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A SPeCiAl SeCTion oF

The Scarsdale Inquirer AUgUST 23, 2013

Page 2a | The ScarSdale InquIrer | FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 – Back to School


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Back to school countdown is on!

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Page 4A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Back to school countdown is on! A last minute guide By MARY LEGRAND


eady or not, here it comes! The start of the 2013-14 school year is just around the corner, and for some parents and their children, the next week or two signals the immediate need to change routines in order to most effectively meet students’ upcoming academic challenges. While it’s no surprise to families that summer is a time for children to relax and not worry so much about getting to bed early or rising at morning’s first light, it can be difficult for some students to readapt to the hours they keep during the school years. Matthew Nespole, head of school at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, has some suggestions to make the changeover go easier. Over the summer, video games and television rules often “relax a bit,” Nespole said, but encouraged “parents to put the school year rules back in place at least two weeks before the start of school.” When asked to name some of the basic (and perhaps even some unexpected) things parents can do to get their children ready to return to school, Nespole said that parents should spend the final weeks of summer having children readjust, if necessary, or acclimate to a school schedule. In others words, it might be smart to channel Benjamin Franklin, who famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” “Rituals and routines in the evenings are very important, as is making sure children get plenty of sleep,” Nespole said.

“Research states that 10 to 12 hours a night is essential for children, and a healthy breakfast should also be part of your routine.” Contributors at agree, suggesting that “setting up a regular bedtime and wake-up routine before school starts is a crucial step to prepare your child for class and a practical way to cut down on first-day stress.” Some children may be less enthusiastic than others about returning to the classroom. For them, Nespole said, “Accentuating the positive is a good route for parents to take. Reconnecting with old friends, topics of study and activities that they may like are a few examples of the direction a parent can take.” During the first few weeks of school parents “should create consistent, ongoing opportunities to discuss with their child the events of the school day,” Nespole said. “Parents are extremely busy, but trying to find the time each evening to talk about school, even if your child has very little to say, is important.” Again from experts, advice for parents whose child is feeling anxious about going back to school includes keeping a positive attitude: “Recall the fun and exciting events, field trips, projects and so on from years past, and show excitement about the opportunities for learning new things in the coming year.” Bringing younger children into school for a classroom visit can be helpful as well, advises, suggesting that parents familiarize a child “with key places such as the bathroom, gym, library and cafeteria — he’ll feel more confident if he knows where everything is.” Even shopping for classroom supplies can help some children realize that school days are nearing, and, as advises, it can be a “fun way to give him some responsibility. Provide parameters, but allow him to pick out a backpack, lunch box, nap mat, water bottle, new clothes and some basic school supplies (pencils, crayons, etc.).” Assisting children in readjusting to school is often smoother if parents are well organized, which is often easier said than done in the first few weeks of the new year. Thinking out routines ahead of time is the best course of action. “Organization is a cognitive skill that different children will master at different times,” Nespole said, adding that “schools provide wonderful resources that can help parents — Web pages with continued on the next page

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homework, access to teacher lessons and regular updates about programs via e-newsletters and video postings. Very often parents have access to these resources, and they should take advantage of every opportunity that a school provides, especially if they have a child who struggles with organization.” The American Academic of Pediatrics’ offers a checklist that includes a few extremely basic questions (Is your child registered? When is the first day of school? What time does school start?) in addition to other questions that are appropriate for families with particularly hectic schedules or special circumstances (Have any new health problems developed in your child over the summer that will affect his school day? Does the school nurse know about this condition, or is an appointment set up to discuss it?). While the end of August is probably

too late to make up for lost time if a child has done absolutely nothing but watch videos all summer, Nespole said he did not “want to get into a research debate about the validity of summer work and retention for children. I think the most important thing to focus on over the summer is to keep your child’s mind stimulated.” Reading should be a regular part of a child’s summer routine, Nespole said, and children should be reading each day for at least 30 minutes. (And, of course, it’s not too late to start that now for the final stretch of summer.) “As for academic activities, I would take your cue from your child or your school,” Nespole said. “At RCS we do require some students at certain grade levels to do some summer work in mathematics, but having your children engaging in activities that they are interested in over the summer will spark their natural curiosity and love of learning.” n

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Page 6A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Be proactive in financial gameplan for college



iguring out how to pay for college is always a challenging process for students and parents, as is the task of paying off student loans. But given the fact that government-imposed rate hikes have been in the national spotlight over the past few months, handling loans for college likely seems even more complicated and daunting. In late July, a bipartisan bill, which was expected to be signed into law by the president, would lower the rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans from 6.8 percent to 3.9 percent. That measure came just weeks after Washington lawmakers failed to reach a deal to keep the interest rates from doubling, jumping from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Under the new plan, rates on unsubsidized Stafford loans would also drop to 3.9 percent, loans for graduates would drop to 5.4 percent and Parent PLUS Loans would decrease to 6.4 percent from 7.9 percent. Interest rates on federal loans would be tied to 10-year Treasury notes, rather than set by Congress. Those rates are expected to rise as the national economy improves, but this plan includes a cap to prevent them from rising higher than 8.25 percent for undergraduates. The threat of doubled rates, moving-target uncertainty and the eventual figures under the new measure could leave college-age students, recent graduates and their parents feeling like they have to cram for a whole new set of finals, but local experts offered plenty of advice to get through the even more tangled web of student loans. “The new measures will keep federal student loan rates low, capped and tied to the 10-year Treasury note rate should inflation resurface,” said Lisa Rodman of Collegistics LLC, a Scarsdale-based firm that has been helping students and their families successfully navigate the college process since 2007. “The problem, of course, is that students and families are still facing enormous costs that have escalated well beyond inflation in the last several decades. But the fundamentals of finding ways to pay for college will not change. Students and families should honestly assess how much debt they reasonably want to assume. The new

developments guarantee that there will not be a significant departure from prior policy. The threat of substantial increases in federal loan rates no longer looms.” Gregory H. Raue, vice president of LEXCO Wealth Management, LLC in Tarrytown, said that even with feelings of uncertainty surrounding federal student loans, he believes students and parents should forge ahead with careful planning as early as possible to pay for a college education. “The recent changes to the federal direct student loan program have primarily only affected the cost of borrowing and not the borrower process per se,” said Raue, a financial planner, Bedford Hills resident and father of three daughters all with, or soon to have, student loans. The government’s move to tie interest rates on federal student loans to financial markets is certainly at least a temporary victory for students, although some advocacy groups fear it could lead to higher costs in the future. “Much of the commotion around the issue related to missing the July 1st deadline, which automatically reset rates to much higher levels,” Raue explained. “I wasn’t personally concerned about the higher rate becoming permanent because retroactive behavior and deadlines mean little in Washington these days and the reset rates were politically untenable. However, ongoing budgetary and deficit issues resulted in a resolution which reset current rates to only slightly higher than before July 1st and tied them to 10-year government borrowing costs. Right or wrong, this now places the interest risk on the borrower.” The area experts urged parents and students to do their homework to find out what options might work best in paying for college. “Our fundamental advice is to be wary,” said Leslie Berkovitz, another key team member at Collegistics (www.collegistics. com). “Use trusted websites and substantiate any advice given. Information provided by the government or directly from a college’s financial aid office should generally be viewed as reliable. When doing research, make sure you are reading the most recent updates or versions of documents. Websites that offer promises ‘too good to be true’ are generally that — too good to be

true. Likewise, if you are asked to pay to get information, do not.” Raue, who after 25 years in commercial and investment banking, last year channeled his academic, professional and life experiences into becoming a financial planner and wealth manager with LEXCO Wealth Management (, said it’s never too early to start thinking and planning about college costs. “My general advice is to begin planning and saving early,” he said. “Established early, the cash value of whole life insurance policies and/ or 529, UGMA and UTMA plans have the maximum time to compound. With the demise of the defined benefit plan, this advice certainly applies to retirement planning and really aspects of one’s financial life. Almost all financial risk has now shifted to the individual and families and away from companies and the government.” Lillian Hecht, also of Collegistics, stressed being proactive and starting the college planning process as early as possible. “Our best advice is to have the financial conversation up front,” Hecht said. “Look at the entire cost of attendance, not just tuition, room and board. At a minimum, students need money for books, transportation to and from school, and for food when the dining halls are closed. If, as a parent, you have a finite amount to spend on your child’s college education, be honest with your son or daughter about finances from the very beginning of the process.” Her Collegistics colleague recommended getting a clear sense of a college’s costs before deciding on the college or university itself. “Discuss applying to in-state public universities and private schools known for



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generous financial aid,” Berkovitz said. “Students should consider applying to colleges where their statistics would place them in the top range of accepted students where merit aid is more likely to be offered. Students should also apply for the many available outside scholarships listed on sites such as and “Do not be deterred by additional applications and writing requirements — even scholarships for small amounts add up and can take the bite out of those hidden costs. Be sure to check with each college to which your student applies to ascertain whether outside scholarships will reduce institutional financial aid awards or if scholarships can be stacked. College is expensive, no doubt, but there is nothing more difficult than to have a student fall in love with a college to which he or she has been admitted only to be told at the end of the process that the financial piece just can’t work.” The area experts also recommend tapping the college of choice and reliable Internet resources for assistance in the planning, although students and their families ultimately have to decide what’s in their best interests. “Much of the work process for federal direct loans is initiated by the financial aid office of the institutions and with submission of the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, form,” Raue said. “Government Internet sites, such as www. and, also provide a great deal of information. Unfortunately, with the cost of higher education being as high as it is, most simply seek the funding and are less sensitive to

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Back to School – FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 | The ScarSdale InquIrer | Page 7a coNtiNuED fRoM thE pREvious pAGE

cost in the short run. The impact is realized when repayment begins after graduation.” Just as collegistics utilizes a multilayered approach to the whole college planning process, rodman stressed the need for students and their parents to be meticulous and thorough in their search for the best route to pay for a student’s collegiate or post-graduate education. “Families should be aware of the extended financial commitment college entails and think carefully about the current and future impact of such an investment,” rodman said. “Tools such as the fafsa4caster at, the college Scorecards available at the u.S. department of education’s college affordability and Transparency center at collegecost. and the required net price calculators provided on college websites since 2011 provide critical data relevant to the decision-making process.” and remember that borrowing isn’t the only option. “Scour college websites for scholarship opportunities,” rodman said. “colleges do offer need-based and non-need based merit scholarships for academic excellence and special talent. Some scholarships are awarded based on a student’s gender, race and ethnicity, and/or special interest or focus.” The collegistics team recommends looking at the big picture right from the start. “Factors families might consider in deciding how much debt would be reasonable to undertake include whether the student is a candidate for academic merit aid or other scholarships, the possibility that a student’s future might include the expense of pro-

fessional or graduate school, and whether there are younger children in the family slated to attend college in the future,” Berkovitz said. raue reminds students and parents that student loans still provide lots of bang for the buck. “Student loans are just one of numerous sources of funding for college and, unlike some such as scholarships, coverall, etc., are not sensitive to income,” he said. “Further, despite the new increased cost, governmental direct student loans are still a relatively inexpensive way to help finance higher education especially with potential interest deductibility.” The number of students obtaining federal Stafford loans has increased significantly over the past decade, as have enrollment and tuition costs. about 35 percent of undergraduate students nationwide took out Stafford loans in the 2011-12 school year, up from 23 percent in 2001-02, according to the college Board’s most recent report on national trends in student aid. The majority of students take out a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The interest payments on subsidized loans, which are awarded to students based on income, are covered by the government while a student is in school. The local experts said they advise parents to stay calm and clear-headed when tackling the tough job of addressing the rising costs of college for their kids. “We know college costs seem to rise inexorably and well ahead of inflation,” said raue. “This is an untenable situation and could lead to a more bifurcate society between the haves and have nots. It isn’t clear how this will play out. Somewhat offsetting this is, as I understand it, that financial aid is at an all-time high.” n

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Page 8A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship

2014 Common App has changed Welcome to the new Common Application. The class of 2014 will be the first to use the new version called CA4. CAROL GILL For years students knew what to expect on the application, which is accepted by 488 colleges. Now the Common App is different, and students should understand the changes, which took place beginning Aug. 1. What’s new? n The Personal Statement may be up to 650 words. It is now cut and paste, not uploaded. That means essays may not exceed the word limit by even one character. n Prompts for the Personal Statement have changed. Students are no longer given the option of Topic of Your Choice (see below). n The Activity Essay is gone. Some colleges may, however, ask that question on their supplements. n The Common App officers assure us that the technical aspects of filling out the application will be easier. We’ll see. New essay prompts Answer one of the following: n Some students have a background

For 64 years, the Scarsdale High School PTA Scholarship Fund for College has provided grants to graduating SHS seniors for their freshman year of college. The fund is a source of vital financial assistance for a dozen or more applicants each year. The loss of a job, a divorce or unexpected illness or death may have devastating effects on a family’s ability to pay for a son or daughter’s college education. In addition, the financial strains resulting from the ongoing U.S. economic malaise, coupled with increasing costs of college tuition and expenses as well as the decrease in available government loans and college assistance, could make attending college next fall an unattainable goal for some students. The scholarship fund provides grants for freshman year, ranging in amount from $1,000-$7,500, directly to institutions of higher education for those Scarsdale High School seniors who demonstrate need and who will receive a Scarsdale diploma and matriculate at a college or university in the fall. The fund is administered under strict rules of confidentiality. The Scarsdale High School deans make grant applications available to all Scarsdale seniors. Applications may also be downloaded online at www.scarsdaleschools. org/shspta. The deadline to apply for a grant is the first week of May 2014. The scholarships are funded solely by donations from the Scarsdale community. Each fall, an appeal is sent to every household, business and educator in Scarsdale.

or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. n Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn? n Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again? n Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? n Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family. What’s not new? n College admissions are more competitive than ever. n You have to give colleges a reason to accept you and writing a great essay is the perfect way to do that. Unlike scores, grades and classes taken, essays are the single part of the application that you can control. Use it wisely.

Contact Carol Gill Associates/College Consultants at www.collegesplus. com or 693-8200. n

In addition to the communitywide mailing, funds are raised through the sale of Gift of Education cards in honor of graduating seniors, or in honor or memory of teachers, administrators or as a holiday gift to teachers. Every dollar raised goes directly toward funding the grants. Last year, the scholarship fund raised approximately $78,000 from contributions by more than 270 residents, businesses, organizations, graduating classes, alumni and educators, as well as generous donations from district PTAs. As a result, the scholarship fund was able to award 17 grants totaling $92,500 to students for their freshman year of college. Without these grants, many of those students might not have been able to attend college this fall. Scarsdale is a community that has consistently demonstrated its commitment to our youth and their education. By contributing to the Scholarship Fund for College, we can attempt to ensure that all students who wish to pursue higher education have the means to do so. The fund is managed by volunteers from all five Scarsdale neighborhoods. Donations, which are tax-deductible, are accepted throughout the year. They may be mailed to SHS PTA Scholarship Fund for College, P.O. Box 147H, or made online via PayPal at Questions may be directed to chairman Monica Rieckhoff at 713-0978 or n



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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 9A

Social media: great for kids’ relationships? By JENNIFER EPEL MULLER


oday’s kids are steeped in social media, and that means their relationships are conducted at a neverbefore-seen speed. While in the past kids needed to speak individually with each one of their friends in order to keep up with one another — and gossip about other kids — now a quick scroll through Facebook can give kids much more information about their social world, in just the five minutes between classes, than older generations would ever expect to be privy to in their school days. Much has been made of the potential for kids to use social media for bullying and negative gossip, but those problems far predated social media. So what’s different about it now, now that students have these websites on which to conduct their social battles? “Where things might have been one to one before, things get amplified very quickly now,” said Jacques Jospitre, a psychiatrist who works mainly with college and graduate students who have psychological issues impeding their performance in school. “It quickly becomes part of the larger community and makes it difficult for young people to escape.” Jospitre, a 1989 graduate of Scarsdale High School who also created eReview

Book, a test-prep app for smartphones, said that this state of affairs is particularly difficult for young people because they’re more impulsive and prone to influence than adults. “It really creates a volatile situation,” he said. He recommended a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics called “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families” ( content/127/4/800.full#sec-6) for more information on helping kids use social media in helpful, not harmful, ways. “Kids are influenced by many more people now, because one person leads to another, to another, to another,” said W. Glyn Hearn, headmaster of Soundview Preparatory School in Yorktown Heights, which serves grades 6–12. Before the proliferation of social media, he said, “we were able to monitor interactions that were going on here at school, and if there was a problem, we could stop it before it went too far. Now, with social media, we have no control over that — especially outside of school.” But the implications of this lightningspeed connectedness are far from all negative for kids. Facebook and other sites make it possible for kids to reach out to one another in ways that really empower them. “For kids who are introverted, the use of virtual empathy — putting out their needs online — helps continued on page


Page 10A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Back to Nutrition Back to Healthy eating habits By JOHN ROCHE


he beginning of a new school year offers kids and their parents a fresh start to either kick off healthier eating habits or nutritionally get back on track after summer vacation. “It is actually a great time to start a family conversation about food and physical activity,” said Erica Leon, a registered dietitian in Ardsley with over 25 years of professional experience working with adults, children and families, who specializes in nutrition therapy for eating disorders, obesity and weight management. “Topics can include when to buy lunch at school, how often, what some healthy choices might be, how to plan for snacks after school as well as input from kids about meal planning. When kids are involved in the planning and even preparation of meals, they often try a wider variety of foods. It’s also a good time for parents to reflect on the importance of family meals as a time for communication, togetherness and healthy role modeling.” Kathleen Schoen, a clinical nutritionist based in Katonah, agrees: “Back to school is a great time for parents to speak with their kids about nutrition. Food has a huge impact not only on your child’s health, but on their academic performance. There are many topics for parents to discuss with kids about their eating habits, but what stands out most to me is teaching mindful eating; learning to know when you’re hungry and not just bored, chewing your food and eating without distractions. This teaches serious life skills.” Linda Arpino, MA, RD, CDN, also urges parents to start the school year off right with their children, no matter what grade level, regarding healthy lifestyle choices. “Helping children learn how to plan meals ahead to assure nutrient density that fuels the brain and helps in school and all sports and activities,” Arpino said. “Focus on nutrient dense meals with lots of color from fruits and vegetables and

whole grains, not Fruit Loops.” While the local nutritional experts encouraged parents to take an active role in the dietary lives of their growing children, they also realize it can be a challenge for mothers and fathers to balance actually telling their kids what to eat and enabling them to make healthy choices on their own. Schoen urges parents to include their children in every step of the food choice process. “Parental control with eating can backfire, so I suggest that parents and kids work together and build a solid plan,” she said. “I think it is important that the kids be involved in preparation, shopping and learning themselves about proper nutrition.” Arpino, the author of the lifestyle guide “Eat Fit, Be Fit: Health and Weight Management Solutions,” believes parents should cater their approach to good nutritional parameters based on a child’s age and other individual factors: “I think it really depends on age, but in general I say parental control, no, but setting healthy boundaries, yes!” Leon, who has written many professional articles on nutrition and is a frequent speaker on topics such as eating disorder prevention and childhood weight issues, concurs. “No matter how old your child is, there is a division of responsibility with eating that should be respected,” she explained. “Parents and/ or caregivers are responsible for providing regular and structured meals and snacks to meet kids’ and teens’ basic nutritional needs. Children, however, are responsible for deciding what and how much they will eat. When parents try to control kids’ food intake, power struggles around food inevitably occur. This can set the stage for eating problems later on.” Leon, like the other experts, encourages parents to set reasonable boundaries with their children about food. “This means early on having a reasonable structure for meals and not being a short-order cook for every different family member,” she said. “With kids’ input, plan meals that

