Upper Nyack Elementary School SCOOP

News You Can Use! December 2, 2022

Gratitude Day was a big hit!!

Gratitude Day at UNES was a big hit!! Our STREAM team helped us to make it possible to video conference Mr. Dreves into every classroom for a quick celebratory kickoff speech. This was a test run for our future plans to live broadcast morning announcements to the entire school each morning!

After that, our students learned about Gratitude through read alouds, videos, crafts and teacher discussion. They created GRATITUDE BALLOONS and then we lined the halls for a parade to celebrate students who have consistently demonstrated gratitude in their daily lives, as well as community helpers from around Nyack.

We hope you enjoy this quick video montage of our event.


Parent Teacher Conferences are Coming

Friday, December 9 and Friday, December 16 are Elementary Early Dismissal Days. Students will be released at 11:45am. Parent Teacher Conferences will occur on these afternoons and you should have received a Google Form Signup directly from your child's teacher. These afternoon sessions (generally from 12:45-3:15pm) will be in person at UNES. On Thursday, December 15, we have EVENING PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES that are VIRTUAL ONLY.

If you have not yet signed up, please do so as soon as possible as schedules are being set up. If you have not yet received information, please reach out to your child's teacher for more assistance.

The schedule for dismissal on our half days for P/T Conferences is as follows:

11:30 am - Kindergarten Students

11:35 am - Walkers & Grades 1 - 5

11:40 am - Car Riders Grades K - 5

11:45 am - Bus Riders K - 5

Family Resource Center Support for the Holidays

Our Family Resource Center is working hard to support our UNES families in need during this holiday season. They are currently collecting Shoprite and Target gift cards which will be offered to identified families in need in December. If you are able and interested to support this effort, you can contact Joanne Wallace at jwallace@nyackschools.org for more information, or simply drop them off in the main office.

Toys for Tots Collection

UNES is partnering once again with the Marines Toys for Tots Organization to provide new toys to children in need. We have a large cardboard bin to collect donations in our front entry vestibule. We would love to fill that bin many times over if our school community can come together to support those less fortunate. Please consider supporting this worthy cause. You can send donations with your child or simply drop off in the bin at drop off or pickup.


UNES is going to have a Spirit Week on December 19-23. This plan was spearheaded by some of our 5th grade leaders with support from our UNES PBIS team.



The PTA has a book fair scheduled for the spring but they need volunteers to pull it off. Any parents willing to volunteer to lead or assist in the book fair effort should email the PTA at unespta@gmail.com.

IDEA COMMITTEE (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Action Committee)

One goal of the IDEA Committee is to provide resources so that all families can advocate for their children. With Parent Teacher Conferences around the corner, here are their tips for having productive conferences.

Another focus is gathering stories. The IDEA Committee will be undertaking a Listening Campaign, to gather and share the stories and experiences of our UNES families, with a focus on elevating the stories and experiences of communities who have been marginalized in the past. To learn more or get involved, please join their next meeting in January or subscribe to their monthly newsletter here.

Questions? Contact them at unesdiverstiy@gmail.com. Or catch up on past IDEA newsletters here: (Oct I Nov).

Traffic patterns at morning drop off and afternoon dismissal

We've noticed an increase in parents not following the established pickup and drop off plans at UNES. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTRY AND DISMISSAL TRAFFIC PLANS FOR UNES.

For example, it's crucially important that parents do not drop off their children on the opposite side of the road (on the Summit School Side) and then have them cross busy Broadway. This ties up traffic, puts your children in an unsafe situation, and if everyone did this, it would lead to traffic tie ups up and down Broadway. All drop off traffic should approach UNES from Birchwood and not from the direction of town.

Also, some parents have been skipping the line for drop off and driving into the bus drop off zone to drop off. This is quite frustrating to all of the parents waiting patiently on the line and creates traffic issues when cars are in the bus zone.

Additionally, there have been too many incidents of cars passing buses with their stop signs out while they are unloading children. This is not only against the law, but extremely dangerous.

Finally, some kindergarten parents have asked if they have to park in the morning to walk their children in to the school at morning drop off. It is not necessary to do this anymore. You are welcome to drop off your kindergarten children in the normal drop off line and they can make their own way up the sidewalk into the school. However at dismissal, kindergarten walkers still need to be met by a parent.

As the principal, I try my best to be outside greeting students with high fives and assessing their state of mind as they start the day. I truly don't want to have to mediate traffic patterns in front of the building so I respectfully request everyone's cooperation.

Virtual Parent Coffee with Principal Dreves

Please be reminded that I hold a virtual parent coffee for any interested parents to join me from 9:30-10:00 on the third Friday of each month. Our next Virtual Coffee is FRIDAY, December 16.


Elementary Winter Concert Dates

Please note that there were some errors in the printing of the calendar in regards to the elementary concert dates. The correct dates/times are as follows:

WEDNESDAY, January 11 - Grades 1, 2 & 3

Upper Nyack Elementary - Grade 1 (9:30am), Grade 2 (10:00am), Grade 3 (10:30am)

Thursday January 19 - Grades 4 & 5

Upper Nyack Elementary Grade 4/5 Concert: (9:30am)

Cold Weather and Recess

We will be going outside for recess whenever the REAL FEEL temperature is above 25 degrees.

The weather is quickly getting colder, please send your child with a warm jacket, winter hat and gloves so that they are prepared for the weather. Please reinforce your expectation that your child wear a jacket and warm clothes to school, and at recess. Our staff will do the same as we all work together to keep our students safe and healthy.

Lost and Found

Our lost and found table is quickly piling up with items that have not been claimed. If your child is missing an item, please remind them to check the table in the cafeteria where they are folded and waiting to be reclaimed. If your child is very young, consider reaching out to the teacher, or the main office so that someone can accompany them to help them find their items.

We plan to have the Lost and Found items out on a table in the front hallway when parents visit for parent/teacher conferences. Please take a look if your child has lost something. After December 16, all items will be donated to charity.


PLEASE CLICK HERE if you'd like to purchase UNES Spirit Wear from the PTA online store.


There are archives of my community newsletter on the UNES WEBSITE - CLICK HERE, as well as on the UNESPTA Website (coming soon). If you can't find the old newsletters and are looking for info - you can find that info in these two places.

Mark Your Calendars!

    • Parent/Teacher Conferences - December 9 & 16 (early dismissal) & December 15 (evening)
    • Tuesday, December 20 - Sean Fleming Band in APR (K-2 @2pm / 3-5 @ 2:30pm)
    • Friday, December 23 - Sing Along with Mr. Yankou (APR) 2-3pm
    • Tuesday, January 3 - School reopens
    • Wednesday, January 11 - Grades 1-3 Concerts (Grade 1@9:30am/2@10am/3@10:30am)
    • Thursday, January 19 - Grades 4&5 Concert @ 9:30am

    Upper Nyack Elementary

    Building bridges for today's students to cross into tomorrow's world with equity, innovation and optimism.