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f THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER August 2 o n o i t c e S l a i 6, 2016 A Spec


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A Special

DA Section of THE SCARS LE INQUIRER Augus 26, 2

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SCHOOL Back to School A special section of

The Scarsdale Inquirer P.O. Box 418, Scarsdale, NY 10583 914-725-2500 PUBLISHER Deborah G. White SECTION EDITOR Todd Sliss ART DIRECTOR Ann Marie Rezen ADVERTISING DESIGN Katherine Potter ADVERTISING SALES Thomas O’Halloran Barbara Yeaker Marilyn Petrosa Francesca Lynch ©2016 S.I. COMMUNICATIONS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IS FORBIDDEN WITHOUT THE PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN PERMISSION.







Back to school, back to 3A  spreading germs

Kids & Chores: Important for 4A  whole family


 eyond Grades: What tools do B students need to succeed in college?

Mentors are key to success at all 10A  education stages

Fashion with flair: From head to 21A  toe, BTS shopping made easy


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Back to school, back to spreading germs



t the start of the school year kids hop on yellow buses with backpacks brimming, return to classrooms, spend time with their friends and fill their days with both learning and fun. But with all of this fall excitement comes the return of something that sends shudders down the spines of parents and schools alike: the spreading of germs. “We always see a surge in commoncold-like viruses when kids go back to school,” said Dr. Sheila Nolan, MD, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. “We also see a lot of schoolbased strep in September.” When kids head back to school so, too, do germs. Germs, it seems, are indeed everywhere. Favorite residences include door knobs, refrigerator handles, shopping cart handles, table tops — any places people touch can be tools to spread viruses and bacteria. “Germs can be anywhere,” said Nolan. “Usually, they are spread amongst children as they are playing. Younger ones put everything in their mouths. But they can also be spread by sneezes and coughs that are breathed in by others. If you touch something and then touch a mucous membrane like your nose or eyes, that’s how viruses enter.”

Steps for hand washing

How to wash your hands:

How to use alcohol-based hand rub:

• Wet your hands with warm running water. • Lather with soap and scrub between fingers, on the backs of your hands and under nails. • Wash for at least 20 seconds. That’s about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. • Dry your hands. Use paper towels or electric hand dryers. • Use a paper towel when you turn off the tap.

• Dispense alcohol-based hand rub into palm of hand. • Rub hands together, working the gel between your fingers, under nails and back of hands. • Continue rubbing hands until hands are dry. • Do not rinse hands or dry hands with a paper towel. — from the New York State Department of Health website,

With older children, Nolan said, viruses are typically spread by children not covering their coughs, sharing drinks and food and not practicing good hand hygiene. Anyone who has spent time in a school cafeteria or classroom knows how often these things happen. However, “Kids get less illnesses as they get older,” Nolan said. “Hygiene improves as well as the building of immunity.” It takes a while to get there. Parents and schools are intimately familiar with just how quickly illnesses can spread through a daycare or classroom. “Of course germs are everywhere, but we don’t want to foster undue concern or paranoia,” said Dr. Peter Richel, MD, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco. “Children must live and be happy doing so. It is, however, wise to be prudent in order to avoid infection as best we can.” In fact, trying to keep children away from all germs is a lost cause, as well as an unhealthy practice. “Cocooning your child is not the best thing,” said Dr. Robert Rosenberg, physician at Hartsdale Pediatrics, an affiliate of Boston Children’s Health Physicians. “I would protect my child from public places where people might be sick. But cocooning will not prevent most colds that children will get… Children get sick seven to eight times per year during their first few years of life. This is helpful later in life to decrease the frequency of infections.” Continued on page 8A

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Important for whole family



ut it away, put it away, put your things away!” So urges kiddie crooner Laurie Berkner in her hit song, “Clean it Up.” In many households with preschoolers, this mantra is belted out with gusto while little ones toss stuffed animals into toy chests. But soon, the song loses its urgency, as kids grow older, and the playfulness of tidying up becomes more of a chore. But the act of helping around the house is critical to teach kids responsibility, the value of work and the sense of contributing to the family unit. “It is important for children to feel

like they are contributing members of the family,” said Dr. Paul Donahue, Ph.D, director of Child Development Associates in Scarsdale and author of “Parenting Without Fear: Letting Go of Worry and Focusing on What Really Matters.” “Unfortunately, in many families, parents feel like they are the ‘givers’ and children are the ‘takers.’ Sharing the responsibilities makes everyone feel better.” Time spent helping around the house “also can be a time for building relationships and team work and some special time with a parent or sibling,” said Sharyn O’Leary, principal of St. Patrick’s School in Bedford. It can also give children some much-needed qui-

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et time for contemplation. “Dusting, folding laundry, walking the dog — all afford children time to be alone with themselves and think and reflect,” she said. These concepts ring true for Dawn Meyerski, executive director of the Mount Kisco Child Care Center, where she encourages the little ones in her care to contribute at clean-up time. But on a personal level, one of her best memories growing up, she said, was doing the dishes with her sister. “It helped us build a strong relationship,” she said. “‘Chores’ has a negative connotation,” Meyerski continued. “But children can participate in tasks that

families do… Some things you just do because you are part of a family.” So how can parents and caregivers get kids helping around the house? For one, it helps to start early. “Children at an early age love to help Mom or Dad,” said O’Leary. “If you capture them at this time, chores are just routine and part of sharing time in a family — not something to be dreaded.” And it’s almost never too early to start. “I have a hand-out sheet of chores I use in my office that is fairly straightforward, but I particularly like it because it starts at 18 months,” said Donahue. “When our kids were that age, they were expected to go to the Continued on next page

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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

front door and retrieve the New York Times off the doorstep, and then remove the blue bag it came in. As a lover of the morning newspaper, I considered this a big help.” For young children, age-appropriate chore ideas include: sorting socks from the laundry and putting away the silverware from the dishwasher. Besides helping the family, both of these also teach young learners matching skills. Experts also say that setting and clearing the dinner table should be an expected way children, even young ones, can contribute to family jobs. Children a bit older can help take out the garbage or weed the garden. Feeding family pets and getting the mail are other chores that are even popular with children. For maximum benefit, Donahue recommends pushing kids a little bit outside of their comfort zones in what parents ask them to do to help around the house: “A 7-year-old may not feel he can carry all the recyclables to the bins in the garage by himself, but with a little coaxing and help in breaking down and sorting the papers and containers, he can begin to handle that job on his own.” For many parents, this may sound like too much work. For them, that is. Wouldn’t it be much easier just to do the job themselves? “The simple answer is: it’s true,” said Donahue. “It’s much easier for parents to do the work

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 5A and it will take less time and the work will be more complete. But that misses the point of chores. If we are trying to teach kids responsibility and the value of hard work, we have to be patient and put up with their less than perfect habits, especially when they’re young. This can be very difficult at times… It take quite a while for work habits to become ingrained and for kids to develop intrinsic motivation — the satisfaction of a job well done.” “After a while, doing it all yourself leads to great frustration and a child who never knows how things get ‘magically’ done around the house,” agreed O’Leary. Taking the harder route at the early stage of establishing chores can lead to better outcomes as kids get older. Once you have created the concept of kids helping around the house, whether formally or informally, the question inevitably arises: Should kids receive an allowance for completing their chores? “A lot of people ask, ‘If you pay kids to do chores, is it bribery?’” said Meyerski. She prefers to think of it as “a reward for work.” In Meyerski’s opinion, children should receive compensation for some chores, while others should just be done because kids are part of the family. Additionally, the “payment” does not have to be monetary, but could be the earning of a special privilege, like selecting the movie on family movie

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Beyond Grades..

What tools do students need to succeed in college?



s, Bs, GPAs, SATs, ACTs — it can’t be denied, when it comes to getting accepted to college, the alphabet soup of grades and tests do matter. But book smarts and standardized test results are not the only things colleges look at when determining if a student will be a good fit for their school. Experts agree: There are interpersonal tools, life-long learning skills and character traits that students should possess — abilities beyond

good grades that point to continued success, in college and life. “Grades are seen as a ticket to success,” said Mark Rosenblum, head of high school at the French-American School of New York in Mamaroneck. “Even though people are very complex and multifaceted, the focus is on grades. They are seen as some kind of guarantee that the child will grow up properly and have success in the future. But it’s not necessarily a negative thing. Grades can also be very motivating at a time when students may not be motivated by much else.”


“While grades are a traditional way to measure academic achievement, they don’t always tell the entire story,” said Lillian Hecht of Collegistics, which provides personalized college advising in Scarsdale and beyond. “Context matters. Grades in isolation do not always offer a window on a student’s potential. School setting, the breadth and depth of academic options and class size are among many factors influencing student achievement and affecting the reliability of grades as an assessment tool.” “Alphanumeric grading systems lack

nuance and, therefore, often do not fully reveal a student’s ability or take into account extenuating circumstances,” said Collegistics partner Nancy Michaels. “Yet, in the absence of portfolio applications or narrative assessments, the transcripts — students grades and course selection — take primacy in the college application process.” It is a premise familiar to Susan Westlake, a tutor who prepares students for the SAT and ACT in Goldens Bridge. “For the purpose of communi-


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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

cating to potential colleges a student’s commitment to academics, grades do matter,” she agreed. “The better the grades, the more choices of colleges and universities the student will have, and the greater the chance the student will have of getting scholarship money.” However, Westlake hopes to show the students she preps for college entrance exams that balance is key. “My hope for my students is that they view grades as one data point showing what they know, but that they are able to grow a love of learning and curiosity that drives them to want to learn more.” Indeed, there are many other skills, including curiosity and drive, that are critical to success in college and beyond. At FASNY, Rosenblum describes four sets of essential qualities he says are needed to succeed in college, a job and one’s personal life: academic skills, content knowledge, interpersonal skills and character traits. “To be successful in the world, all four are important,” he said. “Interpersonal skills are how students relate to others and are perceived and trusted as individuals. Character traits are needed to earn the interest and respect of others, which is critical to being a leader. Academic skills and content knowledge speak for themselves.” “In an increasingly global world, it is important for students to foster skills

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 7A that allow them to collaborate with other people who are different from themselves,” said Westlake. With technology helping to make the world a smaller place, students need to know “how to work together on a team with people who have differing skill sets and views. These tools are important because they are the same tools that are associated with being successful in college, in a career and in life.” Rosenblum concurs that being able to work in groups and being an effective group member are critical skills for students to achieve, but also cites cultivating open mindedness, genuine curiosity and empathy as additionally imperative. “All the things that go under healthy character,” he said. “In general, children are naturally curious, enjoy learning and are eager to take on challenges,” said Lisa Rodman of Collegistics, who cites developing time-management skills, the ability to set reasonable goals and expectations and working well with others as important skills schools and parents need to help students develop. “These basics are useful throughout a student’s academic career.” How indeed can parents help foster these capabilities in their children outside what is developed at their schools? “The same basic skills that are needed in the classroom are needed in life,” Westlake said. “Parents can encourage communication skills by having the whole family participate in

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discussions at the dinner table; interpersonal skills by teaching kindness to others; decision-making skills by involving the children in planning family activities; and life-long learning skills by encouraging work and volunteer experience.” Promoting these strengths is not always easy for parents to accomplish, but a commitment to their development in the home is essential to fostering well-rounded children. “As parents, we know it takes time and patience to allow children to take on responsibilities and gain independence,” said Leslie Berkovitz of Collegistics. “Helping them weigh the pros and cons of a given situation, involving them in decision-making and problem-solving processes, and allowing them to experience the natural consequences of their decisions, within reason, all contribute to developing the independence and judgment needed for success in college.” “Parents,” said Rosenblum, “can hold students to values that are not always easy to enforce… Letting their son or daughter solve their own problems, helping them learn the trait of being a self-advocate and independence… Letting their children be advocates for themselves and be gentle guides on the sides.” These will be ever more important when children enroll in college, and many of them leave home for the first time. “At college, students will face

new situations, often in unstructured settings,” noted Ellen Golden of Collegistics. Students will be confronted with choices that are not easy to make, and will have to rely on character skills developed over time to make good decisions. “The hope is that students will have the tools and feel empowered to solve their own problems but will also recognize when they are in over their heads and ask for help when appropriate,” she said. The bottom line, according to the experts in college admissions, is that grades do matter, but so too do strong character traits and the ability to engage in meaningful interpersonal relationships. At Collegistics, they sum it up this way: “College admissions officers seek students who have changed themselves in high school,” said Rodman. And while grades and standardized tests do make a difference in admission decisions, “Numbers, however, do not give the whole picture and, more and more, colleges are taking a holistic approach to admissions.” Personality, character and curiosity, in conjunction with grades, help to showcase to college admissions officers a well-rounded student with potential for success in the future. Said Hecht, “Overemphasis on grades can cause students to become narrow, undermining the ultimate goal of education and future achievement.”





night or going out for an ice cream treat. “We have a generation of older children who have a sense of entitlement — that we owe them something,” said Meyerski. “But this is a way to say to kids, ‘This is a way to earn your reward.’” Donahue also fields the allowancefor-chores question often. “My feeling is that we should ask kids to be responsible and pitch in from early on, without attaching any payment to this work,” he said. “As they get to age 7 or 8, if they have demonstrated a willingness to help out and follow through with their chores then it makes sense to begin to give theme allowance. This helps them to learn to manage their money and to understand their contributions to the family do have value.” Additionally, “When children volunteer for extra jobs and show a willingness to take initiative or go beyond their regular chores, it is reasonable to compensate them for their work,” he said. O’Leary also sees value in children earning an allowance. “I always gave my children allowance, which teaches the value of money and saving up for something, once they were older, say 8 or 9 years old,” she said. But this is different from paying for chores: “I never liked the idea that the allowance was

The idea that germs are out there should not cause parents too much pause. “Remember that with a healthy immune system, as most of our children have, they can fight the typical virus with time and supportive care,” Richel said. “Most infections in children are caused from a virus, infections that are annoying, yes, but usually medically insignificant and not requiring antibiotics. When children get a virus infection, their immune system creates antibodies to that particular bug and, in the future, that particular one will not affect them. Of course, fostering good habits will help, such as teaching them to cough into their folded arm and not their hands. And they should avoid that sick toddler cousin that may be coughing and sneezing in their face.” Experts stress that the single most important defense against the spread of germs is the simple act of proper hand washing. “Hand washing is very important,” Rosenberg said. “Alcoholbased soaps are very good at destroying viruses and bacteria and don’t require water… You don’t have to dry your hands with these soaps and you don’t have to get water hot. People tend to wash their hands more if they have this option.” In fact, said Nolan, “The way the alcohol kills germs is the drying effect. You want it to dry, not wipe it off. The

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payment for chores. It was a gift from Mom or Dad for them to use or save. Chores were expected responsibilities for everyone to make the family work load lighter for all, leaving free time to do something special.” For many parents, their kids may already be doing chores as a part of their everyday family life without even realizing it. Every time children carry a bag of groceries into the house from the car or hang their clean clothes in their closets, they are completing chores and contributing to the work of the family.