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everyone can enjoy and perhaps offer one simple alternative such as cereal and milk or a nut-butter sandwich occasionally. Also teach your children that the kitchen is closed between meals and snacks, and pay attention to times of extra hunger, such as growth spurts or high athletic participation where your child might need several snacks between meals.” Healthy dialogue is also essential for nutritional health, according to the area experts. “Strive for open communication with your kids and teens about healthy eating,” Leon said. “Be a good role model, which may entail reflecting on your own nutrition and exercise habits and seeking help for yourself, if needed.” Arpino, founder and CEO of Linda Arpino & Associates Inc. and the Life

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 11A continued from the previous page

fied by the American College of Nutrition and is licensed by New York State. “Shop well, have your home be a food sanctuary with good nutritional choices and please take a deep breath and remember school, friends and activities are stressful enough to your children, so don’t make food a source of contention.” Arpino believes parents should consider how they use food, both themselves and with their kids. “A relaxed, but healthy eating environment is key,” said Arpino. “Parents should never force feed children foods they think they have to eat, or reward their kids with food.” Avoid the possibility of linking certain foods or eating choices with “bad” behavior or guilt, Leon pointed out, and instead focus on the positive when it comes to healthy choices. “Parents need to create a healthy, but not depriving food environment for their children,” she explained. “This means bringing mostly healthy foods into the home, creating structure around meals and snacks, but allowing for the inclusion of ‘fun’ foods. Dieting is the worst way to lose weight. Forget low carb or high protein, or no dairy rules. Make sensible choices that you and your children can live with forever. Labeling foods as good or bad places tremendous guilt and blame on children.” Leon, who will be expanding her practice and adding a White Plains office this fall, said she believes there are some guidelines to help your child develop good eating habits for a lifetime. “One is to teach your children early on

about listening to their bodies and recognizing hunger and fullness,” Leon said. “For example, if your child is constantly snacking, explore with them whether they are actually hungry, or if they are feeling something else such as boredom, perhaps thirst or even being tired. See if their previous meal left them feeling satisfied.” Another might sound simple, but it’s the foundation for healthy eating and lifestyle. “Teach your children the basics of a healthy diet,” Leon said. “Parents are important role models for their children when it comes to eating and activity. Take stock of your own dietary habits and practice what you preach. Make sure your own diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy carbohydrates. Although our lives are filled with work, homework, after-school activities and more, try to find time for family meals. This is the time that children try new foods, connect with families about their day, and generally eat a higher quality diet. Teens in particular eat healthier — having more fruits, vegetables and calcium-containing foods — when they eat with the family. Studies also show that teens engage in less risk-taking behavior when they have regular contact with parents through family meals.” Parents, and sometimes their kids, often grapple with the decision between bringing in a homemade lunch or eating what’s offered in the school cafeteria. There also, it comes down to making healthy choices. “The choices in cafeterias may not be as nutritionally beneficial for a young child continued on page

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Page 12A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Let go...

and enjoy the ride


By Beth Gelles And Nancy Stuzin

f you have a son or daughter heading to college this fall, you’ve probably spent the past 12 months agonizing over college applications, combating the onslaught of “senioritis,” and finally, this summer, packing up all the supplies needed to magically transform your high school graduate into a college freshman. No doubt, you’ve also spent the past 17 years schlepping your kids to school, sport, and other activities, entertaining posses of pals from playdates to the prom, advising them on matters of homework and even love, and sharing in the daily ups and downs of their lives. Now here you are, and it feels like no amount of counseling, coaching or celebrating has adequately prepared you for the imminent departure of a son or daughter for college. Whether it’s your first or last child about to leave the nest, you’re most likely in a state of awe, gratitude, bewilderment, terror or all of the above. One minute, you may feel the urge to hug

your child and the next moment, you may feel the need to scream. Please take a deep breath: you are NOT alone. As college advisers and co-partners of Acceptance Ahead — a college counseling business that serves families throughout Westchester — we have witnessed parents experience the full range of emotions when it comes to kids leaving for college and this extraordinary rite of parental passage. “As soon as my son started completing his college applications, I began to experience feelings of happiness about his future, but intense sadness about my own,” admitted a mother who is sending her son off to the University of Pennsylvania. “I never worry about whether he can handle the academic or social pressures of college, but I worry about how I will handle the loss when he leaves.” Another mom who has a daughter starting at the University of Michigan this fall told us that she surprised herself because she’s become “an emotional basket case since the prom” and she is trying to figure out how to cope.

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The habit of serious parental involvement runs long and deep, and it is common for parents to feel anything from overwhelming relief to devastating loss when they confront the idea of letting go. On one hand, parents feel burned out from high school teenage angst and they might be counting the minutes for college to start. On the other hand, these parents are also hoarding boxes of Kleenex for the car ride home post-drop off at the dorm. Despite the elation and pride that invariably accompanies the college acceptance, fear and despair can quickly compete for emotional space. Parents may ask themselves: “Will there be a gaping hole in my family once my child leaves for school?” and “What will happen to me?” Even the most rational parents quickly confessed that as soon as the college application season commenced, they were plagued with worry about their shifting role as parents and their potential loss of identity. “These feelings are totally normal,” said Julie Stonberg, a family therapist in Hartsdale. “This process of ‘launching’ your

children into the world is a huge transition for a family. The years of active and physical parenting can be all-encompassing. It’s easy to forget that you were a person with interests before you had kids and that you will be one again as you begin to renegotiate your relationships with your spouse and with your soon-to-be young adult children.” One thing to keep in mind, Stonberg says, is that it is usually a more gradual transition than you anticipate. If you have more than one child, you are still parenting when the first one leaves for freshman year, still ensconced in the rhythms of the school year and the day-to-day routine of dinner and homework. By the time the last one leaves you have begun already to shift more toward the next stage of development in your family. “I was able to focus on my younger child when my daughter left for college,” informed one mother. “In fact, my son was so relieved that she was no longer ‘center stage’ and for once, dinner conversations revolved around him. He began to blossom more academically and socially.” Even if you have only one child, the idea that he or she leaves for school in August or September and turns into a grown-up is hardly the case. In fact, many parents report that between parents’ weekends on campus and a long winter break, parents have ample time to stay connected. “It feels like I won’t even have time to miss my son,” said one mom whose son will attend SUNY Binghamton. Either way, we are told that this is an ideal time to explore interests and pascontinued on the next page

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 13A continued from the previous page

sions that have been put on hold for 18 years. Many parents we spoke with have spent the past spring and summer plunging into new activities as a way of managing the pending separation. A mom who is sending her daughter to the University of Southern California insists that discovering activities outside the realm of “parenting” has become her priority. “I am working more and exercising more so that I can be happy before and after she leaves,” she said. “I’m trying to separate myself from her for short periods of time so that I can prepare myself for when she is really gone.” Another mom who is sending off her daughter to Washington University told us that she took up golf lessons and stepped up her commitment to yoga as soon as high school graduation was over. One thing to remember is that kids are in transition, too, and this can cause tensions in the house to run high. Senior year itself is an interesting transition for both parents and kids. “Once my son’s college decision was made, a heavy weight was lifted. But while the stress was gone, the ‘I’m an adult and I don’t need you now’ attitude kicked in,” reported a mom whose son is attending the University of Rochester this fall. “We were dealing with not knowing our son’s schedule and his assumption that he could come and go as he pleased. He’s earning money now and he’s responsible for his own laundry. We nudge him about his responsibilities, but we are trying to let some of it go, knowing he will be off very soon.” For the most part, despite feelings of

insecurity or ambivalence about their changing roles as parents, most believe that they have successfully prepared their sons and daughters to enter this next and exciting phase in their lives. “I remember the day when I handed the car keys to my daughter and I just watched her drive down the street,” described a soon-to-be NYU parent. “I knew she was going down the path of independence and that this moment would prepare me for when she ultimately leaves the house for school.” Parents conveyed that in the weeks preceding their child’s departure for college, they had candid conversations about finances, safety issues, dating, nutrition, exercise and how to seek guidance from older students, faculty and useful campus resources. One mother proudly shared that she believes her daughter is very well adjusted, and that her hope for her during her college years at Washington University was “to continue to be her own person and to make good decisions.” Another father told us that he recently spent hours lying in bed in his son’s room, looking at photos and old mementos and reminiscing about his son’s childhood and adolescence. This process helped Dad recognize and feel good about what he himself had accomplished as a parent along with his son, and ended with his feeling confident that his son was “ready” for the next four years of adventure, exploration and learning once he departed for Tulane. “It is important to allow yourself the space to feel sad and it is okay to do whatever it is you need to do, whether it’s sit in their room and cry or take comfort in the

fact that they are about to enter an important new phase,” Stonberg said. In fact, many parents report that once they get past the existential angst of dropping their “baby” off at school, things actually settle down fairly quickly into a “new normal” in terms of daily routines at home. While most parents clearly miss children who have left home for college, they often also find themselves enjoying the greater freedom and relaxed responsibility. Despite the common worry that long-married couples will find themselves staring at each other across the dinner table with nothing to say once the kids leave, a growing body of research shows that marital satisfaction actually improves significantly when the children begin to take their exits. How much to be in touch? As much as we sometimes want to hold on, giving kids the necessary space to spread their wings and grow comfortable in their new lives is paramount. Experienced empty-nesters advise first-time college parents to “loosen the reins” and caution them not to intervene every time a child calls home with a problem. “Express support but give them time to solve their issues,” advised a mother of three college students. Every family communicates in different ways, and certain kids may communicate with their parents more or less than the siblings in their own family. “Texting and emailing can be a wonderful thing that our own parents didn’t have, but it’s important also to understand who your child is,” explained Stonberg. “Chances are if your child told you every little thing in her life at home, she will still keep in touch

more than a child who tended to keep things closer to the vest. But you can’t always predict. Sometimes distance and excitement can cause a child to keep in touch more or even less than you expect, and that can be OK, too.” One day at a time The families and professionals we work with at Acceptance Ahead advise parents to recognize that college is a gradual transition into full independence and that the separation process doesn’t happen overnight. Go easy on yourselves, caution the experts. Maintain a sense of humor. While not everyone is running to convert their child’s bedroom into a gym, it’s important to plan lots of things to look forward to, both with and without your college-aged children. Do continue to talk about your feelings with friends and family and support each other. Before you know it, your child will be home for his or her fourmonth summer break. Chances are that as good as that feels, a part of you may also be clamoring for the peace and quiet of your not-quite-so empty nest! Beth Gelles and Nancy Stuzin are the co-partners of Acceptance Ahead, a Scarsdale-based college advisory firm that provides valuable insight, expert guidance and genuine compassion to students and their families as they navigate the complexities of the college admissions process. Julie Stonberg is a clinical social worker in private practice in Hartsdale who often works with families around times of transition and change. n

Page 14A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

School Reports Scarsdale legacy must continue into future By Dr. MICHAEL V. McGILL Scarsdale Schools Superintendent


n June 2014, I will complete my 16th and final year as Scarsdale’s superintendent of schools, the second longest term of office in district history. My distinguished predecessor, Tom Sobol, held the post for 17 years, and it’s an honor to be in that company, if only in this one small way. To serve here has been my privilege and my pleasure. As it’s turned out, my entire adult life has been in education, a fact I now see as both an accident and as entirely inevitable. My father was a teacher, a dean at Scarsdale High School in the 1950s, Edgemont principal in the 1960s and ultimately a superintendent himself. When I was a student in Chappaqua, where he’d been my own principal, I swore I’d never follow in his footsteps; never have my children attend a school I headed if I were foolish enough to do so; and never return to Westchester, which I considered a sink of self-absorption and materialism. As they say: What makes God laugh is people who make plans.

So, of course, when I was a college senior in the idealistic 1960s and had no clue what to do with my life, it came to me that the way to change the world was through education. And I went into the family business. I taught English, then ran a compensatory education program in a New Hampshire mill town, and headed two public school districts and an independent school before coming to Scarsdale. For me, for most educators I know, and for many Americans, this district was — and is — iconic: one of a literal handful of places you think of when people talk about educational excellence. As the motto says, our schools “seek to inspire lives of contribution through an exemplary public education in the liberal arts tradition.” To belong here is to be part of a history, part of something enduring, part of something larger than any one person or of many individuals, even. Scarsdale High School isn’t “just a high school”; others look to Scarsdale as an exemplar of what an education should be. In the 1920s, the district was a national model of Progressive education practice. In the 1940s and ’50s, principal Lester Nelson transformed the high school into

what the head of New York’s association of private schools called “one of America’s great independent schools.” Today, we wrestle with the question of what education will be in the new century. Scarsdale has long sought to be a cradle of success and leadership for the common good. The schools involve young people with the humanities, social sciences and arts, and engage them in the “languages” of science and math, so they’ll become literate, articulate, clear-thinking adults. To that end, we’ve preserved broad opportunity over the last two decades and even expanded it in areas from Mandarin to music, science research to elementary grade Spanish. In the 1930s, the Scarsdale Board of Education declared that its policy would be to rely on proven methods of teaching and learning while keeping abreast of progress. That maxim has guided the schools’ course up to the present day. The heart of the Scarsdale experience is still the essential encounter between student and teacher — the necessity of great teachers’ knowing and nourishing young minds, to paraphrase former Superintendent Archibald Shaw. In support of that work, a long line of boards — and

residents — has recognized the value of favorable class sizes and also the importance of providing teachers ample professional development, so they remain vibrant throughout their careers. Meanwhile, our boards and many residents have realized that today’s graduates are part of a global community. Our schools need not abandon their traditional emphasis on basic skills and liberal learning — must not abandon it, in fact — but neither can we responsibly ignore the dramatic changes that are occurring in education and in the world around us. Leading schools and universities have recognized that global citizens of the 21st century confront complex cross-disciplinary problems that demand inventive, innovative solutions. The rapid expansion of interdisciplinary learning at the undergraduate level is a bellwether for parallel developments in schools. Scarsdale’s elementary grade classes and middle school houses have always been natural mediums for subject integration. But more recent interest in Reggio Emilia methods, special projects like the fifth-grade capstone and emerging cross-disciplinary continued on the next page


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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 15A continued from the previous page

collaboration at the high school suggest only a few of the places where there’s room for continued institutional growth. Our graduates will also live, compete and collaborate with counterparts from around the globe, which means they may well be navigating in unfamiliar waters. We cannot prepare them for each specific challenge they’ll meet. We can involve them with other histories and literatures and they can become fluent enough in at least one second language, so that they’re sensitive at a deep level to the complexities of human cultures and to how other people think. We can also help them acquire empathy and a desire to make a difference, whether through service projects in Westchester or New Orleans, Ghana or Cambodia. And those involvements will give them growing insight into their own nation and themselves. The American experiment has always been restless, the world ever-changing. Public schools have always had to adapt. Why, then, is their work today any different from before? And at a time when some voices are demanding that public schools do more with less, why is a more progressive spirit important today? There are many reasons; I’ll offer six. • Because Scarsdale graduates continue to compete for college admission with others from the strongest independent and public schools in the world. Those schools are not standing still. And entry to selective colleges becomes more competitive each year. There’s no shortage of applicants with good scores; they’re

looking for candidates who are intellectually and personally distinctive and who promise to distinguish themselves. Scarsdale’s Advanced Topics plan has such strong support from college admissions officers because that’s its aim. • Because the rest of the world now believes that intellectual capital and human capacity are the coin of the realm. Other nations are re-inventing their schools, emphasizing critical thinking, innovation and entrepreneurial enterprise over test results. In this context, the abilities that result from a strong traditional education are necessary but not sufficient. Hence, efforts like Scarsdale’s Global Learning Alliance of schools and universities, whose goal is to understand not only how well the world’s high-performers do, but how they achieve outstanding results. • Because rising demands often drain time and other resources from the schools’ primary mission of educating young people. America and New York seem caught in a weird time warp driven by invasive new education regulations that are supposed to be about the future, but that are really more appropriate for the 1950s. That’s why our faculty, board and Parent Teacher Council have all been critical of shortsighted state policies. Meanwhile, there’s never enough time for personal attention to students; families seem even more concerned than ever about getting adequate information and being involved — if that’s possible; while residents want still more transparency in school affairs. continued on page

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Page 16a | The ScarSdale InquIrer | FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 – Back to School

new faces, same quality education in edgemont By DR. victoRiA s. kNiEWEL edgemont Schools Superintendent


am honored to be the new superintendent of schools in edgemont. I enter the world of edgemont with a profound respect for all of the people and decisions that have shaped the great district that it is today. edgemont’s legacy of educational excellence through community support is what drew me here. The 2013-14 school year is approaching quickly and it is an exciting one for the edgemont school system. The new faces — a new superintendent, two new assistant principals, 11 new faculty members — all look forward to joining our edgemont colleagues in welcoming our students and families to the new school year. I began my new post on July 1, and bring years of teaching and administrative experience in both new york and new Jersey to this leadership position. I am beginning by listening, learning and collaborating to build upon the excellence that is edgemont. I am meeting with a variety of constituents, interviewing them and collecting data. I will review and prioritize the data collected with the board of education, administration and faculty. eve Feuerstein, assistant principal at edgemont high School, also transitioned to her new position on July 1. eve worked at Seely Place elementary School as a speech and language pathologist and in the district office as the CPSE/CSE chairperson. during the 2013-14 school year, she will be working with grades 7-9, and she looks forward to establishing positive relationships with the students and staff at all grade levels throughout the district. Jennifer Johnson, our other assistant principal at the high school, comes to us from the rye city School district. according to Jennifer, she is “thrilled to be joining such an outstanding community of administrators, faculty and staff.” Jennifer will be working with grades 10-12 and she looks forward to meeting the students and their families in September. Jennifer also has 10 years of classroom experience as a Spanish teacher in grades 9-12 and her professional background includes a J.D. and five years’ experience as a corporate attorney representing public and private companies in the u.S., europe and latin america on a variety of capital markets transactions. eve Feuerstein, Jennifer Johnson and I join a very strong leadership team already in place:

edgemont’s administrative leadership team, beginning foreground left and continuing clockwise: Michael Curtin, Susan Shirken, eve Feuerstein, devan Ganeshananthan, edward Kennedy, Jennifer Johnson, Jennifer Allen, Victoria Kniewel, John McCabe. Not pictured: Shelley Fleischman

• Assistant superintendent Susan Shirken • Principals Devan Ganeshananthan (junior/senior high school), Jennifer allen (greenville School) and edward Kennedy (Seely Place School) • Director of curriculum and instructional technology Michael curtin • Director of special services Shelley Fleischman • Director of facilities John McCabe. The administrators have been busy interviewing for the open positions for teachers and instructional support staff. These recommended candidates have been on the board of education agendas and have attended the board meetings. Summer is filled with very important and rewarding tasks for the board of education. The board remains committed to providing an excellent edgemont education in a fiscally responsible manner. The district will be working on three interdependent goals to get there: • Maintain and enrich an excellent edgemont education: Tasks will include implementing the recommendations from the Tri-State consortium Science report. This report was generated following a review of the district’s science program by the Tri-State consortium visiting team last February. The district will also implement a process of curricular review to assess

