• Please note that the First Night of Hanukkah was incorrectly printed on the District Calendar as Wed., Dec. 21st and has now been corrected

    The First Night of Hanukkah is Saturday, December 24th.  The correction has been made to all online calendars.  Thank you for your attention to this.

  • Our online School Directories have been re-posted to each school site and provide direct links to all teachers' email addresses

    We are happy to announce that our new School Directories are back up and active on each school site.   This Directory provides a listing of the teachers and staff in each building.  If you would like to send an email to your child's teacher, simply click on their email address provided. For quick and easy access, your school's Directory is located at the top and bottom right corner of each school site, where you will find a series of icons that represent important District links:  District Home/Our Schools; Let's Talk; Peachjar; Directories; Parent Portal; and In the News.   We encourage you to stay connected and use these links often.  You can also find the Directories under "About Us" in the Navigation Bar of each school site.

  • Please view our December Newsletter for upcoming events and information.

    Valley Cottage School
  • UPDATE TO WATER TESTING: The November 17, 2016 Letter from Dr. Montesano contains the latest water testing results

    The District received water test results this week on the Nyack High School.  Please read the Nov. 17 2016 letter from the Superintendent's Office, attached below,  for detailed information.  This letter was sent to all District families and staff.  We are committed to providing up-to-date information to our community on this important topic.

  • REMINDER Regarding the District's NEW Media Release Opt-Out Form and Protocol

    Parents and Guardians: the District has a NEW Media Release/Opt Out protocol that will go into effect this month, October, 2016.  All parents/guardians should have received the attached letter in their summer mailing  that  included  a September 26th deadline for any "Opt Outs".   Parents/guardians who do not wish their child's photograph to be featured on our new websites must have checked the appropriate boxes on this form and have sent it back to their child's school.  Please call the District's Office of Public Relations at (845) 353-7013 with any questions regarding this new protocol.  The Media Opt Out Form is one that can be filled out at any time but must be kept at the school building level for easy access by staff and to ensure that the protocol  is effectively followed. The District looks forward to celebrating daily accomplishments and sharing them via posts to our new District sites.


Message from the Principal: Mrs. Gina Cappiello

December 2016

Dear VCE Families,

During the month of December, our teachers and staff will be focusing on the next of our 7 Cs- Cultural Awareness. In today’s ever shrinking world, our ability to understand and embrace cultural diversity is essential. Through the use of technology, our children will more than likely have jobs and careers that necessitate the ability to communicate and collaborate with people of many different cultures. This month, and throughout the year, students will be exposed to the cultural traditions of others and be asked to share some of their own cultural traditions. Teachers will facilitate students’ understanding of common themes across cultures that unite us all, as well as aspects of culture that may be different from their own. During this holiday season many students will be sharing how holidays are celebrated in different cultures.

As with all of our 7 Cs, the best way to teach these skills is to model them and label them. In school we will be providing opportunities for students to learn about the cultural traditions and practices of others as well as to share aspects of their own cultures. We will point out examples of culture and cultural awareness in literature and reward respect for the cultures of others through STAR behavior.

Cultural awareness often develops in stages. The following is an excerpt from an online article by Stephanie Quappe and Giovanna Cantatore from the Curiosity Group LLC:

Degrees of Cultural Awareness

There are several levels of cultural awareness that reflect how people grow to perceive cultural differences.

My way is the only way - At the first level, people are aware of their way of doing things, and their way is the only way. At this stage, they ignore the impact of cultural differences.

I know their way, but my way is better - At the second level, people are aware of other ways of doing things, but still consider their way as the best one. In this stage, cultural differences are perceived as a source of problems and people tend to ignore them or reduce their significance.

My Way and Their Way - At this level people are aware of their own way of doing things and others’ ways of doing things, and they chose the best way according to the situation. At this stage people realize that cultural differences can lead both to problems and benefits and are willing to use cultural diversity to create new solutions and alternatives.

Our Way - This fourth and final stage brings people from different cultural background together for the creation of a culture of shared meanings. People dialogue repeatedly with others, create new meanings, new rules to meet the needs of a particular situation.

Increasing cultural awareness, like all learning, is a work in progress. Diversity increases the level of complexity of human interactions. Cultural diversity becomes an advantage when we can combine it with collaboration, communication and creativity to seek solutions and begins to take different approaches to problem solving. Diversity in this case creates valuable new skills and behaviors.

In becoming culturally aware, people realize that:

  • We are not all the same
  • Similarities and differences are both important
  • There are multiple ways to reach the same goal and to live life

When cultural awareness and respect are modeled and honed at home and school, children gain a deeper understanding of others. They learn acceptance and understand that differences are gifts to be celebrated rather than feared.

On behalf of the entire staff, I wish all of our VCE families a joyful holiday season and all the best in 2017! Thank you for sharing your children with us each day!


Mrs. Gina Cappiello, Principal

Upcoming Events (scroll through)

  • C day

    Valley Cottage School
  • Gr.2Y/2S Field Trip: Police Station, Courthouse, Bowling, 9:30-2pm

    Valley Cottage School
  • Evening Parent/Teacher Conferences, 6pm

    Valley Cottage School
  • D day

    Valley Cottage School
  • Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences, 6PM

    Valley Cottage School
View Monthly Calendar

We're here for you!

⇒ The PTA at Valley Cottage sponsors field trips and programs for students throughout the school year. For more information, please call PTA Co-Presidents.  Visit VCE.PTA on Facebook for any PTA matters.

Our PTA website is at

Please contact the VCE PTA any time by speaking to an officer or any member, or by e-mailing your thoughts to:

Kristy Christiano  (845) 323-1451         Email:

Christine Edmonds (845) 548-7176     Email:

The PTA vows to incorporate a management team approach, where all officers are included in planning and decision-making and duties are divided evenly across the team for greatest efficiency. 

Please note the following program information: The PTA at Valley Cottage sponsors field trips and programs for students throughout the school year. Special assemblies are arranged to give our students an enriching cultural experience. Your support of the PTA and its programs is greatly needed. For further information, please view the PTA Directory for contact persons and numbers (to be updated soon).

We have a Family Resource Center in our building with Julie Kassel and Joanne Wallace as the Valley Cottage Coordinators. They can be reached at 353-7291. Please visit the center designed to meet the needs of the parents in our school.  Or click on the Family Resource Center Quick Link, located on this page.

⇒ The JCC-Beyond the Bell of Rockland conducts an after-school child care program until 6:00PM daily.  For more information, please call Monica Rosenbaum, JCC, Director of Children’s Programs, at (845) 362-4400 ext.111.

Coming November 18th! VCE Lip Sync Battle