“Parents don’t realize that kids are helping out already,” said Donahue. “When they watch their young siblings for a short time or take the dog for a walk, these are all important ways that kids contribute to the family. We should show our appreciation to them, and recognize when they are starting to pitch in to become part of the solution to problems not just the source of them.” Indeed, to quote Berkner again, “You can make it fun to do. Mom and Dad can help you too!”

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bacteria die from the drying.” However, if hands are visibly dirty, Rosenberg recommends “children should use soap and water.” Noted Nolan, “Soap and water create a barrier to the germs.” Richel is also a fan of soap-and-water hand washing, saying, “The value of hand washing with soap and water cannot be over-emphasized.” Some patients may complain of the drying nature of soap. “If one’s skin is dry after doing so, especially in the winter months,” he said, “moisturizing with lotion is acceptable to do.” When should hand washing happen? Children are advised to especially clean their hands in the morning, before lunch and when they return home from school, but as often as possible and especially before eating and drinking. Hand washing is high on the list of tips that the New York State Department of Health offers for “Keeping Your Germs to Yourself.” The department’s other advice includes: coughing or sneezing into tissues or bended arms, throwing tissues immediately into garbage baskets and staying home if you think you have the


flu. But specifically, the department urges cleaning hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds, which can make a big difference in protecting oneself from germs and avoiding the spread of germs to others. On another front, Nolan also stresses the importance of vaccines for children, including the annual flu vaccine, to alleviate the spread of viruses and their impact on children. “Flu season comes every year and whatever strain that’s circulating, there is a pediatric mortality associated with it,” she said. “About 40 percent of flu-related pediatric mortality cases have no recognized chronic health problems. The vaccine is not always a great match, but it’s better than nothing.” In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of pediatric flu-associated deaths occur in children who did not receive the flu vaccine. Vaccinated or not, getting back to cleanliness, however, is a vital key in stopping the spread of germs. “There is an element of inevitability with many viruses,” said Nolan. “But it’s always prudent to be hygienic.”

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Mentors are key to success at all education stages



here were always teachers I latched onto, so-to-speak, the ones I connected with. I often did better in their classes. They understood me and allowed me to be me. This was in elementary school, junior high/middle school, high school and college. These mentors each helped shape the next phase of my life. I had certain teachers who got me more excited about certain subjects, the same subjects that other teachers couldn’t reach me in. Or maybe it was just their personalities made me eager to show up for class. Either way, any time a teacher can make a student excited out of nowhere, it’s a good thing. Once I got into newspaper reporting in college, the student editors there were my mentors. We took what we learned in the classroom — actually many things we had not yet learned in the classroom — and put it into motion on our own. That was a learning experience, but I got through it by listening to those who were more experienced than I was. I had three sports editors in college before I took over in that position for a couple of years. I had a few editors who prepared me to become the managing editor (that was our second in command) later on.

The role of mentors in a student’s life, whether they be staff, faculty, fellow students or professionals from the real world, can’t be overstated in offering another dimension to the growth process. And, yes, the process is a long one that starts at birth with parents, grandparents and siblings and continues down a more traditional path of mentorship. All these mentors are people you never forget. When your grades no longer factor into your success, their teachings do. And sometimes, thanks to social media, you get to reconnect with them many years later. (Well, that’s how it was for a nearly 40-year-old like me, not for today’s students, of course.) I reached out to some who understand the significance and here’s what they had to say: Rajesh Kumar is the Director of PACT at Mercy College in the Center for Student Success and Engagement/Personal Achievement Contract: Why are mentors important? What impact can they have? RK: Mentors provide students the opportunity to build a personalized relationship to encourage collaboration, development and implementation of the student’s customized plan or life goals. The impact is that PACT mentors can assist in achieving the students’

academic, career, and life goals. How do students find mentors? RK: Students can find mentors through our website, or visiting the PACT offices. In most instances, a student is contacted by a PACT mentor when they register. What are some good ways to stay well connected? RK: Some PACT mentors have Mercy College Facebook accounts. Some are connected through LinkedIn. Most students stay connected with their PACT mentor via phone, email or in person. Jill. C. Hart is the senior director of career services at Mercy College, focusing on professional mentors: Why are mentors important? What impact can they have? JCH: Students need to actively prepare themselves for their careers while they are in college. Mentors are a key component to a student’s professional development. It’s not to say one can’t be successful without a mentor, but having a good one can really enrich the journey from college student to professional. Mentors help guide and develop college students, listening to them, sharing personal anecdotes, providing advice and guidance based on their experience. They can help the student by reviewing their résumé, suggesting

internships and skills to build, doing mock interviews, informing the student what a career is really like in their field, looking for ways to expose the student to the workplace. Students should not expect that a mentor relationship will result in an internship or job. How do students find mentors? JCH: I encourage students to think about their current network, the people they already know who might be willing to mentor them. Sometimes that means family friends, neighbors, past employers or professors. Often alumni will sign up through alumni relations to mentor students. Students can also join professional organizations or clubs to meet people in their field of interest. In seeking a professional mentor, students should look for someone who has experience or expertise they are seeking, and someone who is willing to spend some time together, now and into the future, developing a personal relationship. If a student needs some help figuring out how to find a professional mentor, we encourage them to make an appointment with the career services team. What are some good ways to stay well connected? JCH: Students need to take the lead in building the relationship with their Continued on next page

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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

mentor. In a formal mentoring relationship, it works well to decide the conditions under which they will work: how often they will meet, expectations, etc. Mentors are often very busy in their own careers and while they care about the student and want to be responsive, they have many responsibilities of their own to balance. In any circumstance, the student should expect to be the one to reach out to the mentor, always being respectful of the mentor’s time. I suggest to students who are being mentored that as they graduate from college and begin their own careers, they should turn around and give back to someone else through mentoring. Adele Shansky is director of volunteer services for the Westchester Community College Foundation. She runs two mentoring programs, one on campus for students to connect with faculty, the other for business majors to get together with professionals for their spring semester. What are the benefits of the two mentoring programs? AS: The student/faculty programs gives them someone on campus to be their point person for any of their needs — career planning, curriculum, to find out what’s going on on campus, point them to the tutorials. They help them get adjusted to college life. For the corporate one, most of the students participating in the program

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 11A are first generation and don’t have role models in the business world. It gives them a chance to see the corporate world, gives them a chance to see what’s involved and it really gives them a chance to explore their career options so they end up in the right place, studying the right thing. In both cases they have got wonderful role models who they can model themselves after and go to and ask any questions of. Do students ever find their own mentors? AS: That happens on campus all the time. Some of the professors who have volunteered to become mentors for us tell us they are also mentoring others. It’s a wonderful thing. When I was in the corporate world I always found mentors within my department, within other areas of the company. Does having a mentor impact success in future? AS: I think it does… We have a group of scholarships that require a mentoring component and our success rate in terms of retention of the students and them graduating tends to be much higher than our general population. Almost all in our business program go on to four-year school. Shansky ended by quoting a 1979 article from Harvard Business Review, which quoted Donald S. Perkins as saying, “Everyone who succeeds has had a mentor or mentors.” Shansky noted, “That’s still prudent.” Indeed.



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Scarsdale BOE focuses on transition plan and more BY LEE MAUDE


Scarsdale BOE President

n behalf of the Scarsdale Board of Education, we would like to welcome you back to a new year at Scarsdale schools. We hope all of you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer. With fall rapidly approaching we are looking forward to another great year for the Scarsdale School District. We are excited about the many changes underway under the direction of our Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Hagerman. This will be Dr. Hagerman’s third year in Scarsdale. He spent his first year meeting with many community groups, including teachers, administrators, students and parents. He presented his three-year transition plan to the Scarsdale community in June 2015, which is available on our website. This plan, crafted in substantial part based upon comments and goals identified during Hagerman’s extensive community dialogues, addresses a broad array of goals and opportunities in our district and gives us a framework for the work ahead. During the 2015-16 school year, Hagerman and his cabinet accomplished a good deal of the transi-

tion plan and will continue to pursue the work outlined in the plan. For those interested in the board’s agenda for the 2016-17 school year, we suggest you read through this transition plan. It is ambitious and thorough in its focus on teaching and learning. Some of the more notable accomplishments based on this plan are: • Introduction of the Teachers College Writing Workshop to all five elementary schools • Introduction of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) sequence to the high school curriculum • Doubling of world language instruction class time in the second semester of sixth grade • Introduction of a program for emotionally disabled children in the high school which will allow children to stay in the district for their education • Hiring of a new assistant superintendent for personnel, Andrew Patrick, who comes to us from Bedford • Completion of a building conditions survey • Successful adoption of a budget which added eight teaching positions and resulted in only a .63 percent increase in the tax levy for Scarsdale residents

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• Successful negotiations of a new four-year contract with the Scarsdale Teachers Association, which includes significant cost savings in health care costs and the addition of 15 minutes per day of classes in the elementary schools and middle school, and 10 minutes per day in the high school, to be introduced in the 2017-18 school year. Summer is a busy time for all school districts. In July and August we welcomed 28 new teachers and one new administrator to our district, we renovated the bus depot that we lease from the village and we repaved most of the parking lots and pathways in the district. We also installed a new fire alarm system in the Edgewood School. Work on the master facility plan for the district continued through the summer. The board is looking forward to seeing this plan and assessing the needs of our seven buildings. As you may have heard, we have an opportunity to borrow a significant amount of funds in 2019 due to debt maturities. We have spent the last 18 months reviewing the needs of the Greenacres School and working with our architects to determine whether to renovate the existing school or build a new school. With the completion of the master plan the board hopes to decide

on a plan for the future of the Greenacres School. Our stated goal is for these projects to be tax neutral and not result in any increase in the tax levy. In the spring of 2016 the administration requested bids for construction of projects approved by the 2014 bond referendum. Unfortunately, the bids we received were significantly above our estimates. The administration will work with our architects and third party cost consultants this summer to develop a plan to re-bid these projects in the fall. Last year the board and the administration tried a new schedule of board meetings, which included one Wednesday board meeting a month to review the transition plan. This year those meetings will move back to Monday evenings where we will have one business meeting a month and an evening meeting to discuss the transition plan every other month. Therefore you will see on the community calendar that in some months there will be two meetings and in others there will be one meeting. There will be two public comment periods at all meetings. The work on the transition plan will continue to be divided into eight portfolios: Continued on page 14A

Here’s what Parents say about GHC Early Childhood Center GHC's faculty and curriculum has prepared all three of my children for kindergarten in a warm and playful environment. The school is always flexible and receptive to our needs, standing ready with a strong community in both challenging and joyful moments. -- Heidi K. What makes GHC ECC so special is the people - warm, caring, professional teachers and staff. My husband and I feel like part of a community and our daughter loves school. She especially loves sharing lunch with her friends during Club Lunch (extended day). Ilana has thrived at GHC ECC! -- Rebecca R. Join the growing number of families who have made the Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center their preschool of choice. Offering a unique blend of secular and Judaic curriculum our mission is to create an environment for two, three and four-year olds where self-confidence and self-expression are encouraged and supported. Our children are exposed to and participate in Jewish rituals, cultural practices, and holiday celebrations through song, story and art.

NEW FOR SEPTEMBER 2016: The Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center will offer new scheduling options to provide additional support to school families with 3 and 4 year olds. These changes include early drop off and a later extended day program.

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50 years strong for Maroon & White Maroon and White is celebrating its 50th year as the parent booster organization supporting athletics, physical education and student health at Scarsdale High School and Scarsdale Middle School. During the 2015-16 school year, the organization made an extraordinary pledge of $100,000 to support the construction of the new high school fitness center, as well as its regular annual gift of approximately $25,000 for necessary items left out of the upcoming budget. Items gifted during the school year included a flexible volleyball net system to expand interscholastic and intramural use of the gyms, run-up mats for the gymnastics team, plates to help with expanded demand for the existing weight room, postseason spiritwear and funds for coach training. Maroon and White also sponsors several athletic scholarships and during the school year publishes popular “Raider of the Week” ads in The Scarsdale Inquirer honoring individual and team achievements. Many student-athletes and their parents know Maroon and White best for the seasonal awards dinners, each of which generally attracts 750 studentathletes and parents (student-athletes attend for free), from selling Raider merchandise and from the spiritwear purchases Maroon and White manages for most sports teams. The now familiar “S” signs that have become prominent throughout the vil-

lage are Maroon and White’s way of reminding everyone about the value of school spirit in promoting an environment of academic and athletic success, the lifelong value of a sound approach to physical health, and the belief that student-athletes need to learn both to win and lose with grace. Events scheduled for the 2016-17 school year include the fall and winter awards dinners and spring picnic (Nov. 3, March 1 and June 13, respectively) and the Kari Pizzitola Holiday Basketball Tournament (Dec. 8-10). Maroon and White also anticipates scheduling in early January an evening event to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The sports journal is distributed at each awards event and is perennially Maroon and White’s largest fundraiser. Booster ads from families and businesses are being accepted through the website or by contacting Kate Conlan at Yearlong ads must be received by the end of September. Maroon and White sells a large array of Raider merchandise. For special orders or to make a purchase before the fall season starts, email Beth Patrizio at Join or renew at maroonandwhite. org. For other questions, email co-presidents Beth Dell’Orto and Peter Zurkow at


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SCARSDALE SCHOOL REPORT Continued from page 12A

1) Curriculum Assessment and 21st Century Learning 2) Construction and Facilities 3) Communications, Community Involvement and Political Outreach 4) Budget, Finance and Negotiations 5) Human Capital and Leadership Development 6) Instructional and Informational Technology 7) Special Education and Student Services 8) BOE Development, leadership, succession planning and staff relationships. We encourage all of you to write to us at By writing directly to all board members you allow all of us to hear your voice directly. We also invite you to speak during our public meetings. In either venue, if you have a specific request for action, please state that explicitly. If you have not already done so, we also invite all of you to opt in to our email blasts at Page/16238 so you can receive summaries of our board meetings from Hagerman. Finally, we want to wish each of you the best in the coming year with your children, your grandchildren and your families. Our wonderful teachers, principals and staff are looking forward to meeting and working with all of our wonderful students.