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the implementation of the elementary math program, Math In Focus adopted in 2011-12. across all curricular areas, the district will assess the extent to which it is meeting the needs of individual and groups of students at every level. Then we will begin to implement professional development and curriculum revision to support further growth in this area. • Provide continuous improvement in district facilities: The district has a Fiveyear Facilities Plan that is updated and approved by the board of education each year. This plan is prioritized according to the most pressing needs. For about the last five years, the district has made a real effort to include a facilities-improvement line in the budget to fund the priorities in the plan. For example, we are finishing up the Seely Place window project at a cost of approximately $1.3 million. The finance committee of the board of education is researching possibilities to fund the capital needs of the district, both immediate and long term. • Support the educational program through enhanced communications: Since the spring of 2013, the Technology Support Team has been working with a group of stakeholders from across the district to update the school and district websites, with an eye toward a relaunch in the early fall. This website redesign has four primary goals:

1) Make it easier to find things on each site; 2) Improve the aesthetics of the sites; 3) remove old or outdated information and put processes in place to make sure obsolete information is removed promptly going forward; and 4) add news and other content to help the community become more aware of the positive things that are happening in the schools. edgemont remains committed to reasonable class sizes, excellent faculty and inclusion of the arts, athletics and extracurricular activities. We recognize that technology plays an integral role in our personal and professional lives and will look to leverage it as a tool for teaching and learning for the success of each and every child. The district continues to be helped in its educational mission by an involved, generous community of support. Both individuals and groups provide resources for experiences and programs that would never otherwise be possible. We are grateful to the PTa/ PTSa, edgemont School Foundation, edgemont rec, e club and all the other community groups and individuals who continue to provide the students of edgemont with resources for exploring new horizons and developing new passions. The board of education is a group of dedicated volunteers that epitomizes the spirit of volunteer power for which edgemont is known. To stay up to date with what’s happening in the schools and on the progress of the district’s goals, please visit and look around the redesigned website. Join us at board of education meetings, held twice a month on Tuesday evenings in the lgI (large group Instruction room) in the library building at the junior-senior high school. agendas and minutes are posted on the district website. In the meantime please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. The contact information for the administration and the board of education members is available on the district website and in the Blue Book, which will arrive in the mail. also in the Blue Book is a listing of the many committees and organizations in edgemont. Become involved in this vibrant community of leaders and learners. I wish you a year of good health, happiness and great learning! n

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 17A

Edgemont PTSA’s success starts with our community The 2012-13 school year was another successful year for the Edgemont Junior/ Senior High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). The PTSA continued its mission to fund programs, events and item requests to benefit the students, curriculum and community in ways for which the budget would not otherwise allow. The PTSA is open to all members of the Edgemont community. The PTSA, and all it funds, is supported entirely by membership dues and PTSA fundraisers such as the Spring Fete, Edgemont Eats Out, the Lord & Taylor Do Good Benefit and shopping on As a supporter of the arts in the school, the PTSA, through its ACE subcommittee, has continued to enrich the junior-senior high school experience by incorporating arts into the school’s curriculum. Last year, ACE provided approximately $9,000 to fund programs such as Shakespeare and The Canterbury Tales performances, buying microphones and art supplies, and partially funding performances in New York City. The PTSA also funded and hosted many interesting forums in the past year, including a presentation by a Greenburgh detective on keeping teens safe and a speaker on combating dating violence and sexual assault. The PTSA Partnership for Learning Differences (PLD) subcommittee, in conjunction with the PTA, also hosted three parent forums on navigating the CSE

process, a stress and worry workshop and “Fire Child/Water Child,” a discussion of ADHD. The 2012-13 school year also saw the addition of monthly PLD parent support groups that have met a true need in our community and have been extremely well received. The PTSA provided more than $40,000 in enrichment funds for Model UN, International Day, Edgemont Aid and faculty, student and community programs. The PTSA also supports communication for parents, teachers and the community by funding the Blue Book, the Student Directory and eChalk. None of this could have been accomplished without successful fundraising. The Spring Fete not only succeeded in raising funds for the PTSA for the coming school year, but it also provided a wonderful forum for the PTSA to express its thanks and appreciation to Edgemont’s retiring superintendent of almost 30 years, Nancy Taddiken. The PTSA also expanded its Edgemont Eats Out fundraiser events to include California Pizza Kitchen and Za-Za’s Italian Kitchen on Central Avenue. Co-presidents Nancie Ellis and Pat Cook look forward to another great year in 2013-14. Parental involvement and contributions continue to be the cornerstone to the PTSA’s continued success, so to find out how you can help or to join online, visit n

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Page 18A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

School Reports

Busy year ahead for Scarsdale school board By SUZANNE SEIDEN Scarsdale Board of Education president


he fall is an opportunity for all of us to start fresh — we begin the school year with a sense of excitement and new possibilities. Students entering a new grade or school will have the chance to be exposed to different learning experiences with our wonderful teaching staff. They will join new clubs, try out for various sports teams and make new friends. Meanwhile, the summer is a chance to catch our breath and relax a little, but also gear up for the coming school year. It is the time to think about new opportunities and plan ahead. Teachers have been getting courses ready and improving curricula for their students. Principals and staff have been preparing and coordinating schedules, class and teaching assignments, and new initiatives. The board of education has also had a chance to reflect on last year and set our goals for next year. The seven members of the board are: vice president Sunil Subbakrishna, Mary Beth Gose, Lew Leone, Jonathan Lewis, Lee Maude and Bill Natbony. We are seven members of the community — some have children in the schools, some are empty nesters and we are all your

neighbors. We are elected to represent and serve the community. Among other things, we are responsible for setting school policies and creating a budget that will enhance the Scarsdale education for our students while maintaining a fiscal prudence. In case you missed the summer announcement, I am pleased to report that the board and the Scarsdale Teachers Association (STA) have reached a tentative contract agreement. Even as economic realities changed the context for negotiations, the conduct of both sides was in keeping with the longstanding tradition of mutual respect between the BOE and the STA. The agreement calls for no salary schedule increases or step movement for two years. As with many contracts in the region, it will provide teachers a flat dollar payment less than the amount of a step on the schedule. In the second year, teachers will begin to make an upfront payroll premium contribution to the cost of health care (in addition to co-pays that already make employee cost share among the highest in the regional school marketplace). A limit will be placed on the number of salary credits teachers can earn in a year toward advancement on the salary schedule, which will be elongated by four steps over the course of the agreement. In the final year of the agreement there will be a 0.5 percent salary schedule increase Sept. 1, and a 0.5 percent increase Feb. 1

and teachers will advance on step. Both sides recognize that the uniquely excellent education offered by the Scarsdale schools relies upon collaboration among the community, administration, BOE and STA. Both parties have shared responsibility for finding a structural solution that will control compensation over the long term and assure that teachers are more closely aligned with those in comparable districts. There are other challenges facing the board this year. This school year will be Dr. Michael McGill’s final year as our superintendent. Dr. McGill will be the second longest serving superintendent in the history of the Scarsdale schools, and we are fortunate to have had him leading our school system for 16 years. As an educator and administrator, he will leave many legacies to the district — among them, a focus on critical and creative thinking, on collaborative work and on a global perspective for students. Dr. McGill is part of a long tradition of distinguished superintendents in Scarsdale, and we are confident that we will find a new superintendent capable of picking up that mantle. Over the course of the year, we will have many opportunities to thank Dr. McGill for his outstanding leadership. Last year, we faced some unforeseen challenges such as Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath and the implications of the Newtown tragedy. Here in Scarsdale, our budget

failed for the first time in over 40 years. The board has listened to the community and is looking forward to continuing to work with all members of the community for a more productive year. Let us all commit to work together this year. Our goal is the same — to provide the finest learning experience possible for our children in the finest learning community possible. We look forward to working together with you and our excellent professional staff in a collaborative and trustful way, to ensure our children receive, and our community realizes, the benefits of a high quality Scarsdale education. Working together necessitates listening to each other, respecting each other’s opinions and being willing to compromise. We all learned a lot last year and should value even more what it means to be part of our very special community. We welcome the community’s engagement and ask for your participation and support as we strive to make the Scarsdale education stronger and the school year successful. Often students are asked to write about “what you did last summer.” I want to share what the board did this past summer. We have identified several important goals for the year: 1) To conduct a nationwide search and continued on the next page

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 19A continued from the previous page

hire a new superintendent who will continue our critical and creative thinking curriculum and take us to the next level as a district. We will begin our search in September and will share a timeline and explain the process with the community. A key element of the process is identifying the ideal characteristics for the new superintendent. The board is committed to involving all the key stakeholders in this activity. This includes many diverse groups: students, teachers, parents, administrators, community groups, empty nesters, etc. 2) To begin a strategic planning process with the community to develop a community vision for our education, budgeting, hiring and communication. We will share a timeline and explain the process with the community. 3) Work with the community to develop a master plan for facilities for the next 10 years that will enable us to utilize our space, maintain our buildings and support collaborative learning. The board will share a timeline and explain the process with the community. 4) After last spring’s challenging budget process, we are reviewing how we develop the school budget and looking for better ways to solicit meaningful community input, transparency and more effective communications. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. Thank you to all the school employees who were readying the buildings for our children. Work on several projects have been completed this summer such as: • Heathcote’s kindergarten bathrooms are renovated

• High school commons renovated to add lunch seating • Middle school bathrooms near auditorium, band room and gym are renovated • Retaining wall at middle school bus ramp repaired • Roofs and masonry repaired districtwide • Installation of new classroom locks is in process. The board remains committed to listening and considering community members’ concerns, to deliberating openly and to sharing our reasoning as we make decisions. We are fortunate to live in a vibrant, spirited community that is committed to education, one in which people share ideas, experiences and opinions on almost every issue. Finally, please stay informed and connected to the board of education. We invite you to attend our meetings — held twice monthly during the school year — and rotated among the school buildings. Throughout the year the administration updates the board and community on relevant educational initiatives. In addition, there are opportunities for members of the community to speak at each of these meetings. The meetings are broadcast live and shown on Cable 77 regularly. The public information office provides school information through Insight, a periodic newsletter. We encourage you to visit for a wide variety of information and updates. We welcome you to contact us in writing at 2 Brewster Road or email us at boardofed@scarsdaleschools. org. We are looking forward to a wonderful and productive school year! n

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Page 20A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Scarsdale Schools continued from page


• Because, for the first time in a century and a half, nobody can be sure what “school” should look like. The precepts of liberal education endure, but technology is changing the way people learn and its impact is only going to accelerate. Schools must adapt if they’re to take advantage of its promise. Or, some say, they must adapt simply to remain relevant. Initiatives like Scarsdale’s Center for Innovation explore the potential inherent in the future and develop strategies, like the new “maker space” at Fox Meadow, to shape it. • Because Scarsdale itself is in transition. The district once hired teachers for their individual talent and passion, then let them go exercise entrepreneurial independence in the classroom. Today, we’re striving to preserve the virtues of individuality and creativity and at the same time to work more collaboratively and systematically, with more synergy. This is a cultural shift; the proper balance between the different approaches is fluid and hard to maintain. Along with all the other challenges, that’s why boards of education have sponsored strong administrative teams, teacher leadership and other support systems. • Because whatever the rhetoric about reforming America’s “failing schools” or doing more with less, the impulse underlying much of today’s educational discourse is the spirit of retrenchment. And

ironically, absolutely the easiest course for Scarsdale would be to fall back on what it has been and to slip into sleepy complacency. That is a prescription for decline. A school is a living, breathing organism, and any organism that is not growing is dying. In fact, one of this district’s greatest achievements in recent years is its refusal to be satisfied with the status quo or to define success in conventional terms alone. Students’ SAT results are in the top 1 percent of the nation’s top 1 percent. Ninety-nine percent of seniors go to college, 95 percent to four-year colleges, and well over 60 percent to the most selective colleges in the country. Graduates report that they are well prepared; many tell us the first year of college is easier than the senior year of high school. Nonetheless, our board of education, professional staff and many in the community have eagerly accepted the challenge of imagining and forging an even better education for tomorrow. As Gabrielle Bowyer, Scarsdale ’07 and the University of Chicago ’11, recently reminded us, what matters in school is not how much knowledge students can absorb, but whether they develop qualities that include persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence. “It has been nearly a decade since I sat in… ninth-grade English,” she said, “but I doubt that I will ever forget (the teacher, who) infuriatingly reminded us that our focus should be not on the grades, but on the learning… Years later, I cannot remember a single grade I got in (his) class,

but the truth in that annoying adage permeates my adulthood.” Today, we’re witnessing a struggle for the soul of America’s public schools. Is education a test score or something more profound and transformative? Are we mainly interested in making schools more efficient or in providing an education that’s more effective? Are we buying a commodity or investing in the future? Is the goal to spend just enough to provide a “good enough” education according to conventional standards or to enable our youth to reach out toward their horizons, invigorate our democracy and improve the world? Scarsdale has always wanted its money spent thoughtfully, but it’s nonetheless held with the more idealistic view. The result is by no means inexpensive. Significant funding goes to support teaching and other direct services for children; perhaps surprisingly, money for new programs has been relatively modest over these last years. Still, the investment I’m talking about isn’t primarily a matter of dollars. Future program development need not pose an unreasonable financial burden, and in many cases it will be more about rethinking and reworking what we already do at little or no added cost. What I’m describing has less to do with economics and more with a way of looking at the world: it’s about a generosity of spirit and a generative view of life. These are difficult economic times, but people survive hard times. What suffocates the soul is selfishness and small-mindedness. Historically, much of the district’s success

has been due to this community’s ethic of decency and contribution, one that’s enlivened learning and made it possible to inspire the young. The Scarsdale way has been to build up, support and encourage, to value opportunity and possibility. Great schools, like great universities and great cities, outlive cycles of fortune and they endure. But in each generation, the challenge is to do more than that. It is to prevail, as William Faulkner said. So what does that mean for Scarsdale? First, every community has an obligation to its own children and to itself. The six issues I’ve described constitute an agenda for a decade. In many ways, the future of Scarsdale and that of its children hinge on how it responds. More broadly, though, we live in a defining moment for public education in America. Scarsdale may not have asked to be a beacon for others. Nonetheless, that’s what we’ve been called to be. This community’s choices will define expectations and determine actions elsewhere in our nation and in the world. For those others who seek direction or partnership or reason or hope, we — in what we aspire to be and what we do — can make all the difference. Most who are part of this extraordinary community appreciate how unusual it is and how fortunate they are to be part of it. Privilege entails responsibility. In the words of the old saying, “To those to whom much is given, from them is much expected.” As it has in the past, may Scarsdale live up to that legacy in the future. n


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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 21A

PT Council has full slate for 2013-14 Scarsdale PT Council, the joint organization for the seven PTAs, is looking forward to the new school year and its annual events. Each year the PT Council holds three community meetings that feature programs on parenting, education and topical issues. Save these dates and times: Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. The council will work with the board of education, school personnel and community groups to sponsor speaker-programs that promise to be valuable sources of information for the community. Next spring, clean out your closets for the popular Sports Swap, which will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 10 a.m.noon. Gently used sports equipment, bicycles, musical instruments, formal wear and computer and video games are all appreciated. Drop them off at the Heathcote gym on Friday, April 4, and then come back and shop. All proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the PT Council to help support projects and programming for the community. Look for the Young Writers’ Workshop on Saturday, March 22, 2014. This is one of PT Council’s most eagerly anticipated and highly respected programs. The event is a celebration of writing that features workshops led by talented professionals. The chairmen are already busily planning and coming up with new ideas to make this year’s event the most exciting ever. It will be held at Scarsdale Middle School from 9

a.m. to noon and is open to third-, fourthand fifth-graders. In addition to these annual events, the council provides support to schools by coordinating districtwide activities and facilitating the sharing of information and ideas among PTA leaders. The PT Council promotes discussion of educational issues and common concerns in the district. The legislative committee examines issues on a county- or state-wide level and the safety committee continues to work with the village and school officials to address traffic and other safety concerns. PT Council leaders will be closely involved with the budget process and will assist in communicating its development throughout the year. Council committee volunteers also support PTA initiatives and programs ranging from community service and environmental action to cultural arts, after-school clubs and multicultural programming, as well as providing support for families of children with learning differences (CHILD). The 2013-14 PT Council executive board includes four officers, as well as the seven PTA presidents: Pamela Rubin, president; Pam Fuehrer, vice president; Karen Brew, secretary; Lauren Mintzer, treasurer; Angela Manson, high school; Seema Jaggi, middle school; Kate Conlan, Edgewood; Alisa Kohn, Fox Meadow; Dana Matsushita, Greenacres; Kim Schneider, Heathcote; and Debbie Hochberg, Quaker Ridge. For more information about the Scarsdale PT Council, visit or email n

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Page 22A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

STEP student program is a big hit


carsdale’s Student Transfer Education Plan (STEP) is an independent community program that allows promising students of color to attend Scarsdale High School for their junior and senior years. It can be a lifechanging opportunity for qualified students, who benefit from 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. The two-year program exposes the transfer students to a challenging environment, and helps prepare them to take positions of leadership and responsibility in a multicultural society. Alisa (Lisa) Studway, who graduated from Scarsdale High School this spring, lived with the Keltz family. She thoroughly enjoyed her time in Scarsdale despite needing to adjust to the cold weather after living in Memphis, Tenn. Studway took advantage of the high school’s offerings by joining the track and gymnastics teams and contributed to the school as an adviser for the New Student Club during her senior year. She spent her Senior Options commuting to a job at a bakery in SoHo, where she gained kitchen, front and back office experience. She looks forward to beginning freshman year of college at Vanderbilt University this fall. Dare Olaifa completed a challenging

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Dare Olaifa and Lisa Studway were the STEP students last year.

and inspiring junior year at SHS. He was a three-season athlete on the football and track teams and played in the school band. He was recently elected as senior class house representative. Olaifa participated in many community service activities such as Hurricane Sandy cleanup and fundraising, delivering books to a mental health clinic in Yonkers from a book drive and mentoring boys at Hawthorne Cedar Knowles Residential Treatment Facility. While home in Memphis this summer, Olaifa will be keeping up his studies in a local math program, volunteering with a doctor and at a nursing home and working out to stay in condition for football. Olaifa looks forward to returning to Scarsdale this fall for his senior year. Just as these students benefit from Scars-


dale’s educational opportunities and support for their college aspirations, the community benefits from the exchanges with these enthusiastic and hard-working individuals. STEP is a unique, nonprofit program supported solely by local donations that are used for student-related expenses. As STEP celebrates its 46th anniversary, the organization is encouraged by the community’s support. By contributing generously to STEP, the community can invest in the future of capable students participating in the program. The STEP Board of Directors gladly accepts and appreciates any and all donations. Potential donors interested in learning more or making a contribution should contact STEP at P.O. Box 278, or visit n

he Center @ 862, Scarsdale’s teen center, has a fantastic year ahead, full of new and different programs. Center @ 862 will kick off the year with a back to school celebration in September. There are also a number of after-school programs planned: a film-making academy for budding movie-makers and a fantasy rock band for future rock stars, as well as the Citizens Ambulance Corp. Academy, Citizens Police Academy and Citizens Firefighter Academy. The Center @ 862 continues to offer entrepreneurial hosting and promoting opportunities for teens looking to organize and run special events and parties at the center. Plans are in the works for another communitywide Halloween event. The center and its new outdoor deck are open for lounge hours Monday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 2-11 p.m. Center @ 862 space is also available to rent for private events. For more information, call 722-8358 or email Visit www. n

