• UPDATE TO WATER TESTING: Please see the Jan. 19, 2017 letter from Dr. Montesano with more details

    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.

  • Mark your calendars for Thursday, Jan. 19th: "A Perfect Storm" 6:30pm at Nyack Seaport... an event not to be missed

    This is  a first in a series of Town Hall events to address a community issue:  Battling Misconceptions and the Health Crisis of Underage Drinking and Substance Use Disorders.  Co-sponsored by Nyack Public Schools and OCADA, this event is FREE and OPEN to the community.  Join us for a discussion that has shared implications on the future of our youth.  Doors open at 6:30pm; presentation starts promptly at 7:00pm.  Resource tables from over 20 local organizations will be provided.  Light refreshments will be served. The evening is appropriate for teen age students to attend. Please see the attached flyer for more details.

  • Our online School Directories provide direct links to all teachers' email addresses

    Your school's online Directory provides a listing of all staff in each building.  If you would like to send an email to your child's teacher, simply click on their email address provided in the Directory. For quick and easy access, your school's Directory is located in the Navigation Bar under "About Us" at each school site. Other helpful links are located as a series of icons under "District Links":  Our Schools; Let's Talk; Peachjar; Parent Portal; and In the News.  

    We encourage you to stay connected and use these links often.

  • Dr. Montesano and our BOE will be establishing a committee comprised of parents & staff members to review current start times of our schools

    Anyone interested in participating on this committee should send a brief letter of interest to the District's PR and Community Outreach Office at  Please see the attached posting which contains additional details and was sent via Peachjar to all families and via email to all staff. 

  • Kindergarten registration for 2017-18 has begun online. Students who will be five by December 1, 2017 are eligible for Kindergarten.

    Register online at  See Parent Resources tab then click on Registration. See Administration. 

    Valley Cottage School
  • Kindergarten Registration is now OPEN. Children who turn 5 years of age by December 1, 2017 are eligible to register.

    To find out how to register your incoming Kindergartner, please go to our District homepage at; click on "Parent Resources" at the top of the page in the Navigation Bar; scroll down and click on "Registration".  Follow the directions for online registration.  Once you have registered online OR if you have any questions regarding the process, please contact the District's Registrar's Office at 353 - 7038 to make an appointment.  Thank you.

  • Reading Honor Roll has begun. The letter and log sheet may be viewed in Letters from the Principal folder below.

    Reading Honor Roll begins with the second trimester, and is open to children in grades two, three, four and five.  Students read at least 7 books and write a short response to each book.  The Log Sheet is due March 17, 2016.

    Valley Cottage School
  • Happy New Year to Our School Community!

    From Nyack Public Schools to all of our students, staff and families:  May 2017 be filled with renewed optimism, daily discovery and encouraged imagination. 

    "Learn from yesterday; live for today; hope for tomorrow" - Albert Einstein

  • Peace Prize Awards

    In honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., peace awards will be given to one boy and one girl in each class at Morning Program on Friday, January 13th. Classes may vote, or the teacher may make the choice.

    Valley Cottage School
  • 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

January 2017

Dear VCE Families,

Happy New Year!

During the month of January, our teachers and staff will be focusing on the next of our 7 Cs- Communication.  In today’s world, we communicate in so many ways. Technology has made communication easier than ever before and in some ways more difficult.  With the click of a button the world becomes instantly smaller. We are able to communicate with people around the block or thousands of miles away in real time. Communicating via text and email, however, takes away the power of face to face communication where we are able to better understand tone and match the content of the message with body language. This month we will focus on the many ways we communicate and our ability to communicate as effectively as possible. These include, active listening, sharing ideas clearly both verbally and in writing, communicating feelings and emotions with appropriate words and tone, respecting the opinions of others and learning how to persuade and disagree without being disrespectful.

The best way to teach effective communication skills is to model them and use them. In school we provide daily opportunities for students to communicate and collaborate around academic tasks and through social interactions.  Students are asked to make claims based on information and evidence, and to communicate those claims clearly. We ask students to communicate problem solving strategies both verbally and in writing. We will point out examples of effective communication in literature and reward effective and respectful communication through STAR behavior.

Families can also:

  • Promote communication and active listening. If children are having difficulty using their words, help them by naming the feeling or emotion. Encourage them to discuss their feelings and listen to one another.
  • Encourage children to learn a new language or to learn words and phrases in other languages. There are many free, web-based sites that make learning a new language fun. If you already speak another language in your home, encourage your child to speak that language as well as English.
  • Encourage children to interact with siblings or friends by putting on a play or playing board games. Be available to make suggestions as children practice verbal negotiation skills. Limiting screen time in favor of face-to face interactions builds interpersonal communication skills.
  • Communicate with your child about their day. As a parent, I found that “Nothing” was often my child’s response to “How was school today?” When I tried some of the following, a conversation usually ensued:
  • Tell me about a moment today when you felt excited about what you were learning.
  • Tell me about a moment in class when you felt confused. What did you do?
  • Think about what you learned and did in school today. What’s something you’d like to know more about? What’s a question you have that came from your learning today?
  • Were there times today when you felt that one of your classmates demonstrated care for you, or that you showed caring to one of your classmates?
  • Were there any moments today when you felt proud of yourself?
  • Tell me about a conversation you had with a classmate or friend that you enjoyed.
  • What was challenging about your day?
  • What do you appreciate about your day?
  • What did you learn about yourself today? 
  • Is there anything that you’d like to talk about that I might be able to help you figure out?
  • What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  • Is there a question you wish I’d ask you about your day?
  • As you read to and with your children, have them identify how characters communicate with one another, and the degree to which that communication was effective
  • Point out body language as a form of communication so children can “see” emotions and messages conveyed by others
  • Point out that we are always communicating- even when we think we are not. Often what we don’t say or what we don’t do sends a message to others.
  • Encourage children to write to others using correct spelling and grammar. Often these skills get lost in a world of texting. It’s the perfect time of year to write short letters or thank you notes.

 The ability to communicate effectively is essential. These skills are at the heart of all relationships. Employers rate these skills highly when looking for people to fill jobs. Together, we are helping our children to learn those skills.  Thank you for sharing your children with us each day!


Mrs. Gina Cappiello, Principal


Upcoming Events (scroll through)

  • ELA STARS 7:35-8:35am

    Valley Cottage School
  • School Bd Mtg, MS 7:30PM

    Valley Cottage School
  • Regents Exams

    Nyack Public Schools
  • School Bd Mtg, 7:30pm, MS

    Valley Cottage School
  • Gr.5 DARE rehearsal, 1pm

    Valley Cottage School
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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.