January Update from Amy

Dear Brick Families,

Happy New Year! I hope that you all enjoyed a restorative, happy and healthy holiday break. As 92nd Street is again bustling with joyful sounds of your children learning and at play I am thankful that we remain able to be in community, learning with, and from one another, whether we be in person or connected via Zoom. Thank you for your ongoing vigilance in support of our community health efforts.

Since we have returned, the children have regaled us during morning and afternoon meetings with stories of the special family celebrations and traditions they enjoyed over the holidays and I am reminded of our theme for the year “The Story of Us” and how each of your children’s unique gifts and experiences enriches our community. When they share their gifts it helps them not only to reflect upon who they are, but also to explore the question of “Who are we?” as a community. In this vein, 4North recently completed a survey about what the children like to do before bedtime, and 4South began their in-depth self-portrait project. As I observed parts of this process in both classrooms I enjoyed seeing the children reflect upon each other’s answers and choices, helping them to think more deeply about their own preferences and self, ultimately bringing the whole class closer together as they shared themselves so freely.

You may remember at the start of the school year I shared my belief in the importance of educating our young students during this complex time in the context of continued optimism supported by resilience, courage and flexibility. In our community I regularly see so many examples of each of these; 3 year olds cheerfully wearing masks without complaint, parents entrusting that which is most precious to them, to us, during this most uncertain time, teachers eagerly implementing revised health protocols to help keep their students safe, 4 year olds taking risks and taking on new and challenging tasks, 2 year olds making new friends, that I am compelled to add gratitude to the list of values that sustain us this year.

So as we begin 2022, know that we are grateful for each day with your children as we endeavor to live our mission of nourishing your children’s emotional, social, intellectual, physical, ethical, and spiritual well-being. I hope you all enjoy this long weekend.

Warmly,

Amy Warden

Director of The Brick Church School

 

 

 

Back to School Newsletter from Amy

Dear Brick Family,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year! It is hard to believe that we are now in our sixth week of classes. To protect the health and safety of our community, we still have a number of pandemic-related precautions in place, but we have been able to take many exciting steps forward as we adapt to today’s changing circumstances.

This year, the children are now able to move throughout the building. Students have returned to the Art Studio and the Music Room for in-person specials, and we are able to hold Chapel in the Sanctuary with Revs. Evans, Gorman, and Unzaga each week. We have also restarted our Library program and are teaching Spanish in the classrooms. Getting back to in-person learning in all of Brick’s beautiful spaces is a huge win for our students and teachers.

Even parents and caregivers have been able to return to 92nd Street. Families have been invited back into the building for Orientation and various fellowship opportunities – from coffees to book clubs – in the Brick Garden.

Each one of these steps towards normalcy has been taken thoughtfully and brings us such joy. I invite you to learn more about what our students have been up to this year through the pictures below.

Warmly,

Amy Warden

Director of The Brick Church School

Brick Turns 80 This Year!

This spring, we will host a series of events honoring Brick’s 80th birthday! The events will look a bit different from prior auction years, but the spirit will remain the same. Together, we will celebrate the culmination of a remarkable school year while raising crucial funds for Brick. To learn more, CLICK HERE!

The Brick Church School Returns to 62 East 92nd Street!

Dear Brick Family,
 
Welcome to the start of The Brick Church School’s 2020-2021 school year! This year marks the 80th anniversary of our founding in 1940. No one imagined that we would commemorate this milestone with masks on, yet everyone here has risen to the occasion. Once again, the Brick community has proven extraordinary in its generosity of spirit and dedication. This year, our themes are Optimism, Equity, and Community, and you will hear them echoed throughout all of our conversations and communications. 
 
Reopening School
After a long summer of nonstop collaboration and planning, we opened our doors to students on Tuesday, September 1st, for the first time since March, when COVID-19 forced us to shift to remote learning for the remainder of the spring. I invite you all to learn more about our Reopening Plan here. I am extremely proud and deeply grateful to everyone – administrators, faculty, staff, trustees, and parents – for working together as a team to develop a reopening plan that allows for a rich educational experience for our students while keeping health and safety at its core. 
 
Our Community of Educators
Our talented teachers and staff have earned a well-deserved moment of gratitude. They have accomplished wondrous things under extraordinary circumstances, and it is an honor to work beside them every day. This year, 95 percent of our faculty and staff are returning, and we are welcoming seven new teachers. Four faculty members have requested to work remotely, and we have been able to accommodate them on either a full- or part-time basis. To help ensure the health and safety of our community, we have also hired a full-time nurse and temporarily converted the church’s Choir Room into a Health Office. 
 
