A New School Year at Tappan Hill
Tappan Hill First Day
New School Year off to a Great Start at Tappan Hill
Tappan Hill School teachers and other staff were thrilled to welcome more than 80 students Thursday to the first day of the school year.
Principal Phyllis Rizzi said everyone has a lot of enthusiasm and positivity about the 2019-20 academic year.
Ms. Rizzi and Amanda Allison, Tappan Hill’s new assistant principal, visited classrooms throughout the day on Sept. 5. Ms. Allison started with SWBOCES in July.
Teachers and students got right to work on lessons and learning.
In Errol Rivera’s class, students enjoyed reading “Press Here,” an interactive book by Hervé Tullet. They followed directions on each page, such as tapping on a red dot or rubbing a yellow dot. They laughed when they shook the book and saw on the next page that the dots were jumbled.
In Penny Dickerson’s class, children sang along with an animated video about the days of the week. Ms. Dickerson asked each student to show her five fingers for the fifth day of the month. They also sang “The Wheels on the Bus” as one student strummed a guitar and led the verses.
One of the areas Tappan Hill School will focus on this year is learning vocational skills. Last month, children in middle and high school grades filled backpacks with school supplies as part of a collaboration between Southern Westchester BOCES’ Center for Special Services, the Guidance Center of Westchester and Ivy Rehabilitation in Harrison.
Another organization Tappan Hill will work with this year is Tarrytown Sleepy Hollow Basics, which encourages parents of children from birth to 3 to take specific actions that will stimulate language and cognitive development at home. Middle school and high school students at Tappan Hill will assemble kits for families, stuff envelopes, make signs and perform other tasks.
The goal of the school’s Vocational Services Program is to prepare students to one day enter the workforce and be productive members of their communities.
Also on the first day of school, the principal led members of the Tarrytown Police Department on a tour of the building to show them the layout and explain the evacuation and lockdown procedures. The department will make sure all its officers visit Tappan Hill early in the school year to familiarize themselves with the building. A member of the department will serve on the school safety committee.
“They really help guide us with our safety plan,” Ms. Rizzi said. “They’re very involved with our children.”
Some staff members received an informal training on the new Lü interactive playground system, which projects activities and lessons onto the wall in the gym. A 3-D camera that is part of the technology turns the projection into a touchscreen. For a math activity, students touch the square with the correct answer to an addition problem. In another game, students have to touch a bunny that is holding a sign with the same object – such as a turtle or a duck – that is projected at the top of the screen. When they are correct, the rabbit ducks into a hole.
Tappan Hill uses technology to enhance daily instruction and growth in fun and creative ways, Ms. Rizzi said. The technology team, under technology facilitator Kevin McSweeney, meets on a regular basis.
“The Lü interactive playground that SWBOCES purchased this year is one of the first in the region that uses lights, sounds and video to transform a gym into an engaging, educational and interactive experience,” the principal said.