Parents welcomed, invited to get involved at Tappan Hill Open House

'The staff here are so dedicated to the students...we’re very lucky.'

Tappan Hill School hosted a well-attended, in-person parent Open House Friday morning.

Some 30 family members turned out to meet the teachers, administrators and service providers who work so closely with their children daily.

The annual event has been held remotely in recent years, which was “very challenging,” Principal Phyllis Rizzi said in welcoming families. “I’m very happy to be here in person with you all.”

Parents were introduced to social workers, therapists and other providers during an opening reception before visiting directly with teachers – and their children - in classrooms.

Ms. Rizzi took the opportunity to encourage families to join the Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA). A virtual SEPTA event a day earlier drew 35 families to hear speakers from the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, North East Special Recreation and the Music Conservatory of Westchester. SEPTA hosts such events throughout the year to connect families and provide valuable information about programs and opportunities for individuals with special needs.

“Please know my door is open for you if you need anything,” Ms. Rizzi said.

Assistant Principal Francesca Fernandez and other staff provided Spanish translation for the presentation. Ms. Rizzi said there is a great need within the SEPTA for Spanish speakers to broaden the reach of resources and networking to the school community’s Spanish-speaking families.

SEPTA President Anne Marie Cellante said every family’s support is needed.

“This organization really is what we make of it,” Ms. Cellante said. adding, “The staff here at Tappan Hill are so dedicated to the students here, so we’re very lucky.”