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Yorktown Community Nursery School

247 Veterans Road
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

(914) 962-7868


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Yorktown Community Nursery School is a cooperative preschool bringing the heart of home to school for over 60 years with half day program for 2, 3, and 4 year olds

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our educational purpose is to provide each child with the opportunity for self-expression and development of his/her interests and abilities, as well as successful experience in group living. In order to achieve this purpose, we must have a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and loving teacher guidance which will encourage each individual to be himself; to feel he/she is understood and appreciated and has a valuable contribution to make to the group; and to develop new interests and techniques in handling materials and human relationships. We want our children to explore and experiment and live out their thoughts and problems in play. In this way, we believe that nursery school children will learn and grow.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught In addition, YCNS has monthly music and movement classes. The children take part in a variety of field trips within the local community. We have a nature center and composting program. We invite in local children book authors, dentist, fireman and policeman. We have a school wide Native American Day in the fall and Art Festival in the spring.

From the Director:

The teacher's role in the classroom is to observe and respect each child’s play and to build that into a curriculum. The teachers at YCNS plan their lessons to incorporate appropriate skills and content with the learning through play philosophy. The teacher will plan new opportunities and provide materials that allow children to expand their own ideas as well as have a sense of community. The focus is to allow each child to learn and grow at his/her own pace and develop socialization skills.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Central to our philosophy is the practice of developmental education. This learning process allows each child to develop at an individual pace enabling them to develop cognitively through age appropriate experiences. Teachers scaffold the learning to meet the individual needs of the children in class. If more support is needed parents are encourage to peruse referrals for additional services.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The purpose of YCNS is to provide the children with the opportunity to be with playmates their own age and to help them adjust to life outside the home; to afford them the opportunity to select and use materials and equipment in a variety of ways; to provide a program for the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of the preschool child; to aid parents in adopting more constructive attitudes toward children' s behavior through their actual participation in the operation of the school.

A Typical Day

arrival/wash hands
Cirle time
Free choice- art, sand table, water table, play dough, blocks, puzzles, manipulatives, dramatic play.
Clean -up
group story time
wash hands
individual story time
outside/gross motor

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our home-school connection is very strong; the parents participate in their child's class. In addition, teachers verbally communicate with parents on a daily basis at dismissal regarding their child's day. Written notes describing classroom activities are sent by the teacher weekly and monthly newsletters are sent outlining curriculum goals. Bi-yearly formal individual conferences review their child's developmental progress. Parents are also encourage to email or call the teacher whenever concerns arise. YCNS offers parenting workshops throughout the year.

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
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Our goal is for children to transition to school smoothly, therefore adjustment to nursery school is gradual. Each child will visit the classroom before school begins. Children will meet the teacher, assistant teacher and select their cubbies to gain a sense of the room. Classes begin on a staggered schedule in order for small groups of children to be introduced to school on successive days. The session is shortened for the first few days so that adjustment is easier. If separation becomes an ongoing issues we will work with the parents to form an individual plan that is best for them and their child.