Enrollment Steady at Scarsdale Schools with Increases at Greenacres and Edgewood
- Category: Schools
- Published on 25 August 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
School district administrators, teachers and parents closely watch the number of students moving in and out of Scarsdale during the summer to gauge enrollment for the fall. Will classes split and will new teachers be required? We asked the new Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Drew Patrick what to expect in September, and here is what he shared:
What will be the total enrollment for the district in September – and how does that compare to the estimated figures from the end of the school year?
As of now, we believe the total enrollment will be 4,773. In June, my predecessor reported an expected enrollment of 4,802. My understanding is that variation- roughly 29 students- is well within an expected range of variation, given the unknown K enrollments at the time of the projection.
Have additional sections been added at any of the elementary schools? If so, which ones and which grades have split?
Yes, we added a grade 3 section at Greenacres, and a grade 1 section at Edgewood. (Note: Grade 5 at Greenacres already has four sections.)
Have any students been moved to other schools to accommodate enrollment at one school vs. another? How about faculty children?
It is not the district's practice to move students between elementary schools to adjust for enrollment. The BOE sets the attendance zones, and any family living within that zone attends that school. The only exceptions relate to families spending, say, 5 years in one school before moving. The district has allowed students to finish 5th grade in their original school when they move to another attendance zone within the district. Yes, we have had to move a couple of faculty children. Those are the only students we would move, based on the policy for attendance of non-resident faculty member children.
Are there any sections with the maximum number of students? If so, how many? Do you anticipate that these classrooms will receive more students during the year?
Yes, we are at max enrollment in grades K and 5 at Fox Meadow, grade 2 at Greenacres, and grade 2 at QR. We don't expect more students at this point, but families do come and go throughout the year.
We also spoke to Greenacres Principal Sharon Hill about total enrollment at the school, where a renovation or new construction is under consideration. She reports that the total number of classes has grown from 19 to 20. Third grade has split from three to four sections and Emily Cohen from Fox Meadow will be teaching one of the third grade classes at Greenacres. In order to accommodate the bump in students, the Spanish room will become the fourth third grade classroom. However, the Technology room, the Library, and LRC and ENL will remain intact.
The 2016 Back to School Guide
- Category: Parenting
- Published on 17 August 2016
- Written by Stacie M. Waldman
The heat wave has broken – and summer is quickly coming to a close. Some pre-season sports have already begun with the official opening of the Scarsdale Schools on September 6. The race is on to buy a backpack, school supplies, fall clothes and sign up for classes, enrichment, tutoring, college counseling, religious school, afterschool sports and fun. If your child has a fall birthday, you may also be planning a party. Below are just a few of the wonderful places and programs with activities for kids and families within driving distance of Scarsdale.
Breakaway Prep is a Westchester-based company that helps high school students with college admissions test preparation (ACT, SAT, PSAT, etc.) and the college application process. We understand that every student, family, and college dream is different. Our approach is to work closely with students to help them explore their testing and college options, stay organized, develop a balanced college list, write powerful essays, and understand each step of the application process. We aim to take some of the mystery and fear out of the process, keeping your family prepared, confident, and excited about applying to college. Please visit our website or call (914) 715-3997 for more information
MathZone Westchester is an after-school math enrichment program started last year by Lian Wang, Ph.D. and Jennifer Liang, Ph.D. We provide an advanced and stimulating program for students who are looking for greater challenges than that offered at school, helping them to reach their full potential in math and related fields. Last year we offered 4th-8th grade classes as well as the math competition class MathCounts, and received encouraging feedback from both students and parents. Starting this Fall we will add two high school classes: 9th grade Geometry and 10th grade Algebra 2, to help the students navigate the difficult transition from middle school to high school math. If you are interested in our program, please visit our website, email us at email@example.com, or call 914-874-3591.
Backyard Sports Prep Basketball is now accepting registrations for all 3rd-9th graders to participate in our Fall Basketball League. The program takes place at Purchase College on Sundays. For more information click here or call Danny Bernstein at 914-304-4052.
