Tag: school

Welcome Back! IPS Reopens for the 2021-2022 School Year

Families at the IPS West 76th Street location prepare for arrival on the first day of school. The (very) rainy weather didn’t stop anyone from having a great time!

And…we’re back! The teachers and staff at our West 76th Street and East 86th Street locations celebrated the start of a new school year on September 9th and September 13th, respectively. With one completed, successful school year of COVID-19-related restrictions under our belt, the IPS community was more than ready to dive into the 2021-2022 school year.

The Red Room teachers at 76th Street welcome parents, caregivers, and students in the lobby of our building. On the first day, adults accompanied our youngest preschoolers to their classrooms. On the second day, the children were dropped off at the door and escorted to the classroom by their teachers.

As we do every year, our classes begin with a phase-in approach. Each class determines a time frame for the children to become acclimated to school in a gentle manner; for our Red (2s) Rooms, the phase-in period will be longer than that of a Pre-K (4s) Room. For example, the teachers might welcome half of the class for an hour, and then the other half of the class for an hour, on the first day. The next day, the class in its entirety might come for an hour; on the third day, the class would stay for an hour and fifteen minutes, and so forth. The older the class, the shorter the phase-in; our Pre-K classes typically reach their full-day schedule in a matter of a few days.

A family celebrating 86th Street’s opening day, and proudly following school protocol! As we did last year, adults and children will wear masks inside the school and its classrooms throughout the school year.

We are looking forward to a wonderful school year!

Be sure to visit the blog throughout the coming weeks for a look at our school. New entries are posted every 4-6 weeks.

Separation from parents and caregivers occur at the door. Our students know that a grown-up will always come back to pick them up!

Like what you see, and want to join the IPS community? Learn more about our admissions process by visiting our website.

Interested in learning more about our curriculum? Our play-based learning philosophy is further explained on the IPS website.

Snack Time and Lunch Time in Preschool: An Important Part of Your Child’s Day

At The International Preschools, all children have a morning snack time built into their daily schedule. Full day children have about 45 minutes for lunch, in addition to their morning snack.

Socializing at snack time with the Little Dolphins at 76th Street!

This is an important time of day for the children. First and foremost, snack time (and lunch time) keep the children nourished and their energy levels regulated for the activities that they will participate in. Many social, emotional, and cognitive skills are also honed and strengthened while enjoying a well-balanced meal or snack.

Here are some of the important skills that your child is acquiring during snack and lunch at The International Preschools:

  • Self-Help Skills: During snack time, children clean up their place setting on their own, which might require putting a placemat in its proper place; disposing of plates, cups, and utensils; and washing hands. At lunch time, children (where applicable) help to take out their lunches (containers, drinks, etc.) and put everything back inside their lunch box when finished. The children also put their lunch boxes back into their cubbies.
  • Expressive Language Skills: Teachers model responses and questions for the children. For example, if a child would like more of a certain snack (Chex, Cheerios, etc.), the teacher would model, “More Chex, please,” so that he/she can copy the verbal request. The goal is for the child to use the words on his/her own, in any situation, to ask for what he/she needs.
  • Number Sense: During conversation at snack or lunch time, a child might notice things such as how many Cheerios he/she has on his plate, or how many chicken nuggets he/she has in his/her lunch. This is play-based learning at its most casual! Becoming aware of what makes a number (i.e. that five objects make the number 5) is a math skills required for counting with correspondence, addition, subtraction…you name it!
  • Social Skills: Snack time and lunch time provide a perfect opportunity for children to socialize with their peers and teachers. Often, teachers will place children strategically next to different classmates at each snack time, so that they get an opportunity to chat with (and get to know) all of the children in the room. Teachers will model expressive language when needed, so that children can practice asking for what they want, interacting with peers, and reading social cues, to name a few skills.
  • Life Skills: In the Green (3s) and Pre-K (4s) Rooms, children have “jobs” that they are in charge of throughout the day. These jobs might change daily or weekly. Jobs instill confidence and responsibility in young children; achieving the goal of a job (such as watering a plant) boosts their self-esteem and motivation. A few of these jobs are completed during snack or lunch time: one child passes out the napkins, another might count the lunch boxes (to be sure everyone’s lunch is present), another child might pass out cups. At home, parents can allow children to carry out these jobs as well, in the form of setting the table (in part or in its entirety). Children love to help out, and giving them a job (or jobs) at home will help develop your child’s confidence as well.