PT Council urges community volunteerism BY LEANNE M. FREDA The Scarsdale Parent Teacher Council (PT Council) wishes everyone a warm welcome as they return from summer vacation and embark on the 2016-17 school year. To our new families, welcome to the community. We hope you will join our longstanding tradition of volunteerism and become engaged in your child’s education through the PTA. The PT Council is the coordinating organization of the PTA units in each of our seven schools. Its purpose is to inform, advise and guide the leaders of the PTA units as they fulfill their mission of promoting the welfare of children and youth in Scarsdale. The 2016-17 PT Council executive committee consists of four officers, as well as the PTA presidents of each of the units: Leanne Freda, president; Diane Baylor, vice president; Tracy McCarthy, secretary; Dana Mashushita, treasurer; Amy Song, Scarsdale High School; Sharon Higgins, Scarsdale Middle School; Cindy Yau and Edith Cornelisson, Edgewood; Rokaya Hassaballa, Fox Meadow; Joey Silberfein, Greenacres; Amber Yusuf, Heathcote; and Nikki Hahn, Quaker Ridge. The volunteers and the PTAs have been hard at work all summer planning and organizing many programs, speakers and enrichment activities for the families of all students. It is with great enthusiasm that I share some of these

events with you. In the fall, PT Council will join with the Scarsdale Teen Center, Scarsdale § Edgemont Family Counseling Service and the Scarsdale Public Library to present the documentary film: “Screenagers, Growing Up In A Digital World.” The film focuses on the impact of screen time on our children’s relationships and their development. The film will offer solutions to help families find the right balance. PT Council is also preparing an engaging program on the role of sports in our children’s lives. This program will feature a panel of local experts, who will lead us in a community discussion of youth sports for all children in Scarsdale. The PT Council is eager to announce the second annual STEAM Day, which will take place Saturday, Nov. 19. The event will include workshops and exhibits focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math. The STEAM committee, led by Kathleen Campbell and Seema Jaggi, has expanded the event to include workshops for students in grades 4 through 8. In addition, they have broadened the scope of STEAM Day to include a makerspace section for hands-on activities, as well as STEAM exhibits and presentations in a stop and learn format so all attendees will have an opportunity to participate and learn.

PT Council will also continue the wellregarded tradition of helping thirdthrough fifth-grade writers hone their creative writing skills with the 22nd annual Young Writers’ Workshop (YWW), led by Isabel Feingold and Pam Fuehrer. YWW is scheduled for Saturday, March 25. As in the past, the workshop will include award-winning authors, sports writers, journalists, illustrators and artists. Another annual event in Scarsdale is the Sports Swap. This event, organized and run again this year by Nancy Aresu and Kristianne Bishop, is a wonderful opportunity to clear out the clutter and clean out your garage of all gently used sporting equipmentand musical instruments. The swap will be held Saturday, April 1. You can find all these events and more on the PT Council Community Calendar. The information for the calendar is organized and coordinated by Suzie Pascutti and Colleen Brown. The calendar is mailed to residents in late August. It can also be accessed online at We would like to acknowledge with gratitude our calendar sponsors: Houlihan Lawrence, Platinum Drive Realty, William Raveis and Scarsdale Security Systems. For more information about the Scarsdale PT Council, visit or email



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Scarsdale welcomes Zaria Cash as STEP scholar Diane and Marc Greenwald and their sons Jay and Eli will welcome Zaria Cash, from Memphis, Tennessee, into their home for the next two years as she joins Scarsdale High School’s junior class as its newest STEP scholar. STEP’s 2016 graduate, DonTavius Holmes, also of Memphis, lived with Bettina and Michael Klein and their children. Holmes now attends Oxford College at Emory University under full scholarship. The Scarsdale Student Transfer Program (STEP) is an independent community program that identifies promising students of color and brings them to Scarsdale High School for their junior and senior years. The program offers qualified students access to Scarsdale High School’s strong college preparatory program and extensive extracurricular activities, as well as the cultural and recreational resources of the New York metropolitan area. While in Scarsdale, each visiting student lives with a host family and is encouraged to become an integral part of the Scarsdale community. By offering students exposure to a different and challenging environment, STEP prepares them to take positions of leadership and responsibility in a multicultural society. Scarsdale High School social studies teacher Eric Rothschild, who continues to be an active STEP board member, founded Scarsdale’s STEP program in

1966. Its original goal was to share the educational opportunities at Scarsdale High School with students from segregated Southern schools of limited resources. STEP alumni have attended Vanderbilt, Villanova, Lehigh, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Fisk, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Ithaca, George Washington, Williams, Washington University and Yale. Former STEP students have continued their education at the graduate level, pursuing law, medical, business and Ph.D. degrees. Cash is an honors student at KIPP Memphis Collegiate High. She was a member of her school’s cheerleading squad and hopes to continue cheering while in Scarsdale. She loves to sing and read. Last year Cash competed in the greater Memphis Science Olympiad and won fourth place as the only freshman

on teams of juniors and seniors. Last summer, the Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation selected Cash to participate in their Girls’ Leadership Worldwide program in New York City, which Cash considers a life-changing experience. This past summer she attended a program at Carleton College in Minnesota. The 50-plus member STEP Board and Advisory Board provide a strong network of consistent support to host families and the student. The experience can be life-changing, not only for the STEP student but also for the host family. The Scarsdale community also benefits from exchanges with these hardworking individuals. STEP is a unique, nonprofit program supported solely by donations used for student-related expenses and the pro bono services of professional tutors, coaches, mentors, doctors and dentists who assist the students and may inspire and guide them. This is STEP’s 50th year and a communitywide celebration will take place to commemorate this milestone Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club. The guest of honor for this celebration will be Rasheed Silvera, the venerated social studies teacher who has been a vital STEP supporter. Those interested in learning more about STEP, attending the 50th celebration, donating funds or services or becoming a host family should contact STEP at or visit

The Center@862 is ready to rock The Center@862 has a fantastic year ahead full of new and different programs. Scarsdale’s teen center has a number of after-school programs planned: a video gamemaking academy, a fencing workshop, a soap box derby car racing club, babysitter training courses, as well as the Citizens Police Academy. The teen center continues to offer entrepreneurial hosting and promoting opportunities for teens looking to organize and run special events and parties. The Center@862’s two Escape The Rooms, The Rescue & Deadline continue to puzzle and captivate all who attempt. The center and its outdoor deck are open for lounge hours Monday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 2-11 p.m. The space is also available to rent for private events. For more information, call 722-8358 or email info@ Visit

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Learning: a focus of Scarsdale Library BY ELIZABETH BERMEL Scarsdale Public Library Director


uch has been written recently about the evolution of public libraries in the United States. In a recent issue of The Atlantic, Deborah Fallows, who with her husband, James, took an extensive trip around the U.S., wrote of libraries, “The traditional impression of libraries as places for quiet reading, research and borrowing books … is outdated, as they have metamorphosed into bustling civic centers.” She said, “A

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visit to the public library revealed (a locality’s) heart and soul.” Fallows pointed out that a major change is the increased emphasis on education and learning. This varies from community to community depending on the demographics. In some, the emphasis is on teaching English as a second language to adults or financial assistance. In Scarsdale, an affluent, highly educated village, our challenge is different. One goal is to complement the quality education of the school system and the attention to learning and education in-

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♪ Adult instruction and enrichment programs ♪ Performance opportunities for all enrolled students ♪ Interview process to help find the best teacher for your child from our faculty of nearly 100 ♪ Lessons and classes offered Monday through Saturday ♪ Need-based financial aid available

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Research confirms that learning to do the right thing with the right attitude leads to stronger academic performance. Schechter Westchester’s K-12 commitment to Jewish character education means our students feel safe, engaged and respected, so they can focus on achieving success – in the classroom, in the lab, on the playing field, and in the world.

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New for this School Year: Get Calm & Focus! 14 Week Course for Students Grades 6-12 with Juna Bobby, M.D. Provides Students with tools and techniques that can help them cope, thrive, and achieve their full potential. The course teaches research validated skills based in neuroscience, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and therapies such as cognitive mental training, meditation, exercise, nutritious eating, and restful sleep to boost resilience.

oPeN hoUSe Lower school November 13, 2016

Middle school December 04, 2016

high school November 06, 2016

Lower SchooL (K-5) UPPer SchooL (6-12)

♪ Jazz instruction

Continued on page 26A


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Girl Scouts readies girls of all ages for greatness

Boy Scouts for grades 6-12

Thanks to its exciting, ever-evolving program, Scarsdale/Edgemont Girl Scouts grew by almost 10 percent last year to over 700 members. Where else can girls gain experience trying out a wide range of new activities with their friends like building and cooking on campfires, rock climbing, ice fishing, beach camping, learning about their own DNA, making collages with local artists, performing chemistry experiments about makeup, videoing their own commercials and meeting politicians to discuss women’s roles in government? Girl Scouts opens the door to awesome adventures and learning experiences your daughter and her friends will remember forever. As the youngest girls have a blast acquiring new skills together, they begin to take on responsibilities. Community service projects are a top priority in scouting. The girls have provided warm winter clothing and food for shelter residents, taken toys to young hospital patients, delivered baskets of baked goods to veterans, brought holiday cheer and companionship to the elderly and donated much-needed supplies for rescued animals. Girls learn early that they can make a difference and help change the world. During their middle school years, girls start mentoring younger scouts, which helps them gain self-confidence and become empowered to take on new challenges. Older scouts have run tie-dye workshops, taught outdoor cooking, held


The Girl Scouts contributed to the New Rochelle Humane Society.

nighttime astronomy classes, supervised geocaching expeditions, led Zumba dance parties and directed environmental clean-ups of nature centers to name just a few of their accomplishments. It’s at this time that girls start coming up with their own ideas for trips, activities and fundraisers. Instead of simple day trips, they now look forward to overnight or weekend excursions with their troop. All this skill building, self-confidence and focusing on their interests and strengths culminate in the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn — the Girl Scout Gold Award. Undertaken during her high school years, the Gold Award involves working on a service project of a girl’s choosing that will improve her community and be sustainable beyond her involvement. It entails research, decision-making, interpersonal skills, leadership abilities and perseverance.

According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, “Gold Award recipients receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers, reporting a more positive sense of self; more leadership experience; and greater life satisfaction, life success, community service commitment, and civic engagement — thanks to their Girl Scout experience, including earning their Gold Award.” It’s no wonder that many of today’s most successful women can trace back their accomplishments to their years as a Girl Scout. If you would like your daughter to have fun with her peers while building a positive self-image and learning what motivates her, then choose Girl Scouts. It’s a life-altering experience that teaches girls they can do anything. To sign your daughter up, contact recruitment@segs. info. Or better yet, sign up to be a troop leader and watch your daughter’s transformation firsthand.

Does your son want to learn new skills? Take on new responsibilities and develop his leadership skills? Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and camping? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you and your son (grades 6-12) should check out Boy Scouts. Scarsdale Troop 4 is holding an open meeting Monday, Sept. 19, from 7.30 p.m.-8.30 p.m. Come and learn about the adventures local scouts had this summer, from learning rifle shooting and rock climbing at Scout Camp to completing a seven-day high adventure trek in New Mexico. Join in fun scout activities and meet boys in the troop and their parents. Troop 4 meets in Hitchcock Church’s hall at 8 Greenacres Ave., but is nondenominational. Under the guidance of Scoutmasters whose sons are in the troop, it embodies the values of inclusion, tolerance and mutual respect for all people. The troop’s goals are to develop character, citizenship and fitness, while having a lot of fun along the way. For more information or to RSVP for Sept. 19, email scoutmaster Kevin McCarthy at Visit scarsdale4.

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Forum’s Education Committee supports various studies The Scarsdale Forum is Scarsdale’s oldest civic group established to study issues, debate, make recommendations and write reports to help elected public officials make the best decisions possible. There are numerous committees in which residents, irrespective of citizenship status, can participate. One of those is the Education Committee. Dan Hochvert and Mayra Kirkendall-Rodríguez are the co-chairs and presently the committee is comprised of 40 Scarsdale residents from a wide range of professional and volunteer experiences. The last report the Education Committee released was in June. The committee wrote “The Scarsdale World Languages Program and the Introduction of Mandarin in the Middle School,” which was approved by the executive committee of the forum and authorized for release to the public. The report respectfully encourages the Scarsdale schools administration to reinstate the World Language Committee so it can evaluate how foreign languages are taught in Scarsdale schools and to study options that might lead to Mandarin at the middle school as part of the district’s world language program, assuming sufficient parent and student interest. In May, the Education Committee reviewed the proposed budget of the Scarsdale Board of Education for the fiscal year 2016-17 and concluded the forum should support its adoption. The

authors wrote that “the Committee applauds both the process used in developing the proposed budget and the proposed budget itself. It is recommended that the process used to develop the proposed budget be used as the model for subsequent years.” Scarsdale Forum reports are available at php. For the 2016-17 academic year, the Education Committee will continue dialogue with the administration and board of ed about progress being made in improving foreign language instruction at the elementary and middle school levels. The Education Committee stands ready to assist the Scarsdale School Administration in researching the foreign language instruction experience of nearby school districts. The committee has already begun researching the process and metrics used by the administration and board to create school budget forecasts. Every year they present a one-year budget forecast. Particularly in light of the fiscal uncertainty caused by the 2016 Scarsdale property revaluation and due to volatility in global interest rates and commodity prices, the committee is researching and writing about the need for longterm planning in budget forecasts. Additionally, the committee will consider researching and writing a report on the choices being discussed for the

Greenacres Elementary School. Thus far, it has been Greenacres residents who have participated actively at board meetings opining on whether to remodel the school or to build a new one. Once the board of ed votes on an option, this will likely be a catalyst for all Scarsdalians to realize that financing the chosen project will impact all residents. Another topic, which has also been proposed to the committee to research, is the increasing number of students who need special education. In Scarsdale, “Special education addresses the education needs of children in the district who have identifiable disabilities from age 3 until age 21 or until they receive their high school diplomas. In consonance with state requirements, the district arranges for multidisciplinary evaluations, which for 3-5 year-olds is conducted by county-approved providers, and for school-age children ages 5-21 by district personnel, supplemented by outside specialists when appropriate.” The Education Committee co-chairs invite you to be part of these important discussions by becoming members of the Scarsdale Forum. Write to Hochvert at and Kirkendall-Rodríguez at ScarsdaleMayra@ if you have any questions.

Scarsdale Foundation helps students in need The Scarsdale Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded $118,000 in scholarship monies for the 2016-17 academic year. These needbased grants, awarded annually to college students who have graduated from Scarsdale High School or were Scarsdale residents during their high school years, are intended to offset some of the college expenses of students who are going into their sophomore, junior and senior years. Paying for college is a struggle for many Scarsdale families. A significant number of scholarship applications come from single parent families facing economic setbacks, while others are from students whose parents have lost jobs or whose savings for college have been eroded. In order to meet the growing need for scholarship assistance, the Foundation accepts specially earmarked donations in addition to donations that can be made to its general endowment fund. Foundation trustees encourage philanthropic Scarsdale families to make a tax-deductible donations by contacting it at Scarsdale Foundation, P.O. Box 542, or by contacting president Evelyn Stock at You may learn more about the foundation at

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ard to believe, but it’s time once again to get the kids ready for going back to school. And part of that process for many parents is going through their children’s wardrobes to ensure that clothing still fits and remains classroom-worthy. As a result, most children will make at least one shopping trip to add onto their wardrobes before school begins. A number of clothing trends are hot this fall, and local retailers are happy to advise parents on what their kids are looking for. Hannie Sio-Stellakis, public relations manager of Neiman Marcus Westchester in White Plains, spoke about Neiman Marcus’s “contemporary” customer, most often a teen or college student. She said the market for what that customer wears closely mimics the overall trends in women’s fashions this fall. Clothing items with ripe berry shades — “raspberry to blackberry” — are one of the most important trends for this fall, Sio-Stellakis said. As far as other trends are concerned, she added, “We’re seeing everything velvet, and we’re also focusing on fall florals, with bomber jackets across the board from the contemporary lines up through the designer lines.” Continued on page 22A

➊ This young lady dressed in a Flowers by Zoe blouse, Lauren Moshi tee and Flowers By Zoe lace bottom legging, and her pal in the Butter racer hoodie and DL1961 jeans are outfitted for school by Lesters in Rye Brook.

