November 2019 Newsletter


November 19th: Miss Chocolate Delivery
November 27th – 29th: Thanksgiving Recess / No School
December 7th:  7–10am, Last Maintenance for the Fall
December 23rd – January 1st: Holiday Recess / No School
January 2nd: School re-opens.

Pot Luck Supper – A Great Evening!

Our first social function of the year, the Pot Luck Supper, was a resounding success! The school was packed with 120 parents who had a great time catching up with friends and making new ones. A special thank-you goes out to all members who brought a wonderful selection of food.

Hospitality chairs Megan Sorrentino and Jaime Piser and their committee planned a first rate evening, transforming the school into an adult space with beautiful autumn touches. We applaud Jacklyn Cavallini, Katelyn Damanis and the amazing Auction/Raffle team, who did an extraordinary job of putting together a tremendous list of packages with a beautiful presentation. Our spirited auctioneer, Matthew Mohan, kept the bidding at a quick pace that added excitement and enthusiasm.

The auction packages and raffles netted over $10,000—a superb beginning toward our total fund raising goal! A very special thank you to Bridgette Mastaglio, President, for her untiring guidance and effort throughout the process, and to Courtney Inman, VP Fundraising, for her support. They helped make this event a spectacular success.  Thank you for supporting our school in our highly successful fall fundraising series!

Reminders and Updates

Registration 2019-2020
Registration for the next school year has been under way since mid-October. We have been giving many tours to families in the community, and only a few spots remain! Please reach out to us with any questions regarding enrollment for 2019-2020.

Maintenance Session
Our last maintenance session of the fall semester will be held on December 7th from 7-10 am. Each family is required to attend one of three maintenance sessions scheduled for the fall, or pay a fee of $150. If you are unable to attend a session but would like to fulfill the required maintenance with a special project, please talk to Francie.

Miss Chocolate
Miss Chocolate orders will be delivered on Tuesday, Nov. 19th. Emily Kasel organized the fundraiser, which raised over $4,000 for the school! Thank you for your participation.

Healthcare Update
According to NYS law, all children must have current immunizations in order to attend GCNS.

Garden City Nursery School is registered with the NY State Department of Education and Office of Children and Family Services. These designations set us apart from other nursery schools and display our commitment to providing a healthy and safe environment for our students to learn. These designations also allow the school to provide certain programming and opportunities such as a longer class day and enrichment programs.  In order to maintain these certifications and licensure, students at GCNS must adhere to the immunization requirements set forth by the CDC and New York State. 

New York State (NYS) Public Health Law Section 2164 and New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Title 10, Subpart 66-1 require every student entering or attending public, private or parochial school in New York State (NYS) to be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, varicella and meningococcal in accordance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. In the 2019-20 school year, meningococcal immunization is required for grades 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12.

Every child in day care, Head Start, nursery school or prekindergarten in NYS must be immune to diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and pneumococcal disease.

Public Health Law Section 2164 provides for medical exemptions to immunization.

All immunization records are being reviewed and you will be contacted if any immunizations are missing. In that case, a catch up schedule must be decided on between your family and your pediatrician, and then shared with the school.

Public Health Law Section 2164

NYS Immunization Schedule 2019-2020 school year

Catch up schedule NYS Immunizations

When In Doubt, Dress to Go Out! 

We always go outside for a least a few minutes (unless it rains). Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately with a coat, hat, gloves/mittens, and, on cold days, snow pants and water-resistant boots. When in doubt, bring all of the above with you! Please send in a pair of shoes to wear indoors when boots come off (extra socks, too). Label your child’s outerwear—there are lots of black snow pants in the same size! Remember to take your child to the bathroom before going outside.

For our two and three year olds, remember to update your child’s extra clothes to winter clothing.

The Traveling Wilderness Museum

“The Traveling Wilderness Museum,” also known as Tipi Ted, will come to our school in early December. The “museum” offers in school programs on Native American life.  Children help build a tipi, learn about native lifestyles, complete an age-appropriate take-home craft and explore additional hands-on learning centers to round out the experience.