Education at the JCC of Mid-Westchester: Feeding the Minds and Bodies. Pre-school learners all benefit from the full service nursery schools, fitness and sports facilities and professional teaching staff throughout the JCC .... A year round indoor pool, fitness programs, arts programs and Special needs programs. All under one roof! Early drop off late pick up available. The JCC's Summer Art Center (SAC), a one of a kind program that provides a non-competitive, nurturing and flexible environment for all children with a passion for the Arts, continues throughout the year! Classes are all taught by professional artists and teachers and offers high quality instruction in Fine Arts, Dance, Theatre and Music. The Dance School provides extensive programs for pre-schoolers, teens, and adults. The Academic Center offers everything you need to prepare your kids for college entrance. One of the best things about having more than 250 programs for the whole family is that we can offer discounts to our members and patrons. For example, Nursery school families get significant discounts on the fitness packages, camps, and even pre-registration priority for programs that sell out like gymnastics. Contact the JCC for more information or to schedule a tour: 914-472-3300, www.jccmw.org.
Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El Religious and Hebrew School welcomes you to join our exciting, innovative, and joyous community. Our program is designed for Pre-K to Grade 12 and each grade has its unique educational focus (i.e. Bible, Life Cycle, Jewish Ethics and Social Action) and will enjoy exploring that theme through dramatic arts. visual art, music and more. Through these themes, we strive to instill a love of Jewish learning and Hebrew and sense of Jewish self among our students and families. Using 21st century technology to teach the relevance of the texts and traditions of Judaism, our programs are engaging, meaningful, and fun for learners of all ages. Our school strongly reflects Scarsdale Synagogue's warm and welcoming approach to creating a Covenant Community of Shared Lives and Real Relationships. In addition, we offer an inclusive program, serving students in 4th-6th Grades who benefit from small class sizes and specialized resources, and accommodating a range of learning and social challenges such as language-based learning disabilities and ADHD. We invite members of the wider Westchester Jewish community, of all ages, to stop by and learn more about our commitment to lifelong Jewish learning. For more information, please contact Rabbi Ilyse Glickman, Director of Congregational Learning, at 914.725.5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website here.
Sportime Tennis at Harbor Island and Lake Isle: There are many reasons to choose SPORTIME clubs to provide your child's pathway to tennis, which is often called the "sport for a lifetime", or the "sport of opportunity". Our NEW tennis pathways are designed to get kids in the game as early as preschool age, and to progress them through high school, college and beyond. Whether your child is looking for recreational or competitive play, SPORTIME has a fun and effective pathway for him/her.
SPORTIME offers the best tennis programs in Westchester. From TennisWhizz for preschoolers to John McEnroe Tennis Academy for the highest rank junior players. Classes run every day after school and on the weekend. We also offer classes for Adults of all levels, from beginners (2.5 USTA rating) to advanced players (5.0). Adult classes run during the day while kids are in school, at nights, and on the weekends.
SPORTIME offers 16 beautiful indoor/outdoor soft surface tennis courts between our two clubs in lower Westchester. One low-priced membership provides access and member benefits to both facilities at Harbor Island and Lake Isle. Get started today! For more info for Harbor Island, call 914-777-5050 or email email@example.com and for Lake Isle, call 914-777-5151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steffi Nossen School of Dance (White Plains) offers classes for dancers of all abilities in a nurturing environment. Though the discipline and joy of dance, students develop grace and physical fitness, build confidence and poise, and experience the creative process. Our new Dancing Tots (from 12 months) Boys Movement and Musical Theater classes join a full roster of Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, Composition, and Moving Wheels and Heels – an adaptive class for dancers with special needs at its main site in White Plains and in Chappaqua. Visit our website for more information, www.steffinossen.org or contact us at email@example.com or (914) 328-1900.