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Fashion wiu a Flair

➋ The Surell fur vest and

Uptown Sugar thermal tee are a perfect match from Lesters.

➌ Brandon is wearing a Billabong plaid shirt, a Hurley tee, Hudson Jeans and holding a North Face backpack, Anthony is sporting Under Armour shirt and Adidas pants, while Bailey is wearing Pinc Jeans, So Nikki tee, plus a Pop Trenz snack box at Neil’s in Scarsdale and Mount Kisco.

➍ Taylor is wearing a Lola & Sophie top, A.G. Jeans, Dolce Vita booties and jewelry by Indigo Chic. Madison is keeping it real with James Perse tee, Generation Love bomber jacket, A.G. Jeans at Sam Edelman booties at Indigo Chic in Hartsdale and Rye Brook.



Sio-Stellakis said she is seeing “a lot of gold, high shine metallic, this season, accents on shoes and handbags. It’s a pretty big focus. We’re also seeing a lot of chokers.” One of the big trends is called the adorned shoe by Sio-Stellakis. “There’s a lot of embellishment like beading,” she said. “Velvet is very big in footwear, with velvet booties and shoes popular for use throughout the fall. The same color trends apply, with deep jewel tones also very, very big, along with black velvet booties.” Sio-Stellakis said teens and young women will be wearing “flowy” dresses with voluminous skirts “that move.” The dresses will be often be in fall florals. Teens and young women have been flocking to Neiman Marcus in August “to see what we have lined up for fall,” SioStellakis said. “Our customers are also looking for key pieces, including a great jean or boot that they can carry through from fall to spring. Leather is always popular, and in seasons past there has been warm-weather leather that transcends into fall.” Elaine Andriotis, owner of Beginnings Bleus in Armonk and Beginnings Boutique in Scarsdale, spoke about a wide range of this year’s fashion trends. In addition to women’s clothing suitable for the “mother-daughter” crowd, she sells men’s clothing, too. “Thermals are big, as are skinny jeans for young men,” Andriotis said. “Crazy socks are huge, because the boys and young men wear their pants short. These socks have umbrella patterns on them, baseballs, footballs, fish, in all different colors.” Girls are “into the socks, too,” said Andriotis, the mother of children 17 to 29. “Cropped jeans are huge — they roll them up and wear them above a bootie; the sock goes above that.” Trends this year, according to Andriotis, include bomber jackets, which seem to be a universal observation by those interviewed for this article. Whether worn by males or females, the bomber jackets can be embellished with patches or embroidery, both of which are “huge” trends, she said. “Patches are big — they’re the perfect embellishment, no matter where they’re attached,” Andriotis said. “Bomber jackets can come plain but we can always put patches on them.” Andriotis said there can be basic similarities in children’s and teens’ fashion when compared to what adults would wear, but said differences apply. “Think of ripped jeans,” she said. “Everyone has them, but some clothing items are not appropriate to wear with them if you’re older.” She looks forward to the beginning of all seasons,


Continued from page 21A



“But this is the time of the year when all the fun stuff comes in. Back to school is particularly exciting.” With the first day of school now close at hand, “This will be our big boost,” she said about the number of customers coming through the doors at the two Beginnings locations. “Everybody wants to wear what everybody else is wearing, wants to be part of it, I think.” Velvet is making a big comeback—velvet tops, velvet skinny jeans, Andriotis said: “And then there are the coated jeans too. Lace is very big, and the other thing is layering, putting a blouse or flannel shirt underneath the crop sweater.” The flannel shirts can come in many colors, with Andriotis seeing them in blues, reds, grays and greens. Accessories add interesting touches, and Beginnings has “lots of scarves, even for the guys,” Andriotis said. Look for tech gloves and cashmere gloves with skeleton patterns or hearts and stars. Stars are super popular, even on denim skirts. Chunky chokers necklaces, in different lengths, some adorned with leather, are trending now. Talking generally about fashion trends, Andriotis said skinny jeans “came in when Angelina Jolie was wearing them. It took forever for everyone to believe in them and now skinny jeans are pretty much the only things they wear. And every single company — high end, low end — has clothing featuring open shoulders.” Rene Shapiro, founder of Mixology, with shops in Scarsdale and the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, said her company’s customers range “anywhere from 12 to 64.” Shapiro echoed the feeling that fashion trends for girls and women “are definitely similar, just a little different. Everyone is going to wear offthe-shoulder or cold-shoulder tops. It might be a crop for a teen, but longer, more sophisticated for someone like myself. Everyone wears frayed cutoff jeans, but the younger version will have more rips.” Bomber jackets and anything with a frayed edge — from jeans and jackets to skirts — are also very strong, Shapiro said. Lace-up tee shirts or blouses are very popular as well. “Dresses are very popular, and the girls love wearing them with sneakers,” Shapiro said. “These can be tee-shirt dresses and they can be plain or have a lace-up in the front or a collar. Then there are also the mini-skirts, trending for back to school. As far as colors are concerned, we’re seeing a lot of olive, army green, lots of wine and berry tones. Of course, navy is always big, but this year it’s definitely the berry and jewel tones.” Mixology doesn’t carry footwear, but Shapiro noted that “all the girls are wearing Adidas, Sam Smith, with their little dresses and skirts.”




Continued on page 24A

➎ At Neil’s, Anthony leads the charge with a Nike Giants jersey,

Adidas pants, Banner 47 hat and Nike lunch box, Bailey goes with Butter sweatshirt and sweat pants, and Brandon rocks a Billabong sherpa hoodie, Adidas tee, Alternative Apparel joggers.

➏ Thanks for Lesters, her outfit is by Design History, Chaser, So Nikki and Steve Madden, while the young man is ready to go thanks to 7 For All Mankind, Chaser, Appaman, State and Converse.

➐ Taylor is ready for school with a Generation Love sweat-

shirt, leggings by Koral and sneakers by J. Slide. Madison is wearing a Lola & Sophie top with Lux Junkie tank underneath, leggings by David Lerner and jewelry by Indigo Chic.



Fashion wiu a Flair Chokers are the hottest trend right now in accessories. At Mixology, “They come in velvet and suede, or are crocheted and in metal,” Shapiro said. “There are long chokers that you can tie around the neck and hang almost like a lariat.”

Rachel Uchitel, owner of Wyatt Lily in Scarsdale, carries clothing for newborns to 14-year-olds. She does all the buying, hand selecting everything herself. “We pick brands that are different from other retail shops, making sure everything is in special fabrics that are stretchy, comfortable,” Uchitel said. “Kids don’t grow out of their sizes im-

➑ ➑ Brandon is wearing Duke sweatshirt, Adidas joggers and a Nike Elite backpack, Bailey So Nikki lace up top, Patch leggings and holding a Pop Trenz backpack, Anthony Under Armour pants, Under Armour sweatshirt, a Knicks hat and Knicks lunchbox at Neil’s.



Continued from page 23A

mediately,” which pleases parents, for obvious reasons. Uchitel said that with brands like Imoga, which she called her favorite back-toschool line, “Kids can look really dressed up, but at the same time not overly dressed. They can put on a great dress and look so put together, but there’s nothing that fits uncomfortably.” This year’s trends include “a lot of faux fur,” Uchitel said. “Colors this sea-

son include navy with hints of gold, with pink and a little bit of burgundy. A lot of my items are in blues, pinks, lavenders, golds and silvers.” Wyatt Lily also carries Dori leggings by Dori Creations. The leggings, which Uchitel called “fantastic,” come in a variety of colors and patterns. “Patches are really in and we carry a lot of patches and stickers to put on book bags and backpacks,” she said. “We also have a custom monogramming department — you just wait 10 minutes or so. We can add monogramming, glitter, anything to a tee shirt or bag. Sometimes it’s the school name or child’s name, or for younger kids fun things like ‘King of Time Out.’” Mixology also carries children’s jewelry, along with hats, sweatshirts and “fuzzy, comfy sweatpants with football, baseball and soccer patterns,” Uchitel said. “For boys, we have really nice button-down shirts if they want to be more dressed up.” With all of these options, students will be ready, and then some, when the proverbial school bell rings for the first time in the coming weeks.

➒ Taylor finishes with a Generation Love top, J Brand jeans, Steve Madden slip on sneakers and jewelry by Indigo Chic. Madison ends with a top by Generation Love, Flying Monkey jeans, Dolce Vita boots, jewelry by Indigo Chic and bag by Inzi.


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Edgemont preparing students for unknown future BY DR. VICTORIA KNIEWEL Edgemont Schools Superintendent


hink back to your first U.S. history course for a second. Surely it covered the basics of presidential elections, term limits and voting rights. But even if you remember the ins and outs of the electoral college system, I’d bet that facts like those are not the ones driving your opinions and your vote as we move toward a historically fascinating election in November. How well did your American history textbook prepare you for issues like the ones facing us today? Or how about your high school science classes? Were the phrases “climate change” and “gene splicing” covered? In education, we face the daunting task of preparing students for a future world about which we know very little. The only thing I can say for sure is that the problems we face are growing increasingly complex. They require individuals who can make sense of new and difficult situations, collaborate with those around them — even those whose values and ideas are different — and make informed, effective decisions. One of Edgemont’s strategic goals focuses our work on preparing all students

to connect in meaningful ways with the world today so they can function as thoughtful, reflective, involved citizens tomorrow. We seek “to create authentic opportunities to foster students’ understanding of their roles as local and global citizens.” Authentic learning opportunities allow students to apply their learning to real world situations and to make direct connections between the classroom, their lives, our neighborhoods and our global society. I am sure you can think of a time when you could pass a paper-pencil test, but could not apply the theorems or concepts to your real life. We want our students to be able to do both. During my tenure in Edgemont, I have seen our community act as wonderful models for our children in how we respond to complex issues. We have come together to guide and support our schools in many different ways. We engaged in a lively conversation about improvements to our physical plant and supported a bond referendum to accomplish them. Members of the community participated in surveys and discussions about a strategic plan for the district and groups of stakeholders have been working for the past year on developing and implementing action plans around it. The Edgemont community’s capacity to come together and make good deci-

sions about the direction of the schools has sparked a number of exciting and meaningful initiatives in the district: Our strategic plan calls for a renewed focus on education of the whole student and attention to social-emotional learning. Recreation, camaraderie, sportsmanship and commitment all play important roles in the social and emotional development of children. Thanks to the bond referendum, I am happy to report that the renovation of Blanford Field is almost complete. This beautiful new field will provide a safe, accessible venue for both our student-athletes and our young children learning about teamwork and sports through our many recreation programs. It will allow the entire Edgemont community to come together to cheer on our athletes and to participate in community events. This year, we will have the opportunity to form connections and collaborate with other high-performing schools around the world when we send a team to the Global Learning Alliance Summit in Singapore and connect our students to the students in those schools to solve real-world problems. As part of our commitment to providing teachers with high-quality, relevant professional learning, we have added a new component to our professional development program for the 2016-17

school year. All teachers will be working in teams on shared goals, with a plan to meet those goals for improved learning for all students. We continue to make progress in our use of technology to support learning in terms of the resources we provide to teachers and students, curriculum development and professional learning opportunities we make available to teachers. An instructional technology coach will be in the district to plan and work with teachers as they use technology as a tool for students to collect and analyze data and research. In the elementary schools, we continue to make great progress with strengthening our literacy program and science program. We have developed curriculum to support greater differentiation within the classroom and we have implemented common reading assessments to help us understand each child’s needs. A literacy coach will be offering workshops to elementary parents so they can learn how to best partner with us in the excellent education of their children. Our teachers are also training in the use of problembased, authentic learning and design thinking. All of this important work has been made possible because of the Edgemont community’s financial support, ability to Continued on page 26A

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SCARSDALE LIBRARY Continued from page 17A

culcated in children at home. Another focus is on lifetime learning from infants to senior citizens. During the past year we started an additional book club, significantly increased technology sessions and expanded our program, in conjunction with the Child Care Council, for mothers of children under 2 to discuss child care and related issues. These were in addition to the many programs that have evolved over the years. Learning encompasses many aspects, and is different for various age groups and progresses as people mature. Many of our programs are organized by our wonderful Children’s Services Department starting with pre-walkers and weekly sessions to help them socialize. We even have a yoga program for this group where stretching, strengthbuilding and mindfulness meditation are integrated. For toddlers up to age 2 we have two sessions of our popular Mother Goose program. This language enrichment program uses rhymes, songs and stories to stimulate listening, learning, speaking and reading skills. Other events help children learn about science and nature. Some involve animals, whether lizards, llamas or snakes. Others highlight space and space exploration. Recently, we introduced weekly sessions where children can come and pet and spend time with dogs. This is in addition to our frequent

program where children come and read to a dog, which is more comfortable for some than reading to a person. Our series for children with special needs are now a part of our schedule. We also seek to expand the children’s cultural experiences with various fun music events as well as appearances by noted authors of children’s books who read from their works and in one program discussed writing. For patrons of all ages we have the Museum Pass program which recently added MoMA. We sponsor grade-related book clubs and the annual Summer Reading Program for grammar school children. In recent years, there has been an increase in high school students who come to the library after school and in the evenings to study, particularly in groups. In addition, our Finals Nights for high school students has expanded to include midterms in January and several evenings in April when seniors take their finals. Reaching out to the community we have co-sponsored programs with senior groups as well as the League of Women Voters, Hoff-Barthelson and the PT Council, with whom we co-sponsored several speakers, including Vicki Abeles, author of “Race to Nowhere.” Our adult programs expanded in recent years. In addition to Nancy Zachary’s very popular book group, we have a group for those interested in what teenagers are reading and this past year Wendy Archer, adult services manager, began a book group focused on novels from various countries.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 – BACK TO SCHOOL We have expanded our author appearances and this past year heard from such authors as Delia Ephron, Jeffrey and Doug Lyons, Martha Hodes and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. Our speakers series also focus on health, mindfulness and dealing with stress. We now have weekly sessions for those who want to learn more about their digital equipment and have handson art programs for adults as well as a coloring for adults series we started this past year. Writers have joined our Writers Group, there are now three groups, and have presentations where these writers read from their works in addition to the Literary Salon and Poetry Caravan. Deborah Fallows would agree that the Scarsdale Library and its numerous programs reveals a lot about our community — one of strivers, with intellectual curiosity and a great emphasis on education and lifelong learning. The challenge facing your library is to meet your needs. This is the philosophy behind our plans to transform the physical structure so we are more able to accomplish this. We hope each of you will join as we transform the Scarsdale Public Library into an institution that closely mirrors our village. We couldn’t have achieved what we have so far and been able to envision a new library without the efforts of our wonderful staff and the Friends of the Scarsdale Library.