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 23A

Maroon & White booster club supports Scarsdale athletics Maroon & White is Scarsdale High School’s parent athletic association, supporting interscholastic athletics and the physical education department by gifting sports equipment, hosting awards/recognition events and encouraging sportsmanship and school spirit. Both high school families and community members are encouraged to join and support Maroon & White. Membership contributions may be made in five categories: Honorable Mention ($40), All-League ($65), All-Section ($100), AllState ($150) and Most Valuable Patron ($250 or more) and may be sent to Karen Fisch at 30 Springdale Road, Scarsdale. You may also join online by visiting Entering its 47th year this fall, Maroon & White promotes and honors student participation in sports. This year’s event calendar includes the following: • Fall Raider Pride pep rally, Friday, Sept. 27 • Fall awards dinner, Tuesday, Nov. 12 • Winter Raider Pride pep rally/bonfire, Friday, Nov. 22 • Kari Pizzitola Holiday Basketball Tournament, Dec. 5-7 • Winter awards ice cream social/desert tasting extravaganza, Tuesday, March 4 • Spring Raider Pride pep rally, Thurs-

day, April 10 • Spring awards picnic, Tuesday, June 3 In addition to membership, Maroon & White’s other major fundraiser, The Sports Journal, is accepting ads for this year’s publication. This journal consists of booster ads from families and businesses, as well as rosters and pictures of sports teams. Parents of incoming freshmen should note that the beginning of the school year would be their only opportunity to submit a family booster ad for the year. Families and businesses may contact Sara Kober at 725-9151 for more information or go to htm. Other activities supported by Maroon & White are the annual coaches’ appreciation dinner, Raiders of the Week and contributions made to the following tournaments: volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading and ice hockey. Maroon & White also sponsors several athletic scholarships for graduating seniors. Finally, Scarsdale Raider merchandise such as blankets, folding chairs, umbrellas, baseball caps, knit hats and car magnets can be ordered by contacting Carrie and Howard Belk at 723-8274. Maroon & White looks forward to another great year. Go Raiders! n

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Page 24A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Scarsdale Educational Support SFCS: the door is always open Children do better when raised in strong families, and families are stronger when they live in supportive communities. Whether you are a parent or parenting your own parents in later life, a teenager or living with one, a couple at midlife or an older adult, Scarsdale § Edgemont Family Counseling Service is a resource providing a range of services to people at every life stage. The Scarsdale Community Youth Services Project continues to provide emotional support to Scarsdale students at both the high school and the middle school. Over 700 parents of teens and preteens participate in SFCS-sponsored parent support groups, where they find strategies for dealing with texting, sexting, cyber bullying and a new world of risky behaviors. Youth outreach workers continue to provide emotional support to girls with the Young Women In Leadership groups, while middle school boys can participate in Friday night activity and discussion. These groups for middle school-age boys and girls are part of the United Way Health and Wellness initiatives for youth, and contribute to leadership and decision making about positive choices. This summer SFCS once again led outdoor adventures for boys and girls ages 1114. This adventure-based counseling pro-

gram combines physical challenges with outdoor experiences to develop decision making and confidence. At the other end of the spectrum, At Home in Scarsdale Village provides support and services for its membership to live with confidence in the community where most have lived the majority of their lives. SFCS also contributed to vital aging and wellness through a series of seminars on relevant topics such as maintaining your brain, planning your financial future and securing emotional and physical well-being. The SFCS 12-passenger van is used by At Home members to attend social and cultural events in New York City and shop and stop about town on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. To join At Home or to learn more about services, call 723-4529. If you are an adult over age 60 needing support to cope with a recent loss or just the challenges of day-to-day living, the SFCS Older Adult Service can help. SFCS also continues to provide mental health services to families, couples and individuals coping with anxiety, depression, life stage transitions, loss of employment, marital stress or wanting to renew and strengthen their relationship. TALKABOUT social skills groups for children are now forming for the fall with openings for children ages 7-8 and 10-11. Participants will learn the behaviors necessary to make and keep a friend. Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 3, The Girls Center returns to SFCS. This year’s program

held at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club on Thursdays from 3:30-5 p.m. will include creative writing and opportunities for selfexpression and confidence building. The Girls Center is open to girls in grades 5 and 6 and can help bridge the transition to the middle school years. Register now for the fall 2013 session by contacting SFCS. SFCS thanks all who participated in this year’s Gourmet Galaxy. It helped raise funds to continue mental health services, outreach and emotional support for adolescents and their parents, older adult services and social skills groups for children. SFCS is a timeless organization. No one needs to face life’s problems alone. The SFCS door is always open. Call 723-3281 or visit

Foundation scholarships total 6 figures The Scarsdale Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded $105,000 in scholarship monies for the 2013-14 academic year. These need-based financial stipends, awarded annually to college students who have graduated from Scarsdale High School or were Scarsdale residents during their high school years, were allocated to 28 individuals. The scholarships are intended to offset some of the college expenses of students who are going into their sophomore, junior and senior years.

The foundation continued to experience an increase in scholarship applications this year. In the face of spiraling tuition costs and exacerbated by the continued economic downturn, paying for college is becoming more and more of a struggle for many Scarsdale families with special circumstances. A significant number of applications come from single parent families, while others are from students whose parents have lost jobs or whose savings for college have been eroded or wiped out by investment losses or devastating health care setbacks. In order to meet the growing need for scholarship assistance in the community, the foundation recently initiated a fundraising campaign, which included specially earmarked donations that were made in conjunction with the Scarsdale Bowl dinner. The foundation trustees encourage philanthropic Scarsdale families to make a tax-deductible donation for student scholarships or even a bequest directly to the foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, by contacting Scarsdale Foundation at P.O. Box 542, or by contacting president Richard Toder at You may learn more about the foundation at Through the collective goodwill and generosity of the entire Scarsdale community, Scarsdale families in need can provide a meaningful college education for their children. n

Back to School – FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 | The ScarSdale InquIrer | Page 25a

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ike the lunchtime staple peanut butter and jelly, “back to school” and “fashion” go together perfectly. and now that the 2013-14 scholastic year is just a week or two away depending on your district’s calendar, it’s time for students of all ages to check out their closets and bureau drawers to make sure everything’s in order for that big first day. But, truth be told, it could be a tad bit difficult to think about clothes for school when mid- to late-august weather is often warm — even hot — and children may prefer to spend each and every day in swimsuits, tank tops and flip-flops. Kathleen luparello, owner of the Preppy Turtle in Bedford hills, a consignment boutique that serves the needs of growing families and stocks items sizing from newborn to women’s and men’s large — with adult sizes appealing to teens — said her shop typically does not see back-to-school shopping until late august. “however, I have noticed that over the past few years many parents wait until the end of September when cooler temperatures prevail and they are better able to gauge growth spurts,” luparello said.

Page 26a | The ScarSdale InquIrer | FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 – Back to School


Back-to-School Fashion

iT’S Time To SHoP!



coNtiNuED fRoM pAGE




In spite of that, luparello said she is already seeing customers “snagging every denim jacket that comes into the store. as a consignment shop we receive a wide variety of washes and styles, so toddlers, tweens and teens can find a jacket that is most appropriate for their age and personality.” The bonus, according to luparello, is that denims purchased at the Preppy Turtle are “already washed, worn and comfy. denim jackets look great over dresses or paired with fun colored jeans.” Of course students come in more than just the female form. “The Preppy Turtle is a great resource for jeans for guys and girls alike,” luparello said. “If your school doesn’t require a uniform, then jeans are probably your uniform. We take in all the best designer and mall brands and don’t sell the ‘over-ripped’ style, so parents can walk out with jeans that look neat and meet dress codes.” For students who do wear a uniform, the Preppy Turtle stocks khaki pants, solid polo shirts and navy blazers. luparello said she hasn’t seen much yet in the way of customers looking for specific colors, but

she has seen “more of a trend toward solids, rather than patterns. Solids are very versatile — easy to mix and match. We sell a lot of scarves and accessories to add personality without the price commitment.” She also said that cardigan sweaters are popular because they help with “transitional weather” and add polish to a basic tee or tank. gaynor Scott and Sydney Schwab of Boo girls, formerly a bricks-andmortar shop in Katonah and now an online retailer at boogirlshop. com, said parents of younger girls will typically start looking for their daughters’ school clothes when kids come back from camp, which is late august. Older girls, they said, often will wait until the first day of school to see which fashion trends are the most popular among their peers. “Once they have an idea they will shop,” Scott said. “It is also still so hot during the first few weeks of school that the girls aren’t shopping for their fall wardrobe yet.” and perhaps more importantly, “customers have different habits now,” Schwab acknowledged. “They enjoy shopping all year long instead of two big shopping trips for spring and fall. Fashion changes at a fast pace, and girls like to stay on top of each emerging trend.” carries clothing that is “school appropriate except for the dressier items,” Scott said. “We are seeing a lot of trends this fall; to name a few there are graphic tees, printed leggings, vegan leather jackets, stretched denim with vegan leather inserts, sweaters and fit-and-flare skirts.” When asked if comfort is more popular with kids than style, Schwab said it is “definitely a combination of both. clothing designers, who have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from, create clothing with attention to the feel of each item. So the clothing offered to our customers is already a mixture of style and comfort.”

Back to School – FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 | The ScarSdale InquIrer | Page 27a



From Neil’s, with stores in Scarsdale

1 and Mount Kisco, Will is wearing a

LeBron James Nike tee and Adidas pants; Mia a Kiddo British flag tee and SoLow bootleg leggings; Jared a Retro brand Cornell tee, a Quicksilver flannel shirt and Volcom jeans. Alyssa is wearing a Jacaranda lace



2 dress and Go Max patent pumps at yogi’s Paw unique Clothing Boutique, with locations in Mount Kisco and Mamaroneck. A stylish pair dressed by Lester’s in

3 Rye: Chris sports Joe’s Jeans plaid

long sleeve woven shirt, Lucy folk rock tee and Seven For All Mankind rhigby jeans, while Lucy’s look consists of Blank NyC vegan leather motorcycle jacket, Blank NyC plaid shirt, Blank NyC denim/vegan leather jeans and Steve Madden ‘Melody’ wedge sneaker.


Ali goes with the 525 America cable

4 boyfriend sweater, Joe’s Jeans skinny


With target customers ranging in age from 13-25, Scott said she is seeing a “nice amount” of color this fall, including eggplant, red, lavender, ivory and cobalt blue “for pops of color,” along with metallics and, of course, black. lauren dunn is district manager with denny’s childrenswear in Scarsdale, with other locations across long Island, new Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. dunn said parents typically begin purchasing school clothes for their children in august. This year, she said, there is a lot of camouflage “for both boys and girls,” along with neon trims on other fabrics. “For girls, pleather and prints are big,” dunn said enthusiastically, noting that “colorful prints for girls leggings” are popular as well. denny’s, which stocks clothing and accessories for girls and boys of all ages, also stocks backpacks, lunch bags, messenger bags and totes. “There are various prints for girls and boys along with ProTeam merchandise,” dunn said. “We also sell supplies to decorate lockers and novelty items like charms for pencils.” elaine andriotis, owner of


ankle ripped jeans and echo chunky rib newsboy hat outfit available in Rye at Lester’s. The little darling and bigger darling

5 are dressed in clothing from So Nikki,


Beginnings in Scarsdale and Beginnings Bleus in armonk, said parents start getting their children ready for the school year “as soon as kids get home from camp.” andriotis said her stores stock “a huge selection of premium denim” appropriate for students to wear to school, including “skinny jeans and coated denim,” along with leather, camouflage and the biker look. For girls, “Wedged sneakers are very popular. We have brand-new arrivals of aSh sneakers in both our locations,” she said. When asked if comfort has become more popular with students than style, or whether it’s a combination of both that appeals the most, andriotis said, “now that we carry men’s items in our armonk location, we find that guys tend to look at comfort first, then style. Girls look more at style, then comfort.” This year’s favorite back-to-school colors and fabrics include “denim with denim [denim tops with denim bottoms],” an-

driotis said. “Olive and wine are among the favorite fall colors, and army colors are also very popular, along with the motorcycle [biker] look.” andriotis’s shops are for “mother/daughter, father/son from teenager and up,” she said. “We have clothing for everyone.” In addition, there are basic polo shirts for boys and men from Vince, Splendid and Velvet, usable for students who attend independent schools. “For girls, we have basic white button-downs from Vince and Theory,” andriotis said. So it seems as though, no matter when and where students and their parents start looking for back-to-school clothes and accessories, there are plenty of sources and lots of advice available at shops throughout the area. now all the kids will need to do is wake up early enough on school-day mornings to get dressed and out the door in time for class. It’s the time of year where you want to be fashionably on time. n

available at Lester’s in Rye. On the left you have a pleather sleeve denim jacket, camp heart hi lo tee and pleather insert legging while on the right is an outfit of a vegan leather vest, camo long sleeve shirt and distressed jeans. F rom Indigo Chic in Hartsdale, Han-

6 nah is wearing a Nalley and Milley

sweater, evleo leggings and jewelry by Indigo Chic; Madison a Joie top, evleo leggings and a necklace by Indigo Chic; Taylor a Luxe junkie T-shirt, Joe’s camouflage jeans and jewelry by Indigo Chic. Mia is wearing a So Nikki tee, Tractor

7 Jeans, a North Face hat and a North

Face backpack; Will a Miami dolphins jersey, Adidas pants and an under Armour backpack; Jared a Nike sweatshirt, Adidas fleece sweatpants and a Volcom backpack, available at Neil’s, with stores in Scarsdale and Mount Kisco. At yogi’s Paw unique Clothing Bou-

8 tique, with locations in Mount Kisco and Mamaroneck, Alyssa is wearing a Pinc zipper accent skater skirt with a Better Be open-backed striped top

Page 28A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Girl Scouts: discover what it’s all about


eadership skills, community connections, friendships, fun trips, laughter and toasted marshmallows are just some of the great things girls in Scarsdale and Edgemont experience during their scouting years as they grow into capable and confident young women. Six hundred and seventy girls participated in Scarsdale Edgemont Girl Scouts (SEGS) last year. And now that school is starting, new troops will be forming. Earning badges on topics ranging from nature to movie-making to Internet safety to first aid to winter sports to forensics keeps girls expanding their horizons. Friendships formed in scouting tend to last through the years. Girls bond while tackling new activities together — like making apple pie on a stick over an open fire or planting wildflowers at a nature center. Community service projects are a large part of scouting, teaching girls empathy and kindness. Popular projects last year were delivering baked goods to veterans, collecting mittens for needy children, singing carols to the elderly, working at a soup kitchen, making blankets for hurricane victims, helping endangered wildlife and planting native species at the library pond to help reduce flooding. Fun activities last year included a high ropes course, bird watching, rowing, backstage theater tours, geocaching, splash parties, a fashion show, biking and hiking and attending museum sleepovers.

Roasting apples — for pie — on an open fire for the Girl Scouts.

Older girls mentor younger ones at some of these events, gaining self-assurance, while the younger ones admire their older role models. Each September is the Fall Community Campout, held upstate with activities like archery, fishing and singing around a bonfire. With winter comes the annual Father-Daughter Square Dance, a cherished time for a girl to connect with Dad. Late winter is cookie time around these parts. You’ll see SEGS troops at the train stations hawking Thin Mints and Samoas with homemade posters and made-up jingles. The girls may ring your doorbell and ask you to donate a box to American

Looking for a fun, friendly religious school experience for your child?

forces overseas. When you buy cookies from SEGS you’re not only helping fund activities and community service projects, but you’re helping the girls learn business skills — increasing confidence in sales pitches and teaching perseverance, how to handle money and interact with people. Last year you bought over 40,000 boxes of cookies from SEGS. In spring, middle school scouts are invited to Village Government Day, where they lunch with the mayor and get to see what goes on behind the scenes of running a town, riding with police or firemen, attending court and touring village facilities.

“At Village Government Day, one of my scouts left Village Hall proclaiming she wanted to become a defense attorney,” said Pat Cook, leader of Edgemont Troop 1962. “To me, that is what scouting is all about — finding one’s voice and then shouting.” May means camping in Scout Field with games, tents and S’mores with a makeshift talent show culminating the evening. And nothing beats getting to hold the American flag or your troop’s banner while marching in the Scarsdale Memorial Day Parade. Now is the time to become a scout for this coming school year. Contact Carmella Crawford at newtroops@segirlscouts. org for the troop leader at your child’s school. Consider becoming a leader yourself or with a friend. It’s a great way to guide your daughter and her friends’ activities through the years. Look for the Girl Scouts around the community this year. Whether it’s a Brownie troop exploring Red Maple Swamp in Greenacres to learn what a naturalist does; Junior Girl Scouts building fires to roast hot dogs at the Girl Scout House; or Cadettes making their way down the Hudson River on standing paddle boards, you’ll find them enjoying time with each other, bettering their community and discovering new, interesting activities to enrich our lives and build our self-esteem. It sure beats sitting around playing with a smartphone! n

YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

There’s a place for everyone at the YWCA!

Award-Winning Aquatics Programs Shaarei Tikvah, the Scarsdale Conservative Congregation, is offering a special promotion for families whose oldest child is starting Kindergarten or First grade. With religious school enrollment, the entire family gets free synagogue membership for one year, including High Holiday tickets! Children not yet in Kindergarten? Ask about free High Holiday tickets for pre-school families – including our lively children’s services. Come and experience our warm and welcoming, family-friendly environment! Please call 914-472-2013 for more information. .

Gymnastics for Preschooler thru Teen Early Care & Education ing Featur ated it accred with s m a progr nced, ie r e p ex ional s s profe staff.

for Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Before School, After School & Vacation Day Programs

Youth & Adult Fitness

Check our website in August for Fall Specials and Registration information at:

46 Fox Meadow Road in Scarsdale Two minutes from the Scarsdale train station and Eight minutes from Ardsley Middle School 472-2013 ext 300 Email:

Contact Us Today! (914) 949-6227 515 North Street White Plains, NY 10605 /

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 29A

Scarsdale Educational Support Task force serves students, parents The Scarsdale Task Force on Drugs and Alcohol is a community action group made up of concerned individuals and representatives of the schools, the village, local social and civic organizations, and religious institutions. The task force educates youth and adults about drugs and alcohol, helps people develop drug-free attitudes and habits, and recommends resources to those whose lives are affected by drug and alcohol dependency. Highlights of task force activities in the past year include: • A presentation to high school students given by Matt Bellace, Ph.D., a motivational speaker and comedian who spoke about natural highs and the importance of supportive peer group. His presentation to SHS students was followed by a presentation (sponsored by Scarsdale’s PTA). • Sponsoring, through coordination with the Westchester County Police, a drunk-driving simulator at the Scarsdale High School campus for students. The simulator provides the experience of driving under the influence of alcohol. • The task force continued its collaboration with the youth outreach workers from the Scarsdale § Edgemont Family Counseling Service by hosting parent coffees in which parents engage in meaningful dialogue about difficult parenting issues.