Westchester Skating Academy is a year-round, twin-rink ice skating Learn to Skate facility offering recreational, hockey, and figure skating for all ages and abilities. WSA programs include public skating, learn-to-skate classes, group events, birthday parties, summer/holiday camps and clinics, adult and youth hockey leagues and instruction, and much more. Visit us online for more information at www.skatewsa.com. Or contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (914) 347-8232 for more information.
For the Younger Set:
Congregation Kol Ami: The Early Childhood Program at Kol Ami is dedicated to providing a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate curriculum teaching and modeling Jewish values. We believe that children learn best through experiential play and provide for these rich experiences within warm, accepting, and nurturing surroundings. All of our Head Teachers have Masters Degrees in Early Childhood or N-6 or related educational fields. We offer a wide range of programs for children (from 1 to 5 years old) and their families. Our A Step Ahead! program for Fall 5 year olds provides full day Pre-K learning. For more information, contact: Nan Blank, ECP Director at email@example.com or call her 914-949-4717 x107.
KIDS Base/Little School: Open enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year begins on October 1st at the Little School. We offer Half-Day Two's program in the morning and in the afternoon; Half-Day and Full Day Three's and Full Day Four's as well as early drop-off at 7:00am and Extended Day Child Care until 6:30pm. We are excited to introduce our new Executive Director, Janice Barnes. Janice comes to us with a wealth of experience in the early childhood field. She has been teaching and supervising in Port Chester, Edgemont, and White Plains for over 25 years. She is also an adjunct professor in the early childhood department at Nyack College.
Our facility includes 8 large classrooms and a newly renovated enclosed playground. We focus on cognitive, linguistic and social-emotional competencies in our efforts to educate the whole child. We strive to make each child's first school experience a positive one that inspires a lifelong love of learning. We are proud to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) meeting rigorous standards for health, safety, teacher qualifications, curriculum and ongoing training. We work closely with Scarsdale Schools to ensure that our children are well prepared for kindergarten and future years.
The Little School is located at 307 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale in front of the Pool Complex. For further information or to request an application, please call 914-472-5409, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.kbls.org.
Mazel Tots® at Scarsdale Synagogue provides a warm and stimulating environment, which encourages children's curiosity and helps them to grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Our warm and nurturing staff will guide the children through a curriculum filled with a variety of child-centered and developmentally appropriate activities that are safe, fun and friendly. The children's spiritual growth will be enriched by the study of Jewish holidays, traditions and family values. We also offer a group of special activities such as sports and games, music, creative movement, sign language, nature, yoga, karate, science, art and more! We have two beautiful new playgrounds and gardens, plus a newly equipped indoor play space featuring ride-on toys, gym equipment, giant blocks, stepping stones and the like! Our Early Childhood Program serves children from 18 months until Kindergarten-bound! We also have afternoon Enrichment Programs and a Parenting Program! For more information please contact Jody Glassman, Early Childhood Program Director at 914-723-3001 or email@example.com. You can also visit our website. Scarsdale Synagogue is located at 2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583. 914.725.5175.
