Long a fixture in the community, the Killingworth Nursery School (KNS) marks its 68th year as a non-profit cooperative program, and is located in the lower level of the Killingworth Congregational Church. It is the type of school where older students often return to visit and where parents, who were once students there, now send their own children. Cementing on this tradition, Killingworth Nursery School is proud to announce that current Head Teacher Erin DelVecchio will take over as its Program Director, a position vacated by the recently retired Mary Angus.
Erin, or Mrs. D. as she is affectionately called by the children, has lived in Killingworth along with her family for over 42 years. She fell in love with the Killingworth Nursery School after having all 3 of her children enroll and attend. Erin joined the staff at KNS in 2002 as a Tots Coordinator and Teacher, and when the head teacher retired, she happily stepped into the position. “Now in the fall, not only will I continue my role as head teacher, but I am honored and privileged to be the Director as well. I am so excited to take on new responsibilities and to be such a big part of the children’s early education. The importance of making a child’s first experience with school positive is something I take very seriously. And when you reach a child that is unsure or unengaged, it is an indescribable feeling.”
Mary Angus adds, “Leaving Killingworth Nursery School is easier knowing that Erin DelVecchio will be here to carry on the school and our wonderful traditions. Erin and I have been working side by side for 8 years. In this time, I have had the privilege of seeing the excitement and caring she brings to the school and know she will do a great job taking over as Director and Head Teacher in this upcoming 2021-2022 school year.”
Even with the challenges of the pandemic, KNS was able to remain open and have an extremely successful and safe year. “We adhered to the Covid guidelines provided by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and were able to finish the school year without one single instance of having to quarantine. It truly was a joint effort on behalf of the staff and board,” Erin stated. The school is prepared to continue with whatever safety protocols are necessary this upcoming school year.
Erin assures that the school will offer the same curriculum and traditions well-loved by generations of young KNS learners. Preschool classes are a multi-age curriculum for both three and four year olds that are available two or three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. There is also the option of “extended hours” that lengthen the day to 1:00 p.m. where children can further their kindergarten readiness by bringing and eating their lunch at school. KNS prides itself on offering its families the flexibility to choose what they feel will work best for their child. “The extended day is great. Both our boys (now 9 and 6) loved eating lunch with their friends and teachers. After lunch they also got to engage in an activity, which they both really enjoyed. It helped both of our children be prepared for a full day of kindergarten,” says Jess DeAngelo, a former KNS parent.
Unique to the area, KNS also offers the Terrific Tots program, a one day a week class for two year olds along with a parent or caregiver. It serves as a great transition for young children in preparation for pre-school readiness where little ones can enjoy activities, art, songs, stories, snack, and exploration. They are also able to enjoy outdoor play in Killingworth Nursery School’s brand new fenced-in playground.
Classes start on Monday, September 13, 2021. Enrollment is open at any time. Tours available upon request.
(published in H K Now 7/5/2021)