Celebrations and Holidays at GCNS

We love to celebrate holidays at nursery school. Holidays are times of anticipation and preparation, festive feelings, warmth, and family togetherness. We like to honor the traditions of all the children and families in our school as an important part of the connection between home and school.

The main ingredient for successful holiday activities in nursery school is the same as for all good early childhood curricula. We plan engaging activities that are developmentally appropriate and have meaning to the children. We continue to support the children’s developmental need for familiar, predictable routines during this busy, often overstimulating season.

For two year olds, we introduce simple songs and books in class before the holidays occur. At home, parents can continue the discussion after a holiday, when children’s experiences with their families are fresh in their minds.

Our three year olds are ready for activities that reflect what their families do at home. They are sensory-oriented and need opportunities to smell, touch, and listen to focus their attention and help them make meaningful connections to family celebrations. Our threes love holiday related books and songs.

Four year olds are ready for conversation about holidays! Many will remember celebrations from last year and will want to help with decorations and preparations  at home. Four year olds are able to understand simple information about the meaning of holidays. Songs and books are also favorites.

Art activities for all our children are open-ended and focus on the process of creating more than the final product. We provide materials in the colors of the season so children can explore all media. Many of these activities involve small motor skills, math, science and social development (pincer grip, working together, sharing materials and waiting for a turn).

With so many holidays coming close together, combined with the preparations, decorations, music and shopping, children may become over excited. At school, our recognition of holiday activities remains part of our familiar routine. It is our experience that is best not to make the holiday the entire focus of the curriculum for an extended time.

Sing Along Time

Here is a song your children have been singing during this beautiful autumn season. A math and literacy (rhyming) experience while singing and playing!

Five Little Leaves
5 little leaves all bright and gay
Dancing about on a tree one day
Wind came blowing through the town,
One little leaf came tumbling down,
Dat, dat, dat, dat, dat…

4 little leaves…
3 little leaves. . ..
2 little leaves . . .
1 little leaf …

Garden City Nursery School Recipe

Traditional Cranberry Relish

Our three and four year old children will make Cranberry Relish to add to their family’s feast. Cranberry Relish is a Thanksgiving tradition at GCNS. The children all take part, helping prepare the cranberries, apples and oranges and grinding them into small pieces. The children are fascinated by the old fashioned grinder—a simple machine that they make work. It takes lots of muscle power to make relish! They are all excited to share the relish with their families on Thanksgiving.

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 large apple
1 large orange
1/2-1 cup sugar (to taste)

Wash cranberries. Cut apple and orange in small pieces, leaving skin and rind on.  In school, we use a manual grinder, but you can use a food processor. If using a manual grinder, add fruits a few at a time to grind. If using a food processor, add fruits to the bowl and process altogether. When completed, mix in sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

Can last for a few days to one week covered in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature on Thanksgiving.

Coppie’s Corner: The Urge to Nudge

All parents are victims of the urge to nudge. Most of us send our children to nursery school to have friends and play amicably with others. When, on some participation day, our child seems more engrossed in individual activities than with his peers, the urge to nudge toward social play overcomes us.

First remember that there is a progression in the development of play. The infant and toddler are accumulating a database. He is on a scientific voyage of discovery, investigating the properties of matter: gravity (things fall down), water (slips through fingers), and other such important concerns, as well as learning to manage his body and use his speech. Others on the same journey are good to have along, unless they get in the way. Play is parallel at two and three. As children become four, they join together in common projects in the block room or house area, or on the playground—learning to negotiate with each other for turf and to enjoy each other’s company.