In these small group settings, parents are able to discuss concerns about substancerelated issues, share effective parenting tools and gain peer support, clarify and affirm their values. • The task force continues to be a community resource by providing alcohol poisoning fact cards to students and parents who request them. Using information provided by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), these laminated wallet cards help kids (and others) recognize signs of alcohol poisoning and follow safe steps to help an impaired person. New initiatives this year include: • Initiating a Drug Take-Back Day to remove unnecessary abusable prescription drugs from our homes. The program was coordinated with the Scarsdale police and benefited hundreds of citizens. • Launching a blog — scarsdaletaskforce.blogspot .com — which features articles, the task force’s community survey and other resources. In the upcoming school year, the task force will continue to provide parent education opportunities and support programs that promote enjoyable, substance-free social activities for teens. The task force does, however, rely on community support for our efforts. Contributions from the community will help fund the many continuing projects and will help foster new initiatives to reduce alcohol and drug use and abuse. Visit www.scarsdaletaskforce. org. If you have questions or suggestions, e-mail

Scarsdale Forum has impact on education Since 1904, the Scarsdale Forum has been the village’s “go-to” organization, which neighbors join to build friendships and to study and report on the key issues that really matter to Scarsdale residents. The forum is Scarsdale’s very own “think tank,” a local “Brookings Institution” staffed entirely by dedicated community volunteers. The forum distributes its reports and recommendations to the village and county governments and to the school board and administration. The forum’s work has shaped public opinion and policy and has improved the village for well over 100 years. Over the past few years, the forum has studied villagewide property tax revaluation and has provided the policy and factual foundation that led the village to implement its first revaluation in 43 years. Forum committees have issued important reports on teacher compensation; mandatory state testing of students; zoning provisions in the village code; neighborhood character; historic preservation; county, village and school budgets; and easily adopted sustainability practices. The reports produced and approved by the forum membership can be found on the forum’s website, www.scarsdaleforum. com, at the link titled “Reports.” The forum continues its archival project to identify past reports produced by its committees over the years and to place them on its website for

the public to read and enjoy. The 2013-14 year for the forum promises concerted study of village, school and county budgets in the face of ever rising costs and a still-struggling economy, the village’s proposed historic preservation law, sustainability and whatever other timely and significant issues arise that the committees choose to research. Elected officials on each level of government — the mayor, school board president, county executive, state assemblyman and U.S. senator — have been invited to speak over the course of the coming year at general membership meetings. As an educational and charitable organization, the forum is committed to providing interesting programming at its general membership meetings and at its popular Sunday Speaker Series. For a complete schedule of meeting dates and topics, check www. General membership and Sunday Speaker Series meetings are open to the public and are usually recorded for broadcast on village public access channels on the cable TV systems or placed on the forum’s website at the “Videos” link. The sixth annual membership party will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Sampling a variety of amazing custom-brewed beers by former forum president Bruce Wells is just one of the highlights of this fabulous evening. Join the Scarsdale Forum now — get involved, make new friends, be informed, express your views and help shape the village, county and schools. n

Come Meet Our Family and Let Us Meet Yours


t the heart of our Synagogue community, we are a diverse family of families. We define ourselves and our purpose through a wide variety of religious and educational services, social and community activities and other programs that satisfy and seek to inspire people of all ages, including couples and single-parent households, interfaith and LGBT families, and singles, too. Every day, new links in the thousands-of-years-old chain of Jewish tradition are formed: • • • • • •

At our warm and welcoming Shabbat and Holiday Services On the playground of our Mazel Tots® Pre-School In the hallways and classrooms of our Religious School As our students receive a fine Jewish Education During the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah Experience With Lifelong Learning as we do our part in Repairing the World

As you look to pass the spark of Jewish identity to your next generation, as well as enhance connections and relationships on your own Jewish Journey, we invite you to stop by to meet our clergy, including Rabbi Jeffrey C. Brown, Cantor Chanin Becker our new Director of Congregational Learning Rabbi Wendy Pein, and our Director of our Early Childhood Program Jody Glassman. Take a tour and learn more about why and how we have become one of Westchester’s leading Reform congregations.

Call or write: (914) 725-5175 or 2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583 Hinenu – We Are Here, Creating a Covenant Community of Shared Lives and Real Relationships

Visit our website:

Scarsdale Synagogue is a modern Reform Jewish congregation. Founded in 1961, we take a vibrant, contemporary approach to our heritage and our faith, while honoring the roots of Temples Tremont and Emanu-El that date to the dawn of the 20th century.

Page 30A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Why Choose

Studio B? S

ince 1996, thousands of students have taken dance lessons under the guidance of our highly talented and nurturing teachers. Our state-of-art facility is a magnificent place where the tiniest ballerinas and the trendiest teen dancers feel at home. No matter which style of dance your child chooses, a pattern of enjoying healthy exercise in a dance class can become the foundation for a lifetime of energetic physical activity.

281 White Plains Road Eastchester, NY 10709


Here's why Studio B Dance Center is the right choice. We invite you to compare Small class sizes - Maximum of 12 students for age 2 + 3, and a maximum of 14 per class for ages 4 and up All studio rooms equipped with floating Marley dance floors which help reduce the risk of injuries and fatigue Choice of more than one teacher for each dance program to fit your child's personality and learning style Mirrors that start at floor level so that dancers can see their feet from any place on the dance floor Viewing windows that allow you to observe your child's progress without class interruptions Desk staff available to assist you during all teaching hours, every day Parent-friendly ready-to-wear recital costumes that include all accessories and tights Students and parents never required to fund raise for studio events Convenient sibling scheduling that enables parents to bring two or more siblings to dance class at the same time Large variety of classes and choice times designed according to students' and parents' requests Staff of professional teachers and choreographers with college or masters degrees and extensive teaching experience Hassle free, 90-minute recitals in a pleasant, air-conditioned local facility




As a parent, you have a choice among several different dance schools, but not all studios are the same. At Studio B, we constantly upgrade and improve our facilities and curriculum to ensure that we always provide our students and parents with the best experience possible. Today, as in 1996, there are a number of studios to choose from. We invite you to compare studio features on our checklist to the left. You’ll see why Studio B is chosen more often than any other dance school in the area.

What our students and parents are saying:

Studio B has become like my second family. I have made many new “friends who are always there to help me out. We all work hard together, but it is always fun. We may see each other once a week, but we all have one thing in common. We love to dance. “ Nina, age 13 dance there would be something missing from who I am. “WhenIf I Ididn’t dance I feel beautiful, powerful, and most of all free. “ Ellen, age 14 the rooms are magical because I do things there I can’t do the “sameI think anywhere else. “ Kathleen, age 7

place to take classes because it stimulates a child’s “ Studio B is a great intelligence and emotional development. The

teacher’s approach is totally child centered, innovative, enthusiastic, organized and refreshingly age appropriate. Your classes have been a great boost to our daughter’s self esteem. Paige’s mom

show is better than ‘American Idol.’ “ OurMackensee, “ age 5

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 31A


Things Every Parent Should Know Before

Choosing a Dance Studio


ince most dance studios seem to have qualified, friendly teachers who are experienced with teaching children, and a big recital at the end of the year, aren’t they all pretty much the same? Does it really matter which school you decide to enroll at? Absolutely. There are five important factors that can make a huge difference in the qualStudents modeling at a fashion show ity of instruction your child receives. By considering these five basic guidelines, you will be able to choose a dance studio that will give you and your child a satisfying and enjoyable experience.


What type of dance floor is used?

The best way to practice a safe physical activity is by choosing a studio with a professional “floating floor.” A floating floor rests on a system of high-density foam to absorb the shock of jumping. The top layer is a vinyl composite “Marley” floor, which is recognized worldwide as the best surface layer for dancers. A high-density foam base is superior to a sprung floor, which usually consists of a wood structure built on top of the regular floor. Very few studios use these floors due to the expense, but Studio B has professional floating floors in all three spacious dance studios.


What is the size of the class?

If the dance class has a limited number of students in it, each child will receive more personal attention, learn more, and have more fun. With smaller classes, teachers can closely supervise the class, carefully explain the concepts and instructions, and make certain that students are developing good habits and proper technique. At Studio B, we limit all of our classes to a maximum of just fourteen students. Our pre-ballet for ages 2 and 3 is limited to only twelve. With teachers focused on individual student skills, no fundamental concepts are being missed. All of our classes are taught by professional instructors; many classes have assistant teachers.


What type of music is used in class?


How much class time is spent on recital dances?


Can I get immediate assistance and customer service?

Many studios employ current popular music that students hear on the radio. Dancing to only “popular” music in class does not give your child exposure to a variety of music experiences. Our philosophy is to select age-appropriate music to engage the child’s creative spirit and to offer a large range of musical genres. Our wide range of music (both vocal and instrumental) encourages dancers to express themselves through the art of dance and to learn how to count music rather than just dance to specific lyrics.

Many studios have classes in which students spend most of the year learning two or more recital dances. This practice consumes most of the child’s class time and they end the year lacking important dance skills, vocabulary and technique. Although we take great pride in our ninety minute creative themed performances, we do not put a great deal of emphasis on learning dance steps for the sole purpose of a recital; nor do we make it mandatory that any child participates in the show. Studio B’s well balanced program combines learning choreography and recital dances while developing strong technique and improving coordination and locomotive skills.

In many studios, the teacher or the studio owner conducts class and does the administration. The class may suffer if the teacher is trying to do two jobs at once, such as using class time for customer service issues. To have a good dance experience, it is important to choose a studio that can assist you with details like costumes or schedules, even when a teacher’s occupied in class. Studio B’s knowledgeable office staff is on hand during all class times so that you can receive immediate attention.

Studio B Dance Center is honored to be named the official Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy in all of Westchester County. As a student in Studio B Dance Center’s Angelina Ballerina program, your child will receive a quality dance education in a caring and fun environment, all based on the beloved Angelina Ballerina character. The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum is designed by internationally renowned master teachers and child development experts. Your child will be inspired to pursue her dreams of dance, just like Angelina Ballerina!

281 White Plains Road Eastchester, NY 10709


Page 32A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Lifelong learners attend Scarsdale Adult School


ow completing its 75th consecutive year, the Scarsdale Adult School 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, dance, card and board games, cooking, wine, health/wellness and self-improvement classes. Registration for the fall semester is already under way, 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 in venues in or convenient to Scarsdale. Classes are open to all, regardless of residency, and courses fill on a firstcome, first-served basis. With both day and evening classes, SAS has something to fit everyone’s schedule. SAS welcomes the return of many popular veteran humanities instructors such as: • Lorella Brocklesby and Ronald J. Brown (history and culture) • Marilyn DeRight and Harriet Sobol (film and literature)

• John T. King and Edmund Niemann (music appreciation) • Elizabeth Thompson Colleary and Lynne Mayocole (art appreciation). The fall semester also promises an opportunity to: discuss Jane Austen, the great literature of American playwrights or 20th century female authors; study memoirs with a focus on food; sample musical treats from the great romantic composers; and appreciate the art of the American impressionists or the masterworks of the Cloisters — yet another New York jewel celebrating its 75th anniversary. ESL, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian and Spanish round out the foreign language selection. Noteworthy hot topics this term include: • Changing the Constitution with Eli Faber • Middle East Economic Development with David M. Cheney • Differing Democracies in Disarray with Yoel Magid. In its growing technology department, SAS now offers courses specific to iPads, iPhones, iPods and apps. Expanded instruction will be available on the Google suite of free applications. For more traditional com-


puter classes, students may brush up workplace and personal computer skills or take introductory and more advanced classes on Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Photoshop, digital photography and digital filmmaking appeal to those with a passion for cameras. New this semester will be an introduction to photo books and online photo storage using options such as Picasa, Snapfish or Shutterfly. By popular demand, walking tours are also back. Instructors will guide students through Stone Barns, the galleries of Chelsea and Stonecrop Gardens. Personal finance courses cover ever-changing estate tax and asset protection laws, long-term care insurance, financial planning for special needs family members and structuring investments for retirement. Aspiring performers can be swept up by the joy of singing, learn to play sitar or play drama games in the actor’s workshop. See a show or film and develop critiquing skills with theater appreciation or movie matinees. Become a better writer with a specially tailored class for creative pieces, nonfiction, children’s books, personal essays or ekphrastic poetry.

Arts and crafts abound with opportunities for collage, drawing, flower arranging, jewelry beading, knitting, painting, printmaking and warm glass design. Fitness and dance classes run the game from (A) aerobic belly dancing to (Z) zumba. Body sculpting, boot camp, walk live and yoga are in the schedule, too. Learn to relax through meditation or heal through reiki certification. Hone your bridge game or take up canasta or mah-jongg. Find a great new recipe in a cooking class or sample a fine vintage in a wine tasting course. Try a class on genealogy, nutrition, feng shui, tarot reading or astrology. All these classes and many more will be starting before the leaves begin to turn. 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 Scarsdale Village Hall. Visit www.ScarsdaleAdultSchool. org to register, to sign up for the monthly electronic newsletter or for additional information about the dynamic fall lineup. Call 723-2325 with questions. n

Registration in November for 2013-2014 school year Ca ll f or a

tou r

Morning Class: For 2’s, 3’s and 4’s • Lunch Club: For 3’s until 1:00 Extended Day Program: For 4’s until 2:30 • Mandarin Option Available Enrichment Activities: Handwriting Without TearsŽ, Music, Creative Dance, Cooking, Field Trips, Science Programs, Gym

• Boarding • Training • Lessons • Ponies • Hunters • Sales • Beginner • Advanced • Ages 5 & up • Small Groups • Safe Environment • 80 x 200 Indoor Ring • 100 x 300 Outdoor Ring • Ponies for Lease or Sale • Summer Camp 120 Cottage Ave., Purchase, NY 914-939-9294

6 Greenacres Avenue, Scarsdale - 914-723-0922 E-mail: Website:


K-12ALLALL SUBJECTS K-12 SUBJECTS •3!4s,%!2.).'$)3!"),)4)%3 •3!4s,%!2.).'$)3!"),)4)%3 •3!4s,%!2.).'$)3!"),)4)%3 eE hheG         “ The““T         G ETD         yo yoiluu ED yoG ildild uErEch s2%'%.43s2%!$).' s2%'%.43s2%!$).' drrchch s2%'%.43s2%!$).' n n ee ee d d      s      n to ee S d U S      s U C to C C S E C U E E s-!4(s72)4).' D C E s-!4(s72)4).' CEED!â€? D!â€?!â€? s-!4(s72)4).'             s!0#/523%3s3#)%.#% s!0#/523%3s3#)%.#% s!0#/523%3s3#)%.#%   



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914-380-4534 914-380-4534 914-380-4534 Visit us at:

VisitVisit us at:

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 33A

BTS Guide N Early Learning Shaarei Tikvah

A place for families to grow and learn If you are looking for a warm, creative environment where you and your children can all grow Jewishly, come to Shaarei Tikvah’s Anna and Louis Shereff Religious School. Shaarei Tikvah’s weekday only k-7 program provides a strong foundation in Hebrew language and prayer, with hands-on, experiential learning and innovative 21st century programs that highlight Jewish values, holidays, Shabbat and Israel. This past year, Shaarei Tikvah in Scarsdale emphasized the beauty of Shabbat (the Sabbath), bringing families together for a student-led Saturday morning service, pairing families to help each other make Shabbat special and baking challah for the needy. Building on a tradition of engaging children in Jewish texts to address real-life problems such as bullying, this year Shaarei Tikvah will use the famous verse from the end of the Torah, “The Jewish People inherited the Torah and are responsible to pass on its teachings” (Torah tziva lanu Moshe, morasha kehilat Yaakov), as the basis for an exploration of Jewish values and how they can be incorporated in one’s personal life. By creating their own museum, interviewing their parents and working online, students will become aware of themselves as links in the chain of Jewish tradition.

Baking bread at Shaarei Tikvah

Parents will participate through workshops and special weekend programs bringing together all religious school families for informal educational activities. You and your family are invited to join Shaarei Tikvah on this journey, to deepen your familial bonds and find your own connection to Judaism and the Jewish community. For information, e-mail synagogue@ or call 472-2013 Ext. 300.

Kids’ BASE and the Little School

For the youngsters in Scarsdale Kids’ BASE and the Little School continues to be an invaluable resource for the families of Scarsdale. This not-for-profit community organization encompasses two programs: a before- and after-school program for school-age children, and a

preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds. Executive director Deborah Fine begins her 10th year at KBLS. Since 1982, Kids’ BASE has provided quality before- and after-school programming for youngsters in grades k-5, offering enrichment programs in the afternoon, such as Musical Theater, Kids R Cooking, Mad Science, Applause Broadway Babies, Scarsdale Strings and Animal Study. Sports Clinics and Chess Chums continue to be popular after-school activities under the directorships of coach Steve Stone and master chess champion Adnan Kobas. The Little School provides a high quality preschool experience, accredited by NAYEC, for over 150 students. In addition to a developmentally appropriate program led by highly qualified head teachers and teaching assistants, The Little School offers weekly music, gym and creative movement classes, plus monthly Nature of Things animal programs. This summer, the Summer Enrichment Program provided a rewarding summer session to over 90 3- and 4-yearolds. The highlight of the children’s day was swim time at the Scarsdale pool. The Little School also welcomed Happy Feet Soccer, a petting zoo, A Loopy Hawaiian Luau, Mad Science, Chris Marshak and LuAnn Adams as part of the summer program. Kids’ BASE and the Little School remains a vital community asset, unique to Scarsdale and eager to share its wealth of educational experiences with its residents. For more information or to request an application, call 472-5409 or visit

Westchester Reform Temple

Celebrating 28 years Westchester Reform Temple Early Childhood Center (WRT/ECC) in Scarsdale is launching its 28th school year. WRT/ECC is dedicated to enriching young children’s lives socially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically, and to making connections for parents through programs and activities. Classes for 2-year-olds are from 9:1511:30 a.m., with three-, four- or five-day options, while the 3- and 4-year-old students participate in morning programs from 9 a.m.-noon five days a week, with options for lunch and fun-filled afternoon electives, such as art, cooking and Happy Feet Soccer, ending at 2:30 p.m. Weekly Babies & Bagels drop-in playgroups, monthly Tot Shabbats and holiday celebrations with the clergy, and Sunday Dads Clubs are just a few of the programs that connect families to both the center and the larger temple community. WRT/ECC is licensed by New York State Department of Children and Family Services. All classes are staffed by certified teachers and a social worker is available to parents. The school takes great pride in its excellent teacher:student ratio of 4:1 in the 2s program, 7:1 in the 3s program, and 8:1 in the 4s program. For more information contact ECC director Sue Tolchin at sue.tolchin@wrtemple. org or 723-5493. n

Page 34A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

BTS Guide N Early Learning Greenburgh Hebrew Center

Preschool serving Jewish community Living in the Rivertowns? Moving to the Rivertowns? Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center in Dobbs Ferry is the preschool for you. Selecting an appropriate preschool is an important decision for any parent to make. Your child will benefit from being a member of the GHC ECC family for many reasons: your child will be nurtured, taught and valued by licensed, seasoned, skilled and caring teaching staff; the teachers follow a secular and Judaic play-based curriculum while engaging in constructivist practices that will respond to your child’s natural curiosity of learning; the curriculum follows the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and benefits from membership to the Jewish Education Project as well as Project SEED, which is designed to support synagogue-based preschools via a mental health consultant with parents on topics of mutual interest; and GHC ECC has entered into a partnership with the Hudson River Museum where the 2s, 3s and 4s will receive differentiated instruction based on the museum’s permanent collection. Your child will arrive home after sing-

ing with their music teacher and their cantor; relaxing from yoga techniques taught by a yoga instructor; repeating stories enacted by their rabbi, as well as a plethora of other experiential school events. GHC ECC ends the day with afternoon enrichment of project-based learning through literacy, art, math, science, music and movement for 3s and 4s. Mommy and me classes offer preschool preparation while building relationships for both adults and children. Exciting things are happening at the Greenburgh Hebrew Center Early Childhood Center. Contact director Gloria Smith at 479-1421 or to schedule a personalized tour. It will probably be your last stop in your search for the perfect Jewish preschool.