The Scarsdale Congregational Church Nursery School (SCCNS) has long tradition of nurturing the hearts and minds of children in the Scarsdale community for more than 50 years. We are a play-based, non-sectarian preschool whose goal is to promote social development, instill a desire to learn, encourage verbal expression and improve coordination and motor skills. Our safe, diverse and nurturing classrooms are located in a bright, ground-floor building on the grounds of the Scarsdale Congregational Church, within walking distance of Scarsdale Village. As we foster young children's growth, we are committed to building a strong sense of community between parents, teachers and children. We have a few spots open for the 2016-2017 school year. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year will begin on October 19th. Open Houses will be held Wednesday, September 28th and Thursday, October 13th from 9:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m. For more information, visit us at www.sccnurseryschool.com. Please contact Melissa DiCostanzo, School Director, 1 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583 by phone at 914-723-2440 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Early Childhood Center of Westchester Reform Temple is dedicated to guiding, supporting and enriching young children's lives spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. Our warm staff of experienced educators, along with Temple clergy and specialists, work in partnership to implement our academic program. Using developmentally appropriate best practices, and lots of love and support, we prepare our students for the demands of kindergarten readiness. Our pre-school curriculum reflects continuity of content and skills, subsequent growth at each age level, and is responsive to children's interests and individuality in the creation of emergent curriculum. Our LEED certified facility offers beautiful indoor classrooms, play spaces and two age-appropriate outdoor playgrounds, filled with light and surrounded by nature. We encourage children's pride, knowledge and joy of Judaism, as we join together with parents to provide an environment where children love to learn and enjoy celebrating Jewish family life. Classes are offered for ages toddler to four-year-olds, and we offer half day and full day options for older children. For information, and to schedule a visit to our pre-school, please contact ECC Director Sue.email@example.com or call us at 914 723-5493.
Starlight Starbright Music – right here in Scarsdale - offers the Music Together® program. Music Together is an international early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age 7—and the grownups who love them®. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement. At Starlight Starbright Music, we also offer Uke U., a parent-child beginner ukulele program for children 3 to 6 years of age written by Jackie Freimor in 2013. For more information and to register for class, please visit us at www.slsbmusic.com or call (914) 924-0995. 78 Garth Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583.
Also keep in mind:
Kids Activities/Birthday Parties
150 Clearbrook Road
590 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale
Random Farms Kids' Theater
77 Executive Blvd, Elmsford
Route 9A, Elmsford
1 Bridge Street, Irvington
Meal Delivery Services
28 Garth Road, Scarsdale
Off to College
- Category: People
- Published on 25 August 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Scarsdale parents and kids are busy packing up cars and boarding planes for the much-anticipated move to college this week. After years of test preparation, searching for the right college, applying and finally getting in, the anticipation is over, and the journey has begun.
Here are a few Scarsdale students and parents who have made the trip. Did you take your son or daughter to college? Share your photos with us by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction Accident on Wynmor Road
- Category: Shout it Out
- Published on 30 August 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
The arm of a cement crane, working at a building site a 30 Wynmor Road fell on the roof of the neighboring home at 32 Wynmor Road at 4:40 pm on Monday August 29. J&J Concrete was pumping concrete for the foundation of a new home at 30 Wynmor. According to the police report, the operator said that "while the arm was still fully extended, he inadvertently lifted the stabilizers that support the truck. As a result of the weight, the truck tipped to the right and it's arm came to a rest on the roof of 32 Wynmor. Another worker on the scene used an excavator to counterbalance the weight of the truck to prevent it from tipping over. Mr. Carducci chained the front bucket of the excavator to the side of the pumper, helping to secure it in place."
The neighbors at 32 Wynmor were home at the time of the accident. A 2 year-old was asleep in a bedroom that was closest to the impact, but neither the child nor his grandmother were injured. They were taken out of the house. Since there was a language barrier, a neighbor helped translate the discussion between the residents and the police.
When the Fire Department arrived, they found that the pumper was near a power line and Con Edison was called to shut it down. Captain Gleason from the Fire Department and Danny Diaz from the Building Department checked the house for structural damage and other hazards but found no major problems.
Two heavy-duty two trucks were called to lift the pumper arm off the roof of the house and level the pumper truck.
The new house is being built by Andrew Silverstein of Castle Walk Development. He was not on the scene at the time of the accident.
Photos courtesy of Jon Thaler. See more here:
PaulieStrong Foundation Hosts Outing to Raise Funds for Pediatric Cancer Research
- Category: Good Work
- Published on 30 August 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Rudy's Food, Sports and Entertainment hosted the Drive for a Cure, a golf outing and fundraising dinner in support of The PaulieStrong Foundation. The inaugural event took place on August 29, 2016. Attendees participated in 18 holes of golf at The Scarsdale Golf Club followed by dinner and drinks, as well as a silent auction at Rudy's Food, Sports & Entertainment on Central Avenue, in Scarsdale.
