Community

The close-knit community at The Children’s School is made up of current parents, alumni families, trustees and teachers. The energy and talents of this community are readily seen in in our active Parent Association, Alumni Committee, and Board of Trustees. If you feel inspired to help children dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, there are many opportunities to become involved at TCS. Below, our community leaders reflect on their role in the life of the school and invite you to participate.


Greetings from the Parent Association

We welcome all parents who have a child enrolled in The Children’s School to become involved in the Parent Association (PA). Although the primary purpose of the PA is to organize support for all aspects of the school, the friendships and sense of community that result are just as important. New parents find that even the smallest participation in the PA is a great way to get to know our community and feel more connected, and many families find that they end up making lifelong friends.

Under the umbrella of the Parent Association, parents can find a way to get involved that suits their schedule and interests. Whether it be coordinating special visitors or enrichment events, serving as a class parent to facilitate grade-specific communication and activities, chairing community-service initiatives or providing Helping Hands meals, volunteering at special events or joining the Spring Event team, there is something for everyone.

Prospective parents, please feel free to reach out to us at PA@childrensschool.org to learn more about our community and culture. Current parents may log in to learn more about all of the wonderful events and initiatives that are scheduled for this school year.

Warmly,

TCS Parent Association


The History of the School Comes Alive in Alumni Memories

The Children’s School is etched in the memory of its alumni and their families as an environment where children are treated with extraordinary care and respect and imbued with a sense of purpose. Though nostalgic touchstones like the boat and the trampoline may be gone, the school remains a place of wisdom and understanding to all who pass through its doors: wisdom both about how children learn and how parents can best support their children, and an understanding of the joys and challenges they will face together on the path we call learning.

There’s a familiar saying on our campus: No one ever really leaves The Children’s School. Children who have grown up return to visit their beloved teachers, their old haunts and, of course, the Pink Cube. Moms and dads and grandparents return too, many seeking our guidance because we know their children so well. They come back to walk through the classrooms and recall a time in the life of their family that, as one parent said, “toppled me with its sweetness, innocence and poignancy.” These memories of The Children’s School exert a powerful hold, some of which I share below.

The Alumni Committee at The Children’s School offers advice and mentoring to prospective parents. In addition, it invites the support and continued involvement of past parents to ensure the school remains a pioneer in early learning.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, and I will connect you with the alumni parent who can best answer them. My email is alumni@childrensschool.org.

Kindest regards,

Eileen Thomas
Alumni Committee

Paget MacColl (alumna)

I remember a lot about the School from when I was 3, 4 and 5 years old: the sphere and the Pink Cube, the Norman Ives painting, and the boat and the trampoline out back. Yes, there really was a trampoline in the back! I remember all of the materials and, my favorite, the birthday charts. All of these things look about the same today, except they looked a lot bigger to me as a 4-year-old.

Most of all, and most importantly, I vividly remember how it felt when I completed a trinomial cube; or when I made the connection between what a number looked like to my eye, sounded like to my ear and felt like when I touched its nubby surface in sandpaper form. I remember everyone tracing my body on butcher’s paper and my classmates then saying nice things about me. Connected to my friends and engaged by my teachers, the world around me became more enthralling, and my confidence and independence grew. I was loved. Not a bad combination of feelings!

That is the gift that The Children’s School gives to every child: the gift of learning how to learn and discover. I feel very thankful to my parents for giving me that gift. And I feel fortunate that I can give that gift to my children.

Michele and Paul Minton (alumni parents)

When my daughter first started school, neither my husband nor I could guess what was truly in store for her, although we had all the hopes of most parents: We wanted her to be happy, protected, loved, encouraged and challenged.

Almost immediately, she would find meaning: under the kind guidance of the capable and loving teachers, in the amazing order that pulsates just under the surface of the day, in the joy of the music performed in the classroom, through the art and media expression she was able to experience, in the many large and small lessons that so beautifully supported her growing capabilities as a natural learner. The prepared classroom beckoned her each and every day to find something new, to dig deeper into a subject she was interested in, to climb higher on the play structure, to add a color to a collage she had started earlier in the week.

She and her brothers have all loved their time at the school. The Children’s School is a place filled with love, staffed by the best and kindest. It is beautiful, not just structurally, but in its purpose. What a beautiful mission you have, and you have fulfilled it with such grace and professionalism. We are forever grateful and awe-filled.

Leslie and Curtiss Roach (alumni parents)

Our family’s first experience with the school was when our daughter, Schuyler, entered in September 1977. Schuyler was the oldest of our three girls, and at the time I was completely overwhelmed. I’d love to say that I “got” what the school was doing right away, but that would not be true. I didn’t know enough about children’s development and potential to begin to understand the explosion of learning that was occurring in those little minds every day!