Our Community of Students
I am pleased to report that we are able to offer our full program to 174 students, and they are all wearing smiles underneath their masks! To accommodate social distancing requirements, we have added one additional classroom (“3 South”) in the Carnegie Room. 
 
Our Community of Parents
I am grateful to our parents for entrusting us with their children and for the integrity that they have shown in abiding regulations to protect the health of our community. Although parents are not allowed in the building this fall, we will be working hard to maintain the strength of our community remotely. This year, we have launched The Brick Church School Parents’ Association to help support these efforts. 
 
Our school is strong because our roots are strong. As we navigate a year unlike any other, I am confident that we will continue to grow stronger and more resilient as a community. Thank you for your enduring support of The Brick Church School, our faculty and staff, our students, and our mission. 
 
With sincere gratitude, 
Amy Warden

Associate Director Announcement

Dear Brick Church School Community,

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Elena Jaime as the new Associate Director of The Brick Church School. She will begin her duties on August 1, 2019.

Ms. Jaime is a passionate early childhood educator who is committed to the development of children’s intellectual, social and emotional needs through a child-centered approach to curriculum development. She believes that teaching is both an art and a science. She feels that effective educators are those whose practice is grounded in understanding the science of learning and the brain with the art of teaching that comes when teachers are able to engage their passions as they develop curriculum.  She also believes that school communities function at their best when there exists a strong partnership between the school and its families. She is an antibias educator and leader who seeks to create reflective learning communities in which the needs of all members are met. 

Ms. Jaime was most recently the Lower School Principal at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in Manhattan. She was previously the Lower School Dean at The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine and has also taught at The Chapin School and The Town School.  

She graduated from The Dalton School in Manhattan and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT., and her Masters in Early Childhood Special and General Education from Bank Street College of Education in Manhattan.

She and her spouse Kristina are the parents of Zoë, Luna and Juno.

Ms. Jaime replaces Amy Warden, who was elevated to the position of Director of The Brick Church School beginning August 1, 2019.

The Brick Church School provides early childhood education in a joyful, supportive and inclusive environment. The school is known for an approach that balances project work and skill development while instilling positive values and a love of lifelong learning. We hope that you will all join us in welcoming Ms. Jaime to this work.

Day School Director Announcement!

Dear Members of the Brick Church School Community:

The Director Nominating Committee is delighted to announce that Amy Warden has accepted the position of Director of the Brick Church School, effective August 1, 2019.

This announcement caps a six-month comprehensive search process that began in April when Lydia Spinelli announced her intention to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic calendar year.  As part of this process, Amy submitted an in-depth application package, interviewed with the eight-person Nominating Committee and with educational consultants, Carney Sandoe.  Informed by the shared values and voices of all Brick constituents, the Nominating Committee received numerous letters of recommendation from current and former parents, faculty and staff, and other educators in support of Amy’s candidacy for the director position.  The community highlighted Amy’s expertise and consistent passion for early childhood education during her five-year tenure as Associate Director as well as in prior roles.  Amy’s knowledge, experience and vision align with the core values of the school and key areas for evolution; hence, she was the enthusiastic and unanimous choice for our next director.

As Associate Director, Amy has prioritized curriculum and professional development.  She has skillfully led a revision of the pre-literacy program, the school’s equity and inclusion initiatives, and focused on the social/emotional development of children.  Amy has collaborated with faculty to integrate more inquiry-based learning in the classroom.  In addition, Amy directed the June Program and was instrumental in developing the new Two’s Program.  Most importantly, Amy has remained steadfast in her dedication to knowing each child individually, partnering with parents on educational growth at Brick and beyond.

Prior to joining Brick, Amy was Head of Schools at Williamsburg Northside Schools in Brooklyn, New York.  In her role, Amy was responsible for all facets of the school’s operation, which included programming for over 300 children ages three months to seven years across 18 classrooms and 80 staff members.  Under Amy’s leadership, Northside implemented the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education from infancy through the elementary school years, resulting in a highly innovative, successful program.

Amy has a bachelor’s degree from William Smith College with a major in dance therapy and a minor in education.  She has two graduate degrees from Hunter College: a master’s degree in dance and movement therapy and a MSEd in special education.  Amy and her husband, Doug, have two children, son Henry (age 10) and daughter Audrey (age 5), and reside in Tarrytown, New York.

Thank you to every member of our school community for your investment in Brick and your engagement and participation in our Director search.  A thoughtful transition process in partnership with Lydia Spinelli is underway, and we will soon schedule opportunities for members of the Brick community to get to know Amy even better.  We look forward to Amy’s leadership at the Brick Church School!

Sincerely,

The Brick Church School Director Nominating Committee