The PaulieStrong Foundation was created by Paul Jimenez and Ioana Kreatsoulas Jimenez of Scarsdale, NY, in memory of their brave 10-year-old son Paul Ulysses Jimenez Jr., who suddenly lost his battle to Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, in January of 2016.
"The PaulieStrong Foundation was created in memory of our son Paul who fought bravely in his battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma. He was such a fun loving and amazing child who was loved by so many. He was our world and we miss him so very much. Until you are pulled into the world of childhood cancer, you just do not realize how little funding goes to support research into a cure. When we found out that childhood cancers get less than 4% of all cancer research funding, we knew our mission," said Paul Jimenez, co-founder and President of The PaulieStrong Foundation. "The goal of The PaulieStrong Foundation, through our partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is to raise awareness and funding for researching a cure for pediatric cancers. Today's children are the world's future and they deserve more than 4%."
"To date, the PaulieStrong Foundation has raised over $150,000 to benefit pediatric sarcoma research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Pediatric cancers are vastly underfunded—only 4% of government funding for cancer research supports pediatrics," said Kelli Klasko of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "Therefore, philanthropic support from the PaulieStrong Foundation is crucial in advancing breakthrough research and clinical trails for pediatric cancers. We are deeply grateful to the foundation for their unwavering partnership to help us find a cure for all children with cancer."
"Drive for a Cure" is aimed at raising awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research. Funds raised from the event went directly to the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City to help fund research into pediatric sarcomas.
Sponsors for the event included SHIFT Digital (Gold Sponsor), CISCO, Edmunds.com, Octagon, EMC2, JHA Marketing, Ann and Andy Child Care, Ray Catena BMW & MINI Of Westchester, Brooklyn Brewery, MillerCoors, Turbonomic, Razor Technology, Ameritrade, Corona Extra, Budweiser, D. Bertoline & Sons, Bud Light, Merrill Lynch, Greenburgh Police Association, The Lofaro Family, High Ride Bagel Factory, fabco Vending inc., Dunkin Donuts, Saigonese, Bronx Shore Kiwanis Club, and Westchester Design Group Inc.
About the PaulieStrong Foundation
The PaulieStrong Foundation is a recognized 501(c)(3) childhood cancer foundation created in 2016 and inspired by a brave 10 year old boy named Paul Ulysses Jimenez and his courageous battle with a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. After learning first-hand the need for research funding, Paul's family created the Foundation with three main objectives: to fund childhood cancer research, raise awareness, and advocate for change. For more information, visit www.pauliestrong.org. To donate to The PaulieStrong Foundation, click here. Photo credit: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Pauliestrong Foundation)
Revaluation Forges Unlikely Alliances
- Category: Village Voices
- Published on 30 August 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
I must confess that I missed the last 15 minutes of the long evening meeting with J.F. Ryan at Village Hall on August 17th. By 11:40 pm I thought I had heard about all I needed to know. But I was wrong. I later found out that as the meeting drew to a close, one speaker called for Village Assessor Nanette Albanese to be replaced. In a rambling speech that I watched on my computer Albanese was charged with having "a Machiavellian approach to taxes," losing "her objectivity," and destroying "$1 billion in wealth in this community over the next three years." The speaker claimed that "The revals have destroyed the market" and "fractionalized the community," and called for Albanese's resignation and the immediate search for a new assessor.
Those comments brought a loud round of applause from the audience.
But I wondered if the people in the audience knew the full backstory of the accelerated timing of the second revaluation and the role of the group they were cheering in having it done?