Ardsley Community Nursery

Celebrating more than 50 years Ardsley Community Nursery School has been serving families from the local area for more than 50 years with a funloving environment run by caring staff and a strong enrichment program consisting of music, dance and movement, nature study and Spanish. The Ardsley Historical Society has written ACNS up

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Fun time at Ardsley Community Nursery

as the oldest nursery program in the area. ACNS maintains the outstanding quality of a nursery school from 9 a.m. until noon, and additionally offers limited spots in a variety of afternoon sessions until 5 p.m. Early drop-off is available for working parents. Programs for kids ages 2-5 years old. A three-week precamp program runs in June, and a sixweek summer camp program runs from the end of June through the first week in August. Children learn through carefully planned play experiences that include songs; arts and crafts; language, phonemic awareness and literacy; science and explo ration; computers; multicultural humanities; and independence and social skills. ACNS is New York State ac-

credited, and follow both the NYS and Common Core learning standards for preschool. ACNS is diaper-friendly. We also have the ability to include children with special needs. The school curriculum centers around integrated activities based on weekly themes that reflect the interest of our students, such as dinosaurs, outer space, the Wild West, circus, animals, oceans and farms. Fun days include our Halloween and spring carnivals, Valentine’s Day brunch for parents, Thanksgiving feast, holiday puppet show, beach day and Chinese New Year parade. All cultures are celebrated. The school has a beautiful, shady playground with sandboxes, swings, climbing equipment, playhouses and mobile toys. Field trips are taken to the nearby police and fire stations, the local supermarket, the library and the Greenburgh Nature Center. Children experience science and nature daily through taking care of plants and classroom pets, and hatching butterflies and chicks every spring. Our goal is for every child to feel good about themselves, make friends and love school. ACNS is located at 21 American Legion Drive in Ardsley. Children from all local areas are accepted. Call 693-4932, visit or visit Facebook. Call to obtain an application or arrange a visit. n

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back to school clothes arriving daily toys, skates, cleats, books, car seats, high chairs, toddler beds, cribs, swings & strollers too! 10 main street, dobbs ferry • 693-3610 regular hours: mon-sat 10-5, thurs 10-6 pm closed mondays 8/26 & 9/2 Your Favorite Brands: Justice, Carters, Baby Gap, Quiksilver, Gymboree, Limited Too, Northface, Abercrombie and Lily Pulitzer

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 35A

BTS Guide N News & Notes Greenwich Education Group

Advancing education for all students Victoria Newman, founder and executive director of Greenwich Education Group, feels strongly that identifying the right educational fit for each student is the most important element of the services that GEG provides. For over 10 years, GEG has earned the reputation as the place to go for tutoring and test prep; educational consulting for college, day and boarding schools; finding long-term solutions for children with learning differences; short-term programs for academic remediation or course acceleration; and for three uniquely positioned independent, accredited day schools that meet the needs of their students. Furthermore, as a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, Educational Records Bureau, Small Boarding School Association and Secondary School Admission Test Board, Newman and her team has the right set of skills to address an ever-increasing demand for high level educational services. Choosing the right school Greenwich Education Group knows that choosing the right educational program or independent school for your child is a decision that carries lifelong implications. GEG understands that going through the admissions process can be overwhelm-

ing. From interview tactics to supporting essays that make each student shine, GEG prepares and positions your child in the strongest possible light. GEG gets to know your family and make it their mission to identify the target schools that meet your expectations. Paying close attention to every detail throughout the process, GEG presents each student optimally to directors of admissions. 3 independent day schools Greenwich Education Group operates three accredited, independent, co-ed day schools which meet the needs of unique student populations: Beacon is for gifted students in grades 2-12 whose needs are not met in traditional classrooms. Beacon encourages students to pursue their passion and develop their talents in an enriched academic setting. Beacon’s hallmark is individualized education. Students pursue unique courses of study within a community of dedicated learners. Beacon challenges students to develop their gifts, discover their passions and achieve academic excellence. The Spire School recognizes all students can leverage their strengths to enhance their own lives. Students in grades 6-12 receive an individualized education that is integrated with a health and wellness curriculum. At Spire, students come to realize their academic potential and develop skills to overcome social and emotional difficulties. To promote a healthy and secure sense of self, Spire emphasizes self-care through effective coping skills, exercise, nutrition

and academic empowerment. Pinnacle School enables students in grades 2-12 who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s, high functioning autism, PDD-NOS, nonverbal learning disorders and ADHD to excel academically and socially. By focusing on the “whole child” in a safe and supportive environment, students become self-advocates, develop friendships, master skills and truly thrive. Pinnacle’s goal is to help students reach their true potential and to prepare them for the future. Children with learning differences The team at The Collaborative Center for Learning & Development understands learning differences and offers solutions to help children thrive academically, socially and emotionally. Services include neuropsychological and psycho-educational assessments, executive function coaching services, multisensory academic tutoring, speech and language, behavioral and social skills support and educational program review. The Collaborative Center develops a plan that positions your child to gain competence, independence and confidence. A program that works Links Academy is an accredited, shortterm academic program with year-round enrollment. It is ideal for students who have missed school due to illness or relocation, as well as for academic remediation and course acceleration. One-on-one classes and flexible scheduling allow stu-

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dents to explore the curriculum in depth and close any existing gaps in prior knowledge. Links Academy can award transferable credit and a high school diploma. College counseling GEG alleviates the stress in the college admissions process by offering individualized services focusing on finding colleges that offer the right fit for each student. Services include diagnostic SAT or ACT testing with evaluation; career testing to identify majors and careers; test prep; course selection, extracurricular activities and summer plans; school visits and interviews; application review and editing essays; plans for student-athletes or students in the arts and admission support throughout the process. Test prep and tutoring Greenwich Education Group offers tutoring in more than 70 subject areas. Instructors have a gift for helping students master their subjects and develop self-confidence. The test prep services at Greenwich Education Group prepare younger students for the ISEE and SSAT tests, and older students for the SAT, ACT and AP exams. You can be certain that when your child needs educational consulting, college counseling, services for children with learning differences, tutoring, test prep or even a specialized school, that Greenwich Education Group will be able to offer you a program that meets your exact needs. For information, call (203) 661-1609 or visit n

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Page 36A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

who has to make that selection,” Arpino pointed out. “And even older children may opt for less nutrient-dense foods.” “Even if a child brings their own healthy lunch, vending machines and bake sales in schools often compete with healthy choices,” Leon said. Schoen and the others said that parents should take an active role in the nutritional offering in their child’s school. “It would be great for parents to be involved with school food programs and learn what the kids are eating, as well as to guide your child to make good choices with the options available,” Schoen said. “Parents might also be able to help change those options to healthier choices.” Leon said, “Parents can have a bigger impact on foods and snacks available in schools than they think. Public schools that receive federal funding for school lunch programs are required to have a nutrition committee comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and the school food service director. Parents can choose to be a part of or reach out to members of these committees with suggestions for improvement.” The most important meal?

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most parents are well aware what a challenge eating a healthy morning meal can be in the mad rush to school and work. “Starting the day with breakfast is very

important for fueling the brain and body, and keeping our weight stable,” Leon said. “If you are constantly rushed in the morning, prepare the night before or try to get up a little earlier. Hard-boiled eggs, nut butters and yogurt are all good and quick sources of protein. Healthy carbohydrates can include whole grain bread or cereal, and a piece of fruit. Examples of quick breakfasts include a peanut butter sandwich, banana and a glass of milk, or a hard-boiled egg, toast and yogurt, or low-sugar cereal and milk with fruit or perhaps a cheese stick, whole grain crackers and juice. With my own teens, it’s often been a meal replacement bar with a glass of milk or yogurt.” Arpino said a little planning can go a long way with breakfast, and suggests that everyone just slow down instead of rushing out the door. “Pick simple meals that your child likes and focus on teach-

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Snack attack With school-age kids especially, it’s not just what they eat at mealtime, but at snack time. The nutrition gurus again encourage some thoughtful planning to make for healthier snacking. “Snacks are very important for children at all stages of growth and development and help prevent overeating at meals,” Leon said. “The best snacks provide a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats, and should be considered ‘mini-meals.’ Snacks should match the hunger and activity levels of kids, however, so if your student-athlete is staying for practice, a portable snack such as nuts and dried fruit or an energy bar would be a good option. At home, afternoon snacks might include cheese and crackers, vegetables and hummus, fruit and yogurt, whole grain chips, salsa and cheese. Help children learn portion control and self-regulation by putting items into bowls rather than eating out of the bag, turning off the television during meals and snacks, and eating in one designated spot.” According to Arpino, snack choices might differ depending on the timing of meals and many other factors. She suggests fresh fruit and vegetables and lower

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Need help? Parents might be unsure when it might be a good idea to consult with a nutritionist or dietitian for their child. Is that kind of professional help for kids with eating disorders, obesity, allergies/restrictions or is it right for every child? “Any time a parent has a concern about

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Down the hatch There’s been a lot of talk lately about the nutritional impact of beverages, whether it’s the sugar or calories in juice, for people of all ages. The nutrition professionals stressed that what one drinks can be just as important as what one eats in terms of health. “The most nutritious beverages are water, skim and low fat milk, and small portions (between 4-6 ounces) of 100 percent fruit juice,” Leon said. “Calories from liquids are empty calories, meaning they supply low levels of nutrients and high amounts of sugar. These include coffee drinks, sports and energy drinks and nondiet sodas. Even healthy smoothies contain calories, so pay attention to portion sizes and consider them a snack choice.” Arpino said, “Water is the best, but parents might want to add their child’s favorite fruit for more flavor, or maybe make a smoothie with plain yogurt and fruit.”






sugar/lower fat foods in small portions as health-smart choices. But, she also said to be cautious about some prepackaged snacks. “For some small children, 100-calorie snack packs may be too much and so are not recommended,” she said.

le ,

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ing them time management and the importance of eating sitting down,” she said. “Planning ahead is also important. The Dairy Council suggests the Grab and Go to encourage eating breakfast, but I disagree with grab and go concepts because we are not teaching our children the importance of down time and how that affects the body.”



s rt rts a H dale Avenue,


Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 37A

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their child’s growth and development, contacting their physician is an important first step,” Leon said. “The doctor can help determine if a problem exists and refer you to the appropriate health professional. Certain medical conditions will benefit from the assistance of a qualified dietitian/nutritionist including allergies, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure. “When parents contact me as a nutritionist, I will often ask for permission to speak with their physician. It is not wise to put a child on a diet, or to go on a diet as a family. Instead, talk about making healthier choices, learn to respect our body’s natural shape and encourage more physical activity. These are the best ways to achieve a healthy weight in the long run. Studies show that dieting often leads to the development of disordered eating, including bingeing and sneaking food as well as low self-esteem.” Arpino added, “Everyone can benefit from a consult with a registered nutritionist or dietitian. If your child’s cholesterol is high, if your child is overweight, if your child has a developmental delay, neurological issues including autism or Down syndrome, or has attention problems, is an athlete, a vegetarian, a picky eater, has restrictive eating behaviors, is preoccupied with body image or has a food allergy or sensitivity, I’d recommend consulting with a professional.” Leon and the other experts said there is help available for parents and children,

whether it’s to eat healthier or to deal with a serious nutrition-related problem. “Eating disorders are on the rise in our weight-focused society and families are seeking treatment for children at younger ages than ever before,” Leon said. “Be on the lookout for signs of eating disorders, such as skipping meals, talking about weight loss and diets and general body dissatisfaction. Inquire why your teen suddenly chose to become a vegetarian. Males are not immune to eating disorders either. Do not be afraid of seeking the assistance of a mental health professional as well if you are concerned about any sudden changes in eating behavior.” With the seemingly ever-changing guidelines and advice and the abundance of nutrition information available on the Internet and elsewhere, parents and kids can easily become overwhelmed with information overload. “Parents and children are definitely overwhelmed by the conflicting messages they hear in the media,” Leon said. “Last year’s South Beach Diet is now overshadowed by quick fixes such as green tea extract and raspberry ketones. The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” Arpino said that a professional can also help parents and children navigate through all the tips and “facts” that are out there regarding food and eating. “Finding a dietitian who is sensitive to the needs of a child and family as well as providing evidence-based research is key,” she said. n

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St. James the Less Episcopal Nursery School Crane Road at Church Lane Scarsdale, NY

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For information call: 914-723-1018 Serving the Scarsdale Community for over 40 Years

Page 38A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

BTS Guide

News and Notes

Bringing multipurpose home for your family When you think of California Closets you probably already know that they are the leader in designing custom dressing rooms and wardrobes. California Closets continues to create amazing and functional closet and storage space using imported Italian finishes. Typically you wouldn’t think of California Closets when considering your kids furniture, but since they build and manufacture locally, California Closets can custom design and install a room to suit your function and aesthetic. California Closets combines unique and functional elements to deliver a one-ofa-kind room to your growing home. They have been serving Westchester for 18 years, bringing custom storage and expanded offerings to storage furniture. Back to school means back to homework and back to earlier bed times. The pictured state-of-the-art room includes a bed that effortlessly doubles as a couch and a curved desk with drawer storage. This will change the typical feeling of homework drudge and, keeping with California Closets’ reputation, allows deep drawer storage for clothes and linens providing a neat space for all your things. To make the space youthful California Closets installed bright high gloss doors, which are available in many different colors and feature a new addition to the

This California Closets-designed bedroom is ideal for a young student.

premium Italian finishes in Bianca White. The material offerings are so architecturally beautiful and are custom fitted to your space to reflect your style and accommodate your belongings. California Closets’ research in furniture trends keeps moving forward and allows them to always make sure customers have the best selections to choose from. California Closets will create a place that offers some hidden spots for your child’s special treasures. Visit 16 Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne to see all California Closets products.

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Adult Jewish Education begins This October, Westchester Adult Jewish Education begins its eighth year offering courses of Jewish interest to adults throughout Westchester. WAJE, a program of the Westchester Jewish Council, supports local Jewish clergy and scholars who create and teach courses on subjects they are passionate about. The result is a wide range of classes, all taught in English, including beginning and advanced studies

in the Jewish Bible and Talmud; modern Jewish literature; Israel; Jewish ethics, history, philosophy, ritual and more. Last year, in collaboration with the Westchester Board of Rabbis, WAJE offered an 18-session Introduction to Judaism at five different county locations. The course, resoundingly received by the 70plus Jewish and non-Jewish students who attended, will run again at several locations this coming year. Most accessible to Scarsdale and Scarsdale-adjacent readers: Introduction to Judaism at the JCC of Mid-Westchester on Thursday evenings beginning Oct. 3. Tuition for the 18-session course is $180. Additional WAJE classes coming to the JCC of Mid-Westchester: “Orthodox Judaism: Its Judaism and its Jews,” an eight-session, Thursday evening WAJE course beginning in January that explores Orthodoxy from a number of vantage points, endeavoring to understand its principles, precepts, lifestyle and people, and the central role of Jewish law. “Jewish Yoga,” a WAJE one shot course, a single session class for busy adults developed in collaboration with the Westchester Region of Hadassah. Two Sunday morning sessions will be held Nov. 3 and Dec. 15 (attend one or both). For more information about these classes and others offered in White Plains, New Rochelle, Tarrytown and beyond, contact WAJE director Nina Luban at or 328-7001 Ext. 704. n

Enrollment for 2014-15 begins in November

• Nursery School Classes for Toddlers, 2s, 3s & 4s • Extended Day Lunch and Enrichment Options for 3s & 4s • Mini-Camp and Summer Play Place • Free Weekly Babies & Bagels Play Group

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

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 39A

Social Media continued from page


them to open up and grow emotionally,” Jospitre said. “It’s a rich forum for growth intellectually and emotionally that didn’t exist in this way before.” Hearn echoed that sentiment: “When new people come into the school, social media becomes a great way for them to get to know other students and become accepted into the community. I think, especially for the younger ones, they get to know each other better and in different ways.” Because Soundview’s students come from all over Westchester and beyond, it’s hard for those who are too young to drive to get together outside school — but nowadays, they can hop online and all their friends are there. “I think the kind of relationships they have with each other have changed because they’re in so much touch outside school,” Hearn said. Also, being hyper-connected makes it easier for kids to stay in touch with people they care about. “You’re forever connected to people you’re friends with,” Jospitre said. “Before, people would have gaps because they lost touch with people. No matter how distant you are, you have this virtual small town.” Meanwhile, at Soundview, Facebook has become a forum for alumni to stay in touch through the school’s page on the site. It’s alluring to stay in constant touch, so kids tend to spend more time on social media than perhaps the adults in their

lives would like. “We’ve gotten to the point where the teacher will be taking cell phones at the beginning of class,” Hearn said — in fact, that’s a new policy he plans to implement at the start of the coming school year, for all classes. At the beginning of class, students will be required to drop their cell phones into a box, and can pick them up at the end of class. The onslaught of communication may continue between classes, at free periods and outside of school, but this way it won’t distract students from what’s going on in class. “You can’t keep your child away from it, but you can teach them how to use it responsibly,” Jospitre said. “A parent should be present online, but do it in a way that’s trusting. If a parent is ‘liking’ everything their kid puts up, that’s too much. A healthy balance of being present tells the child, I trust you and am monitoring from the sideline, and I’m here if I see something that’s really problematic.” To counteract bullying and gossip that take place on social sites, communication with parents and school is key, said both Hearn and Jospitre. “We call the students in and confront the situation very honestly, and go from there in counseling them,” Hearn said. Jospitre said that with online bullying, he advocates taking “the same approach that would have been taken pre-social media” — teaching assertiveness, gathering emotional support from friends and family. But other pitfalls exist for kids using social media that weren’t there in the past. For instance, if you really would rather not stay in touch with everyone

you’ve ever met — say, you’d like to reinvent yourself or shed a bad reputation from an earlier time, as kids have always wanted to do as part of growing up — Facebook and other social media make it much harder to bury the past. To ease that problem, Jospitre recommends using the feature on Facebook that allows you to divide your friends into “groups” and filter certain groups out of certain posts, so that even if you are Facebook friends with someone who knew the old you, you don’t need to make them privy to details about your current life that might make you vulnerable in the present. “Substance abuse is a great example of when it’s critically important,” Jospitre said. “Peer groups will drive someone’s behavior, or help their recovery. It can be damaging if you don’t manage the virtual world.” Kids need to be smart about managing their reputations online. “People think things are private that aren’t private,” Hearn said. “We talk with our seniors about the fact that they have to be careful about what they’re posting.” Jospitre said he’s seen a lot of that type of regret among students graduating from college and starting their careers. “College is very internally facing, and then all of a sudden there’s this massive flip where social interactions are externally facing: Now I care about what the world thinks because I’m trying to find a job,” he said. “People start unfriending people, deleting images. There’s cleanup that goes on between college and postcollege. Your insight and perspective changes.” And potential employers will do online searches on job applicants, so

incriminating photos on Facebook can cost you a job. Then there’s the matter of whether you’re using social media in a way that’s healthy for you. Jospitre said you can tell a lot about how someone uses Facebook by how many friends they have. Someone with thousands of friends, he said, may be “driven by a narcissistic impulse — but too few friends means they’re having trouble connecting. Having a good number of friends with meaningful interactions, in there is the healthy zone.” However, he said, he couldn’t name a specific numerical range that is the “healthy zone” — it differs from person to person, depending on their life circumstances and what their relationship actually is with the people they count as “friends” on Facebook. For instance, a kid who’s moved around a lot and attended several different schools can have a circle of friends from each, increasing their friend count. And ultimately, social-media-fueled friendships should serve as supplements to real-life friendships, rather than substitutes for them. “If someone is ‘liking’ a thousand things, but not going out and doing anything,” Jospitre said, that may indicate an unhealthy relationship with social media, as can a situation in which someone reads their friends’ status updates and doesn’t interact, using the website as a way to fuel alienation and envy of other people’s lives. In other words, all this constant connection can be socially and emotionally beneficial for young people — as long as they learn to use it judiciously. n

Page 40A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Solomon Schecter School: Cultivating 21st century skills By DANNY AVIV and KAREN EVERETT


merican primary and secondary educational institutions are failing our students by not adequately preparing them for the educational and professional realities of the information age. Performance assessments have emphasized the regurgitation of facts, figures and formulas, while the education community has struggled to develop accurate measurements for the acquisition of 21st century skills. At Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, our multidisciplinary pre-engineering curriculum, which we call Sci-TECH, is capturing the innovative spirit and innate curiosity of our high school students. Beyond the classroom, it is catalyzing a schoolwide move toward a comprehensive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design and mathematics) culture. Sci-TECH at Schechter Westchester is a selective three-year program beginning in the ninth grade. It counts as a full academic class in addition to conventional science and math. In the Sci-TECH classroom, students work independently in teams of three or four to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to solve real-world problems. Each year culminates with a final project in which each team conceives, designs and constructs a prototype technological device that fulfills an identified need. Throughout this process, students develop essential interpersonal skills and an appreciation for technological innovation. Not to mention they have a whole lot of fun.