EDGEMONT SCHOOL REPORT Continued from page 25A

come together and willingness to engage in difficult discussions. Together we continue to make sensible decisions that take into account the needs of our students and the community at large. Whether it’s a group of our educators making decisions about how we will measure student growth in reading, or a parent asking questions about the bond at board of education meetings, we continually model the type of thinking we want our children to be able to do. In continuing to answer strategic planning surveys, keeping up-to-date by reading the district newsletter and blast emails and staying in touch with the board and district administrators, we demonstrate the hallmarks of a community of engaged, intelligent, collaborative individuals. Our goal is to develop those same qualities in our students so they can continue to make good decisions — individually and collectively — in a rapidly-changing world. One of the district’s roles in our partnership with the community is to listen and to provide information about what’s happening in the schools. To that end, we are revising our communications strategy to make sure all community members have access to information that is current and convenient: A monthly e-Newsletter will now complement the biannual printed newsletters. Monthly communication will provide regular opportunities for us to Continued on next page

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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

provide updates, highlight important events and celebrate our accomplishments, all in an eco-friendly way. The Edgemont School District has recently launched our new website. We hope it will become our community’s first stop when seeking information about Edgemont and its schools. The website includes all that can be found in the Blue Book — and more. Though Blue Books will be arriving soon, we hope our community continues to use the website as the most current, comprehensive source of up-to-date information. As November approaches, and the inevitable scattering of promotional signs endorsing one candidate or another pop up in front yards everywhere, some yards in our district display signs focused on a different issue: the incorporation of Edgemont as a town. As with all complex decisions that have an impact on our lives individually, locally and globally, Edgemont’s issues require careful thought and reflection on our values, both as individuals and as a community. Listening to one another, weighing different pieces of information against each other, communicating effectively and considering issues from multiple perspectives — this is how we will continue to model critical thinking for our children and move forward through difficult decisions together. I look forward to another year of collaboration with the entire Edgemont community, as together we support the continued growth of our prestigious Edgemont schools.


Edgemont PTSA planning exciting year ahead The Edgemont PTSA is an active volunteer organization that brings parents, teachers and students together to support and enrich the Edgemont Junior/Senior High School community. A recent addition to the PTSA is the STEM subcommittee, which is dedicated to working with the school in supporting and enriching education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at EHS. STEM is designed to provide support for initiatives such as visiting scientists, technologists, extracurricular programs, new clubs, field trips and more. Meetings are listed in the school’s online calendar and on the PTSA website calendar. In addition to STEM, the PTSA continues to provide much valuable programming. There will be three parent forums in the upcoming year, Oct. 6, 2016, and March 29 and May 25, 2017. The March forum will be on safe driving and will be mandatory attendance for all juniors — and parents of juniors — seeking a parking pass the following year. This important forum, “Hang Up and Drive,” led by Jacy Good and Steve Johnson, advocates for cell-free roads, will be open to all Edgemont community members as well. Partnership for Learning Differ-

ences will also host several forums. These forums will focus on support for parents of children with special education services and accommodations, but will also provide valuable information for all interested. The dates will be Nov. 14, 2016, and Feb. 16 and April 20, 2017, in the EHS library. The PTSA also keeps the EHS community informed by sending out weekly email blasts, posting on the Edgemont Jr-Sr High School PTSA Facebook page and updating the PTSA website, The PTSA recognizes and appreciates the efforts of the Edgemont faculty, staff and administration. To that end, the PTSA holds a welcome back breakfast and appreciation lunches. The Edgemont PTSA continues to provide funding for student education, teacher education, supplies, communication and community traditions. You can support those efforts by joining, making a donation or volunteering. The PTSA conducts several fundraising initiatives throughout the year. In addition to membership dues, the biggest fundraiser is the Spring Fete, held in conjunction with the Edgemont PTA. This year, the fete will be April 22, 2017. The PTSA also has fundraising efforts through online and local merchants. Mention the

Edgemont PTSA when making purchases at DeCicco’s in Scarsdale and check the PTSA website for additional opportunities to support the organization. You can also start your Amazon searches and make your purchases through the PTSA/Amazon links. ACE (Arts and Cultural Enrichment in Edgemont), a subcommittee of the PTSA, continues to provide funding for the arts. Among other things, ACE has provided much needed supplies for the art department and has helped with funding for the theatrical performances and for field trips. This subcommittee is comprised of people with an interest in the arts and welcomes all who wish to join. Meetings are listed in the school’s online calendar and on the PTSA website calendar. For the month of September, the PTSA hosts the following events: • Sept. 8, 7 p.m.: Seventh Grade Parent Welcome Night • Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m.: PTSA Reception for Back to School Night • Sept. 16, 1:30 p.m.: Volunteer Meeting, location TBD • Sept. 20, during student lunch periods: PTSA Activities Fair Find out more about the Edgemont PTSA by visiting and liking Edgemont Jr-Sr High School PTSA on Facebook.

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EDUCATION SERVICES Regional reps play key role for college admissions BY JANE C. HOFFMAN, MBA, CEP


ost admissions offices in colleges and universities are organized by region with admissions counselors assigned to geographic areas and identified as regional representatives. I live and work in Westchester County, where many of my clients attend high school. When I call a school to gain information on behalf of a client I’m often asked where I’m calling from. Since my response is Westchester County, I’m usually put in touch with the Westchester regional representative who is responsible for knowing all high schools in the county and handling queries from people in our area. That individual will also likely be one of the people later reading applications and making recommendations on the admission decision. Alternately, if that person is not available, I am connected to the counselor on duty for the day. Families are often unaware of the counseling role that good admissions representatives play. If students have questions, the Westchester regional representative should be their first point of contact. Students can enter into a dialogue, pose questions and

expect to receive informed and helpful responses. Schools use their regional representatives as part of their outreach to personalize the process for prospective applicants. Students should take advantage of the opportunities to connect in meaningful ways with their regional representatives. Doing so will put students on their radar and only contribute to the possibility of gaining admissions. It can be very helpful for students to introduce themselves to their regional representatives. In addition to mak-

ing recommendations on admission decision, they can later serve as a potential advocate during any admission committee deliberations. Since the Westchester regional representative is likely the host of school-sponsored events in our area, I strongly recommend that students attend, officially sign in and personally introduce themselves at those events. Students can also email their regional representatives directly. Rather than simply write an email of introduction early on in their process, students might want to send an email after they have visited the school and are able to share a few specific and positive impressions based on their own interests. And if they are not able to visit, they can use email to explain that and pose a targeted question or two or share something specific about their interest in that school based on their personal preferences and priorities. Contact information for regional representatives is usually available on the schools’ admissions link on their websites. Jane. C. Hoffman of College Advice 101 can be reached at or 883-1573. Visit

College essays for the ‘unconventional’ Personal essay tutor Betsy Hooper values “the unconventional student, kids with learning disabilities, artists, musicians, actors.” She said, “These kids have unique stories. My goal is to help them transform these stories into memorable personal essays.” Hooper, a longtime Scarsdale resident, has had much experience working with creative and nontraditional students. She has been a writing and theater teacher in Westchester for nearly 30 years, including the last eight years as director of drama at the Windward School in White Plains. Hooper has helped many middle and high school students write their application essays for private schools and colleges. She is conscious of how complicated this process has become, and how fraught with anxiety. “Applying to colleges or private schools can feel daunting, especially for those students who fall outside of the traditional academic path, but their differences are exactly what make them compelling,” Hooper said. "Schools and colleges have a greater appreciation for ‘outside the box’ thinking.” Using a combination of brainstorming and structured outlining, Hooper helps students identify the meaningful stories of their lives. “It takes patience, humor and a genuine appreciation of kids,” she said. “I try to make the experience as creative and fun as possible so even reluctant writers feel comfortable and confident.” Email

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Unique academic tutoring service An exciting new Academic Coaching and Tutoring service is now available in the Scarsdale area. The service, using a method developed by John Montgomery, Ph.D., a psychology professor at New York University, is a unique combination of coaching, therapy and tutoring. Using a number of powerful tools, the method helps students overcome a wide variety of blocks or challenges that may be keeping them from meeting their goals and reaching their full academic potential. Although these challenges may sometimes be due purely to issues with curriculum, they far more typically also involve common therapyor coaching-related issues, such as procrastination, test-taking anxiety, lack of confidence, lack of focus and anxiety about speaking in class or giving presentations. The Academic Coaching and Tutoring method is a specific application of a unifying new framework called homeostasis psychology, also developed by Dr. Montgomery. Based on extensive research in neuroscience, psychology and anthropology, homeostasis psychology proposes that as we live our modern lives, we typically alternate between two opposing forces or internal drives: a destructive “addictive” drive that

sabotages our goals and creates unnecessary pain and emotional distress and the healthy “homeostatic” drive, the guiding force within us that is always trying to move us into states of equilibrium, well-being, vitality and true aliveness, and to lead us on a path of growth and fulfillment. The therapeutic method derived from the homeostasis psychology framework helps people disengage from the destructive addictive drive and more fully align with the healthy, healing and loving homeostatic drive. The therapeutic method has been shown to be extremely effective in addressing a wide variety of psychological ills, including anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse and alcoholism. The Academic Coaching and Tutoring service is based on the overall homeostasis psychology method, but it specifically focuses on helping students overcome blocks to their academic success. An initial assessment is first provided for each student and then a personalized plan, specific to the needs of each student, is developed that is designed to allow each student to excel. Call 917-244-5161 or visit

Shaarei Tikvah welcomes new rabbi Shaarei Tikvah, the Scarsdale Conservative Congregation, welcomed Rabbi Adam Baldachin as its new spiritual leader this summer. Rabbi Baldachin previously served as the rabbi of Montebello Jewish Center in Rockland County. While at Montebello, Baldachin founded the Rockland Clergy for Social Justice, a group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics advocating for fair and equitable education for the public school students of East Ramapo, a district controlled by an ultra-Orthodox school board. Baldachin has also served communities as close as Riverdale and Frederick, Maryland, and as far as Israel and Uganda, where he worked with the Abayudaya, the local Jewish Community, teaching Hebrew, leading services and helping to build sustainable businesses. Baldachin says he was drawn to Shaarei Tikvah for its warmth and intimacy. “Being a rabbi of a small congregation helps me get to know people, meeting them in their homes or over coffee not just once, but ongoing,” he said. “It gives me a chance to reach out to people for birthdays, illness, death and just to catch up. I love being part of a person’s spiritual journey.” A native of New Providence, New Jersey, Baldachin earned his undergraduate degree from the Joint Program of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He then complet-

ed his rabbinical degree at the seminary, where he received the prestigious Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership. He also completed extensive training in community organizing with JOIN for Justice and in pastoral care, interning as a chaplain at Self Help with Holocaust survivors. Baldachin’s wife, Maital Friedman, program director for Repair the World, grew up in White Plains. Returning to Westchester is a homecoming of sorts for the couple and their three young children. Shaarei Tikvah, at 46 Fox Meadow Road, is the only synagogue in Scarsdale affiliated with the Conservative movement. With a dynamic religious school and multigenerational community, the synagogue offers a variety of educational, cultural and social programs, while welcoming Jews of all backgrounds, including those in mixed marriages.

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Mandarin in Scarsdale Middle School? We say, ‘Yes!’


Learn all things French at Alliance Française Alliance Française of Westchester in White Plains is a language school and more — it’s a place to share an interest in all things French. For children and teenagers, it’s a place to enjoy language learning. Classes are ageappropriate for children from nursery to high school. All teachers are native French speakers. Children hear French spoken as a living language and there is an emphasis on communication. For teachers at the Alliance, French is not an academic subject, but a part of daily life. Classes are small, giving each student a lot of opportunity to interact with his/her teacher. For adults, Alliance Française of Westchester offers classes from beginner to advanced. There are also book clubs, discussion groups, cooking classes and special events, plus intensive language courses for travelers to Francophone countries. The Alliance Française of Westchester is a member of the Alliance Française, based in Paris and founded in 1883. There are more than 1,000 Alliances world wide, devoted to teaching French language and culture. An open house will be held in September. Visit for date and time or email info@



he Mandarin in the Middle School Initiative Team (MMIT) was created in 2014 by a group of Scarsdale parents from a diversity of linguistic, ethnic and professional backgrounds to advocate for the inclusion of Mandarin in the Scarsdale Middle School. Presently, only Spanish and French are taught in the middle school, and children are exposed to Spanish twice in a sixday period in elementary school starting in the second grade. Numerous districts in the tri-state area offer at least three, if not more, foreign languages at the middle school level. Mandarin is taught in many public tri-state middle schools such as in Brewster, Croton-on-Harmon, Great Neck, Linden, Mamaroneck, New York City, New Rochelle, Pelham, Princeton, Rye and Westport. In the fall of 2015, MMIT presented the Scarsdale school administration and the school board a 100page memo with detailed research and analysis about the cognitive, math, music and standardized testing benefits that can arise from learning a foreign language early in childhood. The memo also had numerous research studies about the specific benefits associated with learning Mandarin. Additionally, in the memo MMIT presented our findings about the significant demand that exists in the U.S. for foreign language speakers, both in the public and private sectors, and how foreign language speakers command a salary premium over monolingual English speakers. In the spring of 2016, MMIT expanded its mission to advocate for the improvement of how all foreign languages are taught both at the elementary and


middle school levels. MMIT wrote Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hagerman, Assistant Superintendent Lynn Shain and the board of education to inform them of our advocacy efforts: “STEAM and many other programs were initiated in Scarsdale before you [Dr. Hagerman] arrived. With the foreign language coordinator Ms. Sarah Whittington’s departure, whom you hire to be the elementary and middle school language coordinator will shape the program for years, possibly decades to come. We feel the next World Language Director can bring profound benefit to our students and the continuing excellence of our school system by implementing a 21st-century language program that acknowledges globalization both in terms of the U.S. economy and through the plurality of Scarsdale’s students and their families.” MMIT hopes that the selection of the next world language director will be made with an eye toward the goals of earlier language learning, expanded language choices and instructional leveling to meet different students’ foreign language needs. We believe that this can be achieved, while meeting the challenge to retain what already works well for Scarsdale schools and its children. This will require a special individual and we look forward to welcoming this new director. MMIT encourages any elementary and middle school parents who have an interest in improving foreign language instruction in Scarsdale to let your voices be heard by writing Hagerman, Shain, and the board of education and by attending school board meetings to stay informed. Additionally, we welcome your support. We encourage you to visit our Facebook page, Scarsdale Learns Mandarin. You may reach us at

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Setting up a great back to school transition BY DR. RAY HUNTINGTON It’s back to school time, which can be a source of nerves and excitement for many children. A little preparation can go a long way, however, to making your child feel comfortable and optimistic. Here are five tips for setting the stage for a smooth transition back to school this fall: 1) Start with an open conversation. Rather than launch into a one-sided lecture about what you expect from your child this school year, ask how he or she is feeling — and then simply listen. If your child brings up fears or struggles from last year, be supportive and positive. Offer encouragement by letting your child know that no problem is insurmountable, that together you can work through any issues and that the start of a new school year is a fresh beginning. 2) Make a list of goals for the year. After you’ve had the opportunity to start things off on the right foot with an honest conversation, talk about you and your child’s goals for this year. Focus all goals on making improvements (raising a grade or becoming more organized) rather than reaching achievements (getting all A’s). Also make sure to break big goals into smaller steps.