At the time of the first revaluation in 2014, several members of the Heathcote Association raised serious concerns about Tyler's methodology and argued that the revaluation had shifted too much of the tax burden onto owners of large homes. Before the 2014 revaluation, many of these homes had not been reassessed for decades and there were residents with expansive homes on more than two acres paying lower taxes than owners of homes on half-acre plots. Some enjoyed advantageous tax rates for years at the expense of newer families moving into Scarsdale. Tyler Technologies was retained to conduct the first revaluation and to inspect each home in the Village. They used a comparable sales approach to identify similar homes that were sold and reassess each existing parcel.
At a meeting in May 2014, after Tyler had released the new assessments, members of the Heathcote Association were angry. Here are excerpts from comments in 2014 that sound very similar to complaints about the 2016 revaluation.
David Bunzel said that the 40 homes in the association have been "hardest hit" by the revaluation and that the revaluation was "promised to be fair and transparent" but "it has been just the opposite." He inferred that these homes had been singled out and wanted to know "what instructions were given by the assessor's office to Tyler in terms of targeting and valuing older homes or homes on larger acreage," stating that "homes on larger lots appear to have been targeted for assessment increases well above village-wide averages." He also said that "outliers" were used as comparables ...mostly teardowns."
Ron Parlato said there was "confusion and misinformation" and that the revaluation was done without "transparency and accountability." He proposed a one-year delay.
"What were the checks and balances?" Steve Rakoff asked? He claimed that overstatements on the data cards were made to coerce inspections from residents who had not permitted the inspectors inside. He said "24 valuations went up and 3 went down." He said, "On Morris Lane there were 30-50% increases. There may have been a mistake and land may have been overvalued. These are irregularities from a model that is not carefully thought out." He then questioned the assessor's role and said, "Was there over-involvement?"
At a subsequent meeting on November 19, 2015, this same group brought large spreadsheets to demonstrate how homeowners on smaller parcels were receiving "discounts", while those on lots over an acre were subsidizing them.
They questioned Tyler's process and said they were "Concerned about how the math model was derived. They claimed, "There was an imbalance in their model." Turning to J.F. Ryan who Rakoff supported to do the second revaluation, he said, "The hope of everyone here is to get a fair shake and get it rebalanced so there is equitable assessment throughout the town."
They presented data of recent sales by lot size, and attempted to show that small lots were severely under assessed. About Edgewood they said, "If you have 3 kids in school you are costing the district $70,000 a year and we're collecting $20,000 in taxes so it's a bargain to live here." They argued that Greenacres was discounted 19%, Fox Meadow 21% and small homes in Heathcote homes were selling at 36% more than their assessed values.
About Tyler Technologies they said, "The model was flawed. There are tremendous inconsistencies with the first reval." They hoped Ryan would "get this straight now.," saying, "Real estate needs to be assessed in an equitable manner."
Rakoff objected to the Village's plan to follow NYS recommendations to do frequent revaluation to keep the tax roll at market value. He asked for a "static" assessor's office and said he objected to periodic revaluations as they upset the market.
These complaints, along with shifts in the real estate market, caused the trustees to consider doing a second revaluation in two years rather than four. Market forces had caused a regional slowdown in the sale of high-end homes, while buyers competed to get lower priced homes in the $1 million range. At the time, realtors and some homeowners argued that the reval was the cause of the slowdown, but sales data later showed that this was a regional phenomenon with luxury homes sitting on the market in Westchester and Connecticut. As the Village had received so much criticism about Tyler, they selected J.F. Ryan to do the job. He had overseen the first revaluation and said he would use a direct market model to derive valuations.
So, two years later, at the meeting on August 17, 2016, I found it ironic that many of the applauding homeowners were those that the Heathcote Association claimed were previously getting "a discount."
To me it looks like many of the high-end homeowners got the reductions they wanted, causing hundreds of others to foot the bill. So why was Rakoff now posing as the leader of the aggrieved small homeowners and asking for the assessor's head? And why were the folks who were now footing his tax bill giving him a hand?
Frequent revaluations appear to be on the horizon for Scarsdale. And no doubt, each time one occurs, some will be pleased and others upset at the results. I guess we're just going to have to get used to it.