3816 Waldo Avenue, Riverdale, NY 10463  
(718) 884-3950  


" How we started...

About 10 years ago, my husband and I began looking for a nursery school for our son Eddie, who was born with a rare diagnosis and a unique set of challenges. We set out to find a nurturing environment along with a stimulating curriculum and a program that could support his needs. It was almost impossible! We searched under every rock! You name it, Manhattan, Westchester and even NJ!

One day, I was thinking about a friend of mine and a conversation that had occurred years before Eddie was born. This friend was Gina Oliver! We had both been parents of children at a local grammar school and we used to talk in the school yard. She would always tell me about this wonderful nursery school that she worked at and how amazing it was. I thought it would be a long shot, but I had to give it a look.

Well, Gina was right, as she always is! We fell in love! It was warm and nurturing and everything we were looking for. Unfortunately, at the end of the tour, we were told that there were no spots for the fall. We were devastated. We then immediately had to overcome another obstacle, explaining Eddie’s unique challenges to see if the school could support him. After the tour we sat with Susan in her office.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I cried while telling Susan about Eddie and she in turn was deeply concerned. She felt my anguish and became very interested in helping us. She encouraged me to sign up for the summer program and we enrolled. We began the "Mommy and Me" program that summer and hoped something would open up for Eddie in the fall. I fell deeper in love with the program each time we attended, as did Eddie. Fortunately, after a few weeks, Susan called us in and told us that she had created a spot for Eddie. We were overjoyed!!

His first year at RPC he blossomed. Susan worked tirelessly to support Eddie and our family. She had a dream and a vision of making RNSFC a place where all children could play and learn from each other. She inspired all her staff and parents and rallied many professionals to work together to create a school, RNSFC.

Eddie continues to love to learn and is once again attending school with his typically developing peers in an inclusive educational environment. Because of the strong foundation that was developed at RNSFC he attended one of the best special needs schools in New York City and now attends one of the best inclusive schools in Manhattan.

Thank you Susan for being a believer! Love you! "

- Ana and Eddie

" As a SEIT working in different schools in the Bronx and Manhattan, working here at RNSFC is an exceptional experience. This is a rare school that understands that children with special needs are not simply tolerated and “included” but embraced. I love to be in a place where every staff member understands that all children have unique needs, typical learners as well as children with challenges. In every aspect of the day our children’s needs are a priority; whether those needs are accommodations, adaptations, enhancements, scaffolding, social or emotional. "

Selma Raven

" My son did not want to stay in nursery school by himself. I sat with him in class for 2 months.

Our teachers: Mary-Ellen, Gina, and Greg are caring and very patient. They helped me get through a tough separation process and I am so grateful.

Now he eats diverse fruits and vegetables, says new words every day. He loves going to school. Thank you RNSFC."

-Marina Pecoraro

" Our experience at RNSFC has been amazing. The teachers and staff are dedicated to each child. They have a true understanding and knowledge of children. They create a safe and fun learning environment. They teach the kids valuable life skills and help to build good education fundamentals. Our son looks forward to going to school each day and even wants to go on weekends. He enjoys all the activities, specials and the friends that he has made. As in the words of our son 'this is the best school ever'. "

Sincerely, Carey Cohen & family

" Both our children attended RNSFC and it came highly recommended to me years before I even had children. I knew families who traveled with their children from Manhattan and many other locations to RNSFC because they had found a treasure. As a pediatric psychologist, I specialize in early childhood development and from the first introduction to RNSFC it was apparent that this school was exceptional for its high standards of education, truly developmentally appropriate curriculum, and strong respect and care for the children it served. The children are heard, understood, and embraced and there is also a supportive community formed among parents year after year. The inclusion program is unique in the city of New York and the way the educators and all the staff approach the children is remarkable for its superb thoughtfulness in planning for all the children in each class. Our only wish was for the program to extend way beyond the early childhood years! "

- Dimitra Robokos

" We will be forever grateful for choosing RNS as our son’s nursery school. We believe that since it was his first school experience, it will positively impact his view on school as he goes through life. What we like the most about the school is that as opposed to imposing their way on our son, they first got to know him. They not only accepted him as he was, but welcomed him with open arms. When we go to the parent teacher meetings we hear about the strategies that they are putting in place to help Ben because they know him and what works for him. RNS has laid the foundation and provided us with the knowledge so that we can help Ben get what he needs to be successful in life. As parents, we could not ask for more. "

- Francis Rosario

" We had a difficult time finding a school for our son Nate who is on the autism spectrum. Per the recommendation of a friend, we went to RNSFC for advice from Susan and Greg. Living on the Upper West Side, we were not considering the school at the time. During our visit, we fell in love with RNSFC and knew that it would be a great fit for Nate.

Choosing RNSFC has been one of the best decisions we have made. Their gentle separation approach allowed Nate to get comfortable with his teachers, peers and the classroom setting. Within a couple of months, he no longer hesitated to go into school but instead ran down the block with excitement.

Over the last 2 years we have seen tremendous growth in Nate's play skills. He is learning from his peers and starting to immerse himself in their games. The teachers are so wonderful and knowledgeable about how to work with Nate and truly include him as part of the class. The commitment to inclusion makes RNSFC a unique and very special place.

We are so appreciative of the hard working, wonderful staff at RNSFC. They have helped Nate make strides and provided him with a safe, nurturing place where he loves going each day. Our daughter Sloane loves RNSFC too! "

- Erica Langer

" Between our two children, we are now in our sixth year of RNSFC. We could not be more pleased with every aspect of the school – the quality of the teachers, the nurturing atmosphere, the curriculum, and new facility. We felt the school prepared our older daughter beautifully for Kindergarten and is helping our younger daughter develop new skills in a place she just loves to be. "

- Margaret Forgione

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