Rye Presbyterian Nursery School was created in 1958 by the Rye Presbyterian Church Christian Education Committee, for the purpose of providing a weekday nursery school for children from the church and the community.
Initially established in 1958 as a co-operative preschool with a paid Teacher/Director, parents were required to assist periodically in their child’s classroom. The school served approximately 30 children, ages three and four years of age who attended morning classes.
By 1976, the school had grown to a staff of 6 teachers with 60 students. RPNS remained at this size until 1983, when the Director began adding two year old classes, afternoon classes, and additional expansions, as necessary.
In 2004, RPNS was serving 300 children, ages 2, 3, 4 and 5 years of age. We sought to increase parent participation and to help parents towards a better understanding of their children’s learning. RPNS began its ongoing journey to become a Reggio inspired early childhood center by creating a more natural environment in our classrooms, endeavoring to better listen to children’s ideas and create an emergent curriculum around those ideas, using technology and documentation of children’s learning to communicate and revisit that learning and introducing students and teachers to the use of multiple expressive languages. Many of our teaching and administrative staff have attended the nine day international study leave in Reggio Emilia, Italy, where they have learned from other professionals and observed exemplary preschool programs first hand. We have visited other Reggio inspired schools and attended conferences in the United States, in order to build liaisons and further our own learning.