If your child wants to become better at math, what does he or she think are the necessary steps to make that happen? And how can you support that? 3) Get organized at home. Now is the time to get your home ready for the new school year. Have your child tidy up his or her desk and make a list of supplies that need restocking. Make a shopping trip for supplies for school and home, and be sure to buy a new planner and have your child write his or her class schedule in the front. Hang a family/school calendar in a central location. If you have your own system for managing school paperwork such as an inbox or folder in a home office, review that process with your child. Finally, designate an area for unloading backpacks, organizing papers, hanging jackets and storing shoes. 4) Get the brain school ready. The last couple of weeks before the new school year begins, have your child look over last year’s textbooks and assignments for subjects such as math and science — even if just 10 minutes each evening. If the reading has waned over summer break, re-establish that nightly habit as well. These efforts can help minimize regression and give your child a helpful refresher


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on the things learned last year as well as what is to come. 5) Consider creating a school year contract. The switch from summer leisure to a school schedule can feel abrupt for many children. A supplemental agreement between you and your child can help. Set expectations and goals through a written contract that outlines your child’s responsibilities as a student, how you will support your child (and how you will not) and anything else you think is important to address (such as screen time or extracurricular activities). Remember to make this a constructive, encouraging process. It doesn’t take much to get your child mentally ready to return to school with a positive and motivated outlook. Make sure to model enthusiasm and optimism for a great year ahead. Assure your child that with hard work and a good attitude, good things will happen — and if problems arise, you will work together to correct them. Dr. Ray Huntington founded Huntington Learning Center in 1977 with a mission to give every student the best education possible. Visit or call 1(800) CAN LEARN.

Lifelong learners attend Scarsdale Adult School Scarsdale Adult School, recipient of the 2016 914/INC’s Small Business Award in the Outstanding Not-for-Profit Category, is a proven source of quality adult education. Nourishing the mind, body and soul, SAS boasts a wide array of humanities courses, as well as computer, photography, personal finance, arts and crafts, fitness, card and board games, cooking, health/wellness and self-improvement classes. Registration for the fall semester is already underway, with staggered start dates throughout the semester for fun and enrichment all season long. Class locations, days and times vary by course, but all are housed venues in or convenient to Scarsdale. Classes are open to all, regardless of residency, and courses fill on a first-come, firstserved basis. The fall semester promises an opportunity to explore the influence of religion on American culture, learn about the impact of Brexit, delve into the next U.S. president’s inbox, study the artwork of Harlem, female contemporary artists, Rembrandt, compare the sculptures of the Greek and Roman civilizations or improve your foreign language skills with French, Italian or Spanish. Museum previews and guided tours Continued on page 33A



Marijuana: we’ve learned a lot over the last 40 years BY EMILY VALLARIO, LCSW


SFCS Director of Community Services

magine: A mother places her infant into the front seat of her car without a car seat. Her two toddlers are not seat-belted and are standing on the back seat looking out the rear window. She places the car in drive, but not before lighting her cigarette, which she smokes with the windows up. By today’s standards, this commonplace 1970s scene would be considered reckless, abusive and illegal. Now, imagine: Teens are smoking marijuana after school in a wooded area. Does this scene cause the same sense of alarm? Probably not. In fact, many might imagine this scene as a “harmless rite of passage” or “normal adolescent experimentation.” However, the marijuana of 2016 is not the same as that of the mid 1970s and our understanding of its harm and impacts on a developing adolescent has changed significantly. Marijuana, or weed, is not a harmless rite of passage. It is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and its use is widespread among young people. Results from the 2014 PRIDE survey administered to Scarsdale High School students revealed 37.5 percent of Scarsdale’s seniors reported using

marijuana over the previous 30 days, which was 21 percent higher than Westchester County averages and 28 percent higher than national averages. There are two points regarding use of marijuana, which has become legalized in many states, I wish to concede. One, there is promising research regarding the extraction and use of certain cannabinoids in marijuana that can be used to treat neurological disorders. Second, marijuana has a very low chance for overdose. That, however, does not make smoking it safe and using parts of it for medicinal purposes does not make weed medicine. Intoxication from marijuana, even in those who do not use regularly, can lead to fatal injuries and visits to the emergency room. The reality of modern day weed is that the THC content (THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana) is more than eight times the potency of that of the 1970s. That increase in potency has led to a sharp increase in teen related injuries, emergency room visits and in-patient psychiatric admissions. Marijuana impacts judgment, perception and motor control, all of which make operating a vehicle dangerous and difficult. Research shows that in nearly 37 percent of all fatal automobile accidents, drivers who tested positive for drugs had used marijuana.

Marijuana use has also been linked to adolescent engagement in risky sexual behaviors. Excessive marijuana use has been linked to “marijuana poisoning,” a relatively new term to describe the body’s reaction to the toxicity of cannabis. Marijuana poisoning symptoms are very similar to those of alcohol poisoning. More regular use of marijuana can cause the user to experience feelings of extreme anxiety and panic attacks. High doses can cause an acute psychotic reaction (disturbed perceptions and thoughts), which has led to an increase in emergency room visits and adolescent in-patient admissions to psychiatric facilities. In vulnerable people, such as those who are predisposed to schizophrenia, smoking weed can increase the risk of long-lasting psychosis. Marijuana has been linked to poor academic performance and school failure. Smoking weed can have negative effects on attention, memory and learning, which can last for days and sometimes weeks. Someone who smokes marijuana a few times per week may present with a “dimmed-down brain” making it difficult to stay on task, be organized, plan and prepare for tests. Research shows that teens who smoke marijuana on a regular basis can lose up to eight IQ points. Long-term mari-

juana users report lower overall life satisfaction, lower salaries, relationship difficulties, poorer mental and physical health and less career success. Finally, marijuana is an addictive substance. Statistics show that approximately 10 percent of all marijuana users will become addicted, meaning they will experience physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. This rate increases to 17 percent for those individuals who begin smoking in their teen years and jumps to an alarmingly high rate of 25-50 percent among habitual users. The impact that smoking marijuana has upon the adolescent brain has been well established. Dr. Bertha Madras, Ph.D., of Harvard University, said we need to begin a “cultural shift” by starting to think of marijuana prevention as “a defense of our brains” instead of “a war on drugs.” In order to embrace such a shift in thinking, parents must educate themselves about the very real risks associated with teen marijuana use and establish clear expectations and no-use messages with their teens. We must align our views with current research and begin to let go of our perceptions of marijuana as a harmless rite of passage. To do otherwise is a lot like allowing your children to ride in your car without a seatbelt while you smoke.

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SCARSDALE ADULT SCHOOL Continued from page 31A

abound with current or upcoming exhibit-themed classes on John Singer Sargent, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Edward Hopper, Gustav Klimt and more. Art appreciation instructors will lead guided walking tours through the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, the streets of the Lower East Side and the art galleries of Chelsea and Soho. Gain a rare glimpse at the Alexander Hamilton exhibit at the New York City Public Library or indulge your taste buds with a tour of cheese-making establishments and Italian food purveyors. Film courses cover themes of artists, early American classics of the 1920s to 1940s and food. Literary discussion groups include the perennial favorite BookTalk with Harriet Sobol, along with contemporary memoirs, biographies about innovators, Irish works, Anton Chekhov and short stories. Noteworthy new topics this term include: • Jewish Traders and the Ancient Silk Road with Andrée Aelion Brooks • 1968: The Year that Shook Our History with Jess Velona • Democracies in Disarray with Yoel Magid • China’s Relations with the World with Marjorie C. Miller • The Early Kings of Israel with Michael Malina. In its technology department, SAS offers answers to your digital questions, insights into Window 10 and Excel and

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 33A help navigating the world of social media. Photoshop, digital photography and creating photo books appeal to those with a passion for cameras. Personal finance and how-to courses cover ever-changing estate tax laws and maximizing social security. Learn from the experts how to keep your home clutter-free, plan your activities in retirement or buy and sell on eBay. Aspiring performers can be swept up by the joy of singing. Become a better writer, master the art of screenwriting or grant writing or illustrate children’s books. Arts and crafts opportunities include drawing, crocheting, mixed media, sculpture and painting. Fitness and dance classes run the gamut from (A) aerobic fit blast to (Z) zumba, including ballroom, Bollywood fitness, Latin dancing, body sculpting, pilates, Walk 15® and yoga. Hone your bridge game or take up canasta or mahjong. Learn to relax through meditation or mindfulness. Experience a spirit encounter or a psychic reading. All these classes and many more will be starting before the leaves begin to turn. With both day and evening classes, SAS has something to fit everyone’s schedule. The new fall catalog should have arrived in your mail already and is posted on the adult school website. Extra printed catalogs are available at the Scarsdale Public Library and village hall. Visit to register, to sign up for the monthly electronic newsletter or for additional information about the dynamic fall lineup. Call 723-2325 with questions.

Ardsley Community Nursery School & Day Care 21 American Legion Drive, Ardsley (914) 693-4932

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An Affordable Jewish Education for your child when you don’t belong to a Synagogue. Enroll your child now for the 2016-17 school year! The Children’s Jewish Education Group offers Jewish cultural studies for grades K-7, with emphasis on tradition, history and holidays. A professional teaching staff is supported by a parent co-op. Bar/Bat Mitzvah lessons available. High Holiday services are celebrated. Interfaith families welcome. Classes held Sunday mornings at Purchase College.

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Preschool that prepares your child for the future The JCC of Mid-Westchester welcomes families to its cutting edge early childhood center regardless of their religion, ethnicity, race or sexual preference. At its well-equipped center, children from 17 months to 5 years old are steeped in an atmosphere that provides tools to inspire creativity, learning, independence and joy. Children participate in age-appropriate educational activities, science, math, literature and world cultures, in addition to gym and gymnastics, swimming from the age of 3, nature study, music, creative movement, cooking and more. The JCC has tailored its programming to what parents say they value most, such as excellent educational programming, a flexible school day (half day, full day, etc.), a warm and nurturing environment, easy drop-off and pick-up, feeling closely involved as the child’s caregiver and additional activities under the same roof. Two key things differentiate this highly regarded school from all the rest: 1) The quality of the staff, who are all experienced early childhood teachers, many with master’s degrees, and 2) The vast range of after-school offerings at the JCC itself, which allows the children to move through seamlessly and gives parents peace of mind that everything is under one roof.



Just ask one of our 4s parents: “I love the teachers at the JCC. It’s no wonder that generations of parents have chosen the JCC. It’s family friendly and parents are frequently invited into the classroom. They’ve been very welcoming of my nanny and recognize her as an integral part of our family … Coming from the city, I have found it easy to make friends with other preschool parents.” The JCC allows parents to drop their children off without getting out of the car beginning at 8:40 a.m. The JCC understands it is difficult and time consuming for parents to get younger siblings out of the car for drop-off, particularly in inclement weather, according to nursery school director Caryn Symons. The JCC offers early drop-off at 8 a.m. and care after regular school hours from 3-6 p.m., which helps meet the needs of working parents and parents with other children on other

schedules. Unlike other programs, the JCC offers mini-camps during school vacation times, a huge perk for working parents and for families that may not have vacations planned during these times. There is also a highly regarded summer camp for kids ages 2 through high school. Many preschool parents keep their kids at the JCC for the summer camp because of the flexibility it offers, its top-notch reputation in lower Westchester and to maintain consistency and familiarity for their young children. Many of the professionals and teachers continue through the summer as camp staff members. But don’t be fooled — the camps are very different from the school day in that they are filled with water play, lots of swimming and extensive outdoor time. Unique to the JCC is the ability for preschoolers to take other classes after their usual school day, such as art classes, dance, soccer, super sports, karate, gymnastics and swimming. Children are escorted to their activities. Parents can benefit from this “all-under-one-roof” feature as well. The JCC also offers a special fitness membership to preschool parents at the rate of only $38 per month. The JCC offers full days or half days for preschool aged kids. “Some of my friends send their kids to preschools that only offer school from 9-12, then they’re scrambling to find other activities to keep their

• Extended Day Lunch and Enrichment Options for 3s & 4s • Mini-Camp and Summer Play Place • Free Weekly Babies & Bagels Play Group and Shabbat • PJ Library

Susan Tolchin, Director WRT Early Childhood Center, 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale 914-723-5493 • •

SJTL nursery features spacious playground The nursery school at St. James the Less in Scarsdale has been in the forefront of providing high quality early childhood education since 1968. St. Continued on next page

Ardsley Music

Enrollment for 2017-18 begins in November

• Nursery School Classes for Toddlers, 2s, 3s & 4s

kids busy every day,” Symons said. “The JCC parents love that they can choose any number of days a week to keep their kids there for the extended day and that the extended day isn’t just day care, it’s actually themed. There’s math, science, reading, culture and swimming.” A one-hour after-school lunch bunch is also offered for kids who want to stay and eat a supervised lunch with their friends. As part of its commitment to combine play and education and offer cutting edge educational programming, the JCC Academic Center has just announced a new STEAM program in partnership with TEKITM, an educational provider who creates classes designed to teach students to be 21st-century learners by focusing on creativity, safe use and common core integration. Classes will include STEM engineering, robotics, MINECRAFT Worlds, animation and video creation and much more. These sessions are designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. For more, visit

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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

James the Less Nursery School emphasizes the development of the whole child intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically, and knows that children learn best through play. SJTLNS’s mission is to help children feel comfortable in their first school experience as they become independent, self-confident learners. From September to June the experienced, devoted staff guides children ages 2-4 in developing at their own pace in a fun and nurturing way that is individualized to each child. With a student-to-staff ratio ranging between 5:1 and 8:1, activities are designed to allow each child to explore, experiment and create. Activities include art, music, yoga, cooking, dramatic play, science, math, and fine and large motor play. Facilities include a spacious playground where children have the opportunity to play, climb, run and ride on a tricycle path. During inclement weather, the staff utilizes the Great Hall for creative movement sessions and games. Special events and activities include the annual Art and Music Show, parent and friend visiting days, community helpers visits. The nursery school welcomes children of all cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds in an effort to foster the diversity that makes up the community. Limited openings in 2s and 3s and 4s for fall 2016. Additional learning opportunities include a three-week extension program in June and six-week summer