Any time of the day can be a time for learning (the play-based kind is our favorite)!

End-of-year pizza lunch with the 86th Street full-day Green Room students (and teachers)!

Interested in learning more about The International Preschools’ play-based learning philosophy, and how it is implemented? Take a look at our curriculum pages on our website.

Ready for your child (and family) to join the IPS community? Apply online today!

End-Of-Year Memories from The International Preschools

Last week’s blog spoke about the end-of-the-year celebrations that were occurring (or about to occur) at The International Preschools. Many classrooms initiated the first (and only!) in-person celebrations to happen all year long, all of which took place outdoors at nearby Central Park or Carl Schurz Park. Please enjoy some photos from the end-of-school festivities!

Thank you for a great year!

Be sure to visit the blog in the coming weeks for more IPS fun, including a look at IPS Summer Camp!

Wishing your child was a member of the IPS community? He/she can be! Apply online today!

Celebrating the 2020-2021 School Year

What a year! Nine months ago, in September 2020, the teachers, students, and administration of The International Preschools entered the school year with a mixture of feelings, from hope to excitement to uncertainty. A lengthy list of protocols allowed for our school to remain open five days a week, for the entire school year.

The 76th Street Red Room’s “butterflies” enjoy some time together in Central Park before “flying off” to the Green Room!

And what a success it has been! With copious amounts of hand washing, sanitizing of materials, and the wearing of masks, IPS students were able to come to school safely to play, learn, and socialize. With support and trust from the IPS parent community, we were able to remain open during an uncertain time. With hard work and dedication from the IPS teachers and staff, an environment as similar as possible to the one that IPS children had known pre-pandemic came to be.

The Junior Kindergarten class at 86th Street strolls through nearby Carl Schurz Park, enjoying the time together…and the great outdoors of NYC!

As the last days of school come and go, many classes are commemorating the end of school with something that hasn’t happened all year: an in-person picnic for families, students, and teachers at Central Park (for the West 76th Street location) and Carl Schurz Park (for the East 86th Street location). For other classes, “Zoom parties” have been scheduled, so that parents, families, teachers, and students can come together to mark the end of a wonderful (albeit different) school year.

Thank you to all of the members of the IPS community for your dedication and support of our school!

Interested in learning more about the IPS community? Read about our play-based learning curriculum on the IPS website.

Already know everything you need to know about IPS? Apply online today!

IPS Book Fair 2020 Goes Virtual

The International Preschools’ annual Book Fair went virtual this year, taking place during the week of November 30th. This year’s fair was hosted by Main Street Books. Teachers from both locations created recommendation lists of well-loved books to assist parents with their shopping. In addition to children’s books, Main Street Books also contained reading for adults as well, including cookbooks and novels as well as writing journals.

As in previous years, a guest author was invited to read to the children at the book fair. This year, author Anna Kim visited the 76th Street classrooms via Zoom. She read her book, Danbi Leads the School Parade, about a little girl from Korea who starts a new school in the United States. Despite eating different food and not knowing the language or the games played in her classroom, Danbi connects with her classmates by marching with them in a parade. Anna also facilitated a few fun activities for the 76th Street children related to the book, including a drumming session with the Green and Red Room students and creating bento boxes with the Pre-K students. Thank you Anna Kim for a wonderful presentation and reading!

Anna Kim’s book, Danbi Leads The School Parade, was read to our 76th Street students during the week of the IPS Book Fair…by the author herself!

At 86th Street, some students became authors and illustrators via a Zoom meeting with Miss Birdy! Children worked with Miss Birdy to create a book based upon their own ideas and suggestions. The final result was a book called Emma and Sparkle’s Adventure. Well done!

