Spring has finally arrived in New York City! At The International Preschools, the teachers and students welcome the season with a variety of activities and school-wide events.
In the classrooms, we are learning about all aspects of the spring: gardening, flowers, and planting as well as Earth Day and related actions such as the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). Families have also visited IPS to celebrate holidays such as Easter, Passover, Greek Orthodox Easter, and Holi, to name a few. This is part of our yearlong Culture Share, where parents and children share their traditions with the teachers and students.
The International Preschools welcomed its newest (and youngest!) students this January via our IPS Playgroup. The class was created for children ages 16-24 months and meets on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30am-11:00am.
The IPS Playgroup acts as a first introduction to school for toddlers. The children attend each class with a parent or caregiver, who partake in the activities as well. The sessions are facilitated by Ms. Colleen, who has extensive experience with babies and toddlers and has been with IPS since 2010. Each session, the children take part in a short “circle time” which includes songs, movement, and finger plays. The Playgroup students also take part in art and sensory activities (i.e. play dough, sand, water) and free play (blocks, age-appropriate manipulative toys, etc.).
Take a look at our newest students in action during the IPS Playgroup sessions!
We are looking forward to more fun weeks in the IPS Playgroup throughout 2023!
The holidays are the perfect time to teach young children about giving back to those in need, and IPS students are no exception.
Each year, the school community participates in food and toy collections to give to outreach organizations in New York City. Our Location/Education Director, Monique Tabbs, spearheads the November food collection in which the contributions are distributed in time for Thanksgiving. This year, IPS is working with City Harvest NYC, which is the city’s largest food rescue organization.
To introduce the concept to the children, Monique visited our Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classrooms to read them a story about giving. She tells the children about the goal, which is to collect food for people who do not have enough to eat. She encourages the children to bring in canned goods and other food items for donation. Each day during the food drive, Monique wheels her basket into each classroom and, if the children have brought in an item to donate, they place the can or box into her basket. The children are so excited to take part in this activity, and by actually “donating” the items themselves, a home/school connection is created.
In December, we are looking forward to partaking in a toy drive for those less fortunate in time for the holidays.
Thank you to all those who donated to this cause, which will help fellow New Yorkers!
Interested in learning more about our school? Visit our website to read more about our facilities, teachers, and specialty classes.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the month of November at The International Preschools! September and October were very busy months at IPS, with lots of fun activities and (hurray!) several in-person family events. Here’s a look at what’s been happening at IPS over the last few weeks:
We are looking forward to many more exciting in-person events over the next several weeks, including our annual Winter Solstice Sing-Along in December!
Take another look inside our wonderful school! Or, if you are ready to join the IPS community, apply online on our website.
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! The International Preschool(s) is entering its 60th year of establishment, and with it came several changes to the IPS community.
At the end of June 2022, the West 76th Street location of The International Preschools closed its doors for good. Although IPS no longer has an Upper West Side presence, nearly 25% of its current students joined us on the Upper East Side, as we merged with the East 86th Street location. Our longtime director of school, Donna Cohen, retired in June 2022 as well. Former 76th Street location director Alyssa Wisoff is now the new director of school at IPS.
Although closing the 76th Street location was quite upsetting to the IPS community as a whole, we are happy to report that the 2022-2023 year as one strong, unified location has been off to a great start! Many faculty members from the 76th Street location joined the 86th Street location, and together have forged a wonderful team. The children are happy and excited to come to school every day, and sounds of laughter and chatter can be heard at all times of the day within the building.
Additionally, our staff and families are very excited to welcome back many in-person events that we have not participated in since March 2020. Recently, IPS held a “welcome picnic” at the East Pinetum in Central Park, where the students and families enjoyed pizza, live entertainment, and art activities. A great time was had by all!
We are looking forward to an exciting school year at IPS!
Interested in joining the IPS community? Learn more about the admissions process on our website.
The International Preschools welcomed back in-person specialty classes and after school programs during the 2021-2022 school year.
Once a week, all of the children at both locations attend music, library, and movement classes, facilitated by Mr. Doug, Miss Talcott, and Ms. Peggy, respectively.. The Green and Pre-K classes attend technology class as well, taught by Ms. Chelsea at 76th Street and Ms. Karen at 86th Street. The Green Rooms primarily work on skills such as patterning, sequencing, counting with correspondence, and more using education iPad apps. The Pre-K Rooms use both the iPad and a mini-robot called Cubetto to learn about coding. Green and Pre-K classes at 86th Street also participate in art class with Ms. Deb, using clay and other mediums.