Nevertheless, every child need to remove himself from the group from time to time in order to pursue some individual project or problem—alone, and guarded from interference by another child or adult, and guarded from the “urge to nudge.”  In play, the choice is the child’s.                                                             ~ Coppie

Expansion news from the President

You may have heard rumblings that our school is looking to expand. And… I’m happy to tell you that you have heard right! Given many circumstances, a couple of which include a growing enrollment waitlist and the Cathedral School closing its doors, the Board has decided to look into the possibility of expanding the existing building by one classroom.

In early July of last summer, we put together a project team that includes Amy McGlynn, Project Manager; Jessica Dowd-Wilde; Business Manager; Francie Cohn, Director; Sal Ferrara, Architect; and myself, Bridgette Mastaglio, Board President. Together, we began a multi-phase project to explore the possibility of expanding our little school. At this time the project is nearing the end of the first phase, which is a Feasibility Study. We are in the process of collecting all pertinent data required to make an informed decision on expansion. The feasibility phase has included the following steps:

  • Thorough investigation of previous discussions on expanding the school
  • Review of historic data (enrollment, land use, zoning, deed, etc.)
  • Research and selection of an architect (who has done all of the feasibility phase work pro-bono)
  • Create several iterations of drawings in order to expand by one classroom while leaving the playground as unaffected as possible and also taking into account future needs
  • Create possible new class scenarios and schedules
  • Conduct a Topographic Survey of our property to ensure accurate property lines
  • Invite recommended contractors to bid on the project
  • Meet with contractors to review the plans and walk the school and property
  • Look into the construction review/approval process with New York State Office of Early Learning and Office of Children and Family services
  • Update the Board of Directors regularly on project status

We currently await contractor bids/proposals. Our next step will be to collect and review proposals from the contractors. At that point a Cost/Benefit Analysis will be conducted to determine if it is feasible and prudent for the project to move forward given our resources.

Please rest assured that no decision will be made on the expansion of our school until all the details are presented to you, the General Membership, and a formal vote taken. The continued success of our school is of the utmost importance, and to that end the project will not move forward without first informing our membership and then taking an informed vote.

Feel free to reach out to myself, Amy or Jess with any questions you may have. We are more than happy to tell you all about the project!Also, I would like to recognize and give a special THANK YOU to Amy McGlynn for all of her hard work and dedication to this project. Amy, you have gone above and beyond and we are so very lucky to have you on the board and on this project team!!

Wishing you and yours all the best this Holiday Season!

Bridgette Mastaglio
GCNS President, 2019-2020

Holiday Events to Enjoy this Season!

Magic of Lights, Jones Beach State Park
Friday, November 22-Saturday, January 4
This holiday lights spectacular returns to the state park. Enjoy a two-mile drive amid seasonal music, lights, digital animations, hot cocoa, smores, and, of course, Santa. On Tuesdays, cars can drive through a second time for FREE.

Native American Feast, Glen Cove
Saturday, November 23-Sunday, November 24
Gather at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve for this celebration of Native American culture. Enjoy pottery making and fire building displays, traditional cooking. Treat yourself to Garvies’ famous popcorn soup.

Thanksgiving Weekend Children’s Theater
Friday, November 29-Sunday, December 1
On Thanksgiving Weekend, enjoy productions in Bellmore, Merrick, Syosset, Babylon, Northport and more.

Polar Express Trolley, Riverhead
Friday, November 29-Saturday, December 22
All aboard beginning Thanksgiving weekend. Join the train at the North or South Fork stops and enjoy Liam Neeson’s reading of The Polar Express. Afterward, enjoy cocoa and cookies with Santa. Children (and parents) are encouraged to attend in pajamas for a truly authentic holiday experience.

Festival of Trees, Garden City
Friday, November 29-Sunday, December 1
Enjoy a gingerbread village, a display of Christmas trees, and even FREE ice skating at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Winter Wonderland, Wantagh
Saturday, November 30
Irish step dancing in late November? Why not? Kids also can enjoy vendors, raffles, music, holiday gifts and decor, tree lighting, a visit from Santa, ad more as the Nassau community celebrates the arrival; of winter and the holiday season.


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