luca Rodriguez, Gwen Stellato, Kate Unterstein

Nursery West: Regular School Days, hours and teachers:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Regular Hours: 8:45 – 11:15am
  • Teacher: Stacey Young
  • Assistant Teachers:  Carol Knoch and Pam Arlotta

For the first week of school, the children will attend during the below times for Wednesday, Sept 12th and Friday, Sept. 14th.  On Tuesday, Sept 18th the whole class will attend together from 8:45 – 10:45am.  The regular class schedule begins on Wednesday, Sept 19th.

GROUP ONE: 8:45 – 9:55am, Wed. Sept. 12 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Giuliana Botti, Grace Cassaro, Owen Escaravage, Franklin Lee, Johanna Knauss, Kellan Mastaglio, Milan Pantano, Miranda Polo, Thomas Scarantino

GROUP TWO 10:05 – 11:15am, Wed. Sept. 12 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Kathleen Bennetter, Louis Bull, Oliver Clark, Bram Dagan, Lillianne Eberle, Avinash Kurapati, Charlie Pennisi, Chloe Piser, Mackenzie Ramos

Pre-K East:  Regular School Days, hours and teachers:

  • Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri.
  • Regular Hours: 11:45-2:45pm (Fall Semester)
  • 11:45 – 3:45pm (Spring Semester)
  • Teacher: Vanessa Licari
  • Assistant Teachers:  Emily Merle and Cris Kilberg
  • NOTE: Pre-K East will be using the West playground two days a week.

For the first week of school, the children will attend during the below times for Thursday, Sept 13th and Friday, Sept 14th.

On Monday, Sept 17th, the class will meet from 11:45 -2:15pm.

Students will bring lunch beginning on Monday, Sept 17th.  Regular class schedule begins on Tuesday, Sept 18th.

GROUP ONE: 11:45 – 1:10pm, Thurs. Sept. 13 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Raymond Au, John Fabilli, Elias Kong, Emma Matteini, Valerie Perry Isabel Porto, Logan Saccoccio, Kyleigh Slevin, Sophia Zimmerman

GROUP TWO: 1:15 – 2:45pm, Thurs. Sept. 13 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Carlos Fraser, Siena Gallo, Alex Herrera, David McDermott, Thomas Mirecki-Yazinsky, Gina Prisco, Gigi Shore, Nicholas Theodore, Isabella Torres

Pre-K West: Regular School Days, hours and teachers:

  • Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri.
  •  Regular Hours: 11:45-2:45pm (Fall Semester)
  • 11:45 – 3:45pm (Spring Semester)
  • Teacher: Kerri Macri
  • Assistant Teachers:  Carol Knoch and Gail Feldman
  • NOTE: Pre-K West will be using the East playground two days a week.

For the first week of school, the children will attend during the below times for Thursday, Sept 13th and Friday, Sept 14th.

On Monday, Sept 17th, the class will meet from 11:45 -2:15pm.

Students will bring lunch beginning on Monday, Sept 17th.  Regular class schedule begins on Tuesday, Sept 18th.

GROUP ONE: 11:45 – 1:10, Thurs. Sept. 13 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Mihai Brumariu,  Jonnie DePeiza, Pierce Hayes, Gemma Kelly, Riley Maciaszek, Kai Martin, Rylan Mormile, Aiden Pisano, Will Sievers, Lucy Sorrentino

GROUP TWO: 1:15 – 2:45pm, Thurs. Sept. 13 and Friday Sept. 14

  • Ivan Cavallini, Naiya Cruz, Augustine Ferrara, Garrett Hannan, Ellie Houston, Jane Inman, Hamza Khan, Juliet Macchia, Violet Udik, Constantine Zografos, Pantelis Zografos

Pre-K East & West:

  • Monday, Sept. 17: 11:45 – 2:15pm (whole class)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 18:  11:45 – 2:45pm (Regular Schedule begins)
  • Children Bring Lunch Starting Monday, Sept 17th

Lunch should be in a lunchbox labeled with your child’s name.  Please send simple, healthy food that your child enjoys. Three items such as a bagel/small sandwich/pasta or yogurt/string cheese, fruit or veggies, a few crackers are more than enough.  Have children practice opening the lunch box and containers. Pack utensils as needed. Remember, we are a nut free and candy free school – therefore, no peanut butter sandwiches or candy.

Looking forward to a Great Year!

We look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks.  Please do not hesitate to contact us by email should you have any questions before the start of school.

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Garden City Nursery School · 50 Cherry Valley Avenue · Garden City, NY 11530 · USA

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