86th Street’s student-written masterpiece, created with assistance by Miss Birdy

Special thanks to the IPS Parents Association, Anna Kim, Miss Birdy, and the IPS community for helping to make the 2020 Book Fair a great success!

Interested in joining the IPS community? Learn more about the application process by clicking here.

Happy Halloween from The International Preschools!

Halloween, like United Nations Day and other IPS events during the 2020-2021 school year, looked a bit different than years past. We weren’t able to have our usual school-wide Halloween fashion shows or parades. Happily, there were many things we were still able to do. The children and teachers had a great time attending school in costume. Many classrooms held Halloween-themed activities, including pumpkin carving and the baking of Halloween treats. Everyone had a great time!

Here’s a look at Halloween 2020 at The International Preschools:

Pumpkin experimentation in our Green 3 Room…with bubbles!
The Green 2 children (and teachers) show off their amazing costumes.
One of our Pre-K classes in full costume!
A surprise match-up! Pre-K and Red Room superheroes!

A great time was had by all!

Interested in joining the IPS community? Visit our website by clicking here: https://www.ipsnyc.org

Same…But Different: School Days at IPS

The global pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. Here at The International Preschools, we celebrate the month of October with the idea of similarities and differences; that is, we may look different on the outside, but we are the same on the inside. Our school is determined to maintain our daily routines with this same idea…that although we are doing some things differently (i.e. wearing masks, washing our hands more frequently, not using the multi-purpose room for specialty classes), we are still the same IPS that we all know and love (i.e. we still learn through play, we sing songs, we have fun!). Here are some of the activities that we take part in that look a little different, but are actually ones that took place this time last year in our classrooms…

Table Time Games: We still play bingo in small groups with our teachers…but instead of sitting at the table, we space out a little more on the floor!
Morning Meeting: The children still take turns performing classroom jobs, such as the schedule reader. On the rug, we sit a little more spaced out…and, of course, we wear masks throughout the meeting (and the day!).
Science Exploration: At the Discovery Table, children still use magnifying glasses and other tools to take a closer look at animals and other items.
Outdoor Play: Our playground equipment is sanitized on a regular basis, and we aren’t using the sand table for now, but climbing, running, pretending, and writing with chalk (among other activities) are still taking place!
Sensory Exploration: Inside the classroom, children are provided with their own play dough, sand, and other sensory materials in separate containers or bags. This way, sensory play (which is so important for early childhood development) can still take place, even while keeping germs at bay.
Arriving at School: The kids come to school wearing masks and with only the necessities for the day (i.e. lunch)…but they are still coming to school happy and excited to be a part of the IPS community!

Like what you see? Want to join the IPS community for the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 school year? Learn more about our school by visiting the admissions section on our website: https://www.ipsnyc.org/a-letter-from-our-director/

Helpful Hygiene Habits at The International Preschools

With the 2020-2021 school year approaching, the team at The International Preschools have been preparing to welcome back children into our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.  This will be the first time since mid-March that classes will take place in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPS faculty and administration have put into place several increased safety and hygiene practices and protocols in order to keep our students and staff as safe and healthy as possible.  Some of these practices will include more frequent sanitizing of equipment and common use areas, limiting interactions between classes, and smaller class sizes.

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June Zoom at IPS

Back by popular demand!  Several parents at The International Preschools showed interest in signing their children up for Zoom classes through the month of June.

As a result, we have had extra Zoom classes running at our 76th Street and 86th Street locations!

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IPS Moving-Up Ceremonies: Zoom Style!

A few of the esteemed members of the IPS graduating class of 2020!

The end of the 2019-2020 school year has arrived, and with it comes end-of-the-year ceremonies for our Red (2s), Green (3s), Pre-K (4s), and Junior K (4s/5s) classes.  Usually, this time of year brings parents and children together within the classrooms to celebrate this milestone together.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 derailed our plans…but not to worry, the teachers at The International Preschools provided its students with memorable events to close out this school year!

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