University Plaza Nursery School
New York City
UPNS is organized as a cooperative and families are partners in the operation of the school.
UPNS is known for:
- A warm and friendly co-op community
- Play-based learning supported by research
- Child-directed/teacher led learning
- Highly skilled, experienced and invested teachers
- Low teacher turnover
- Nature-based learning through science exploration of leaves, birds, sticks, acorns, rocks, worms and plenty of dirt
- An indoor playspace
- Several outdoor playgrounds
- Children participate in yearly service projects
- Optional extended day and summer program
- Excellent kindergarten exmissions
- Beginning September 2022 offering 3K and Pre-K
In 2017, to formalize what was already taking place in our classrooms, UPNS adopted the following anti-bias framework:
Each child will demonstrate self awareness, confidence, family pride and positive social identities.
Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity: accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring, human connection.
Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Children will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.
Children will recognize stereotypes and relate to people as individuals rather than representatives of groups.
Children will express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them and engage respectfully with all people.
Children will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.
Adapted from Teaching Tolerance
Additionally, Educators at UPNS:
Participate in and encourage Self-Exploration of biases and assumptions.
Integrate culturally diverse information and perspectives into our classrooms.
Allow Time and Maturation to establish trusting relationships and have honest conversations within a respectful context, and recognize that mistrust between people in different groups can influence a classroom.
Establish an Accepting Environment that allows for mistakes; understanding that people unconsciously use biased language, stereotypical thinking, and prejudices. Educators model non-defensive responses when acknowledging bias with the assumption that goodwill is the common practice within the classroom community.
Educators are prepared to Intervene in purposefully-directed acts of bias.
Provide Discovery Learning opportunities where children resolve conflict, solve problems, and work in diverse groups together.
Review Resources to make sure classroom displays, bulletin boards, and literature are inclusive of all people and do not reinforce existing social stereotypes.
Value the Home-School Connection by involving parents, family members, and the community in the learning process. Every effort should be made to create a setting that is rich in possibilities for exploring cultural and family diversity.
From the Anti-Defamation League