It took guidance from the teachers for us to realize that the school was revolutionary: watching the careful record-keeping and meticulous planning of every child’s day; learning so much during parent conferences about who are children were as individuals; seeing the way the teachers credited children with what they knew rather than testing them on what they didn’t know. Then I would listen as our 3-year-old Schuyler jumped into the car full of stories of what she learned that day, and hear her teaching her sisters in a positive, focused way. We became better, more knowledgeable parents. We went from rushing around and being overwhelmed to having a better understanding of our children—and having fun!

Following the school’s coaching mantra of “three plusses and a wish,” I am still learning, after many years as a parent and grandparent, how to speak to children, how to listen to children, and how to let them be their own people. And my wish, of course, is that every child would enjoy as great a start as mine did at the school.


Greetings from the President of the Board

As president of the Board of Trustees, I want to welcome you to The Children’s School. My four children attended and graduated from the school some time ago, but when I head down that long, beautiful driveway today, I am hit with the same feeling I had when I was dropping off my children: a feeling of comfort and predictability. That feeling of warmth and tradition is best experienced on campus, and is one of the reasons my fellow trustees and I enjoy serving on the Board—and why I run into parents whose children are now sending their children to the school.

This tight-knit community of teachers and families who believe in The Children’s School is one that the trustees and I wish to see flourish for decades to come. This community helped our children to learn and thrive during their critical early years and long after they moved on to other schools; it also advanced our parenting skills and knowledge greatly. In light of this, how could we not “pay it forward” so that future generations can experience what we had—and continue to have—as part of the Children’s School family?

The concept of continuity—that one generation plants the seeds for the next—is essential to the school’s vitality and longevity. We are fortunate that the school enjoys such steadfast support from its families, one decade to the next and one generation to the next, all inspired by its mission and approach to early learning.

On behalf of the Board, I invite you to visit the campus and observe the teachers and children at work in the classroom. The magic in those interactions is at the heart of the school’s tradition of excellence.

Tricia Vanacore
Board President


Reflections from Teachers at The Children’s School …

Teachers form the backbone of the school, working to support and guide children and create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. With their talent, dedication and knowledge, they have made the school a place where young hearts and minds are treasured. Below, they reflect on their experience working as a team in the classrooms.

  • What an honor it is to be a part of an institution that not only takes children seriously, but also takes teachers and the families they serve seriously. There are good intentions and a thoughtfulness behind every gesture, in and out of the classroom. It is a wonderful school culture, and I value it so much.
  • As teachers, we come to know every child who comes through the school’s doors. I have taught in many schools, and I know this is a rare and true gift.
  • TCS is a family. Not only do our peers care deeply, check in with one another and lend a helping hand when needed, but they help make working here a gratifying experience. The love and warmth goes beyond the faculty and staff, and is felt by our families, students and alumni of the school.
  • I continue to be so grateful for the kind, caring and thoughtful teachers I work with every day. Our team is full of such great talent, and I so appreciate being able to work with and learn from them.
  • I will always love how all the decisions we make at TCS are filtered through the school’s mission, and that the focus is ultimately on what’s best for the children. This comes directly from the school leadership, and although some decisions make for more complicated scheduling and thinking differently, the shared commitment to the children’s welfare means that teachers are willing to go the extra mile if it means greater success for a student. In addition, I like that the school culture clearly encourages teachers to advocate passionately for their students in order for them to develop emotionally, socially and intellectually.
  • I love that TCS is an environment that demands continuous learning from its teachers. It’s clear that the leadership believes that children are best served by teachers who are inspired and energized, and the school provides many ways for teachers to grow. By supporting the use of technology at home, sponsoring workshops at the school and sending teachers to workshops at the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools and beyond, the school allows the teachers to keep current and pursue their passions, which leads to stronger teaching.
  • As a new teacher, I appreciate the thoughtful approach to presenting responsibilities over time, and the patience and support each and every teacher supplied to me during my first year. It is unlike any experience I have ever had. When the people you work with continually tell you that you will adjust and succeed, it is empowering and encourages me to be the best possible teacher I can be.
  • This is a remarkable school that strives for all that is good every day, with children at the very forefront of our actions. We are mission-driven: it is hard work, but the true reward of all we do can be seen in the children (particularly when we look back to September from June). We have a remarkable group of parents who entrust us with their children and support the work we do. And I am continually impressed with the good work of our newest staff members, who have brought so much to the program and have kept pace with the demands of a rigorous school year.
  • I am still awestruck by the school’s beauty when I walk through the doors each morning. Now that we have lived in the space for a couple of years, we, as a staff and an institution, have been able to fulfill the mission of the school on so many levels: a music room (and even a sound studio!) for our remarkable music program, an Art Barn for wonderful classes and workshops, and lots of space for all to grow and learn. “Room to grow” is a timeless concept, and our new buildings have given us the physical space we needed to improve our good work each year.