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 35A to area Catholic elementary and middle schools. Schools can request programs on topics ranging from bullying to high school readiness preparation. Greg Quirolo, director of school counseling at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, said the school began the speakers’ bureau as a pilot last year and found it to be so successful that it has decided to expand it. He said Iona Prep believes sharing this valuable resource is in keeping with the school’s values. “Parents are looking for guidance in so many areas,” Quirolo said. “This program allows us to share in the mission of Catholic education with local Catholic elementary and middle schools.” Nancy Kessler, a longtime social worker at Iona Preparatory Upper School, is one of the professional speakers. Kessler has 30 years of experience working with parents and children as a counselor and presenter. She was recognized as an Unsung Hero by Westchester Magazine in its March 2016 issue for fostering student achievement through sensitivity, empathy and guidance. Kessler said the goal of her presentation is to help parents support their children as they navigate the pre- and early teen years. She also shares tips for coping during what often becomes a stormy, stressful time for families. Other speakers the bureau offers are: • Terence Houlihan, a sought-after national and international educational

program in July and August. Contact director Cheryl Smith at or 723-1018. Visit

New director at SCC Nursery School The Scarsdale Congregational Church Nursery School board is excited to introduce new director Melissa DiCostanzo. “Melissa’s extensive educational background, creative ideas and knowledge of the school made her a perfect fit,” the board said. Prior to joining SCCNS, DiCostanzo worked as both an elementary and special education teacher. She has been part of SCCNS for 10 years, with all three of her children attending. In addition to serving on the SCCNS board, DiCostanzo has taught in the 2-, 3- and 4-year-old programs. She has also supported the extended opportunities by teaching in the Inchworm summer program as well as expanding the range of after-school classes by teaching the Computer and Science and brand new Cooking with Books program that just began last spring. DiCostanzo is passionate about the creative learning through play philosophy that SCCNS embraces. “SCCNS is an amazing place,” she said. “I love the balance of a developmentally appropriate curriculum, learning through creative play, innovative ways to teach young children and the loving nurturing envi-

New director Melissa DiCostanzo

ronment. It really has been a privilege to work at SCCNS in various capacities and I am eager to partner with families and staff as I begin my new role as director.” The SCCNS has classes for 2s, 3s and 4s with limited openings for the fall. SCCNS has programs including music, Spanish, gym time and nature of things. SCCNS has after-school classes for 3s and 4s, Computers and Science; Music and Art; and Cooking with Books. Visit

Iona Prep offers professional workshops Seeing the benefit that professional workshops have provided to parents and teachers at its own school, Iona Preparatory is now offering these programs

Continued on page 37A


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ANNOUNCING THE CHANGE IN MEMBERSHIP YOU’VE BEEN PRAYING FOR. Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El is pleased to announce an innovative, new, non-dues based financial structure – known as a “pledge commitment model”. Members, former members, and prospective members in the Westchester Jewish community will be able to continue their membership or join the synagogue by making an annual financial pledge – a self-selected amount that will reflect the member’s chosen level of financial support for the synagogue. “We are all partners in building and sustaining a Scarsdale Synagogue community that is open to everyone, with the expectation that members will financially support our congregation in a way that reflects both their financial ability and their sense of investment in the future of our communal life.” – Rabbi Jeffrey Brown The High Holy Days will be here before you know it. Now is the time to join us and experience all Scarsdale Synagogue has to offer – from early childhood education and religious school, to adult education and, yes, the High Holy Days.

Hineinu. We Are Here.

2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583

For further information, please contact Roberta Aronovitch, Executive Director, at 914-725-5175 or send an email to

BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from page 35A

consultant and speaker. • Quirolo, a former teacher and assistant principal with over 20 years of educational experience. Current workshops include: • How to prepare for the High School Prep Experience • Bullying 101: An overview of bullying and victim behavior and strategies for middle school students. • Crucial Skills for Parenting Your Middle School Adolescent • Tips for Parents of Teens: It’s All in Their Heads! • The Developing Adolescent Brain: Implications for Middle School Educators. Last year, Iona Prep presented workshops to Saints John and Paul in Larchmont and St. Anthony’s in Yonkers. Fatima Gianni, principal of Saints John and Paul School in Larchmont, said the school was pleased with the presentations: “The Iona Prep Speakers’ Bureau has been an amazing resource for our school at Saints John and Paul. I encourage all schools to participate.” Reaccredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools in 2015, Iona Preparatory School k-12 sits on 37 acres of suburban green in New Rochelle, where it educates young men to be moral and ethical leaders. Iona Prep develops the whole person in the heritage of Blessed Edmund Rice and the American Catholic tradition to be lifelong learners, responsible to their commitment of service to others and confident in their

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 37A self-worth, while being supported by a challenging and innovative college-preparatory curriculum in relationship with a dedicated and caring faculty and community. Visit

WRT a center for early childhood The Early Childhood Center at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT/ECC) in Scarsdale is a state-licensed preschool offering programs for infants through pre-k. The ECC offers a comprehensive, top-notch educational program in a warm and nurturing environment, dedicated to enriching young children’s lives socially, emotionally, academically, spiritually and physically. WRT/ECC strives to be inclusive, welcoming every child regardless of cultural background or affiliation. The ECC is a family-centered community where parents are encouraged to become involved in both the classroom and other school activities. Parents are included in holiday parties, weekly Shabbat celebrations, regular newsletters and emails, social functions and teacher conferences. Families are also invited to many activities open to the greater temple community like Sharing Shabbat, children’s High Holy Day services, charitable activities and holiday carnivals and festivities. The ECC seeks to create a stimulating environment for children and their families so that they may grow and explore

the world together. WRT/ECC sees the preschool experience as a critical first step in a child’s journey of developing values, self-esteem and lifelong learning, planting the seeds from which a child will eventually grow into adulthood. There is a free drop-in morning Bagels and Babies Playgroup on Fridays as well as Dad’s clubs and monthly Tot Shabbats throughout the year. Contact director Susan Tolchin at 7235493 Ext. 8620, or

Playground helps Mazel Tots have fun on own The just-opened outdoor play space for the Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El’s much-admired Mazel Tots® pre-school program has two climbing structures, various dramatic play areas, an abundance of ride-on toys, rocks for climbing, stone walls for sitting, a rain garden and spectacular life-sized playhouses. “There is something for everyone at our new playground,” said director of early childhood Jody Glassman. The playground was recently completed after several years of fundraising and, in Glassman’s words “dreaming big,” becoming a reality after the project received small and large contributions from people of all ages. Other key features include a spongy safety surface under all climbing equipment and around the playground’s village green. This center of activity features playhouses and

shops, a grassy town center and kidsized fire trucks, police cars and other community helper vehicles. The playground serves as an extension of the Mazel Tots Early Childhood Program at Scarsdale Synagogue, where children ages 18 months through 5 years have been shown to learn best through a creative and sensitive approach to play. The program provides a developmentally appropriate approach, emphasizing language and literacy and the curriculum includes physical, emotional and interpersonal development, Jewish values, math, science, social studies, music, movement and art. Children explore such subjects through thematic units, games, art, songs and finger plays, books and many other activities, focusing on community helpers, seasons, author studies, dinosaurs, insects and flowers, rocks and shells, animals and their environments, stores/shopping and harvest, as well as their feelings, their bodies and healthy food choices. To learn more about these programs, to set up a tour or to play on the new playground, contact Mazel Tots at 7233001 or visit Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El is a Reform Jewish congregation committed to creating a covenant community of shared lives and real relationships. The temple is an inclusive, caring and visionary community. Visit or contact executive director Roberta Aronovitch at 725-5175 or

Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont & Emanu­El 2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale, NY  10583

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BACK TO SCHOOL s Arts & Enrichment

CPD offers nearly 250 weekly classes One of the longest-running and most respected dance studios in Westchester for over 30 years, Central Park Dance offers nearly 250 classes per week in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical and more, for all ages and levels. Open seven days a week, in addition to an exciting curriculum designed to nurture the talent of students and push them to develop into well-rounded dancers, all classes are taught by a staff of experienced, dedicated, and world renowned teachers. Under the artistic direction of Maria Bai, CPD’s preschool program, regarded as one of the finest in the area, invites children as young as 2 years of age to participate in introductory classes. Through age 5, tiny dancers enjoy ageappropriate activities that introduce classical ballet and a strong and accessible foundation through daily classes in

fairytale ballet, tippy toes, hip-hop princess and tap. Bai and faculty also offer an extensive academic and pre-professional curriculum for more advanced students to work with outstanding choreographers in an intensive and immersive program, providing unique performance opportunities throughout the year. Additionally, the studio welcomes over 300 adult students each week in ballet, hip-hop, tap, jazz, stretch and tone, belly dancing, yoga, jazzercise and more, maintaining its mission of health, wellness, confidence and growth for all ages. The largest dance studio in Westchester, expanding with a 2,000-square-foot fourth studio in 2016, Central Park Dance is also the ideal venue for the birthday party of any child’s dreams. Offering a full schedule all year long, the studio also offers summer performing arts camps and intensive programs for dancers of all ages. Miss Talia’s Boutique is located within Central Park Dance and is open late, seven days a week offering a wide selection of footwear, body wear, gymnastics attire and accessories at affordable prices. Central Park Dance will present their first (and then annual) “Nutcracker” production open to all dancers of the community on Dec. 17 and 18. Auditions will take place Sept. 11. Auditions for Remixx and Signature Dance Companies will take place Sept. 10. A studio open house is also scheduled for Sept. 11.

Scarsdale Ballet celebrates 25 years Scarsdale Ballet Studio, recognized throughout Westchester and the New York metro area for the quality of its curriculum and the professionalism of its faculty, announces the world premiere of its first original and collaborative production of “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 19. Embarking upon their 25th year of serving aspiring dancers, the performance will feature nearly 100 children of all ages at the Recital Hall at SUNY Purchase for shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Rehearsals will commence shortly after Labor Day and continue through the fall. Tickets will go on sale in November. “There is just simply a need for this in our community,” said artistic director and founder of Scarsdale Ballet Studio Diana White, a former soloist of New York City Ballet. “‘The Nutcracker’ is such a timeless and rich tradition for ballet and is something that audiences love and young dancers should experience, from the smallest mouse to the Rat King and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Dancers of the school will also be joined by the students of Young at Arts, a performing arts educational organization bringing students of different backgrounds and means together through music and drama. YAA and Scarsdale

Ballet have been working together since last September. White has invited Marcus Galante, whose career has encompassed Broadway and ballet, to be a guest choreographer. He will collaborate with White and faculty members Simon Kazantsev, Carmen Banu, Ellen Shea, Maria Posey and Rosemary Saur on the full-length production. Scenery will be contributed by Alain Vaes, a former set and costume designer for New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet, among others. Scarsdale Ballet Studio Beyond exploring the classical repertoire, the studio offers its dancers an opportunity unique in Westchester: to learn and perform the choreography of George Balanchine with White, a former soloist of the New York City Ballet who worked directly with Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Additionally, students work on an ongoing basis with renowned New York City-based, award-winning choreographers and dancers. SBS alumni are currently performing with the American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiene and are regularly accepted into the most prestigious summer training programs, such as the American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Miami City BalContinued on the next page

Academic Coaching & Tutoring We help students overcome a variety of blocks that may keep them from fulfilling their academic potential, such as: • Procrastination • Test-taking anxiety • Lack of confidence • Lack of focus • Anxiety about giving presentations Our powerful method, developed by John Montgomery, Ph.D., a psychology professor at New York University, provides tools that help students disengage from destructive thought and behavior patterns, allowing them to achieve states of “flow” that are optimal for academic success. Students will also be given extensive help with their schoolwork when needed, and will typically complete a substantial amount of work during the sessions.


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BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

let, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Joffrey Summer Intensives, Suzanne Farrell’s Cedar Island and Kennedy Center Programs, the Kirov Academy, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, NYSSA, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy and more. Two students have been medalists at the Youth America Grand Prix, the largest international student ballet competition awarding scholarships to the world’s foremost professional ballet academies. White is a repetiteur and master teacher for the George Balanchine Trust. During her 20-year career at NYCB, White danced corps de ballet, soloist and principal roles in over 50 Balanchine and 20 Robbins ballets. In addition to her work with both masters, she was mentored and coached by Suzanne Farrell, Violette Verdy and Karin Von Aroldingen. The process of passing on Balanchine’s choreography, aesthetic, technique, musicality and philosophy to her own students fueled White’s passion to work with dancers around the world. Visit

Studio B: new classes, programs, building Exciting changes are taking place at Studio B Dance Center. For over 20 years, Studio B has been providing quality dance education to children ages 2-18 in the neighboring towns of Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville to name a few. This year Studio B is pleased to of-

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 39A fer a brand new curriculum, Baby Ballerinas, for 18-36 months. This 45-minute class is taken with a parent or caregiver. A brand new program for this season, Create Your Own Combo, has become a fast favorite. This specially designed class for ages 6-8 allows students to create a combo class based on their interests. Combo classes can include hip-hop, tap and tumbling. Also brand new this year, Studio B Dance Center is offering a free program open to all toddlers and their caregivers. Storytime With a Twist is a 30-minute story time that combines children’s’ love of books with their energy to get up and move. Calling all middle and high schoolers: if you love to dance and want to get academic recognition, join the National Dance Honor Society. This program combines dance with education and goes on a student’s school transcript. Members can be a once-a-week dance student or join the performing company. Studio B’s most dramatic change is a brand new facility located at 277 White Plains Road in Eastchester. The newly renovated building will have three stateof-the-art dance studios and two waiting rooms with one-way observation windows. All studios have professional floating floors and 8-foot high mirrors. With all these exciting changes, one thing remains constant, Studio B’s ability to provide high quality dance education in a noncompetitive, nurturing environment. Voted Best Party Place by Westchester Magazine, and in the top 5 of Best Dance Studios in Westchester Family, the studio is open seven days a week and has an extensive list of classes, many sched-

Scarsdale Community Baptist Nursery School Programs for Pre-School Children since 1961

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uled conveniently for siblings to dance at the same time. For more information, call 793-2799 or visit

Song for Seeds music program in Scarsdale Songs for Seeds is an award-winning and popular young children’s music program based in Scarsdale. Named Best Music Class by New York Magazine and Most Magical Music Class by Red Tricycle, Songs for Seeds offers 12 morning and afternoon classes this fall for children under 6 years of age at the Scarsdale Synagogue on Ogden Road. Songs for Seeds features 45-minute classes led by a three-piece live band of teacher/musicians who encourage kids to sing, play instruments and dance. At the end of class, the students are invited to sing with the band (karaoke style) and play the band’s instruments (guitar, keys and drums). Each week the children experience music, instruments and language from a different culture. Magnetic art murals are created by the children during the sing-along of well-known nursery rhymes, magic tricks are used to practice numbers and counting and a wheel is spun to reinforce the names and sounds of animals. By mixing original kids rock ’n’ roll with adult contemporary music, the band is sure to please little ones (and their adult parents). The Song for Seeds band can also be booked for children’s birthday parties. Dana Goodman-Fisher, a native of Scarsdale and an Emmy Award-winning

producer at ABC’s “The View,” runs the program, which is also opening classes in Rye Brook this fall. For more information about Songs for Seeds, contact Goodman-Fisher at or For more Information about Rye Brook classes,

