Tappan Hill School Open House
Tappan Hill School Hosts Open House
Parents Meet Teachers, Learn about New Playground at the Event
Parents who visited Tappan Hill School teacher Errol Rivera’s class on Open House day learned about exciting activities some students are involved in, such as making “flower grams” for special occasions and helping Volunteer New York! with projects.
Mr. Rivera showed parents the corner of the room where students make silk floral arrangements for special occasions and for displays around the school. They also make vases out of glass bottles by using colorful tissue paper and decoupage glue.
The class has an ambitious goal of finding out when all staff members’ birthdays are and creating floral arrangements for them on their special day. “Our students will be responsible for making and delivering them to that special someone,” said Mr. Rivera, who teaches multiply disabled students of high school age.
Family members who attended the Oct. 12 Open House spoke with teachers, learned about the curriculum and activities, and found out about students’ daily routines.
During a gathering with refreshments in the gym, Tappan Hill Principal Phyllis Rizzi announced that the school is getting a new playground. Parents clapped when she told them the news.
“This playground, as you can see, is so beautiful,” she said as she showed them a rendering of it.
The groundbreaking will take place this fall, and it is expected to be completed next summer. It will have adaptive swings, musical instruments, and other features, and students in wheelchairs will be able to use it, Ms. Rizzi said.
Anne Marie Cellante, a board member of the SWBOCES Special Education PTA, explained what the SEPTA does and encouraged parents to join.
“Our mission, or our goal, really has been to try to bring in resources and information that will help us not only with our children in school but also with what goes on outside of the school day, on the weekends, in the future,” she said. “There’s a lot to learn and I think we have to unpack it together as parents.”
Mariela Adams, regional coordinator with Parent to Parent of New York State, gave a presentation about her group. Parent to Parent is a one-stop shop for parents of children with disabilities, from birth to age 21. The group offers information and referrals; guidance on eligibility for state services; and an opportunity for parents to connect with one another so they can learn from one another’s experiences.
“Please reach out to us. We’re happy to help,” she said.
Grandparent Janice Marslow of Mount Vernon said her 6-year old granddaughter, Heaven, is a Tappan Hill student. This is her second year at the school, and she wasn’t walking when she started. She is now walking a lot and has gotten stronger.
“She’s doing very well,” Ms. Marslow said. “The staff is very nice. They’re very concerned and for any little thing that happens, they call you.”