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University Plaza Nursery School

110 Bleecker/ Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012

(212) 471-1700

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We provide long periods of open play with some structured activities, such as: cooking projects, writer's workshop, games, etc.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Low teacher-student ratio allows UPNS to tailor our curriculum to the developmental needs of each child.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

UPNS was founded on the philosophy that children and their families benefit from a program where parents, children and teachers work together to provide the highest quality early childhood education experience. We take time to build trusting relationships that respect each family's uniqueness. We believe that parent participation is essential and helps to create a close-knit community. Our teachers strive to create an emotionally secure environment where children can work and play together in a no-competitive, mutually respectful way. We value the importance of play and provide plenty of unhurried time where children can explore and create. Our program stresses hands-on experiences and small-group work where children 'learn by doing.' The low teacher-studio ratio allows us to tailor our curriculum to the developmental goals of each child. We nurture each child's desire to lean by providing child-centered activitites and varied materials including: block-building, painting and drawing, woodworking, nature, cooking, sand and water, dramatic and outdoor play. Music and movement classes are provided weekly by trained specialist. Reading and storytelling are also central to the classroom experience. MISSION STATEMENT We strive to provide a high quality school experience that is responsive to the changing needs of children, parents, teachers and community. We strive to maintain a safe, healthy and nurturing environment where the developmental needs of chilren are addressed. We strive to retain and attract quality professionals by providing an atmosphere that maintains good working conditions and values on-going professional development. We strive to serve the NYU community and give priority in admissions to NYC faculty and staff and UPNS families.

A Typical Day

Choice Time
Outdoor Play
Play time
game or sharing.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Conferences - Daily written and verbal communication with parents, home visits, parent workshops, narrative report of children, community meetings, curriculum nights. Regular phone and email conversations.Meet with parents about ongoing schools. Teachers write recommendations. Director visits, talks to and writes to other directors and admission directors about good matches for children.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parent workshops. Staggered schedule at the beginning of the year. Small groups. Home visits. Parent can stay in the classroom.