Music Conservatory offers more programs Music Conservatory of Westchester, a not-for-profit community music school in White Plains, will roll out several brand new classes for those interested in new and contemporary music. The offerings are aimed to expand musical horizons through the basics of jazz theory, harmony and improvisation. Additionally, students can explore their unique compositional voice and write original music. A music appreciation class is also available as are new large and small ensemble options including, respectively, Latin Jazz and Jazz Big Band and Jazz Combos and Rock Band. “We offer groups of every shape and size, from rock or jazz band, to Latin Jazz and Big Band,” explained Doug Bish, dean of students and faculty. “We’ll match you up with compatible players and you’ll receive weekly coaching with a member of our outstanding professional faculty. You’ll grow as a musician and have opportunities to perform at the conservatory and in the community.” For those jazz lovers, there’s also a jazz Continued on page 40A



BACK TO SCHOOL s Arts & Enrichment

Continued from page 39A

Scarsdale resident and longtime student Emma Carnicelli with younger dancer Samantha Nasti at a Studio B field trip.

theory and improvisation class in which students will learn the evolution of improvisation and discover how jazz greats like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane mastered their art. “You’ll develop new ways to practice your instrument, understand the blues, use complex harmonic ideas and structures, and improvise in styles such as bebop and cool jazz,” assistant dean Jake Robinson said. In addition to those enhancements, the conservatory is offering a songwriting workshop for grade 7 to adult, which will enable students to create and perform their original compositions. There is also a young songwriters class for those in grades 6 to 8. Music appreciation class Cover to Cover will discuss a different classic album

— from Bowie to the Beach Boys — each week. The conservatory will also hold group classes in guitar and piano for teen and adult beginners. There is also a new Top 25 Classics for Bass class for students who can read music and want to perform classic tunes by the likes of The Beatles, Temptations, Van Morrison and other top artists. Also offered is instruction in all styles of music on all instruments, including piano, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp, harpsichord and organ. “Our highly qualified teachers use an individualized approach for each student, based on age, goals and learning style,” Bish said. “Lessons are available throughout the year, including summer.” Tuition to the lessons includes free music theory classes, discounted performing ensembles and free student performances, including rehearsals with a professional piano accompanist. Visit

Love returns to teaching Shirley Love, famous Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano, has returned to Scarsdale to teach after a year of teaching abroad and will resume her vocal studio in Scarsdale beginning September. Love performed at the Metropolitan Opera Co. for 20 years and throughout the world as both performer and teacher. She is interested in young singers who are preparing for music performance and adult singers who are or wish to become

Get Personal. Personal Essays for College and Private School Applications Find your voice. Tell your story. Writing teacher Betsy Hooper can make it happen. For help with

Motivating reluctant writers Finding authentic stories Improving organization Experience includes

Language-based learning disabilities Performing and Visual Artists Student Athletes For information 914-844-5963

professional singers or choristers who wish to improve their abilities. Love can be reached at Visit

Be a friend of music and arts in Scarsdale You’ve probably noticed there are many organizations in this world called “friends” of one group or another. There are Friends of Parks, Friends of Animals, Friends of Libraries and, of course, Friends of Music & the Arts. But what exactly does it mean to be a Friend of Music & the Arts in the Scarsdale schools? Being a Friend of Music & the Arts in the Scarsdale schools means showing support for all the artistic endeavors of the children in the schools. To help show that support, FMA solicits annual family membership donations of $35 and up and holds fundraisers in order to do the following: 1) Fund new equipment and enhance the arts programs at each school in the district through grants. FMA grants respond to specific requests from department chairs. This year, FMA grants have provided art room equipment and stringed instrument supplies for the elementary schools; technology and electronic equipment for the middle school art and music departments; and the high school art and music departments with equipment to aid in student art production and instrument storage items. All

materials and items were requested and approved by arts faculty and administration at the schools themselves. You can find details about these grants at 2) Recognize significant arts-related achievements of the high school students with awards and certificates. Each year, FMA sends out approximately 75 certificates to congratulate students identified by faculty as having excelled in their fields. FMA gives scholarship support to NYSSMA All-State musicians and provides refreshments at many school concerts and arts-related events. 3) Thank the wonderful arts faculty for all they do for the children. Each spring it is FMA’s great pleasure to host a teacher appreciation luncheon for all music, art and drama teachers in the district, letting them know how much the parents appreciate all they do for our children every day. In order to continue its mission, FMA seeks support from all parents who value the arts education in schools. Family memberships are the primary source of funding, with levels starting at $35. Visit to learn more, join online and be placed on FMA’s email list. Checks can be mailed payable to Friends of Music and the Arts, P.O. Box 171H. Include contact information. If you have questions or wish to get involved, ask your PTA president to put you in touch with your school’s FMA liaison. Continued on the next page

BACK TO SCHOOL – FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016 Continued from previous page

10 ways to bring Om to your home There was one year when the teen class was filled with girls who would fall asleep at the end of class in savasana. This Friday afternoon class was a perfect end to a hectic week, where seemingly every minute was filled with nonstop activities. This yoga class was the one opportunity the children had to be still. To focus on the breath. To simply be. In an age of constant interaction, where we are expected to be available to our friends and colleagues 24/7, teaching our children to take time to close off the world in order to check in with themselves is crucial to their well-being. We all need balance in our lives and as we are raising our children in an era of constant, mind-numbing interaction; that is where the need for contemplation and yoga practice comes in. Here are some simple suggestions for putting the Om back into home: • Take time to practice daily. Even five or 10 minutes a day can bring a lot of harmony into the home and the classroom. • Create a safe environment. Clean floor, with no sharp objects or corners to bang into, foster an emotionally safe environment, ensuring that all students feel they are important members of the group. • Create a calming environment. Eliminate distractions like computers, televisions and cellphones. Turn off overhead lights and allow fresh air to circulate. Take off shoes and socks to stretch out

THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER | PAGE 41A feet. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn't restrict movement. • Ask the students to check in with themselves before and after the practice. Ask them how their body is feeling and how their heart and brain are feeling. They don’t have to share, but they may wish to share with the class what has brought them here today. • Show the poses simply. There is no right or wrong in doing the poses, as long as students are safe and can breathe freely and feel strong and happy. • Keep the class short and sweet. Preschoolers may be able to stay focused for 15 minutes before a story time or music break. Teenagers are often able to practice for an hour or longer. Encourage frequent rest and make sure to include a final relaxation… this is the most important part. • In order to foster a sense of community and a creative atmosphere, try not to compare students to each other. Yoga, thankfully, is not a performance. • Remove any preconceived notion as to how the class will transpire. Meet your children where they are. If they have a lot of energy, they may enjoy sun salutations. If they are exhausted, then a guided relaxation may be just the thing. • Everyone enjoys story time. Choose stories (or current events for older children) that emphasize elements of community, individual strength, open heartedness and generosity that tie into the practice of yoga. • Remember the fundamentals of yoga: cultivating love and respect for ourselves and the world around u s. — CHAR DAIGLE, Yoga Station Owner

Steffi Nossen open house Sept. 26-Oct. 1 Join 79-year-old Steffi Nossen School of Dance to experience the joy of dancing. During the free week of dance open house from Monday, Sept. 26. to Saturday, Oct. 1, try unlimited age and level appropriate classes at no obligation. This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a new dance technique or rediscover an old favorite. Try any of these classes, available Monday-Saturday, at the studios at the Music Conservatory of Westchester on Central Avenue in White Plains — across the street from the Westchester County Center — and on Mondays at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin on South Greeley Avenue in Chappaqua. “I am very excited for my second year here at Steffi Nossen School of Dance,” school director Kristina Todd Nelson said. “I look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces in our studios come fall and look forward to a new and exciting year of dance. Our programs here at Steffi not only give superb dance training but also nurtures our student’s mind, body and soul.” The Steffi Nossen School of Dance conducts a program of core classes in modern, ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop for children 3 years old through teens and a full complement of level-based technique classes in modern, ballet, contemporary and jazz. Performance opportunities are available for all and live music is a part of most classes. Moving Wheels and Heels, an adaptive class for dancers with physical, develop-

mental, and emotional disabilities will hold its own open house. Wheelchairs are welcome. The faculty, all college-trained professionals with performing experience, transmits the joy and discipline of dance with warmth and enthusiasm to dancers of all ages and abilities. Each student is challenged to strive for their personal best and lifelong friendships are formed in our supportive, noncompetitive environment. Check out the new boys’ class for kindergarten to grade 5 and a toddler/caregiver program. In the boys’ class, boys learn to create their own moves while working on strength, agility, flexibility and coordination. Popular music and the foundations of dance movement make this fun and inviting. Youngest dancers 1-3 years old and their parents/caregivers have a class of their own. This fun-filled program focuses on developing children’s motor skills, musicality and imagination through creative movement and movement games. Classes will take place in six-week sessions throughout the school year, providing many opportunities to meet new friends. Steffi Nossen will again offer the popular open-level adult classes in modern and ballet. Whether you are a returning dancer or one who wants to learn a new skill in a relaxed setting, if you love to move, the adult classes are fun and a great alternative workout. About Steffi Nossen School of Dance Founded in 1937 by dance legend Steffi Nossen, the Steffi Nossen School of Dance offers a strong community-minded and Continued on page 42A

Play, Engage, Learn Fun for All Ages!

French-American School of New York Growing Global Citizens

Explore our forests and trails • Climb in a treehouse on our Nature’s Discovery Playground • Experience the interior of a wigwam and longhouse • Find a frog in our vernal pond • Learn about our rooftop gardens Pet a tortoise, goat, or ferret! The Greenburgh Nature Center is a leader in environmental education. We offer programming from sustainable practices to environmental science and animal care. Every visit holds the possibility of a new discovery and memorable moment.

99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914) 723-3470 • OPEN DAILY


Saturday, November 5, 2016, 10am Saturday, January 21, 2017, 10am

Accepting non-French speakers: • In Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten: Bilingual immersion • In High school: IB Diploma Programme taught in English Bilingual Co-ed School • Nursery (3 years old) through Grade 12 Campuses in Scarsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck • (914) 250-0401



BACK TO SCHOOL s Arts & Enrichment Weekly programs

Continued from page 41A

leadership-focused educational model with developmentally appropriate dance instruction and performance opportunities for all ages and abilities. The school is owned and operated by the Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation, a not-for-profit dance advocacy and community outreach organization, which seeks to foster the arts in Westchester County. Through the support of the foundation, the school enables all students, including those with special needs, the opportunity to participate in their extensive programs and classes in a noncompetitive environment. A generous financial aid and scholarship program supports those with significant economic challenges. With a sterling reputation in the industry and a rich history, Steffi Nossen is a leader among dance schools, focusing on the growth of students’ mind, body, spirit and character. Call 328-1900 or visit for class descriptions and schedules, faculty bios or to reserve your spot.r

GNC: a paradise for young children Back to school is a busy time at the Greenburgh Nature Center as visiting preschool/school groups, parents/ caregivers with children and the general public are welcomed. GNC offers a wide array of educational programs and

GNC’s harvest party is an annual highlight.

classes, special seasonal events, camp and birthday parties for ages 3 and up. GNC’s goal is to promote an appreciation of nature and the environment. The 33-acre woodland preserve has trails, ponds, gardens, nature’s discovery playground and outdoor animal exhibits. The indoor exhibits include a live animal museum with over 100 specimens, exhibit areas focusing on nature and the environment, a greenhouse, as well as a gift shop. By being outdoors, interacting with animals and witnessing nature’s seasonal changes, children learn that they are part of a larger ecological community. The playground is a unique, naturethemed attraction designed to engage children in outdoor exploration and discovery. This recreation area serves children ages 2-12 and provides a variety of play elements which mimic the natural environment.

Weekday nature series programs for young children with a parent or caregiver let you enjoy an hour of nature fun together. Except for extreme weather conditions, a portion of each class is spent outdoors. Tuition for a six-week session is $50 for GNC members, $90 for nonmembers. Preregistration and prepayment are required. Young Explorer’s Storytime is a unique experience as children, with a parent or caregiver, are immersed in a nature-themed story, with opportunities to engage with our animals and enjoy GNC’s fields and forests. For children ages 3-5, Mondays, 1-2 p.m. and runs through Sept. 26. The cost is $9 per child for members, $12 for nonmembers. Teaching Trails offers free weekend walks for all ages, with specially trained “trail ninja” volunteers providing information on trees, plants, wildlife and seasonal changes. This environmental education program is generously supported by Con Edison. Program runs most Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 25 at 11:30 a.m. and lasts for approximately 45 minutes. Special events at GNC The Honey Harvest Party will be Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. It’s the season to reap the harvest of GNC’s organic gar-

den and hives. The naturalists prepare a sampling of tasty treats from the garden and you learn about the fascinating social network of honeybees, beekeeping and how honey is harvested from hives. Honey is extracted by the beekeepers. There is a free tasting of fresh honey-from-the-hives, and the newly harvested honey is available for purchase. Preregister online to save on admission. Look online for details about upcoming fall special events. Visit the story walk Join GNC for the free eighth annual Story Walk, which runs Sundays from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Sept. 25. Take a self-guided walk with your child along the woodland trail to enjoy a favorite children’s storybook, “Screech Owl at Midnight Hollow” by C. Drew Lamm. Recommended for children ages 8 and under. The nature center is located at 99 Dromore Road, off Central Park Avenue in Scarsdale. Parking is free and handicapped parking is available. The nature center’s grounds are open daily dawn to dusk through the year. The center’s indoor exhibits are open Monday through Thursday (closed Fridays and a few holidays) from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and on weekends from 10 a.m.4:30 p.m. Visit or call 723-3270.

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early droP-oFF & extended day Programs availaBle

call now for information or a tour 914.472.5409

 Non-sectarian, multi-ethnic  Morning class for 2s, 3s and 4s  2, 3 or 5 day options  After school enrichment  Arts Education  Music and Creative Movement

 Spanish  Special programs and field trips  Experienced, nurturing teachers  Brand new playground  Inchworm Summer Program








I AM IONA PREP. Invest In An Education that Offers Financial Returns From the moment your son enters kindergarten through the moment he leaves for college, Iona Prep is preparing him for a great college experience. Iona Preparatory is Westchester’s only all-boys, K-12 Catholic School. Boys thrive in the active learning environment offered at Iona Prep, where teachers help students channel energy into constructive learning. Our strong and innovative college-preparatory program — based on Catholic values — is also an investment in your son’s future. We offer exceptional academics and a robust athletic program that has resulted in our students earning valuable academic and sports scholarships to top schools.

In 2016, 76% of Iona Prep seniors received academic scholarships* to colleges, often exceeding the cost of their four-year Upper School tuition. Students received an average of $54,633 in individual college scholarships and a total of more than $23 million for the graduating class. They also received athletic scholarships to attend Division I and II schools. *National average for college scholarships is 45% of graduating seniors.


Upper School WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 6 – 8 P.M.

Lower School THURSDAY, NOV. 3, 6 – 8 P.M.


Iona Preparatory Upper School 255 Wilmot Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 600-6154

Iona Preparatory Lower School 173 Stratton Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 633-7744

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  @IonaPrep in/IonaPrep IonaPreparatory +IonaPreparatorySchool

Scarsdale Inquirer Back to School 2016  
Scarsdale Inquirer Back to School 2016