The Red Rooms at both locations enjoy Art Farm classes once a month during the spring semester. Art Farm NYC’s resident animal expert, Ms. Gabby, visits the Red Room with animals for the children to observe, touch, and interact with.
Our after school programs returned for Green and Pre-K Rooms this year, to our students’ delight. Programs such as soccer (via Super Soccer Stars), chess (through Chess at Three), TADA! Theater, and art (provided by IPS teachers Ms. Dalia and Ms. Deb) are available for families to choose from. After school programs add a new layer of learning onto a child’s day, where they can socialize with friends, hone a new skill, or build upon an established interest.
Here are some photos from our specialty classes and after school programs at both IPS locations:
Throughout the months of February and March, there have been a variety of themes displayed within our classrooms. Interdisciplinary themes, combined with our play-based learning philosophy, were evident everywhere you went at The International Preschools!
In February, both locations welcomed twelve fertilized eggs in incubators, which produced many fluffy chicks that were born on Valentine’s Day! At 76th Street and 86th Street, the classes visited the chicks throughout the hatching process and celebrated with a “birthday party” to commemorate our feathered friends’ entry into the world.
The International Preschools welcomed the Year of the Tiger with our annual celebrations of Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year, according to Britannica.com, is “typically celebrated in China and other Asian countries that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, fifteen days later.” Because the moon cycles, which the lunar calendar follows, change slightly from year to year, the starting date of the Lunar New Year also differs. This year, Lunar New Year commenced on Tuesday, February 1st.
Parents and families of our students shared traditions from their families for Lunar New Year via Zoom. At our 76th Street location, Ms. Emi (Pre-K 2 head teacher) taught the children about the festival of Setsubun, a spring festival celebrated in her native country of Japan. Both locations enjoyed watching a video from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, which gave the children a view of a traditional lion dance as well as a red ribbon dance. (Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the New York Chinese Cultural Center visited IPS in-person.)
At The International Preschools, the children and teachers spent time learning about the Winter Solstice throughout the month of December, concentrating on the concepts of light and dark. The majority of the holidays occurring during the months of November, December, and January honor the idea of light via candles, the sun, the stars, fire, etc. after the longest night of the year, which is the Winter Solstice.
In the classrooms, one of the ways that the children acquired information about the Winter Solstice was by examining the holidays that are celebrated at that time of year. This is done within the classroom curriculum and through culture shares, where parents visit the school virtually via Zoom (due to COVID restrictions) and teach the children about the holidays that they celebrate. Some of the “festivals of light” presented at this time of year include Christmas, Hanukkah, the Feast of St. Lucia, Diwali, Yule, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and the Three Kings.
See below for photos from the classrooms celebrating the Winter Solstice and exploring the concepts of light and dark, as well as our annual Winter Solstice celebration.
Fall is a busy season here at The International Preschools. We celebrate the seasonal changes that occur in the fall (i.e. apples, pumpkins, leaves, acorns) as well as the holidays that occur: United Nations Day, Halloween, Diwali, and Thanksgiving.
United Nations Day (October 24th) is a special day for the IPS community. Much of the month of October is spent highlighting and appreciating the multiculturalism that sets IPS apart from other schools. The children and teachers spend time observing what is the same and different about each other.
After United Nations Day, our school quickly jumps into Halloween mode, with festivities at both locations. On November 2nd, IPS then celebrated the Hindu holiday of Diwali with Zoom presentations from the Ajna Dance Company, as well as “culture shares” initiated by families who observe the holiday. Rounding out the month of November is the American holiday of Thanksgiving, which is commemorated at IPS with classroom “feasts” as a way of coming together to share a meal with friends.
Please enjoy some highlights from the last month, which includes photos from our classroom learning about United Nations Day, Halloween, Diwali, and the fall season!
Ready to join the IPS community for the 2022-2023 school year? Learn more about our admissions process on our website.
The International Preschools Blog is an opportunity to journey into the school's classrooms. Here you will find information about play-based education, diversity, classroom themes; all the things that make learning joyful and fun at one of the best preschools in New York City.