Principal Welcome Letter

“Children grow into the intellectual life around them.” – Vygotsky

September 2019

Dear YCS Families,

It is with great excitement that we welcome you to a new school year at Yorkville Community School. Back in 2009 when I was given the opportunity to open a new school on the Upper East Side, I envisioned YCS to be a school that would provide our students the opportunity to discover their passions and feel both academic and emotional intelligence and I am proud to say that my vision has become a reality.

When your children enter the doors of YCS, they are greeted by teachers, administration and support staff that have promised to encourage their individuality as learners. Our celebrated curriculum is designed to provide multiple entry points for our varied student learning styles and our enrichment programs are tailored to encourage our students to cultivate themselves beyond academics. The learning environment is cheerful and child friendly, encouraging exploration in a safe and creative manner. School is a place to gain strategies and skills, to learn how to work with others. At school, our students are expected to be learners, open to their teachers guidance and respectful of others learning styles. Respect in our school environment means allowing each other to learn as well as being conscientious of our responses towards others. Responsibility means being aware of and accountable for our actions and mindful of our daily interactions and practice.

Our goal at YCS is to grow into confident and caring individuals. While we challenge and encourage our students academically, we continuously integrate activities into the curriculum that cultivate the social and emotional development of our students. We make every effort to create an environment where our students feel comfortable sharing concerns and/or observations. Our students’ continuous development of their self-awareness and self-esteem promotes a successful and safe school environment. The development of one’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has proven to be a predictor of a child’s future achievement.

To reinforce this work, we integrate RULER into our curriculum. RULER is an evidence-based approach, developed at The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, which teaches five key skills to support emotional intelligence:
Recognizing emotions in one’s self and others.
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions.
Labeling emotions accurately.
Expressing emotions appropriately.
Regulating emotions effectively.

Over the school year, our staff, students and families engage in this thoughtful work, together, in order to support a healthy and productive learning community.

While our students spend a majority of their daily life within the school community, their knowledge of the world begins at home. When our students enter our doors, it is anticipated that they have an understanding of what their expectations are at school and the hope is that they have been encouraged to express themselves in a way that supports community building. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the citywide expectations to support a positive school culture.

The school-home connection plays an essential role in YCS’ success; by working together can we enable our students to meet and exceed expectations. You are invited to our Curriculum Night on September 12th. On this evening, you will receive detailed information about the curriculum and enrichment programs for your child’s grade and the ways you can support your child’s academic and emotional intelligence. Our school website offers an overview of our curriculum and the Daily Life of a Student at YCS.

Our Family Handbook/School Calendar will be distributed to all students the first week of school. As an active and accountable member of our community it is your responsibility to review this handbook with your child. Our monthly newsletter, Adventures, is sent home to keep you up to date on family events and exciting classroom practices. You will also be receiving a packet of forms to fill out and return to your child’s classroom teacher within the first week of school.

Should there be questions or concerns, there are numerous resources available to you in our school such as; your child’s classroom teacher(s), our Assistant Principal/Stacie Lorraine, our Parent Coordinator/Christie Falciani, our Guidance Counselor/Kim Givner, our School Secretaries/Annette Ortiz and Dominique Carmoega, our School Aides/ Sal Gudic and Jessica Polizzi, and of course me. We are here for you and make every effort to work together to maintain a positive learning environment for our students.

Please be sure to check your child’s backpack daily and review all materials sent home. With your participation, YCS will continue to offer our students the supportive, distinctive, and challenging academic environment it has become known for.

Here’s to a great year ahead!

Samantha Kaplan
Founding Principal

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open. – Frank Zappa