The Sci-TECH curriculum was specifically developed to foster the life skills, learning habits and work ethic needed to thrive in a 21st century workforce. Those skills include collaboration proficiencies, digital literacy, critical thinking, perseverance, communication and social skills, teamwork, selfmanagement, time management, as well as media and technology skills that involve accessing and evaluating information. Sci-TECH, while lively and fun, is also extremely demanding. We have found that a student’s past academic success (“straight A’s”) is not sufficient in itself as a predictor of success in this type of team-oriented, project-based course. Our experience reveals that the most successful Sci-TECH students are tinkerers, builders and independent problem solvers. Our Sci-TECH classroom is unlike a classic science classroom both physically and pedagogically. Currently Sci-TECH classes meet in a wet-lab previously used exclusively for biology and chemistry. In the future, we hope to create a dedicated Sci-TECH space — a combination electronics/robotics/computer design/fabrication laboratorya In fact, we see Sci-TECH as the 21st century version of what used to be known as “Shop Class.” Walking into our Sci-TECH classroom, you are greeted with tables filled with student projects — which take months to put together — in various states of construction. Relatively little class time is spent lecturing. Rather, they are taught basic scientific and technological ideas and information, given goals, tasks and parameters, then set free to research, tinker and discover largely

on their own. Course areas include mechatronics, engineering principles and computer programming. Students work almost exclusively in teams to complete laboratory assignments, participate in design challenges, and develop their final projects. Students must also keep a course journal where they reflect on the challenges presented by assignments, share thoughts on how well their teams are functioning and develop strategies to work more efficiently and effectively. Many Sci-Tekkers begin the course frustrated by having to work in teams, but by the end of the first year, they have learned to identify key tasks required to meet project goals, how to delegate responsibilities, how to present in front of the class and how to manage their time successfully. As educators, Sci-TECH offers us tangible evidence of the acquisition of 21st century skills. In ninth grade, first-year Sci-Tekkers seem tentative, wanting to be handed the solutions and not necessarily understanding what it means to be part of a professional project team. By 11th grade, Sci-Tekkers are excited to jump right into a problem, know how to establish the team protocol and project plan, are able to define critical questions and go out into the virtual and real worlds to gather information to get answers. Final projects require both written and oral presentations and demonstrations in front of fellow classmates, teachers, and professionals in related STEAM fields. Projects developed this past school year include a school bus tracking device to automatically monitor elementary school children as they get on and off the bus; a

SMART merging system to alert cars when it is safe to get on a highway; and an electronically controlled stage prop rose that can be controlled to drop petals for a local theater production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The first two of these address direct concerns in their lives — younger siblings falling asleep on the bus and insecurities of a new driver — and the third beautifully demonstrates the melding of arts and technology. We have developed additional programming to foster STEM/STEAM literacy in our community, including a lecture series entitled STEM Talks which brings professionals in STEM-related fields to speak to students, parents and teachers from our own and nearby schools; and the STEM Educators Network which meets before each STEM Talk to exchange curricular and instructional ideas and experiences. At Schechter Westchester our goal is to expand Sci-TECH and other forms of STEAM education into the core curriculum at our lower and middle schools. We are committed to providing outstanding secular and Judaic academics in addition to full and robust after-school athletic and arts programs. There is limited time for new courses, and homework loads are already heavy. Adding STEAM courses to current schedules will require creativity and commitment on the part of educators and administrators. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all of our students graduate fully prepared for the demands of 21st century higher education and careers without sacrificing the “menschlichkeit” which is the heart and soul of 21st century Jewish day school education. n

a team approach to

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 41A

BTS Guide

Arts & Enrichment

JCC offers programs for tots to seniors

Scarsdale Friends of Music and the Arts


he JCC of Mid-Westchester will kick off the school year with its third annual Day of Chesed (Kindness), Service and Remembrance on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the JCC at 999 Wilmot Road in Scarsdale. The JCC, in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, will host a number of community service activities and everyone is invited to participate. Some of the many programs planned for the day include a blood drive with White Plains Hospital, a bone marrow drive with the Gift of Life Foundation and a pet adoption with PetRescue. Additional fall community events are: Day of Wellness on Sunday, Oct. 20 in conjunction with Camp Zeke; a panel with experts on the Jewish community in conjunction with New Rochelle@325 on Sunday, Nov. 3; and Family Music Day presented by the Friends of Israel Philharmonic at the JCC on Sunday, Dec. 8. Stay tuned as well for an important panel discussion for the sandwich generation, “Our Parents, Ourselves” (date TBA). From tots to teens to adults to seniors, your entire family will discover and nurture their passions at the JCC. The JCC Nursery School offers the highest caliber early childhood experi-

ence for children 17 months to 5 years old. The program offers added benefits, such as weekly swim instruction, gymnastics instruction and early drop-off/late pick-up. The JCC’s exciting new program for 5-year-olds, Connect 5s, will promote critical thinking, problem solving and concept formation across core curriculum, helping children to learn through hands-on projects, experimentation and thoughtful exploration. Me 2 introduces children 17 months and up to the classroom setting. Infant/toddler classes are fun for children and provide a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect, as do monthly parenting workshops and intergenerational activities. Kid’s Place offers after school activities and homework help for children ages 3-10 in a safe and nurturing environment. Sports programs for children continue to be a major focus at the JCC. The popucontinued on page

Friends of Music and the Arts in the Scarsdale Schools (FMA) is a volunteerrun nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the music and arts programs in all the Scarsdale schools. The organization was founded in 1981 when a group of parents got together to make uniforms for the marching band. FMA’s goals and the scope of our accomplishments have greatly expanded since then, and the support now provides benefits every single child in the Scarsdale School District. This past school year, FMA donated close to $8,000 to fund new equipment and enhance existing programs, responding to requests from the music and art departments in each of the seven district schools. FMA funds have been used for electronic keyboard for the high school; cameras and a tripod for art classes; sculpture stands; music CDs, sheet music and a stereo receiver for Exploring Music classes; camcorders and easels for art and canvas; and instruments for music at all levels k-12. FMA has funded visits from guest musicians and artists for special programs. They helped to launch the Clay Club at the high school and the Guitar Club at the middle school. FMA supports the music and art honor societies at the high school and helps fund the publication of the Jabberwocky high school literary magazine. FMA underwrites an extensive program of

awards and certificates to recognize the achievements of high school students in music, art and drama. FMA gives scholarship support to All-State musicians. It is FMA’s great pleasure to honor the district music and art faculty with a teacher appreciation luncheon. FMA provides hospitality at many school concerts and arts-related events. They work with dis trict administration to protect and lobby for robust arts-related programs from grades k-12. FMA seeks support from all parents who understand the importance of arts education in the schools. The only source of funding is community donations and family memberships, and FMA’s voice is only as strong as its membership number. Please join Friends of Music and the Arts for the 2013-14 academic year. One hundred percent of collections support the schools. Membership levels start at $25, but donations of any amount are accepted. Visit to learn more about FMA and to join online, or send a check with your contact information to Friends of Music and the Arts, P.O. Box 171H. If you have any questions or wish to get involved, contact one of FMA’s co-presidents, Julie Teicher at Juliestuart1986@, or Kathy Gray at kgrayclapp@ n




Providing excellent early childhood education since 1957

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All children ages 3 3-5 5 are welcome. All children 3-5are areencouraged welcome. Parents and ages siblings Parents and siblings are encouraged to join in the fun, as we demonstrate All children are demonstrate welcome. to join in and theages fun,3-5 as we engaging educational activities to Parents and siblings are encouraged engaging and educational activities to do at home! to in the fun, as we demonstrate dojoin at home! engaging and educational activities to do at home!

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Page 42A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

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Arts & Enrichment


lar preseason Maccabi basketball league for boys 10-12 is looking forward to another spectacular season, starting in midSeptember, and teenagers 13-16 years old should be on the lookout for the 2014 JCC Maccabi tryout schedule in November. Children can build strength, agility, and have fun with cheer tumbling, gymnastics, karate, super sports, basketball and baseball clinics/classes, youth tennis, preschool karate and preschool soccer. The JCC’s extensive aquatics program offers private instruction, group classes and lifeguard training. Competitive young athletes can try out for the JCC’s award-winning swim and gymnastics teams this fall. With expanded options for teens, the JCC is setting the pace for youths to develop a healthy lifestyle through supervised teen fitness (ages 12-16) for cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and functional training; Total Access, a reduced-rate fitness center/pool/gym membership for ages 16-21; as well as new a la carte classes in teen pilates, cycle teen, and preteen or teen Zumba. Cultural arts at the JCC are home to many developing young artists in dance, art, theater and music. The JCC Dance School offers a broad range of classes for children, teens and adults in ballet and pointe, hip-hop fusion, tap and new classes in modern or musical theater jazz. A variety of infant/toddler and preschool dance classes take place five days a week,

including the new Babies in Motion, Tiny Tots, Creative Ballet and Ballet for K (kindergarteners). Adult dancers can enjoy beginner and intermediate ballet, Zumba, fitness, Israeli folk dancing, and Argentine tango. Budding artists can get creative in ceramics, both in hand building and wheel throwing, mixed media, drawing and painting, life drawing, cartooning and illustration, and the JCC’s new holiday craft workshops for families. The JCC also offers arts birthday parties for ages 4 and up, as well as sports, gymnastics and pool parties. The popular Theatre School offers young actors fun and engaging programs both in musical theater instruction and in our annual Musical Theatre Workshop, which performs in May. The music school curriculum will add two new klezmer bands (one for youth and one for teens/ adults), and continue to partner with Scarsdale Strings to offer beginner violin.

The sports and fitness department is offering a 20 percent discount on fourmonth trial fitness and health center memberships this fall. In addition to the fitness facility, the JCC offers a masters swim program, triathlon club, personal and partner training, pilates, Zumba, water aerobics, indoor cycling and group fitness classes. Enjoy steam and sauna, massage therapy and whirlpool, upscale private locker rooms and laundry service. Revitalize your fitness routine. Call Leslie Murray at 472-3300 Ext. 356 to arrange a tour. The JCC of Mid-Westchester is proud to have BBYO as its official youth group. From community service to recreational and social events to leadership experiences, the JCC and BBYO are providing exciting, enriching programs for teens in grades 9-12. In addition, the popular BBYO Connect program offers age-appropriate community building and mitzvah projects for sixth- through eighth-graders. The academic center continues to provide great value and results to students preparing for SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests and Regents exams. A writing skills workshop will be offered in September to help students prepare for the school year. PSAT Boot Camp, SAT prep and the very popular “Inside the Admissions Office,” also return this fall. A new lecture series for parents and teens will introduce the Extra Edge Program, which helps maximize test performance through stress reduction, based on cutting-edge scientific research.

Other lectures coming this fall include “Understanding Executive Functioning in Our Students” and “The ABC’s of Organizing Teens.” JCC’s renowned and highly successful developmental disabilities nursery program, Toward Tomorrow, provides education opportunities for 3- to 5-yearolds. Children are eligible to receive all therapies as per the IEP (speech, OT, PT, counseling) while enrolled in this program. In addition to having half-day, full-day and integrated classes, children enjoy gymnastics, computer time, creative movement and swim. A private (parent pay) afternoon class is available. As a complement to Toward Tomorrow, the Developmental Disabilities Enrichment Services provides children 3-18 years with Sunday/Funday, a social skills-based program, including sports, art, computer, gymnastics, Tai Chi, music and theater, as well as computer animation (weekdays only). The program’s renowned SIBConnection group provides peer support and education in a group setting for children who have siblings with developmental disabilities. Customized birthday parties for children with special needs are also offered. The JCC is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary for special needs education and programming. Now in its second year, the JCC will cohost with Westchester Adult Jewish Educontinued on the next page

Kids’ B.A.S.E. & The Little School

Exciting year round programs for children ages three to twelve Early Childhood Education • After-School Enrichments After-School Sports Clinics and Saturday Basketball Clinics with Coach Steve Stone • Birthday Parties with Coach Steve Stone or Musical Miss Gigi • Vacation Week Activities • Summer Enrichment Programs • Open 7:00 A.M. – 6:30 P.M. •

Apply by October 1, 2013 for 2014-2015 preschool Stop by our Kids’ B.A.S.E. Open House Tuesday, October 1st, 10:00AM – Noon Meet our after-school teachers

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 43A

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cation (WAJE) “Introduction to Judaism,” providing adult learners with quality education taught by Westchester rabbis and educators. The JCC’s Israel Connections Club provides programs for native Hebrew-speaking families, in addition to teaching Hebrew reading and writing for various ages. New this fall, the Westchester Jewish Teen Learning Initiative will offer ongoing, enriching classes for Jewish teens throughout Westchester, some of which will be hosted at the JCC. The popular Adult Connections program continues to run every Thursday, offering a variety of stimulating programs, including speakers on current events, art, health, politics and more. In addition, the JCC’s monthly musical entertainment, Israeli Film series, book group and weekly Men’s Club round out the range of opportunities at the JCC for thoughtful discussion and camaraderie for adults. The Jewish Community Center of MidWestchester, a proud beneficiary of UJAFederation of New York, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by providing cultural, social, educational, and recreational/ fitness programs, human services and Jewish identity building opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of race or religion. For more information or a tour of the facility, visit n

Arts & Enrichment

Mandarin: learn the global language Chinese Language Program (CLP) was developed by two moms searching for a unique, innovative way to teach their young children the Mandarin (Chinese) language. Joanne Teoh and Wanna Zhong first began summer classes with friends in the July of 2009 to bridge the learning gap in the summer months. After the summer, when many of their friends asked to continue with an after-school program, Teoh and Zhong thought “Why not try?” and shortly after CLP was conceived. CLP offers mommy and me, preschool and grade school after-school classes in Mandarin. In the summer months, CLP runs a camp that allows children to enjoy fun activities while using Mandarin as the form of communication. CLP, located in Scarsdale (51 Popham Road) and Mount Kisco (300 East Main St.), also runs afterschool programs for schools in Westchester County. At CLP, young children naturally learn Mandarin through interactive play, song and dance. Their unique approach to teaching has proven successful as young learners enthusiastically come to class to learn, all while having fun. CLP’s nonheritage children get a solid introduction to the language and begin training their ears to listen and

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their mouths to sound out the language without even realizing they are doing it. The heritage families see a difference as their children begin to nurture a love for the language through lesson plans that are fun, exciting, challenging and educational. The teaching staff is a strong team who share best practices with one another and bring their lessons to life in each class they teach. Each child creates a bond with the teachers in small (10 maximum) student classes, allowing for an environment similar to one-on-one tutoring, but with friends learning side by side. With support through audio/visual techniques, music learning CDs and fun workbooks, CLP students continue their fun learning of the language outside of the classroom creating a solid foundation for the language.

CLP is one of the only schools that offer the opportunity for all children to continue learning the language during the summer months in a full immersion summer camp. In its fourth year, the camp has proven a great success as the children have a fun summer camp experience, learning the language through arts/crafts, drama, cooking, sports, science and play. The one underlying similarity with all families that have joined CLP is the great desire to teach their children this important language. As today’s children grow up in this increasingly global world, Mandarin will be one of the most important languages of their future. For more information about classes and enrollment visit or call 907-6075 or 907-8260. n

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Page 44A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

BTS Guide

Arts & Enrichment

Studio B Dance Center programs are creative and new


very year, Studio B Dance Center in Eastchester adds new and different classes to the 100-plus class schedule to provide children with opportunities to explore different styles of dance. This year — Studio B’s 18th season — is no exception. Creative new classes and exciting dance companies for the tiniest ballerina to the trendiest teen dancer have been added. Contemporary for grades 4-7: This style, made popular from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dance Moms,” borrows from jazz, modern and even funky hip-hop. Contemporary dance encourages natural and spontaneous movement, personal interpretation and self-awareness. This beautiful style of dance develops technique, stage presence and storytelling skills. Acro/Tumbling: This class teaches fundamental acrobatic and tumbling moves similar to gymnastic floor routines without an apparatus. Conditioning and control of the muscles are obtained through a balanced exercise program and progressive training. Benefits include flexibility, strength, balcontinued on the next page

Studio B company dancers perform ‘Snow White & The Apple.’

