A Co-Operative Preschool in Saratoga Springs

Katrina Trask Nursery School offers a uniquely positive preschool experience for three and four-year-olds. At KT, we provide an opportunity for your child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth.

KT is the only parent cooperative nursery school in Saratoga Springs. A cooperative preschool offers parents the rewarding opportunity to actively participate in their child’s school day on a regular basis. Enthusiastic parental support is one of our schools greatest resources. Through its cooperative nature, children, parents and teachers together create a warm and friendly extended community for the children to grow and learn within.

Philosophy

Learning through Play

Katrina Trask (KT) offers a uniquely positive preschool experience for three and four-year-olds. At KT, we provide an opportunity for your child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. We believe that children learn through play. Following that philosophy, KT provides activities which promote growth in all areas of development, providing opportunities for learning through a variety of play experiences.

Although the children at KT are not formally “taught” subjects such as science and social studies, they learn about these topics through learning activities, materials and programs brought into the classroom. The children gather and use a great deal of subject matter about the natural, physical and social world of home, school and neighborhood.
Those who have not thought much about it sometimes underestimate the importance of a nursery school year. We, however, know the tremendous value of play as a small child’s way of learning.

A child entering nursery school has never worked in the ordinary sense of the word, yet has learned more in his first four years of “just playing” than he will in any comparable period of his life. What appears to be “play” is serious work for beginners and, properly guided, produces important learning for a lifetime.

Why Choose a COOP?

Katrina Trask Nursery School is the only parent cooperative nursery school in Saratoga.
Katrina Trask is a parent cooperative nursery school, where parents and teachers work together for the growth and development of our children.

A cooperative preschool offers parents the uniquely rewarding opportunity to actively participate in their child’s school day on a regular basis. Enthusiastic parental support is one of our school’s greatest resources.

Parents can expect to be helpers in the classroom approximately 4 – 5 class days per year where they are expected to bring the snack and assist teachers with the day’s activities.
In addition to parent helper days, other parent responsibilities include serving on committees, fundraising, school clean ups, and possibly serving on the school’s executive committee which oversees the daily operation of the school. Teachers and parents work together, pooling ideas, abilities and resources to create an appealing learning environment for the children.

Camaraderie amongst parents is fostered in many ways, whether it be active participation in various committees, or involvement in planning and assisting with school activities.
The cooperative nature of the school make KT a wonderful place to get to know other families through events such as parent coffees, pizza night, Family Pumpkin Carving, Pajama Night, and other events. The KT “family” is a warm and friendly extended community for the children to grow and learn within.

A Nut-Free Environment

Due to the increased prevalence of nut allergies and the possibly severe reactions they can provoke, we enforce a nut-free environment. Nuts are not allowed in snacks or lunches, and are not used in arts and crafts projects. This policy benefits the health and safety of the children in our program.

KT Progams

KT Offers two classes grouped by age:

For 3 Year Olds

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • 9:00am – 11:30am
  • Must be 3 years old by December 1

For 4 Year Olds

  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • 9:00am – 12:00pm
  • Must be 4 years old by December 1

Curriculum

Both the three and four-year-old preschool programs at KT give children a warm, supportive environment in a comfortable group setting. Activities are carefully planned to offer children a wealth of resources and challenges. KT provides a hands-on, child centered curriculum that facilitates individual growth and promotes curiosity, creativity and confidence while learning. Each week or two, the teachers provide a new thematic unit, responsive to our children’s interests and needs.

At KT, your child will learn to develop a sense of his/her own worth as an individual, manage him/herself, the materials, the routine of the day, taking initiative in planning and doing things, and acquiring self discipline. Develop a pleasant association with learning situations and with school in general. Develop the ability to socially interact with other children with confidence and respect.

KT’s Daily Schedule

  • Parent drop off. This is a time for teachers to greet the children and parents, and parents to say goodbye to children.
  • Free choice activity time – An opportunity for the child to work with a variety of materials, either alone or in a group of other children. There are many interest centers available such as blocks, large vehicles, arts and craft materials, dress up clothes, kitchen toys, a workbench, a water table, a sensory table, a climbing structure, a reading area, puzzles, games, a fish tank, and books.
  • Group time – Conversation, planning, and discussion of the current unit, including dramatization of stories, music, movement and songs.
  • Snack time – Children have an opportunity to pour juice, pass out snacks, hold conversations, and learn manners.
  • Story time – A time for reading books, using the flannel board, and finger plays.
  • Outdoor play – Children have a chance to play on swings, a climber, slides, tricycles, a sandbox, snow shovels, sleds, and more. Children typically play outside every day except when raining or below 20 degrees.

Staff

We are proud of our student/adult ratio of 5:1 in the 3-year-old program and 7:1 in the 4-year-old program.

We also are proud to introduce our wonderful teachers who have extensive experience in early childhood education and are both KT alumni parents.

Therese Lesser

Teacher at KT since 2000

Therese Lesser has been a teacher for over 20 years, and a lead teacher at Katrina Trask Cooperative Nursery School since 2000. Prior to teaching at KTNS she taught in the early childhood program at the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs and at Greenburg Childcare Center at Skidmore College. In addition she has taught elementary students with learning disabilities and worked as a Prevention Educator with at risk elementary students for Project Lift in Saratoga Springs.

Therese studied at Sophia’s Hearth in Keene, NH focusing on Nurturing the Young Child from Birth to Three in which the insights of Waldorf Education were incorporated. Other professional development includes Children’s Literature, Movement and Rhythm in Music, Math in the Curriculum and the Reggio Emilia Study.

She finds teaching preschoolers to be fun, rewarding, and especially enjoys taking time to talk with her students and observing their daily discoveries and interactions with their peers and their environment. She feels that working at a cooperative nursery school is an incredible experience where the emphasis on each child’s family’s involvement helps to create the optimum learning environment. “The children, the families and the teachers are all integral parts of our cooperative!”

She graduated from North Country Community College with an AAS in Crafts Management and an AAS in Early Childhood Education from California College for Health Sciences. She is a member of the NYS and National Association of the Education of the Young Child and certified in Infant-Child CPR.

A Saratoga Springs resident for over 15 years, she enjoys reading, invigorating walks, vegetarian cooking and baking with her two daughters and spending time with her family and friends.

Andrea Famiano

Teacher at KT since 2003

Andrea is a certified New York State teacher and has been working with children for more than 20 years. Prior to teaching at KTNS she taught elementary school in Rensselear NY, substitute taught in grades K-6, and co-authored the school curriculum for an alternative school for gifted children. Andrea also ran before and after school programs and directed summer camps for elementary school children.

Andrea obtained her Master’s Degree in Reading from the State University of Albany. Her undergraduate studies in Elementary Education were completed at the State University at Oneonta and Hudson Valley Community College. She is a member of the NYS and National Association of the Education of the Young Child. She has also attended a wide variety of teacher workshops over the years.

Andrea overall finds teaching to be very rewarding, exciting and fun. “I love talking to the children, hearing their ideas, and watching them make discoveries in their environment and with their peers. Having daily communication with the families of our cooperative, and working together to provide an optimal learning environment makes our school very unique.”
Andrea lives in Saratoga Springs with her husband and two children. She enjoys gardening, the great outdoors, riding her horses, scrapbooking and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Facility

Katrina Trask Nursery School is located in the Nolan House building of the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church on Circular Street in Saratoga Springs, but is not affiliated with the Church.