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Back to School – FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 | The ScarSdale InquIrer | Page 45a

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ance, timing and increased self-confidence. leapnTurn: This class is designed for the serious dancer who wishes to perfect and refine his or her skills of turning, jumping and leaping. classes are taught with an emphasis on technique and correct body placement. The class will help dancers increase stamina, endurance and energy levels. Back by popular demand are their hip-hop Starz and Teen hip-hop company classes that are high energy, great fun and feature exciting choreography. Of course, you can find Angelina Ballerina dance academy™ (Westchester’s only and official Angelina Program) at Studio B. This ballet-based curriculum is specifically designed to focus on vocabulary and technique at an early age. This program has been taught in some of the most prestigious schools in england, Ireland and australia. Only about a hundred schools in all of north america have been chosen to teach the program. angelina Ballerina author Katharine holabird visited Studio B this past spring to read and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the beloved tiny mouse with big dreams. call Studio B at 793-2799 or visit classes start on Sept. 16. n

Arts & Enrichment

mCW: a center for lifelong learning


or more than 80 years, the Music conservatory of Westchester, a community music school and performing arts campus, has been a leader in arts education in the greater Westchester region. Students of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in high quality programs that cultivate lifelong learning and a sense of community through the joy of music making. McW has an experienced and dedicated teaching faculty of 85 performing artists from across the new york metropolitan area. Master classes, concerts and workshops featuring nationally known performers, which have included artists such as richard cross (yale university), david Kim (concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra) and Mindy Kaufman (new york Philharmonic), augment the school’s core curriculum. McW is accredited by the national association of Schools of Music and is a member of the national guild for community arts education. Private instruction is offered in all instruments and voice. In addition, McW offers music therapy, chamber music and ensembles, classes in music skills, music theory, musical theater, jazz, rock and pop. The Music Therapy Institute has been the largest provider of professional music therapy services in the Westchester region, working with over 2,000 children and adults

Clarinet lessons with MCW faculty and Assistant dean Justin Stanley.

frequently both on campus and throughout the community. ensembles improve individual skills and foster a sense of camaraderie amongst peers. all of McW’s ensembles are also open to students who take private lessons outside of the school. The conservatory’s honors Program is a comprehensive precollege course of study for serious high school students. It includes private instruction, aP music theory, premiere performing ensembles, recitals and master classes. honors performances and recitals are free and open to the public. graduates have been accepted at competitive conservatories and double-degree programs at Oberlin college/conservatory, columbia/Juilliard, eastman School of Music/university of rochester and Johns hopkins university/Peabody conservatory. Other students have chosen to attend prestigious universities including cornell, university of chicago, Vanderbilt and yale. This performing arts campus has something for everyone. It is home to Steffi Nossen School of dance, Faust harrison Pianos, new Westchester Symphony and the Westchester choral Society. The fall semester begins Monday, Sept. 16. Visit McW’s website at to view the 2013-14 course catalog or email for more information. n

each year. Individual and group sessions are offered in dedicated studios at the conservatory and at partner locations across the county. classes for the youngest students include music skills (sequential music and movement classes for pre-k through grade 3), introductory group classes and Suzuki instruction in violin, cello, flute and guitar. young children can also learn about music through McW’s celebrated educational concert series in the White Plains Public library. ensembles form an important part of the school’s curriculum for students of all ages, including adults. Both small (trios, quartets and quintets) and large ensembles are offered for many combinations including strings, winds, brass and voice. Known for their excellence, McW’s string, wind, brass and choral ensembles perform

Scarsdale Community Baptist Nursery School • 3 year class and 4 year class with a concentration in pre-reading and pre-writing skills • Music and Movement • Exploring math concepts through games and music • Science and Nature • Enrichment Program • Summer Program

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Starting September 12, 2013 Every Thursday 5:10PM (ages 5-7) 6:00PM (ages 8-11) 6:50 - Adult Salsa • 7:40 - Adult Latin dances • 8:30 - Adult Tango Total Fitness Center 4 Grayrock Rd., Scarsdale, NY 10583 Register by e-mail:

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Page 46A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

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Arts & Enrichment

Body, mind, spirit: yoga for kids at Yoga Station By CHAR DAIGLE


ant to hop in a rocket ship and float around the moon? How about swim with fish or roar with lions? You can do that and more by taking a children’s yoga class at Yoga Station in downtown Hartsdale. At Yoga Station we offer yoga classes for people of all ages — especially children! We offer a 10-class series this fall for $200, with a 10 percent discount for siblings. The benefits of yoga for children have been well documented — increased focus, flexibility, a sense of well-being and belonging. Because yoga cultivates a less reactive mind, children learn to manage big emotions like fear, anger and sadness with simple breathing exercises they can practice anywhere. For our youngest students, each class weaves together yoga poses with music, rhythm and animal imagery to create a story where you may find us barking like dogs and swooping through the jungle on a magic carpet. As the students age, the poses slowly become a little more sophisticated. By the teen class, we introduce some of the philosophy behind yoga, including the idea of ahimsa, or

Love to sing!

nonviolence, and what that means on and off the yoga mat. At Yoga Station we foster community and creativity by not comparing students with one another. You’ll find no first-, second- or third-place winners here. Thank goodness because don’t children have enough of that in their day-to-day lives? Instead, we help empower children to feel at home in their bodies and know it is their right to stand tall and take their place in the world — and who wouldn’t want that for their son or daughter?

Educating Confident Women, Compassionate Leaders

Free trial classes are offered the second week in September. To find out when classes are offered and to schedule a free trial class, email or visit, where you can also learn more about the adult and prenatal yoga classes we also offer. Char Daigle is the owner of Yoga Station. Besides teaching yoga to children and adults, she holds workshops for educators on how to bring yoga into the classroom. n

Renowned opera singer Shirley Love continues teaching in her vocal studio in Scarsdale. Love has students appearing in two Broadway shows at present and many students appearing in concert and opera performances throughout the country. Because of her many years as a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera and her many appearances in musical theater, Love has the knowledge it takes to bridge the gap between classical and musical theater style. Love can be reached at 723-5390 or through n

Ardsley Community Nursery School 21 American Legion Drive, Ardsley

(914) 693-4932

✔ AM and PM classes for children 2-5 ✔ Enrichment programs in dance, music, art & nature ✔ Weekly and hourly rates ✔ Diaper friendly ✔ Beautiful outdoor play area ✔ Local field trips

Celebrating more than 50 Years of Fun!

Good Counsel Academy OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, October 19, 2013 • 12-3 p.m.

Over 90 years Of excellence in cathOlic educatiOn fOr yOung wOmen 100% cOllege placement • mOre than $17 milliOn in cOllege schOlarships tO the class Of 2013 • hOnOrs prOgram/ ap classes • independent science research • cOmpetitive science Olympiad team • active campus ministry & service OppOrtunities • award winning teams: 2013 chsaa basketball champiOns • •



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Scarsdale has some of our favorite players 30 Elm St. Tuckahoe (914) 961-7529

Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 47A

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Arts & Enrichment

Steffi Nossen Dance School: mind, body, spirit, character


ith studios centrally located in the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains (across from the Westchester County Center) and Chappaqua, the Steffi Nossen School of Dance conducts classes appealing to the interests and needs of a variety of dance students. Core Curriculum modern dance classes for children in preschool through third grade are taught to live music. These classes are followed by fourth- and fifthgrade modern/jazz, and jazz classes for grades 6 and up that introduce and explore the rhythm, styles and music of the jazz idiom. Taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, these classes develop both technique and creativity as they emphasize movement and dance vocabulary. Technique is taught in the form of dances set to a variety of music children love and are appropriate to the physical and educational development of each age level. In addition, the school conducts excellent technique programs in modern, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and a young children’s ballet program beginning with Classical Story Ballet at age 3. “Our program emphasizes the develop-

Steffi Nossen School of Dance meets the needs of a variety of students.

ment of the whole child: their emotions, mind creativity and physical ability,” said Kathy Fitzgerald, Steffi Nossen school director. “Our faculty collaborates to design a sequential, developmental and age-appropriate curriculum that shares their love of dance, encourages creativity, exposes students to a variety of dance

Kavita Kohli, DDS

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styles and allows for the opportunity for all to perform.” Faculty members are all graduates of college dance programs and performing professionals. Fitzgerald also noted, “For the dancer interested in developing technical advancement, master classes, ensembles and the preprofessional Steffi Nossen Dance Company are additional possibilities.” Fitzgerald, a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, has performed as a principal dancer with and teacher for Frankfort Ballet and soloist with Netherlands Dance Theater. Just named by Westchester Magazine a 2013 Best of Westchester, Moving Wheels & Heels, a program of inclusive dance classes for students of all abilities — both wheelchair and stand-up — features movement adapted so that all can experience the joy of moving to music, express creativity and learn dance technique, all to live music. For more information, to plan your dance year, register or arrange a noobligation trial class, contact the Steffi Nossen School of Dance at 328-1900 or To learn more about classes and meet our faculty, visit our website, From

Sept. 23-28, all are invited to try all age and level appropriate classes for free. Founded in 1937 by dance legend Steffi Nossen, the Steffi Nossen School of Dance offers a strong community-minded and leadership-focused educational model with developmentally appropriate dance instruction and performance opportunities for all ages and abilities. All students — recreational and preprofessional — are treated with equal attention and respect. Live musical accompaniment for a majority of classes is offered. The school is owned and operated by the Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation, formerly the Dance in Education Fund, a notfor-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 dance world and a rich 76-year history, Steffi Nossen is a leader among dance schools, focusing on the growth of students’ minds, bodies, spirit and character. n

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Temple Israel Center Nursery School Nurturing & Creative Environment Mommy & Me Programs 2, 3, 4 Year Old Classes • Shabbat and Holiday Celebrations Nature and Music Specialists • Summer Camp Early Drop-Off, Afternoon Enrichment & Lunch Programs NEW! Stay & Play - extended hours until 4:30pm Mon-Thu & until 2:30pm Fri A few openings are still available for the 2013-2014 school year. Call Patty Goldstick - 948-2800, ext. 126 280 Old Mamaroneck Road • White Plains •

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Page 48A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

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Arts & Enrichment

‘Journey of musical growth’ at Hoff-Barthelson Music


he Hoff-Barthelson Music School, a major Westchester center for music education and performance for over 65 years, extends a welcome of warmth and caring to all who walk through its doors and into its musical home. HBMS students embark upon a “Journey of Musical Growth” under the guidance of a distinguished faculty, and are encouraged to explore their musical ideas, tastes and potential in a setting of friendship and support. Private musical instruction, sequential musicianship classes and annual performances constitute the school’s core curriculum. The 90-member faculty, comprised of many of the region’s most distinguished performers, offers lessons for all students in both classical and jazz idioms. Students of all ages and skill levels may join one of the many chamber, choral, jazz or orchestral ensembles. (Students from outside the school may participate in an ensemble or club for a modest fee.) The very youngest students will enjoy Hoff-Barthelson’s Music & Movement Program, staffed by dynamic, highly skilled eurhythmics teachers, which features Music & Movement classes for parents/caregivers and children from birth to 5 years. These classes present an opportunity for parents and their little ones to share songs, rhymes and movement games in a nurturing setting. New this year for preschoolers: • Kinderbells for 5s: The colorful sight and sound of these charming bells offer a hands-on group experience to explore pitch and rhythm skills, while learning to play tunes on these delightful bells sized for tiny hands. • Suzuki PreTwinklers: Preschoolers are introduced to violin studies and the joy of making music in a group ex-

HBMS Festival Orchestra final rehearsal at SUNY Purchase this year.

perience. Rhythm and pitch patterns drawn from the first Suzuki songbook are introduced through the music and movement component of this class. The school’s group recorder classes introduce children to the basic concepts of music on an early wind instrument while they discover the joy of making music with others. A full Suzuki program for violin, viola, cello, flute and piano completes the roster of preschool programs. Instrumental students will find that Hoff-Barthelson’s Orchestral Training Pyramid is unique among music schools in Westchester County in structure, substance and quality. Students begin their orchestral experience in the Young People’s Symphonette, move on to Chamber Orchestra or Wind Ensemble, and then may audition for the selective Festival Orchestra, which has been lauded as

one of the finest high school orchestras in the country by the New York State Council on the Arts. In the 2013-14 season, the Festival Orchestra will perform with two renowned soloists, Qiang Tu, New York Philharmonic cellist, and renowned pianist and HBMS advisory board member Ann Schein. Student jazz enthusiasts may study with experienced jazz coaches and participate in level-appropriate jazz ensembles. The legendary jazz pianist Dick Hyman has been commissioned to compose a piece for students in the Jazz Studies Program, which will be performed with Hyman on Saturday, May 31. The school’s distinguished tradition of free-of-charge Master Classes coached by world-class musicians continues: Saturday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m., with Pam Devenport, cello; Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m., with Andrew Simon, clarinet; Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m., with Gary Schocker, flute; Sunday, March 9, at 2 p.m., with David Dubal, piano; Sunday, March 16, at 2 p.m., with Marc Johnson, cello; in addition to the 18th annual Elaine Stamas New York Philharmonic Residency to be held in the spring. The HB Artist Series (Faculty in Performance) presents the school’s exemplary professionals in 20 chamber music recitals that are open to the public for a nominal fee. Adults who wish to refresh their instrumental technique are invited to participate in the Adult Chamber Program, and the Adult Flute Choir always welcomes new members. At Performers Showcase, avocational players hone their performance skills before a sympathetic audience of fellow performers. School opens Sept. 7. Call 723-1169, email hb@hbms. org or visit n

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Back to School – Friday, August 23, 2013 | The scarsdale Inquirer | Page 49A

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Arts & Enrichment

Scarsdale Ballet Studio founder White enriches experience


he Scarsdale Ballet Studio opened its doors 21 years ago with an aim to offer Westchester the finest in classical and contemporary ballet training. Artistic director Diana White, along with her international faculty, accomplished that mission, but White is not resting on her reputation. As her school grows, she is always looking for new ways to enrich her dancers’ education and experience. “Beyond acquiring good technique, one of the most important components of a dancer’s training is stage experience,” White said. “Most dance schools, including ours, have only one or two productions a year.” Theater rental, costumes, stage management and other production costs are very high, and are rarely, if ever, recouped by ticket sales. Yet there is nothing like the energy and challenge of live performance. White, a former soloist of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, tells her dancers, “In class, you can try again. On stage, you have to make it happen in the moment!” One way that young dancers of today gain that experience is through dance competitions. At first, White, who is herself a judge and master teacher for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix,

Sophia Romagnoli of Scarsdale Ballet Studio dancing in the NYC finals of the Youth America Grand Prix.

an international scholarship competition, hesitated to encourage her own students to compete. But now, she appreciates what the experience has to offer an aspiring dancer. Many of the young talents

Kol Ami Early Childhood Program Warm, Nurturing and Enriching Nan Blank, Director

Celebrating Over 40 Years of Experience!

that she spotted in her last 14 years of judging are now soloists on the world’s stages. In fact, her own former student, SBS alumna Skylar Brandt, won a silver medal at the YAGP in 2008 and is now

a member of American Ballet Theater. Last spring, another SBS student, Sophia Romagnoli, 8, was one of the youngest competitors ever to advance to the New York City Finals of the YAGP. “Competitions are not for everyone, and by no means the only way to become a dancer,” White said. “Our students will have the opportunity to perform in our 11th annual Concertdance production this spring, as well as in our June recitals. And I’m really excited about a new program we will be launching this fall. The Choreography and Production Workshop will take advantage of an intimate performance space right in our own studio. Dancers and faculty will collaborate to choreograph, rehearse and produce evenings of dance throughout the year. We will be able to showcase our work to invited friends and family… sort of like an ‘open mike’ for dancers.” New faculty member Marina Donderis, who directed her own company in Spain, and Kimberly Giannelli will head the program. In addition to the Production Workshop, the studio offers ballet classes for all ages from 3 to adult. For more information call 725-8754 or visit www. n

CHINESE FOR KIDS! The Language Of The Future, The Future Of Our Children

First Friends: A Toddler Program 2, 3, 4 & 5-Day 2’s 3, 4 & 5-Day 3’s Full and Half Day 4’s Extended Day Program for 3’s & 4’s A Step Ahead! Pre-K for children turning 5 in the Fall

Summer Camp for 2’s, 3’s & 4’s

Join us for Shabbat in the Woods every Friday all year round from 5:30 - 6:00pm

Registration Ongoing Call for an Appointment & Tour 252 Soundview Avenue, White Plains 914-949 -4717 x107 Learning Mandarin through FUN! We use interactive methods that will engage your children at all levels and ages, children will easily learn one of the most widely spoken languages in the world! Come join the fun and see firsthand what everyone is talking about!

2 for 1 Back-To-School Special at Leapin’ Lizards Bring a friend or sibling for FREE*

with each regular admission get another child free.* With coupon only. Valid thru 11/30/13. May not be combined with other offers.

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Visit us at:

Page 50a | The ScarSdale InquIrer | FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 – Back to School

BTS guide

Arts & Enrichment

CenTrAl PArk dAnCe: best of Westchester top pick


he news is out! central Park dance is thrilled to congratulate christina donohue for being voted the winner in Westchester Magazine’s annual Best of Westchester editorial Pick for Best Ballet Program. For over 30 years, central Park dance has been providing all types of dance instruction in a caring and nurturing environment. “We believe that superior teaching and a supportive atmosphere go hand in hand,” director of operations Mario laStrada said. “dancing is not just our business — it’s our way of life!” With over 175 weekly classes to choose from, including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, latin jazz and boys’ break dance, as well as fitness classes like pilates ball, boot camp workout, aerobics, Zumba, Latin fit, hiphop fit and our latest, MuZe, CPD believes that personal attention is essential for student growth. Talent is carefully nurtured and developed, allowing every dancer to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, whether your child is bound for Broadway or ready to be introduced to dance for the first time. CPD combines a fun environment along with a studio focused on teaching proper dance technique. With

Central Park dance: where every student is special

over 30 years of extensive dance experience, cPd is led by artistic director Maria Bai, who has developed a dance syllabus that reflects every age ability and commitment level for each student studying ballet, pointe, jazz, tap and street jazz. In the preschool program, which is regarded as the finest in the area, children as young as 2 years of age delight in Tot + I, an introduction to dance, the popular Fairytale Ballet and the latest addition, our very own hip hop Princess for ages 3-5.

cPd knows that variety and creativity has made them a popular studio for all levels, so the foremost goal is to have the best program to meet the needs and desires of each student by constantly reconfiguring the type of classes they offer, continuously introducing new classes and providing impeccable customer service. Bai, laStrada and everyone at cPd look forward to meeting and providing you with dance experience that is fun, educational and personally focused on yOu.

don’t miss out on Miss Talia’s Boutique, located at cPd, open late seven days a week and carrying a wide selection of footwear, dancewear, gymnastics attire and accessories at affordable prices. cPd also offers the ultimate dance birthday parties. For more information on central Park dance, call 723-2940, email or visit come join central Park dance, where every student is special. n

Children’s Place

...where good beginnings never end An extraordinary environment where children develop a life long passion for learning. • Creative and challenging curriculum that focuses on self-esteem, literacy, intellectual and physical development • Weekly enrichment programs • Licensed and experienced teaching staff • Full and half day classes for children 3 to 5 years




For more information call or email

914-597-4071 • 317 North St., White Plains

Fact: Fact:

Many Westchester children are challenged by poverty.

They arrive at school unprepared to learn.

Westchester Jewish Community Services

Parent-Child Home Program

sends our youngest Students off to Kindergarten with the skills to achieve academically.

To volunteer, to donate, or for further information about the Network of WJCS programs for Children visit us at or call 914.761.0600x219 WJCS • 845 North Broadway • White Plains NY • 10603

Back to School – FrIday, auguST 23, 2013 | The ScarSdale InquIrer | Page 51a

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Page 52A | The Scarsdale Inquirer | Friday, August 23, 2013 – Back to School

Scarsdale Inquirer Back To School 2013  

Catch up on latest school news, BTS fashion trends, college planning tips and extra-curricular activities. READ ONLINE.